Harry Connick Jr. was a guest mentor during Season 9 and Season 12 of AMERICAN IDOL®. His time as a mentor gave him an intimate look at the world of IDOL™, but he said being a judge is much different: “You don't really have the intensity of the interaction, but you get to share your views with a lot more people and try to help them develop their talent. It just felt like a natural thing to do. Plus, I love television, I love being in front of an audience, and I love talking about music.”
He may be new to the position, but Harry knows the show very well. Harry admitted, “[My wife and I have] watched the show since the very first episode – and we've watched it every year since – and we're big fans. She always would say, ‘It would be great to see you as a judge,' which made me feel nice because she supports me in so many ways.” He also revealed, “Every time AMERICAN IDOL® is on the calendar, I just bound out of bed with great excitement and enthusiasm. It's really, really fun. It's extremely intense. The days are long. It's very emotional, but it's just the wildest ride – and it's a wonderful ride with great people – and I really just like being a part of it.”
Harry loves working closely with the other two judges on the panel, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. “I really love being up there with them. They're extremely bright people, highly successful, have very strong work ethics and very strong convictions about what they do, and they're the best in the business at their respective jobs. We're completely different. We're different brains, different personalities, different philosophies.” Even though Jennifer and Keith have been on the show before, Harry reminded us, “It's a new show now. It has different producers, different directors, a different panel, and different contestants. It has a new look. It has a new feel, and it's a new day for this great show.”
So what type of judge will Harry be? “I would want to be told – or I would want my friends and children to be told – the absolute truth. I think you can be diplomatic about it, but you also have to be real. You have to tell it like it is…it's a very healthy, honest, spontaneous environment and it feels right to me.”
Watch Harry Connick Jr. in action on the AMERICAN IDOL® XIII premiere, January 15 and 16 at 8/7c on FOX.
Can't wait that long? Check out the judges' chemistry with this video.