Season 10 of the TV talent show got underway on Wednesday night (19Jan11) with Tyler and Lopez replacing Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell on the hit show – and the two superstars wowed contestants and TV critics with their enthusiastic response to wannabes at auditions in New Jersey, which were taped last year (10).
The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara writes, “Moments into Wednesday night’s season premiere, it was gratifyingly clear that for the first time in a long time the fumblings and flailings of contestants fighting to find their feet on stage will not be mirrored by the judges’ table.
“Not only are they great to look at, Lopez and Tyler are long-time stars who have nothing to gain, or lose, by being part of American Idol.”
She adds, “Their natural confidence in front of the camera was such a blessed relief that it was hard to miss even the bracing ballistics of Simon Cowell.”
New York Post critic Linda Stasi agreed, calling the duo’s “instant chemistry” with existing judge Randy Jackson “so right, they couldn’t have created it in a lab”.
She continues, “Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are not and will never be Paula (Abdul, another former judge) and Simon. They didn’t do the brother/sister love/hate thing – and didn’t try to. And that was great. They did something completely different. They were themselves – two superstars fully engaged and absorbed. And not with themselves, but with the contestants. Perfect.”
However, the show lost a few viewers – the premiere opened to the lowest ratings since season one.