American Idol Premiere Pt. 2 Recap: Harsh Connick Jr. Gets Harsher And Jennifer Lopez Cringes

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Last night saw the second part of the American Idol season 13 premiere, only this evening the auditions continued in Austin and San Francisco. The previous episode's auditions had been fairly uneventful in terms of drama but Part 2 was where it started to get interesting.

American Idol Panel
The Judges Began To Show Their Real Personalities In The 'American Idol' Premiere.

After complaining that none of the contestants knew who he was, singer and actor-turned Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. decided to ensure that they would at least never forget him. Harry's no-nonsense style of judging takes the panel on a departure from the more sympathetic style of judging seen on Idol seasons of late and more of a return to the stereotypical Simon Cowell-esque strain of talent show nasty.

Click to read a Part 1 recap.

Indeed, "Harsh Harry" (he coined that term himself) was on an energetically brutal form last night as he slammed into contestants for their screechy, flat or tuneless singing skills and bad attitudes. One guy came in shirtless apart from red braces, with baggy cut-off jeans and clumpy hiking shoes. When wannabe actor and singer Rick Rowling auditioned in this get-up, he may have made former panels giggle - not Harry Connick Jr. though.

Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. Grew Into His "Harsh Harry" Nickname.

"You have disrespected the process," he scorned., forgetting that 95% of the entertainment in these early stages comes from the oddball and tone-deaf souls who offer themselves up to the nation's sacrificial stone. When Harry said no to Jennifer Lopez, it ruffled the feathers of the pop star judge so much that she generated a new moniker for him: "Hatchet Harry."

After 13 seasons of Idol, there was always a chance that soon the kids of the first auditionees would try out for themselves. Enter Tristen, the 15-year-old son of Idol first season contestant, Nicky McKibbin, who came in third and later appeared on Celebrity Rehab. "This is second generation American Idol already - this is crazy," exclaimed Lopez.

She and Urban stood strong to get the teen through this early stage with a ticket to Hollywood but not until Harry had rained over their parade. "I just think if mom weren't here and the story weren't here, I can guarantee you, it wouldn't work for me," he grumbled, to which J.Lo quipped, "You're really Dr. No." Again, when photogenic teen Spencer made it through, Harry was determined to knock the shine off the triumph: "Nice guy, ridiculously handsome, but you have just an okay voice," he said. "It's an image thing."

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez Stood Strong Against An Emotionally Trying Display.

Though this season, the judges have vowed to keep the focus on the contestants and their dreams, the spotlight was soon on J.Lo who endured a pretty cringey show of adoration. Singer and guitarist Ronald Reed auditioned, saying that his greater purpose was to "end poverty" and "make the world a better place."

Despite expecting fireworks from the 23 year-old, judges were gifted with a tuneless ballad that brought out Jen's sympathy: "Oh sweetie, your voice isn't strong enough," she lamented. Ronald didn't take his "No" well, collapsing on the floor and crying whilst whimpering J.Lo's name. "He keeps on saying's killing me," she said.

There was no backing down from the decision though and Reed was sent home unlike the other lucky and talented 33 who will join last night's 46 in Hollywood!


Tags: Harry Connick Jr. - Jennifer Lopez - Keith Urban

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