American Idol returned last night (19th January 2011) with its season ten premiere and showcased a new look judging panel that includes American singer Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. The two-hour episode featured auditions from New Jersey and Los Angeles and viewers were once again treated to the usual mix of undiscovered talent and comical wannabes.
Lopez, Tyler and veteran judge Randy Jackson were left scratching their heads after a number of oddball performances and one singer who belted out Miley Cyrus' hit song 'Party in the USA' felt the wrath of the superstar panel. Season eight Idol champion KRIS ALLEN took part in a live video web-chat for MTV and assessed the new judge's performances, he said, "I thought they were good. I thought Steven Tyler was obviously the most interesting one. I figured he was going to be a wacky kind of guy, and, I mean, you can't be mad at him for singing along all the time - he's freakin' Steven Tyler! I thought it was awesome, I really did". Simon Cowell has left the judging panel to concentrate on developing the US version of 'The X Factor' but Allen thinks this year's hopefuls have a sterner test with the new line-up, saying, "It's probably a little bit different to sing for someone like Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, because they have been in the industry for so long and you've been watching them do it forever, so it would probably be weird".
Last night's season premiere scored a 16.4 national rating according to Nielsen, which is down 11 per cent on last season, but still enough to dominate its nearest competition on ABC and CBS.