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American Idol: Why We're Just Wild About Harry
TV GUIDE ^ | 01/15/2014 | By Hanh Nguyen, TV GUIDE

Posted on 01/15/2014 8:48:43 PM PST by SeekAndFind

American Idol has recaptured its magic, and Harry Connick Jr. is responsible for casting the spell.

On the Season 13 premiere Wednesday, the new Idol judge not only obliterated the memory of last year's mockery of a panel, but also revitalized the spirit of the show. It's an impressive feat when you consider that Idol has been on a downward trajectory when it comes to ratings and its image. Although it's still too early to tell if Connick's charms will translate into an uptick in viewership, we're completely sold on him.

What's so great about the new Idol judge? Here are eight reasons we're wild about Harry:

1. He's freakin' hilarious. Part goofy and part manic, it's clear why Jennifer Lopez looks like she doesn't know what hit her most of the time. The guy's joy is infectious, and we're so thrilled that the equally likeable Keith Urban finally has a real pal on the panel. We would pay to see Harry do stand-up.

2. He's a dedicated family man. On the premiere, it's clear he takes his fatherhood duties seriously, as evidenced by his aversion to young girls singing inappropriate lyrics and granting his daughter permission to have a tattoo. At the Television Critics Association winter TV previews on Monday, he related a story about his honeymoon and concluded, "I married the girl of my dreams, and I'm so happy, I don't even see another couple."

3. He's honest and genuine. While it's true that many of Connick's critiques can come off as harsh, it's clear that it comes from a place of honesty and doesn't have any of the malicious zing of Simon Cowell's comments. When he doesn't like something, he's not going to pretend. "I'm responding to a performance," he explained. "And I don't believe you have to couch your critique in some compliment. That's my style ... If somebody can't sing, they need to go home."

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4. He wants to help. Connick's critiques aren't just honest, but also informative. "You have to be specific with them, you know: 'I didn't like the performance. Here's exactly why,'" he says. "You're not going to see me just basing stuff on subjectivity. It's unfair to them. When I didn't play or sing right when I was coming up, they'd say, 'Stop. Here's what you need to work on.' And then you go work on it."

5. He's got the musical chops and smarts. Connick isn't just a seasoned performer (he began playing publicly at age 5) but also a musician with an extensive knowledge of musical theory. This means that he can really pinpoint and articulate what is wrong in his critiques. Getting a negative review from Connick may not be fun, but it's valuable.

6. He's humble. At the live Q&A on Tuesday night, Connick described himself with the word "struggling" because he feels he's always struggling to be a better father, husband, musician, person and more. "It consumes me," he admitted. "We want to be better people."

7. He's easy on the eyes. Connick completes the trifecta of this unfairly good-looking panel. His particular appeal, though, is that hint of mischief in his eyes.

8. He has high standards. Connick is a longtime Idol fan and wants to find someone with the skills and tenacity to live up to the title, and that means someone who is like himself, always growing and hungry for more. "Somehow in music, it's OK not to know anything about your craft," he said. "I profoundly disagree with that, and I will tell every kid that comes in, whether they're educated or not, 'You need to work on your craft.' It has nothing to do with passion. My definition of passion is somebody who learns everything they can about what they love." Already we feel that his demand for excellence has rubbed off on his fellow judges and on the contestants, thereby elevating the Idol competition.

TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: americanidol
Strictly for fans of the show only
1 posted on 01/15/2014 8:48:43 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Highlights of the Season 13 Premiere:

2 posted on 01/15/2014 8:51:19 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
“I have pretty good judgment about what's out of bounds in terms of what's crass or lewd or inappropriate,” Connick Jr. said in a 2009 interview with Christianity Today International.

Connick Jr. briefly attended an all-male Catholic high school in his youth and admits that his religious values still play a part in his role as an entertainer.

“I'm perfectly comfortable talking about my faith, but I don't talk about some things unless I'm asked about them," he told Christianity Today International. "I don't feel like I'm on a mission for the church. I'm a practicing Catholic, but I don't necessarily think it's something people want to hear me talk about. But if I'm asked about it, I'll talk about it. I think the worlds of faith and entertainment can coexist peacefully.”

3 posted on 01/15/2014 8:56:16 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

How about fans of Harry Connick Jr.?

4 posted on 01/15/2014 8:58:23 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: SeekAndFind

That was creepily funny.

I couldn’t believe the Texapaki could sing so well. Just didn’t look the part.

5 posted on 01/15/2014 8:59:00 PM PST by Jedidah
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To: SeekAndFind

Harry Connick Jr.
$4,600 to Obama

President Obama and First Lady Michelle host their second Governors Ball at the White House Sunday night, headlined by Harry Connick Jr.

Video Harry Connick, Jr. Performs for Michelle Obama at the White House

Harry Connick Jr. and his daughter crooned “Happy Birthday.” About 850 people attended the reception, and about 250 paid $15,000 each — $28,500 for a couple — to dine with Obama afterward.

6 posted on 01/15/2014 9:08:20 PM PST by kcvl
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To: SeekAndFind

He’s hot and smart. Killer. Swooning here!

7 posted on 01/15/2014 9:31:11 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: kcvl

I can’t believe they hired a white guy to sing to Mooch!

8 posted on 01/15/2014 9:32:15 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

Your wrote: “I can’t believe they hired a white guy to sing to Mooch!”

The first year they hired Bob Dylan and he refused to shake hands with Obama after the performance at the White House

9 posted on 01/15/2014 9:54:11 PM PST by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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