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“American Idol” Premiere Recap: Best Judge Lineup Ever?

In case you need a legitimate reason to check out the thirteenth season of American Idol, here’s one: This is the first season where none of the judges are embarrassed by one other.

Think about it. From seasons one to eight, Simon Cowell rolled his eyes at Paula Abdul, who was usually rolling her eyes on accident. In season nine, Ellen DeGeneres winced at all of Simon’s callous remarks as if they were stains on her syndication-friendly reputation. In seasons ten and eleven, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson giggled in terror whenever your great aunt Steven Tyler purred at female contestants. In season 12, the whole panel refrained from weeping when Mariah Carey would attempt legitimate criticisms and instead wind up reciting Jacqueline Bisset‘s entire Golden Globes speech.

But finally, with the new lineup of Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez, and returnee Keith Urban, the mix is mysteriously perfect.

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