When Harry Connick Jr. joined the judging panel of American Idol this season, fans were hit with a fresh perspective behind the desk with some musical critiques that hadn’t been heard in the show’s previous 12 seasons. Connick had appeared on the show before as a mentor and was a fan in the past, watching with his family at home. But following in the footsteps of Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, Connick took his role as judge pretty seriously from the moment he was hired, as frustrating as it may be.
“The most frustrating thing is that the job is to judge,” Connick told EW. “It’s not to be a mentor, it’s not to be a cheerleader, it’s not to be best friends, it’s not to wrap the kids up in a blanket and try to give them as much information that you can; it’s to judge. And that’s what I was hired to do. You have about 30 seconds to be very succinct with information that you think will help them to grow and you know, like, a woman came up to me the other day who I’ve known for years and said, ‘You use the word “sharp” a lot. What does that mean?’ I was shocked, and this was someone I’ve known for 10 or 15 years and I was like, ‘Really?’ That’s something you learn on the first day of music class. Some of these kids don’t even know that. So I wish this was a six-hour show and I could give them information, but that’s not the gig.” READ FULL STORY