Randy Jackson has revealed the latest American Idol is a much cosier affair that previous years.
The tenth season features a revamped judging line-up minus Simon Cowell, with existing judge Randy and newcomers Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
“I think with every artist – and Jennifer and Steven are legendary artists – you have a lot of warmth and a lot of nurturing,” the record producer said.
“That’s what happens. We’ve seen it in other seasons when we’ve had artists come in and mentor the singers. They really love on these kids, and I think that’s good.”
It’s not the first time American Idol has injected a bit of niceness into its judging panel. Last year, chat show host Ellen DeGeneres quit after one season because she said it was hard to hurt contestants’ feelings.
The show’s British executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said the show was back to “having fun” again.
He added: “At some point along the way, and we’re certainly all guilty of it, we started taking ourselves too seriously. I know the ratings are a serious game, but as far as I’m concerned, my job and their job is to generate fun.”
But it’s not all rosy in the American Idol camp, as Aerosmith star Steve proved during a taping of the Hollywood week auditions. He told four contestants who joined together for a group performance: “You took a good pop song and you beat it to death.”