'American Idol' recap: 'Hatchet' Harry's first impressions

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. (Handout)

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. (Handout)

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 PM ET

“Harsh Harry” continued his reign on the second night of American Idol’s Season 13 premiere on Thursday, as the city auditions continued in Austin and San Francisco.

That’d be new Idol judge Harry Connick Jr., who coined the phrase himself after a wannabe actor, - shirtless, in red suspenders, and cut-off jeans - it’s a look! - didn’t please after delivering horrible jokes and an off-key take on a Rick Astley tune.

“You have disrespected the process,” said Connick.

He was, of course, right but when has that stopped anyone looking for attention on Idol before?

And returning judge Jennifer Lopez even lowered the bar calling Connick “Hatchet Harry” when he said no, but she and returning judge Keith Urban said yes, to giving Tristen, the 15-year-old son of Idol first season contestant, Nicky McKibbin (she came in third and later appeared on Celebrity Rehab), a golden ticket to Hollywood.

“This is second generation American Idol already - this is crazy,” said Lopez.

But Connick went for the jugular: “I just think if mom weren’t here and the story weren’t here, I can guarantee you, it wouldn’t work for me.”

Afterwards, Lopez said to Connick: “You’re really Dr. No.”

He, and the other two judges, it has to be said, even had no problem pulling a Sophie’s Choice and splitting up twins Sierra (didn’t make it) and Selena (who did make it through).

Diversity in terms of contestants continued with everyone from Obama lookalike T.K. to pretty boy Spencer making it through to Hollywood, despite Connick’s concerns about both.

“Nice guy, ridiculously handsome, but you have just an okay voice,” he said of Spencer. “It’s an image thing.”

And of T.K.: “You’re not the greatest singer I’ve ever heard but you’re so likeable, it’s a yes from me.”

The Urban-loving Rachel gave away her mistakes with some mighty big eyes every time she flubbed her take on Sugarland’s Stay, but still got through because of the “thickness” of her voice. The big-voiced Manuel came on stage crawling and singing, scaring Lopez initially, before breaking down into tears when he got a golden ticket.

Standing out in his own field was sound healer Adam, barefoot and in all white, working his powers on deciding judge Keith, who got him through to Hollywood.

“Sometimes scary theatre is good,” joked Connick earlier in the show.

Speaking of which, Urban’s hair was adjusted on camera at one point and he joked: “Sorry, 64B is out of place.”

Bottom line, four hours of Idol for a premiere in one week is too much for this viewer but at least we got a sense of the judges’ dynamic going forward with Connick clearly the judge to impress.


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