The only reported "new" kid in town is Harry Connick, Jr., but even he's no stranger to the "Idol" family after logging a couple of mentoring gigs on the show in the past.
That said, at least "Idol" fans know what they're getting: a mishmash of past judges and mentors who will hopefully gel together and have some sort of chemistry. And it's totally possible, as long as this panel brings out their best material.
Check out some of the best moments from this recycled "American Idol" panel:
Harry Connick, Jr. and Randy Jackson
A storm was brewing when Harry Connick Jr. mentored the Top 4 girls last season after the singer and then-judge Randy Jackson sparred over a version of the song "Stormy Weather."
After contestant Kree Harrison performed Lena Horne's version of the classic song, Randy Jackson told her that she would have done better with the bluesier Etta James version. But Harry, who had mentored the girls that week, begged to differ, pointing out that Kree needed to learn the melody first.
Randy then told the aspiring "Idol" she should always "stick to who you are," and he went on to cheer her on: "Kree, just be Kree, baby! We just want you to be Kree!"
Harry deadpanned with, "We want you to be Kree, but choose the Etta James version."
Good one, Harry!
Host Ryan Seacrest got the last word in when he told guys, "You're making Nicki and Mariah look very benign here."
Watch Harry Connick, Jr.'s mentoring session with Kree Harrison:
You gotta love a judge with a heart, and J.Lo's soft side shined through from the get-go, when she started her judging duties back in Season 10. While the heartbreaking elimination of contestant Chris Medina stood out (she memorably broke down in tears and said she couldn't take cutting people from the competition), the pop diva's biggest "Idol" moment came the next season when she famously stormed the stage to rescue Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez from elimination. "Give me that mic! This is crazy!" J.Lo screamed as she grabbed the microphone from Sanchez. "Yes, we're using the Save! You're not going home! Go sit down!"
Watch J.Lo save Jessica's day:
Who knew this guy was funny? Aussie country singer Keith Urban surprised viewers with a steady supply of zingers throughout the season, but it was no joke when he called out a contestant for her off-the-cuff comment about country music during the Charlotte auditions.
When the freshman "Idol" judge asked contestant Summer Cunningham where she saw herself as a singer, she replied, "I did the country thing. I'm more of a soulful country, maybe."
Urban's irritated reply: "Right. I always get thrown when people say, 'I did the country thing.' It's like saying, 'I did the brain surgeon thing.' Either you're a brain surgeon or you're not."
Of course, this exchange segued into a debate between all of the judges, which culminated with Nicki Minaj walking off the set. But it all started with Keith.
See Keith Urban's reaction to Summer Cunningham's country comment:
The "Idol" judge turned mentor (he's slated to replace Jimmy Iovine as the show's in-house advisor this season) might be best known for his creative catchphrases (Yo, who's in it to win it?"), but he held his tongue when a disgruntled contestant dissed him back in Season 6.
When Jasmine Holland auditioned in San Antonio, Randy told her the performance "wasn't good." The angry "Idol" wannabe shot back with, "And what do you do? Because I never heard of you until 'American Idol' came, so what do you do?"
"Play," Randy replied. "Make records. You have to look at the charts, honey."
"Oh, so you do nothing, you're in the background, right?" she asked.
"Aw no, I do everything," Randy calmly assured her before she walked out.
In the end, Randy handled the diss like a pro, although he did nearly choke on his water while laughing at Holland. Still, got to like a dawg whose bark is worse than his bite!
Watch Randy Jackson get dissed by a contestant:
More from this contributor:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Randy Jackson
- Keith Urban
- American Idol
- Kree Harrison