Warm reception for American Idol return

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez with Randy Jackson (r) Tyler (left) and Lopez (centre) were announced as new judges in September

Talent search American Idol has returned to US screens for its 10th season - with a new line-up of judges.

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and singer Jennifer Lopez have joined original judge Randy Jackson, following the departure of Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.

Show producers Fox hope their combined star power will help boost ratings, which have seen a decline in recent years.

Last season's finale was watched by 24 million, down five million on the year before. Yet it remains the most watched show in the US.

Without Cowell, can the new show succeed? Judging from these verdicts, critics and fans think it can.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Season 10 and American Idol finally brought in a couple of pros.

Tyler and Lopez are performers, time and road-tested, who have experienced failure as well as success.

Even in the first two hours the difference in how they perceive performances made the show more interesting than it has been in a while.

Read the full review here

WASHINGTON POST

Worried that American Idol would be unrecognisable after some major revamping that took place over the last year? Good news! Nothing's changed.

Same dramatic music, same talk about making people's dreams come true, same sob stories with predictable tickets to Hollywood. It's comforting, or it's a snoozefest - take your pick.

Read the full review here

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

First and foremost, Steven Tyler is a marvel - a wise old loon. Jennifer Lopez is fine too.

Okay, she was kind of a mess and clearly took her time getting comfortable with the dark side of her new job. But I'm confident J-Lo can be swift and effective for the live shows.

I didn't think about Simon once. It felt great.

Read the full review here

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The 10th season of American Idol kicked off Wednesday night, but new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez didn't quite shake it up as promised.

While the Aerosmith front man was playful and flirty, J-Lo spent most of the time struggling with two letters, N and O.

As promised, no members of the three-strong panel - that includes returning judge Randy Jackson - pulled the Simon Cowell card.

Instead Tyler, who was pegged to take his place, could somehow soften even the most stinging insults.

Read the full review here

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Tyler, ready to do his high-pitched, Aerosmith-frontman scream at the drop of a golden ticket, was nonetheless surprisingly winning, especially for a 62-year-old still trying to look and act like he's in his 30s.

Lopez was softer than soft, forever moist-eyed and weighing in with an early thumbs-up for weak contestants so that others would have to deliver the bad news.

The fact that there were 51 [auditionees] chosen suggests this is a judging panel still trying to find its own voice.

Read the full review here

BILLBOARD

Viewers won't know for sure how Tyler and Lopez will ultimately fare as Idol judges until the live episodes begin to air in March.

But for what it's worth Tyler was a pleasant surprise throughout, offering cogent critique.

Without Cowell on the panel - and with Jackson taking the role of senior judge - the critiques overall lacked teeth.

If anyone used the words "horrific" or "bloody awful" to describe a contestant, or even remotely offended them, it was left on the cutting room floor.

Read the full review here

AMERICAN IDOL MESSAGE BOARDS

J-Lo did a great job... I actually like the new improved panel. I'll watch more this season than I did in previous ones. - lilbirdie

I enjoyed tonight's show. The judges complement each other well. Something different is refreshing BUT I still miss Simon's edge. - Azure07

I am very disappointed with tonight's show! The judges are weak and they let themselves get carried by emotions... Although there were some funny sides of the show, it does not compare with the other seasons! - normalyl

I love the new (and much improved) Idol. Jennifer Lopez is amazing. Steven Tyler is such a positive addition, has a great sense of humor, and Randy Jackson seems so much more relaxed. I can't wait for tomorrow night's episode. - 104325221

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