American Idol: New Judge Henry Connick Jr. Called ‘Delicious,’ and Show’s ‘Saving Grace’

January 20, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Henry Connick Jr., a new judge on American Idol’s 2014 season, is getting incredibly positive reviews.

Fox News said that he may be American Idol’s “saving grace.” Rolling Stone said that he stole the show’s spotlight. Entertainment Weekly called him “delicious.”

Many reviews agreed on some key points, such as that Connick Jr. is firm when he needs to be but also has a sense of humor. 

“I think what’s fantastic about Harry Connick Jr. he’s likable and he’s knowledgeable, and he’s not a pushover. He’s not somebody who just because one of the contestants has a sympathetic story that he’s going to say yes… He’s like a voice of reason, and he’s also drama-free,” Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief of Hollywood Life, told Fox.

Rich Davis, a host for Sirius XM, said that though he’s firm he’s not too mean. 

“The whole idea of having the mean guy, the over-friendly person, that’s over with. You just need to get honest people that the audience responds to. And I think Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s bickering back and forth, I think that pushed a lot of people away.  I don’t think you need a Simon Cowell, mean guy, ripping apart the contestants.”

The ratings drop over the previous seasons sparked concerns about the continued viability of the show, but Fuller has an optimistic view.

“I still believe that if each show does a great job of producing talent, and that’s the bottom line,” she said. “If they can find real talent that excites the audience, I still think they can be smash hits.”

Check out some of Connick’s actions in the videos below.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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