How cool would it be, while auditioning for a gold ticket to Hollywood for “American Idol,” if you got to jam with Harry Connick Jr.? Well, that’s what happened to a piano-playing young woman at the Kansas City auditions. In a video posted to the “American Idol” channel on YouTube Aug. 29, fans get to see a little bit of what’s headed their way in Season 14 of the reality singing competition. And it appears that Judge “Harsh” Harry might be mellowing a bit…
Although “American Idol” does not return to television until January, to get there the three judges — Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban — have to select a few people to go through Hollywood Week and Group Night and all those winnowing rounds to get a competitive top twenty or so for the live shows. So that’s what they were doing when, at the stopover in Kansas City for Season 14 auditions, they met Jess.
Now, we aren’t given access to Jess’ performance but it must have been impressive, because the first thing we see on the posted video — let’s call it “When Harry Met Jess,” just for fun — is Jess running up to the judges panel and getting a gold ticket. As she does, she and Harry Connick Jr. agree to jam together. Excited, Jess immediately starts talking about a “one-four, one-five jam.”
Harry, ever the joker, tells her, “I don’t really know what that means. I don’t really talk music.” He emphasized the word “music” by making apostrophes with his hands. That bit of faux ignorance is met by laughter from his fellow judges. (And we all remember not only Judge Harry’s music lessons last season but also Judge Keith’s bombastic mockery of it as well.)
So Jess sits down at the piano and begins a basic rhythm. Harry quickly joins in, his fingers flying over the keys, tinkling the ivories so quickly it is difficult to follow. But not by ear — the impromptu jam sounds terrific.
The video of when Harry met Jess comes after another video of Season 14 showed Jennifer Lopez slow dancing with a Nashville contestant earlier in the audition season. Looks like everyone’s trying to get that personal vibe that Keith Urban has had all along. (Remember: Keith jammed on guitar with a contestant last season and was always seen running around slapping and shaking hands, far more than his fellow judges.)
“American Idol” Season 14 will begin airing January 14, 2015.