American Idol Judges Look Ahead to Season 14

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Check In During Nashville Auditions

Auditions are already underway for season 14 of American Idol. On Monday (Aug. 4), the show’s stars were in Nashville for a day of tryouts and filming.

Host Ryan Seacrest, who has been with the series since its inception, says fans can expect the same show they’ve grown to love.

“I think that the core of the show will stay consistent (to) what we’ve been doing for so many years,” Seacrest told reporters.

This season marks Keith Urban’s third as a judge, and the superstar says his favorite aspect of Idol is always the same — experiencing a killer audition.

“In the end, I just love great talent,” Urban said. “I love … discovering great talent. Whether it’s somebody who hips me to a new artist or whether it’s someone who just walks through the door and you’re just sitting there going, ’Aw, wow. This is exactly what it’s about.’ So, really for me, that’s the best part of this job.”

For Jennifer Lopez, new Idol hopefuls — along with her true passion for music — keep things exciting from season to season. Passion is what Lopez says makes an effective judge as well.

“I think any successful judge really loves music first and foremost,” she said. “They love talking about it, they love sharing what they know about it, and just that love, that passion, is what I think really makes a great judge. Somebody who just doesn’t take it for granted, that truly is in love with it.”

In that respect, there’s no question that Lopez and Urban are right for the job. And with Connick’s 20-plus years of award-winning work in entertainment, American Idol will continue with its triple threat into 2015.

“We’re all entertainers, and we all intimately understand what goes into having a long career in this business,” Connick explained. “And I think for the young performers who wanna listen, I think it may be helpful to them.”

For more on the new season of American Idol, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 9-10) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.