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Keith Urban Still Gives Best Advice on Idol

New American Idol Shows the Judges Table Intact

So far, we’re only one hour into the 14th season of American Idol, and there are so many changes. But Keith Urban isn’t one of them.

On Wednesday night’s (Jan. 7) season premiere, Urban was one of the consistencies. Especially when it came to giving the kind of advice he’s become known for in his past two years at the judges table. Even when he’s being critical, it sounds like flattery.

(Except for the guy who did an old Supertramp song. Urban was pretty straightforward about telling him to get lost.)

But for the contestants who stuck around to listen, here’s what Urban had to say:

When Riley Bria did Urban’s “Georgia Woods,” he said, “Don’t be afraid to dig into the performance a little bit. You can sort of come in really big and commit to a song.”

When Priscilla Barker did “Delta Dawn,” Urban told her how to stand out among “some seriously good singers.” He also said, “That can happen through talent. It can happen through a song choice. Hollywood Week might be able to give you that chance.”

When Emily Brooke sang Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Urban said, “I think there’s a lot of raw talent that’s really, really good in there.”

Urban didn’t say much, other than voting yes, to Michael Simeon when he did Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.” It was so good, maybe Urban was just kind of speechless for once.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.