'AI' Judges on Their Best Contestants Yet


Despite a few of the usual bombs during American Idol's season 11 premiere on Wednesday night, the judges seem quite pleased with their lineup of contestants.

American Idol Season Premiere Recap

"I think the stakes ... each year it gets better and better," Jennifer Lopez said in a recent press conference. "We have so many amazingly talented artists this year."

Randy Jackson was particularly impressed by the show's teenage hopefuls, saying, "That under-20 crowd is stronger than ever."

J.Lo added that even those that the judges weren't 100-percent sure would thrive in the competition are now surprising them "beyond [their] wildest dreams."

"They also seem to have the whole package," J.Lo raved. "They understand that there's a performance that needs to be there. They understand that they have to dress a certain way ... They're like little pop stars in a box."

Check out part two of the American Idol season premiere Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.