Ryan Seacrest on New 'Idol' Judges' Chemistry


American Idol
has played another round of musical chairs on the judges table for Season 13. Now that this group of judges has been working together for a few months, host Ryan Seacrest weighs in on their chemistry.

With the departure of long-tenured judge Randy Jackson from his judging post after last season (he'll be an in-house mentor for the upcoming season), Seacrest will be the only original show member to return to the singing competition show in their initial capacity.

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Also scattering from the judges panel are pop stars Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, whose blatant lack of chemistry was criticized for detracting from the contestants. Replacing the two are once-judge Jennifer Lopez and brand-new judge Harry Connick, Jr.

"It's natural. There's no act here," Seacrest said of the chemistry between the judges, who assembled in Atlanta for callbacks. "This is three people at a panel who really like each other, who get along, who respect each other in every facet of what they do, and they're friends."

"It's not rocket science," added Keith Urban, the only Season 12 judge to return for Season 13.

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As Idol's competition with other reality talent shows like The Voice increases, Lopez said that she and her fellow judges are focused on bringing the show back to its roots after last season.

"I just think about this show being such an institution and such a great thing for America. They've always loved it," said Lopez, who previously sat on the judges table in Seasons 10 and 11. "They want their show to be always what it was, and we're just here to watch the singers do their thing."

On her previous stint on the show, Lopez worked alongside Randy Jackson and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, an eccentric duo with whom she seemed to have plenty of chemistry. While Urban and Connick Jr. are of a different breed, she says the chemistry's still there.

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"It's love and respect, at the end of the day, for the person you're sitting next to," the 44-year-old pop star and actress said. "...It's just a mutual kind of thing. We're having such a good time on this journey. We all love the show. ... We all love what it is at its best."

Watch the full video for more from the judges, including Lopez's thoughts on her recent paparazzi incident and Urban's generous thoughts on Miley Cyrus.

American Idol
's Season 13 premieres in January 2014.