Published: Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 7:02:36 AM

Harry Connick Jr has a change of heart

Singing a different tune: In a recent press release, Harry Connick Jr said he is excited to join American Idol as a judge. But in a 2012 interview, the singer said he had no interest in a talent show such as Idol.

Singing a different tune: In a recent press release, Harry Connick Jr said he is excited to join American Idol as a judge. But in a 2012 interview, the singer said he had no interest in a talent show such as Idol.

In 2012, Harry Connick Jr said judging American Idol would be like watching a car crash.

HARRY Connick Jr is a pretty talented singer – and one who sure can change his tune pretty quick.

Recently, Connick was officially announced as a new judge for the upcoming 13th season of American Idol.

That’s surprising considering an interview he gave less than a year ago, when he was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to start work on Pennsylvania Youth Theatre’s production of The Happy Elf, a stage musical based on his song of the same name.

Connick said then he wouldn’t want to judge a television singing contest because they’re like watching a car crash.

Show publicists said Connick, 45, will join Jennifer Lopez, who sat out last year after an earlier stint as a judge, and returning judge Keith Urban to make up the panel for the new year, which starts in January. Initial auditions already have been held.

Original judge Randy Jackson will be back on the show as a mentor.

In September 2012, when Connick came to Bethlehem to start work on The Happy Elf, the singer was asked whether he would consider being a judge on Idol, which then was replacing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.

Connick, who was a celebrity mentor on Idol in 2010, said then the show never contacted him as it picked Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Urban.

“I mean, they don’t want me to be a judge on a show like that. And I wouldn’t want to be a judge,” Connick said then.

“I mean, it’s really fun, you know, and it’s turned into, like, probably the biggest venue for music to get out there now, ‘cause we’re kind of in a weird time now with that stuff,” he said.

“But I don’t think they really want somebody like me, you know? Maybe one time, but I really don’t think they want me, because it’s really not about music, and I’m about music. And I think everybody knows that, but nobody wants a music lesson at 8 o’clock on a Thursday night. They don’t want that.”

Connick said then that he had recently watched The X Factor on a flight, “And this girl came out and she had been bullied ... I got caught watching it and the young girl ... this poor girl. That was so heartbreaking. I mean, it got me. It really did. And I think that’s what people want to see. They want to see people walk a tightrope. It’s kind of like watching NASCAR.

“And you know what else I think? The reason they have so many people with marginal singing ability is because there’s something about people who are not performers thinking, ‘Man I could really ...When I watch a football game, I really, like, sometimes I think, ‘I could do that.’ I can’t do that.

“But if there were a bunch of people that really weren’t very good, really, even though they were better than me, I would feel empowered. I think people watch it ‘cause they think, ‘That could be me.’ Whereas, if you see, like, Winton Marsalis playing the trumpet, I mean, he’s going to dash all of your hopes. You know what I mean? People put their horns back in the case. People are so great, it’s depressing.”

Fast forward to the present, and Idol released a statement from Connick in which he was quoted as saying, “I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show.

“And I am honoured that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”

Wonder what made him sing the praises of American Idol? We’re sure there are millions of reasons. – The Morning Call/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, Harry Connick, Jr, American Idol, TV, Singer

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