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American Idol Judges 2014 Audition Cities: J-Lo, Urban & Connick Have Fun in Omaha, 75 Hopefuls Get Callbacks

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First Posted: Oct 15, 2013 11:42 AM EDT
American Idol Omaha
The "Idol" team takes questions in Omaha. (Photo : American Idol/Facebook)

The search for the next "American Idol" is in progress. On Sunday, season 13 judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. took the search to Omaha, Nebraska.

"I don't know, there is just an innocence to the Midwest that I like," Lopez told Fox 42. "You can feel there is something fresh and exciting."

The judges spent three days in the ballrooms of Omaha's Century-Link Center. Over 4,000 hopefuls showed up to the initial auditions for season 13 of "American Idol." Only 75 were invited back to perform for Lopez, Urban and Connick for a chance to receive the illustrious golden ticket that grants participants a trip to Hollywood where the competition continues.

Only two out of the three judges need to approve a contestant for him or her to advance to the next round.

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"I wasn't expecting this kind of talent, so if it keeps going like this we are going to find a lot of talent in Omaha," Connick told Fox 42.

Seventy-five out of 4,000 does not seem like a lot of talent for the judges to scrutinize, but this season, "Idol" is looking for the best of the best, a "superstar," as Ryan Seacrest told The World-Herald. According to Seacrest, "American Idol" host, this season, the "Idol" teams wants someone who is "not just good, but great - excellent."

"They might have an okay voice, but collectively, if they are an artist, that's what I'm looking for," Urban told Fox 42.

The three "Idol" judges were on the same page in Omaha. All three judges were looking for that special "it" factor.

"The great thing is when someone really has 'it,' we really respond to it," Urban told the local newspaper. "It's really not about genre. It's about ..."

"Just being good," Lopez continued.

The judges, however, are not all work and no play. During their stay in Omaha, Urban enjoyed a steak at Johnny's Café that he considered "great." Meanwhile, Connick watched from a television in the arena as his favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, lost to the New England Patriots.

"I love it here, man," Connick told The World-Herald. "The people are great."

Auditions for the next "American Idol" have also been held in Detroit, Salt Lake City, Austin, and Boston.

Season 13 of "American Idol" premieres in January on Fox.

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