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American Idol judges talk Austin talent

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About 3,000 people showed up at the Frank Erwin Center in August for round one of the Austin American Idol auditions.

Two rounds later, a much smaller crowd of hopefuls back in Austin. This time at the Austin Convention Center to perform in front of the celebrity judges -- Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

No pressure.

We asked if the mood has changed a little bit not having long-time judge Randy Jackson on the panel this year.

"It is different for us to look over and not see one of the originals but it's as if they've been doing it together forever. Obviously two of them have been here before and Harry's been here since season one. He's been a part of the show from the beginning and has watched every episode, we were talking about it last night at dinner all fits perfectly," said host, Ryan Seacrest.

Previous "Idols" have brought a wide range of musical styles to the table...from Carrie Underwood's country to Fantasia's R&B.

FOX 7 asked the judges if there is a particular style they're hoping this year's American Idol will embody.

"America picks at the end of the day but what we want to put out there is just all the best people that we found going to each city you know, it gets exciting. Like today was an exciting day, we saw so many talented people," said Judge Jennifer Lopez.

And FOX 7 had to get this question's the talent in Austin? Did the "Live music capital of the world" live up to its name?

"It did, Austin's great. It's a healthy musical community here. It permeates this whole culture, that's just what you think's synonymous with Austin. And I thought so for sure," said Judge Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol premieres on FOX 7 in January.

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