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American Idol premiere: Did the judges lose their mojo?

Kristin Watson is no stranger to the world of entertainment, having worked with both NBC and The History Channel. As a Chicago-based writer, Kristin provides SheKnows readers on both coasts with the hottest celebrity and entertainment ne...

lackluster return for judges!

Hold all of our calls for the next few months! American Idol has returned and that means it gets our undivided attention -- and weekly commentary.

lackluster return for judges!

We were hesitant to give the oddest threesome on the planet a chance when they united for season 10 of American Idol, but Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson made it work. Can they keep the fire burning for season 11?

We believed they could as long as Lopez brought her sassy pants back to the table, Tyler continued coining redonkulous quotes and Randy Jackson kept mumbling "yo" -- but none of that happened during Wednesday's premiere.

"The Dawg," "JLo" and "Mr. F*** a duck and see what hatches" returned for season 11 of American Idol, but something was missing from their auditions in Savannah, Georgia: their individual quirks.

Where was Steven Tyler's wandering, flirty eyes (maybe it's his new fiancee) and catchy quotes? How about Jennifer Lopez's deep need to nurture, while keeping it real? Don't even get us started on Randy Jackson -- we're close to revoking his dawg card!

Okay, we'll give Steven Tyler half props. There were some packaged parts that showed him dancing with a girl and one crazy contestant did grab his butt, but he was not the instigator like he was last season. We're willing to put the other half of his props on hold for him, if we get our zany Tyler back.

The biggest display of personality these three showed was when awful singer Jessica Whitely assaulted their ears. They giggled over her promise to "see them in Dallas," but that was it. We live for watching them make fun of singers, but nothing.

We hoped the second hour of auditions would put some pep in their step, but after watching Stephanie Renae and other fantastic singers make it through, it was clear we were not going to get much more from the judges than a yes or no.

Here's the issue: It was fun thinking a dart was thrown by Fox and this is what they came up with last season -- it was entertaining -- but what now?

Even host Ryan Seacrest was blander than usual and he's got Fox on their toes, apparently realizing "his value."

Now that a season is behind them, they have to keep their flair. Simply putting contestants through isn't going to keep viewers watching the auditions. This blend of three judges and one host has to work, for the show to work

They have to remember, The Voice debuts in a few weeks and their blind auditions are insanely cool. They could have stuck a mop on The Voice's judges' panel and we still would have watched, simply for the fact that the idea of blind auditions is intriguing -- the judges they do have are just icing on the cake.

Lack of pizzazz on the judges' part aside, there were some great auditions like David Leather, Shannon Magrane, Colton Dixon and Phillip Phillips.

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the bad ones. Stay tuned after Thursday's auditions for our roundup of the worst thus far.

We'd be curious to hear what you think of the judges' mojo this season.

Were you feeling the panel?

Photo credit: FOX
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