Coming into Wednesday night's (January 19) season premiere episode of "American Idol," there were a lot of questions on the table. What would the dynamic be like without founding judge Simon Cowell? Would there be any chemistry between longtime judge Randy Jackson and newcomers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler? How would the new changes in how the competition works effect the audition rounds? And most importantly, could the show recover from its lackluster ninth season?
Two hours into the new season, most of those questions remain unanswered. But that doesn't mean it didn't work — on the contrary, the season premiere of "American Idol" was a wildly entertaining two hours of television that served as a great re-introduction to one of the best shows on television. And while Lopez, Jackson, Seacrest and the contestants all had moments of greatness, last night belonged to Tyler. He be-bopped and scatted all over the show's two hours, singing along with people, making excited noises, speaking in tongues and hitting on the mostly underage field of women who came through to audition.
In the show's greatest sequence, a contestant named Caleb Hawley busted out a version of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Her So," which inspired Tyler to bang the judges' table for rhythmic accompaniment (even going so far as to provide a door knock effect when the lyrics called for it) and ended with a trademark yelp from the Aerosmith singer.
But while Tyler's fountain of charisma was certainly a highlight, it wasn't the only story line running through the show. The evolution of Lopez from sheepishness to assertiveness was interesting, as were the constant digs at Jackson's relative lack of fame compared to his fellow judges. And there were great contestants two, including the aforementioned Hawley and a homeless kid named Travis Orlando who closed out the show in remarkable fashion.
As we tend to do here on the MTV Newsroom Blog, we will leave the ultimate highlight to your discretion. What was your favorite moment from Wednesday night's episode of "American Idol"? Vote in the poll below and leave your arguments in the comments!