The theme for this season of American Idol is 'a new start'. The show has the new panel of judges with Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., the show also has a new slogan: 'This is your story America, this is your show'. It seems like American Idol is focusing more or the talent and less on bad performances and drama with the judges.For me, it worked. The judges seemed like they have been friends for years, most of the talent featured in night one was pretty good. Here's a quick recap from night one.

The show starts in Boston:

There were several solid contestants and many golden tickets were handed out. My one criticism of the judges (especially Jennifer and Keith) is that they let too many so-so contestants through to Hollywood.

Other new things for this season: 'The Chamber'. It a room where the contestants collect their thoughts before going in front of the judges. I thought that was kind of useless.

It also seemed like we didn't see that much of Ryan Seacrest.

Some of my favorites from the Boston auditions:

Sam Woolfe a 17-year old from Florida that lives with his grandparents.
Ethan Thompson, he was briefly shown, I believe he was from Montana. What I remember hearing, he could be my early favorite.
Kaitlyn Jackson, a 15 year-old, she has opened for Mark Wills and she sang a song she wrote about her grandfather.

Other contestants from the Boston auditions that made it to Hollywood that I would not have let through included:
Stephanie Hanvey the 16-year old girl from the Jersey Shore
Morgan Deplitch a 15 year-old girl who sang Grace Potter's 'Oh La La'. I thought is was average karaoke.
Stephanie Petronelli, the cheerleader, she also sang the Grace Potter song. She just didn't seem to have strong enough vocals for my liking (Harry agreed).

Then the auditions moved to Austin, Texas. Some of the standouts for me included:
Savion Wright, he sang a very good original song and played guitar. He was one of my favorites of the night.
Terrica: They briefly showed her, but it seemed like she had a BIG voice, one to watch.
Other strong auditions included: Munfraid, a Texan born in Pakistan, Harry Connick Jr. loved him!

Tonight there will be more auditions from Austin and then from San Francisco.

What were thoughts on the show? Which contestants did you like?

Here is video of some of my favorites: