Will another Fil-Am make it? 'American Idol' returns

By Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 16 2014 12:46 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 10:05 PM

Judges Keith Urban (L), Jennifer Lopez (C), and Harry Connick, Jr. of "American Idol" take part in Fox Broadcasting Company's part of the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2014 presentations in Pasadena, California, January 13 , 2014. Photo by Kevork Djansezian, Reuters

MANILA – Hit talent show “American Idol” returned on television Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila) for its 13th season.

The show now features a new set of judges including Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez.

Kicking off its search for a new artist that will capture the heart of America, “Idol” showed a number of auditionees from Boston, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas during the first part of its two-night pilot.

True to what host Ryan Seacrest earlier said, among those that will get the viewers hooked is the rapport among the three judges who “really get along well.”

In an article published on TV Guide, “Idol” executive producer Trish Kinane was quoted as saying the show will retain its basic formula but there will be some notable changes.

"We've made a lot of small changes, nothing radical. They're freshening changes that really add up to a fresh feel," she said.

Among them is probably “The Chamber,” an enclosed tube-like room where contestants get to stay right before they face the judges.

Kinane also revealed that former judge Randy Jackson will be hosting a two-day workshop for the contestants between the Hollywood Week and the live shows.

"Randy is very much putting this together, and that will carry through to the live shows," Kinane said.

At the end of its premiere episode, “Idol” gave away 21 tickets to Hollywood in Austin, and 25 in Boston.

Thursday’s episode (Friday in Manila) will feature more auditionees from Austin, and San Francisco.

It remains to be seen, however, if another Filipino-American will make it until the competition’s finals.

Since the first season of "Idol," several Filipino-Americans have already tried their luck in the competition.

Jessica Sanchez, who is the fifth Filipino who made it to the show’s Top 12, is the one who reached the farthest point of the competition. She finished second to Season 11 winner Philip Philips.

Camille Velasco and Ramiele Malubay made it to the Top 9 on season 3 and 7, respectively.

Jasmine Trias finished in the top 3 of Season 3, while Thia Megia was part of the Top 11 in the show's 10th season.