American Idol Cast on What Makes a Great Performer (VIDEO)

Part of what has made American Idol last for 14 seasons is its ability to boast a crop of singing talents that captures the hearts of millions year after year. The Fox competition’s judges share how they go about selecting stand-outs.

“When people walk in the room, I think all of us have a first impression. Sometimes it’s favorable, sometimes it’s mysterious, you just never know. It’s always a different combination of values and qualities that make people stand out to us,” says Harry Connick Jr., who judges alongside Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and mentor Scott Borchetta.

In the video above, they talk more about what they look for in performers, how they guide them to the right songs, and whether the best performers come from Nashville, Bronx, or New Orleans.