“American Idol's” most famous faces made a stop in Omaha this week to look for talent.
Judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. and host Ryan Seacrest took over Century≠Link Center's ballrooms along with dozens of crew and loads of lights, cameras, cables and sets.
The quartet has been in Omaha since Sunday to judge contestants for the singing competition show. Fewer than 100 contestants were called back after initial auditions in August. Seacrest told The World-Herald that they were looking for a “superstar.” They want someone “not just good, but great — excellent.”
If at least two out of three of the judges approve, a contestant progresses to the Hollywood round. The show will air in January and include footage from Omaha and local contestants.
Talent, look and charisma were all factors the judges looked at, and Urban said all three enjoyed similar traits in singers.
“The great thing is when someone really has 'it,' we really respond to it,” Urban said. “It's really not about genre. It's about ...”
“Just being good,” Lopez continued.
While they were in town, the celebrities enjoyed a little of Omaha. On Sunday, Urban had a “great” steak at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. Connick, an avid New Orleans Saints fan, watched his team lose to the Patriots on a TV at the arena.
“I love it here, man,” Connick said. “The people are great.”