America Idol Season 10 kicked off their new year with new judges in search of a new star and their first stop was New Jersey.

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez took their spots at the judges table for the first time Wednesday night as the new season of American Idol began its auditions in New Jersey.  Unfortunately the show began its season with a drop in ratings over previous years. Many have hesitations about Tyler and Lopez being able to replace the show’s iconic Simon Cowell who retired after last season.

The change at the judge’s table didn’t stop the contestants from coming out. Idol boasted a record number of auditions this season at over 125,000. Producers have declared this year to be chart topping in talent and many online reviews of Wednesday’s show acknowledge that it showcased far more talent and less comedic performances.

From a 16 year old who traveled from North Carolina to fulfill her dream of being on American Idol to a Bronx teenager that spent many years of his life living with his family in a shelter, the stories were heartwarming and heart wrenching.

Fans everywhere spoke of how much they loved Tyler’s presence on the show. Whether he was emitting words that required the prime time bleep or flirting with the girls at the audition, his personality seemed to draw in both contestants and viewers.  Lopez, however, had a tough time in the beginning. She struggled with being able to tell a hopeful no and even made the statement “Why did I sign up for this?” during the broadcast. Over the course of the auditions she found her way and was soon much more relaxed about sending some on their way.

Randy Jackson, who has been with the show since its beginning, has made statements that America will see a tougher side of him this season and he seemed to stay true to his word. At times he disagreed with the other judges and told a contestant that he though they were crazy for sending them on.

American Idol will continue its kickoff this week with Thursday’s auditions from New Orleans.