Jennifer López: American Idol Competition’s Main Priority is Singing Not Emotional Stories

Jenny from the block means business.

Responding to criticism about American Idol’s new priority of highlighting emotional stories, Jennifer López makes clear that the main focus of the competition is still the singing.

The new judge made it clear Wednesday night how this season “will be the standout season for talent.”

López, 42, gives “American Idol’s” 10th season a breath of fresh air and chic glamour—a vibe that former judge Simon Cowell could not provide.

Nevertheless, she admits there are times she fights back tears when learning about contestants such as Illinois- based Chris Medina, whose fiancée endured a car accident leaving her with irreversible brain damage two months before their scheduled wedding.

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"It's tough. It's emotional. But this is the thing about 'American Idol' that I love,” López said. “It's about people and their dreams and their struggles, and that's what I think everybody loves about it. You see yourself in these people."

López, seemed as though she would break down again when listening to Hollie Cavanaugh audition.

Cavanaugh, 17 from McKinney, TX let the nerves get the best of her giving a weak performance, but López insisted she get a second chance.

“Can you do me a favor?” López asked Cavanaugh. “You think you can collect yourself to sing one more song? One more chance?”

Cavanaugh nailed it and made it to Hollywood.

Another Latino with a tear- jerking story included that of Travis Orlando, whose family lived in a homeless shelter for various years in his native Bronx New York community.

However, López reinforced that the personal stories will not leave the singing aspect on the sidelines.

"I think America — because they're the ones who vote at the end of the day — you know they go for the talent," Lopez said. " ... And if it happens to have a story attached to it, it like takes it over the top."

Both Medina and Orlando will compete head to head for the chance to become one of the 20 semifinalists during Hollywood week, airing Feb. 16 and 17.

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at:

Based on reporting by the Associated Press. 

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