I didn't finish the episode, but I think it's safe to say that I'm quite enjoying the new panel. I feel like Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are doing great, along with Randy. It doesn't feel awkward or as if something is wrong or missing. I've always maintained it was about the contestants, the format, etc. and not Simon Cowell. And actually seeing these new judges, it's reinforced my lack of love for Simon for some time. He was just so dang mean with so little actual constructive criticism. And it's really interesting see how Randy is still crossing that line to making fun of the contestants so openly now and again, the way that Simon and Kara did all the time, while Steven and Jennifer are both clearly trying to give the best commentary they can. Sure, maybe it won't last. Simon certainly was much better in the beginning, but for right now, I'm enjoying this panel and glad the show is back.
Maybe I'm crazy to predict this, but I think the ratings are probably going to be between 20-30 million. Idol fans, Lopez and Tyler fans, curiosity all adding up to bring in a large haul that will likely decrease, but we'll see.