Harry Connick, Jr. discusses this year’s American Idol contestants

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HOLLYWOOD, CA (KPLR) - Hollywood Week kicks off on American Idol Wednesday (Feb. 4). More than 200 Idol hopefuls will be narrowed down to the top 24 contestants.

Returning judge Harry Connick, Jr. tells News 11 this season's group is loaded with talented artists. Connick is joined again this season by fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban as well as host Ryan Seacrest.

So what makes a compelling American Idol contestant?

Connick says it's an intangible quality that differs from person to person, but "you just know it when you feel it."

Auditions for this season were held across the country, including Kansas City and Branson, MO. Connick says they've rounded up a diverse group of contestants.

"Most people will be able to identify with somebody in this group, and I think it's going to make for a very, very exciting show."