Film and TV

American Idol Judges: Houston Auditions Had Girl Power

The final Houston-area audition for hopeful American Idol contestants took place today at the Galveston Island Convention Center, where the judges told Art Attack they're hoping for a female Idol this year.

Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Ryan Seacrest were at the Convention Center all day passing out golden tickets to the "best of the best." Without naming actual names, so far they said it's been the ladies who have come out on top.

"The strongest voices we've seen this year have been girls," Lopez said at a press conference earlier this afternoon. "We had a lot of strong girls last year, but they were voted off one by one before any of the guys."

Lopez said that the reason most of the girls get voted off so early is because the majority of American Idol voters are women. Women vote for hotties.

"Girls are going to vote for cute guys, but I think that, yo, if a girl has the whole package and the uniqueness [that] girls and boys will vote for her," Randy Jackson added.

The best of the best in Texas doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be wearing cowboy boots and auditioning with a Garth Brooks song, however.

"Our first winner was from the proud state of Texas and she wasn't a country girl," Jackson reflected. "When we go to any city, we don't say, 'This is going to be a country town' from each city, we just expect great talent."

"But there is some pressure on Texas since Kelly Clarkson is from here," he added.

Ramsey Leigh, a country/blues singer from Baton Rouge, auditioned in Houston a few days ago with a friend from Tennessee. She didn't make it to the finals, but her friend did.

The two met at last year's American Idol auditions in Austin. Leigh came to Galveston with her friend for moral support, and got to meet the judges while the finalists, friends and family waited in the holding room.

Even though she was starstruck, she wasn't jealous of her friend's luck.

"I'm not mad I didn't make it, because I have connections in the music industry and I'm even moving to Nashville next year for music," she said. "Maybe I wasn't what they were looking for, or maybe God wanted me to work harder for this."

Despite many questions regarding a specific type of performer that American Idol is looking for, the judges maintained that they were open to all genres of music and all types of singers.

"We're open to everything. Last year we had gospel and rock, country, pop -- that's what we're open to: The best people," Lopez said.

"American Idol: WE WANT IT ALL, BABY!" Jackson yelled.

Someone then passed a question from the American Idol Twitter account on to the judges: "What are your nicknames for one another?"

Randy responded first: "I call Ryan 'Lovemuffin.' We have a special bond."

Art Attack actually got a firsthand experience with the Lovemuffin earlier, before the press conference began. As we were standing around waiting for it to start, Seacrest came up behind us and massaged our shoulders.

We got chills. What a babe.

American Idol Season 11 begins airing on Fox in January.

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Allison Wagoner