*The new season of American Idol is starting tonight and the only original judge left is Randy Jackson.

The music producer told Celebuzz that he is now taking on the role as the “assertive” one. But he concedes that Simon Cowell is irreplaceable.

Jackson will be joined by Jennifer Lopez and rock legend Steven Tyler.

Jackson says they clicked instantly.

“We got along like a house on fire. I admired both of them for a long time, and they all come from the same side of the music that Ryan [Seacrest] and I come from. It’s been amazing. They’ve become great judges. What surprised me a little bit is that they actually really care about these kids. They actually really want them to do well.”

Along with the new line up of judges, a few other changes have been made to the show, including the age limit, which has been dropped to 15. Contestants and viewers can also expect a bit more heat with sudden death elimination rounds and no more gender separation.

There is a lot to look for in the new season, so you might wanna check out the premiere tonight at 8/7c on FOX.