On Thursday (February 20) night, as soon as I finished recapping the "American Idol" Top 13 results, I rushed up to Fig & Olive in Beverly Hills for the season's Top 13 party.
 
On the traditional blue carpet, I talked with all 13 of the finalists, 12 of the 13 in 1-on-1 interviews, about they challenges they're going to face this season and the challenges they've already faced. [Special kudos to Team HitFix's daring cameraman for braving the blue carpet's strange and erratic lighting system.]
 
In addition, many of the show's decision-making bigwigs came and talked to reporters in groups of four or five. We got host Ryan Seacrest, who I asked about the season's more substantive judging panel, and mentor Randy Jackson, who I asked about the itch of watching "Idol" performances without judging for the first time. We also got Harry Connick Jr., who I asked about raising the level of the discourse on the judging panel. [Keith Urban's few minutes fell victim to the problematic lighting, while Jennifer Lopez whizzed by my side of the carpet like she was a speed skater.]
 
Check out highlights from those three interviews above.
 
Stay tuned for my Top 13 interviews before next Wednesday's show!
 
Dan-feinberg-med
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.