Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:05 AM ET
Love the new "American Idol" panel? You're far from being the only one.
Original judge Randy Jackson apparently loves his new sidekicks too -- even more than he enjoyed working with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, an insider close to the show told Life & Style.
"Randy had no idea what to expect, but he's getting along marvelously with (Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez), especially J.Lo," the source told the magazine. "Randy even texts Jennifer between performances, even though they're sitting next to each other. They'll text things like, 'I can't believe you liked that person!' "
As for the Aerosmith frontman, Jackson likes the fact that the rock star is more of a guy's guy than Cowell, the source said. "Simon wasn't the type of guy that would ever just sit back and hang socially. Steven is ... more Randy's speed."
And it may be a good thing in Jackson's book that Cowell finally bailed on "Idol" after nine seasons to launch his upcoming "X Factor," and Abdul left after season eight. The source told Life & Style that although Jackson loves his ex-fellow judges, "Simon and Paula ... it just got old. All that bickering and eye-rolling -- it took away from the search for talent."
Perhaps, but at least the old panel knew not to give golden tickets to everyone who cried and whined and begged for one! Come Hollywood week, Jackson may wish J.Lo and Tyler had taken Cowell's harsher approach and said "no" more often. With what seems like an extra massive amount of hopefuls going to Hollywood, the fun and games will have to end in order to make the many, many necessary cuts.