Do you get bored at all going from city to city watching weird auditioners singing?
No, that's the hardest part for us. But it's also the coolest part, ya know, one of the most fun aspects of what we do. I don't think you get really bored because you see different talent all the time. You know what I mean? There're different kids you see all the time.
So you never know when the next Carrie is going to walk in the room?
Dude, you know never know when the next Carrie, the next Chris, the next Fantasia, the next Kelly Clarkson ... You just never know, you know?
How do you feel about the wacky sort of characters that come in?
Listen. We get a lot of flack from people saying "How does this person show up?" It's an open casting call. We don't do some streamline thing that say, like, people who are 5'10" to 5'9" and only this kind of aptitude.
You never know, the girl with the Princess Leia buns could have been good.
Yeah. Listen, people [asked] last season [about] Sanjaya ... why did have him on there? When we saw him in Seattle, Sanjaya was actually really good vocally. He's got personality and he was actually a pretty good singer. So you know, look, it's not like we're out there trying to find the weirdest people we can find. It's just who shows up. It's just 'American Idol.'
Is there another Sanjaya this season?
I don't know if there's necessarily another Sanjaya. The kids who show up are so different from year to year. There are some interesting people every season and this season is definitely no exception. I call it the good, the bad and the indifferent.
Read the full interview with Jackson now.