"There are less clouds of smoke," Seacrest tells Entertainment Weekly in a new cover story about the show. "We start earlier. There's less – what is that English dish he always ordered for lunch? Shepherd's pie? He loves shepherd's pie."
"No, it's the blood pudding," Jackson jokes, then adds, "we definitely miss [Cowell], but it's a different kind of vibe. It's a different energy now."
"It's going to be an all new show," Seacrest says.
Jennifer Lopez explains: "We're more of a collaborative judging group. We're always leaning over to each other and saying, 'Oh my God, I think she's good.' 'Or, I don't get it.' 'You don't like it?' " she tells the magazine. "We just have a totally different style than any of the past judging tables."
In addition to Cowell, new judges Lopez and Steven Tyler are filling the shoes of Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres, who both bowed out of the Fox show over the summer, signaling a nearly complete makeover of the panel.
"It's not about replacing [Cowell] or any of the others," Jackson says. "People have been saying to us, 'Who's mean?' We've traded off on that because I think you have to always give people the truth, no matter what."
When Idol's season 10 premieres Jan. 19, it's not just the judges' fans who will be watching. Tyler wants everyone to know the contestants this year are "just astounding."
"We throw the drift net out and look what comes up?" Tyler says. "Gold."