:: Entertainment Weekly‘s recapper loved Brit as much as we did. “What I like about Britney on this show, besides everything, is her succinctness. She’s brutally honest, never rambles, and — if we’re to believe the carefully edited clip series of some of her best letdowns — often just says ‘No.’ one, two, or three times to get her point across.”
:: USA Today enjoyed Demi’s bubbly debut. “Lovato cheerily took control, asking the singers to introduce themselves and handing the mike to Cowell to comment on the performances. As the only judge too young to drink, she related well to the teenage contestants.” But the paper awarded Britney with the night’s best comment when she said “I wanna know who let you onstage. I feel uncomfortable with you even staring at me.”
:: The Washington Post enjoyed Brit’s string of “no’s” but they “don’t think the Brit Is The Other Simon story arc is going to have legs.” Regarding the cruel Don Philip stunt: “How many other former Brit-partners can the producers dig up before she cracks? (Actually, she seemed rather more resilient than they might have hoped.)”
:: HitFix thinks Brit needs to step up the wit: “Lots of criticism from Britney. None of it is all that clever, but we’re supposed to be impressed. Simon is. ‘And everybody thinks I’m the mean one,’ he says.”
:: The New York Daily News felt “Spears and Lovato seem to be developing a friendly rapport” and that the premiere was “a win for Lovato.”
:: E! was impressed with the new judges, but worries that it may have been smoke and mirrors: “While we won’t really be able to see the judges’ chemistry until the live shows later this season, if they’re anything like the carefully edited episodes…we’re in!”
:: The Wall Street Journal concluded that “The episode was enjoyable if not predictable. There were a few memorable performances. There was also a sense of hollowness to the proceedings, so much pomp and circumstance, so much self-congratulation that will, ultimately, beget so little.” Sounds harsh, but hey, can you name last season’s winner? Hey, no Googling!