AI12-jimmy-smith-audition

American Idol 2013 headed to Charlotte Wednesday and to avoid any car racing puns, I’ll just say there were so standout sings — both good and bad.

But before we get to that, we have to talk about the Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey feud that American Idol decided to make the irritating drama more important than the talent. But I’m not going to do that. I’m going to focus on the talent first, then we’ll talk about the feud later.

Let’s get to it.

The Standouts

Naomi Morris. She loves fashion and she’s pretty sure she’s going to be the next American Idol. And after her version of “Respect,” I think she’s better off sticking with fashion. The judges agree. Four nos.

Joel Nemoyer. Yes, he auditioned laying on his back. So maybe I should take back what I said about focusing on the talent and just cut to the feud. OK, let’s see if there’s actually going to be any legit auditions first.

Brian Rittenberry. Finally, a legit singer. I mean, I didn’t like it. But at least it wasn’t another complete joke like the other two. His version of Let it Be was very karaoke, but the judges heard something I didn’t. He’s off to Hollywood.

Jimmy Smith. And finally a legit singer that I liked. His version of “Bless the Broken Road” was sincere and his tone was nice. There was a sweetness to him (wow, I’m agreeing with something Nicki said). The judges dug him also. He’s off to Hollywood.

Watch Jimmy Smith’s audition performance of “Bless the Broken Road”

Isabel Gonzalez. This girl was fun. She got to audition as part of that new nomination thing they’re doing. I’m not sure she’s much of a big singer, but she has an interesting style and has a warm presence about her. The judges were really into her. She gets four yeses.

Taisha Bethea. She strolls in and pops out some Johnny Cash and Alanis Morissette. I think I was supposed to like her but I didn’t get it. She does sound better with her band Carson, which we shared with you earlier. The vote was split and because they’re in Charlotte, Keith got to make the deciding vote. She’s through.

Summer Cunningham. Summer’s “Lean on Me” was actually pretty good. But this is the audition that got the judges up in arms that led to the big Mariah and Nicki battle.

Brandy Hamilton. The first audition of the day after the big feud hopefully helped everyone get over it because it was one of the best ones of the episode. She did Etta James justice. I liked her. The judges did also.

Ashley Smith. Surprise! She’s supposed to be a joke, but she’s not. She’s surprisingly not bad. At all. Tricky! The judges liked it. And with the biggest surprise of the day, she’s off to Hollywood.

Watch Ashley Smith’s audition performance of “Cowboy Casanova.”

Janelle Arthur. Familiar face alert. Janelle is making another run (her third to be exact) at Idol. This time around, her audition was fantastic. Easily the best of the day. And her star power is strong. The judges agree. She gets four easy yeses.

Watch Janelle Arthur’s audition performance of “Where the Blacktop Ends”

Candice Glover. Another familiar face alert. Candice had a lot of early fans last season before she was cut in Las Vegas. So she’s back to to it again and this time she’s even stronger. Her golden ticket was surely one of the easiest for the judges to hand out.

Watch Candice Glover’s audition performance of “Syrup & Honey”

Ja’Bria Barber. She’s a natural. She’s got soul and energy and I really liked her. The judges did also. She’s off to Hollywood.

Seretha Guinn. Yes, she sang the theme song to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” But hold up. She sang like it was actually a good song. And it was hilarious and pretty amazing. Loved it. So did the judges. She’s off to Hollywood.

Watch Seretha Guinn’s audition performance of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Now let’s talk about the drama. They were all irritated already. And then Mariah decided to grill Summer Cunningham about the genre of music she belongs in. Nicki got pretty irritated. You could just see her hit her boiling point. And what it leads to is a very unprofessional moment in front of an auditioning contestant. And that ends with Nicki walking out and production grinding to a halt. So let me get this straight, they pay these clowns millions of dollars to do this? Horrible.

Then we get the dramatic, sensational news clips about the fight and I’m finding myself wishing i lived on another planet. We also learn that contestants aren’t even comfortable to audition in front of these over-paid a-holes.

What did you think of the auditions and the coaches’ drama? Also, do you want to know how far any of your favorites from the night go? Check out our Top 40 spoiler list.

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