Tonight’s episode of American Idol wrapped up the auditions round in Oklahoma City, the home of Idol’s most successful winner ever, Carrie Underwood. After the judges greeted the contestants, the first to audition for the day, Karl Skinner, strolled in with the guitar. He wasn’t very good, so the judges asked him to play his guitar. He sang a song he wrote and was better, but still not great. The judges joked around with him afterward and told him he could have Ryan Seacrest’s job before Ryan finally entered the room, saying he was waiting on their vote outside with Karl’s wife. Eventually, the judges all gave Karl a yes, and off he went with his golden ticket.
We then saw some auditions in which contestants were not as lucky, or talented, that all resulted in a no from the judges.
Nate Tao comes from a household in which both of his parents are deaf. He sang Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life.” Nicki liked his tone, Randy said he walked in with the tie and looked like he was about to do his taxes but had a very nice voice, and Keith said it was effortless. All four judges agreed it was a yes.
Ventriloquist Halie Hilburn brought her puppet, Oscar, along to her audition and told the judges they were going to duet. About halfway through, Oscar took over and started yodeling, leaving the judges confused as to how things would work out on tour with Oscar. Finally, Halie dropped the puppet and sang on her own. The judges all agreed that Halie needed to sever ties with Oscar and put her through to Hollywood, so Ryan took Oscar away as they played “My Heart Will Go On.”
Zoanette Johnson made a bet with her family that if Obama won the election, she would sing the national anthem. So, that is what she sang, “with a little flare on it,” as she told Ryan. She was all over the place and even screamed at times, causing Keith to fall right out of his chair. After much more craziness from Zoanette, the judges unanimously voted yes. (Somehow. Not quite sure how that happened).
As the afternoon wore on, the “no’s” were flying, and the tears were flowing. Oklahoma City turned into a hot mess of tears and emotions, apparently even for some who did make it through to Hollywood.
Anastacia Freeman absolutely butchered Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart” and accused the judges of laughing at her during her audition, relieved when they told her they weren’t, and continued on with her horrible performance. When asked if someone told her to audition, Anastacia admitted she thought God came to her last year while writing in her journal. The judges all gave her a unanimous no, and Anastacia told the camera she wouldn’t be back next year if the same judges were there. (What a loss).
The 16-year-old Kayden Stephenson suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and is only expected to live to be the age of 35. He told the judges he was meant to sing. After his audition, Nicki said she loved his voice and compared it to a baby Michael (Jackson) and said she was very inspired, Mariah was beyond inspired and ready to make a record now, and all four judges unanimously gave Kayden a yes.
The very last audition of the day came in the form of none other than Steven Tyler dressed in drag. He said he just wanted to check in with everyone and say hello and definitely provided comic relief, dressed in a blonde wig, a dress, and plenty of red lipstick.
Surprisingly, the judges put a total 44 people from Oklahoma City through to Hollywood.
Tune into American Idol next week Wednesday night on FOX at 8/7 p.m. central to see what drama is unleashed during Hollywood Week. What did you think of tonight’s show and the auditions round? Do you have any early favorites? Leave a comment below!