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American Idol finds musicality in “Music City,” pt. 2

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American Idol

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Next on display was Allen Lewis, a tattoo artist from Ohio. In the holding area, he skipped around after women as if he were trying to herd them, calling them cows. Okay. He sang Leonard Skynard's "A Simple Man" in a kind of sick mock of what he clearly thought a rock star should sing like. Randy flagged him to a stop, and it took him too long to notice. “I feel like you’re really more of a band guy,” Randy said, trying to give Allen some kind of positive feedback. Allen, though, said that he likes criticism because it’ll make him go home and work harder. The judges were impressed with this positive attitude. “He was so humble,” Randy noted. At least Allen left on a good note, unlike other competitors who just come off seeming desperate.

Stormi Henley, who had been crowned Miss Teen USA 2009, was the next girl to try to impress the judges. While she is absolutely beautiful and has a fabulously dramatic name, her voice was nasal and thin with not an ounce of power behind it. “You’ve got a beautiful, real tight squeaky kind of voice,” Steven told her. Funny - I never would have thought "beautiful voice" and "squeaky" belonged in the same sentence, unless it was to contrast them. He continued by saying, “I think with a little work you can belt that out.” Jen couldn't seem to believe Steven's comments. She felt Stormi's voice was much too thin for competition consideration. Randy waffled for a bit, but, ultimately, the Dawg caved, and Stormi got to move onto the next round. It seems, with this panel, like whenever the judges panel is split, the person who has to deliver the final verdict can’t break anyone’s heart. Have we seen anyone yet who received one yes and two nos?

Adrienne Beasley, 22, from Kentucky is a black girl who grew up with her adopted white parents, Carolyn and Freddie Simmons are her white parents. They raised Adrienne on a farm in seemingly the middle of nowhere. That didn't seem to hurt the girl's voice at all. Adrienne has a really unique sound, a blend of gospel and country into something truly memorable. “I hear something so special in your voice, and I can’t put my finger on it right now, but it’s something special. You almost made me cry. I wasn’t sure why,” Steven told her, delivering a very admirable compliment. Adrienne was humble enough to really appreciate the praise she received from all three judges, and she moved on to Hollywood. Here's another girl I can't wait to see again - talented and refreshingly unpretentious.

The next girl in was Kameela Merricks. She said she has a big voice, and she kind of does. If by big voice, she meant that she screams her head off. Randy stuck his fingers in his ears. “Come on girl,” he said in a pleading tone as she finished. Trying to put a band aid over the sting, Steven told her, “You gotta go back home and practice and get good.” Randy also tried to make nice, saying, “Just don’t do it. Baby, it was horrible. Loud, it hurt. I’m sure you’re a nice girl and there’s many talents that you had.” He didn't have to say what one of those talents certainly isn't.

Jackie Wilson, 28, a bar manager, has a pleasant voice, though there’s nothing special about it. At the end of her song, she tried for a huge note without quite making it. It seemed that she had been too nervous to go for it. I guess she got props for trying, though. Either that, or the producers edited out the best parts of her audition, because the judges absolutely raved about her. “You blew it out,” Steven told her excitedly. “A million percent yes,” Randy nodded. Jen thought Jackie had sung with such conviction that it sounded almost as if she had written the song. Seriously, what did the audience miss that the judges saw? I'm really not sure on that one.

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