'American Idol' Recap: Milwaukee's Best
America's Heartland serves up plenty of Hollywood-bound talent
By Carla Patton
I know I've already mentioned this, but I really like the new "American Idol" graphics. It looks like a generic city is being abducted (or destroyed?) by aliens. It's in keeping with traditional "Idol" mythology, in which the skies opened up and Randy Jackson shot forth from a laser. Anyway, "Idol" is going to Milwaukee, because it is home to Danny Gokey. GOKEY! Randy Jackson announces, "Milwaukee, let's be about it." Agreed, Randy!
Since Wisconsin is so central-ish, contenders are coming from all across America. But make no mistake; we're still going to be about Milwaukee. Randy's orders. Milwaukee brings big talent, a back-handspring into a camera, and Randy Jackson accidentally slapping a girl in the face. Sold!
They're Going to Hollywood!
Scott McCreery: He's what country dreams are made of! He had this beautiful, deep, rich voice that provoked Steven Tyler to say the infamous phrase, "f--- a duck." And he's 16! WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!
Naima Adedapo: She is giving us Flashdance 2011! She works as a groundskeeper for Milwaukee's Summerfest, and doesn't weld or dance, but you know what I mean. This girl's got pipes and moxie (did you see her jump-kick in those heels?)
Thia Megia: This 15-year-old had a new sound that was much more mature than we thought it would be. "Total package!" said Jennifer Lopez.
Molly DeWolf Swensen: aka the girl Randy kind of punched. Also, she's a White House intern but not in a weird way, you guys. Oh, and her voice was great. It was low and smoky and she sang "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" lower than Jacee did. Harvard education be damned, you're going to Hollywood!
Haley Reinhart: Last year, they told her to come back and come back she did! Randy said, "You were so much better!" like he remembered her.
Tiwan Strong: You may remember him: He was the one wearing all white like the Good Humor man. Then one of his relatives got a Charley horse from celebrating and it was, for me, a highlight.
Steve Beguhn: Steven Tyler found him "disturbingly great." Things are starting to add up for this CPA! Look out, Ryan, I'm coming for one of your jobs!
Scott Dangerfield: I can't tell if he was kidding about having lipstick on his lips from kissing another girl or not, but it doesn't matter. Jennifer Lopez loved him, and Randy Jackson declared this season "the Unassuming Season."
Alyson Jados: The sexy, rock 'n' roll chick thing is working for her. She had a rough edge to her voice and I really liked her, even though Steven Tyler found her "pitchy" (and for that, Randy Jackson made $5.) She could be one of Steven Tyler's ... daughters. She got a hug and a ticket to Hollywood.
Chris Medina: After 52 people made it through, it was time for the sad story of the evening. His fiance suffered a brain injury from an accident and, upon hearing that, I started crying. I can't even ... Not that it mattered at that point, but he's also a great singer. He wheeled his fiance in a wheelchair and everyone lost it, including Steven Tyler.
They're Going to Hollywood?
Emma Henry: She watched Kelly Clarkson win when she was five years old. Which makes her 15 and me dead. Steven Tyler liked her soft tone, Jennifer Lopez told her to "keep working on that special quality," and Randy Jackson remained unconvinced. Still, she got her ticket to Hollywood after begging, telling them "this is what my life is about." Your life! All 15 years of it! Randy Jackson gave her a harsh dose of his version of reality, "this is the best talent show EVER," (until "X Factor" starts up?) She'll be swallowed alive.
Jerome Bell: He's giving us The Wedding Singer 2011! I thought he oversang "Let's Get it On" a little bit, but I imagine he was a refreshing change for the judges. They loved him, I loved his hat.
15-year-olds: Partially due to Ryan Seacrest's ongoing obsession with Justin Bieber, they were all leaving with tickets in Hollywood!
Jennifer Lopez's sparkly treble clef top from Day 2: I don't know, I just hope she packs it. And Steven Tyler can go ahead and not pack that Annie Hall getup he was wearing.
Definitely Not Going to Hollywood
Joe Repka: The OTHER man with the golden voice. This radio jockey stole my heart and I don't want it back. He is my favorite! The judges encouraged him to stick with radio, when he interrupted them by SINGING ANOTHER SONG! I love when contestants do that; I live for it. So what if he's not a singer? He can still be America's Sweetheart.
Anyone singing Lady Gaga: It's hard to do, and it just hasn't been lucky for anyone so far. Randy Jackson is convinced, "if Gaga were here she'd run out of the room screaming, 'what have I done?! Wahhh!'" Would she, Randy?
Nathaniel Jones: This Civil War Reenactment enthusiast was so far beyond comprehension that J. Lo just said, "oh no," when he walked in. It wasn't great and it wasn't happening for anyone but Steven. Why do all the awesome weirdos have to go home right away?
Vernika Patterson: Well, not with THAT attitude! She thought it was because she wasn't "skinny" enough. Vernika, Vernika, Vernika. Then she snubbed Ryan Seacrest and led us into a "disappointed rejects" montage. Get that camera outta my face!
Albert Rogers III: His Obama impression was the only thing working for him. But if you ask him, he's gotten Luther Vandross, Ruben Studdard, and Usher.
Megan Frazier: The littlest Packers fan, in the worst shirt ever. I can't decide if I hated or absolutely loved how she sang Justin Bieber's "Baby" in an opera voice. If it was just a joke, I'm more inclined to hate it. So is the guy on the right-hand side of this picture.
Chime in about the Milwaukee auditions: "American Idol" message board
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Steven is so sweet! I loved the way he put Randy in his place when Randy started being mean like Simon. I'm so glad Simon is gone! I thought it would be boring without hime, but its much better.