Before the show started airing we all heard, and saw from some leaked video, the big blow up between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. AI being the drama llama show that it is had to continue to hype up this “fued” by showing footage from varios shows discussing the fight. That’s why we’re all watching, right? Well yes and no, but the fight ended up being the least interesting thing about Wednesday night’s show.
There were some decent to really good hopefuls featured, making me proud of the Queen City. Former winner Scotty McCreery showed up to cheer on all the people auditioning, and I wondered if everyone watching outside the state of N.C. had to suffer through his Bo’jangles commercials. First up was the horribly made up Naomi Morris who Nicki insisted on renaming “Omi” and suggested that she wear false lashes. This girl did not need anymore makeup. After butchering “Respect,” they let her sing again and she really didn’t need to. No ticket to Hollywood for her.
Another disastrous audition came from Joel Nemoyer, who sang “Feeling Good” while laying on the floor. Thankfully, Brian Rittenberry came in to save the day. His wife has been suffering from cancer and he came all the way from Georgia just to try out for the show. He does a great job with “Let It Be,” sounding well, not like he looks. His wife also gets to meet Keith Urban, one of her favorite singers.
Another fan of Mr.Urban, Jimmy Smith impressed the judges with a song by Rascal Flatts and got an instant ticket to Hollywood. Another Isabelle, there are like 4 so far, Isabelle Gonzalez was nominated to audition by her aunt. She sings a little Sam Cooke, sounding much older than her 16 years. I loved her raspiness and so did the judges. Mariah even said that she looks like a young Phoebe Cates. I just liked that Mimi knows who Phoebe Cates is, but why wouldn’t she? Ok now, Taisha Bethea. She sings in a rock band and is all rock and stuff which seems to put Mimi and Randy Jackson off a bit. Maybe it was a mistake for her to sing Johnny Cash‘s “Folsom Prison Blues” but I liked the spin she put on it. She then goes into Alanis Morisette‘s “You Oughta Know” which didn’t sound as good. Neither Randy or Mariah say the “rock” in her, but Nicki said she thought it was cool that she wasn’t a black girl doing what people expected of her, like R&B. I appreciated that Minaj said that. The judges weren’t 100% for her, but she got a ticket to Hollywood anyways. Then came that big blow up, which started because of the same type of disagreement.
I’m sure Summer Cunningham didn’t think she would be at the center of this argument when she walked in. She sang “Lean On Me,” Nicki liked how “sweet and controlled” but Keith was a little put off when she said she considered her niche to be “soulful country.” Then Mariah and Randy seem to be pushing her to say that she is a straight up Country artist, which prompts Nicki to butt in and say that they are turning this into a “country music debate.” I didn’t quite get where she was coming from on this, but at this point Summer was going to say and agree with anything that would get her pass, which Nicki obviously picked up on. Feeling like her opinions are being respected, Minaj leaves the table and the production shuts down for the day. Whew! The next day, a Navy reservist named Brandy Hamilton impresses them with Etta James‘ “All I Could Do Was Cry.” Hamilton actually got in trouble for singing while cleaning her bunk and shoes, so I think this show is perfect for her. Before leaving, she tells the judges, “please don’t fight it makes us sad.” Oh girl, it’s not that serious.
Ashley Smith, who came off like some Disney Channel reject bless her heart, took over the audition room with her blonde wig and spunky personality. She sang Carrie Underwood‘s “Cowboy Casanova” and actually sounded really good. I sure wasn’t expecting it. Then there was Janelle Arthur, who portrayed a young Dolly Parton in plays when she was younger. She sang Keith’s “Where The Blacktop Ends” and “Walk In The Country” and aces both songs. Rodney Barber, a street singer who was once homeless and now helps out other homeless people, sang Edwin McCain‘s “I’ll Be” and sounds pretty good, if not a bit like Anthony Hamilton, another Charlotte native. I’ve never seen Rodney on the streets of Charlotte but i’m glad she’s getting the chance to perform for a bigger audience.
You may have remembered Candice Glover from last season. She made it to Las Vegas but was cut from the competition. You can tell she has worked on her voice since then and gets another ticket to Hollywood, but will she actually make it to the live shows this time around? We’ll have to see.
Also getting through were 16 year old Ja’Bria Barber who had a thing for fried frog legs, which grossed out the judges. She surprised me with “Pride and Joy” and the judges sent her through, if she promised to stop eating frog legs.
The last contestant to audition had a sob story, natch. Seretha Guinn‘s boyfriend was injured in a serious car crash last year. She hadn’t told him that she would be auditioning, wanting it to be a surprise. She brought along her cutie pie daughter, 3 year old London who supposedly was a big fan of Nicki’s but you really couldn’t tell. Seretha starts off with her take on the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme which was incredibly cute. She also does “How Do I Live” which also sounded great, but Mariah liked her first song better. Doesn’t matter, she got a ticket to Hollywood and little London got to take a picture with Nicki, aka “Dun Dun.”
Thursday’s night’s show will feature auditions from New Orleans. What did you think of Wednesday night’s contestants and the big fight between Nicki and Mimi?
You’d think the producers would have had the presence of mind to use their song “Up Out My Face.”