American Idol – Recap & Review – Charlotte, NC Auditions

photo: fox

photo: fox

American Idol
Charlotte, NC Auditions

Original Air Date: Jan 23, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

This is the episode that Idol has been teasing for months — the great clash between Mariah and Nicki. And quite frankly, there was no fight, just Nicki throwing a hissy fit.

But the very next day, everyone was playing nice and perhaps a good tiff is what was needed to clear the air. Let’s hope so as this nasty pecking at each other got old the very first night.

For the first time, Idol visited Charlotte, NC where they set up shop at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. To cheer up the auditioners, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery worked the crowd.

Contestant: Naomi Morris
Backstory: Does supposedly open mics.
Song: “Respect”
Impression: We start with a klunker. She barely carries anything resembling a tune. Even make up advice from Nicki doesn’t helps.
Verdict: 4 nos.

Contestant: Joel Nemoyer, 20, fast food worker
Backstory: Lies on floor to sing.
Song: “Feeling Good”
Impression: The floor technique doesn’t help – he’s terrible.
Verdict: 4 nos.

Contestant: Brian Rittenberry, 27, bookkeeper
Backstory: Wife had cancer, but she’s now recovered. She got all prettied up for Keith Urban and finally gets to meet him.
Song: “Let It Be”
Impression: He may look like a huge teddy bear, but has a really nice tone and excellent pitch.
Verdict: 4 yeses.

Contestant: Jimmy Smith, 25, social worker
Backstory: Big fan of Keith’s. He applied on line.
Song: “God Bless the Open Road”
Impression: He’s more style than voice. But he sounds good. Nicki said his voice is the voice she’s been waiting to hear.
Verdict: 4 yeses.

MONTAGE ALERT: Sara-Joi Crowe, Haley Davis, and Na’chelle Fullen also made it to Hollywood.

Contestant: Matthew Muse, 23, student
Backstory: He’s been working on his stage technique at karaoke nights. Likes to wear a cowboy hat and thinks he sounds like Brad Paisley.
Song: “When I Get Where I’m Going”
Impression: He’s not as bad as the producers set him up to be, but not good either.
Verdict: “Cool dude,” they say, but they still give him 4 nos.

Contestant: Isabel Gonzalez, 16, student
Backstory: Randy visits this girl on the school bus after she was nominated by her aunt.
Song: “Nothing Can Ever Change This Love”
Impression: She has a nice voice, but it needs training. Her delivery is too staccato. They all say she’s a star.
Verdict: 4 yeses.

Contestant: Tiasha Bethea, 21, musician
Backstory: She’s been in an alt rock band for four years.
Song: “Fulsome Prison” and an Alanis Morrisette tune
Impression: She’s got a strange hitch in her voice.
Verdict: Nicki -yes, Mariah-no, Keith- yes, Randy no – but Keith is the deciding vote so she’s going to Hollywood!

MONTAGE ALERT: Judges splitting their votes.

Contestant: Summer Cunningham, 20, student
Song: “Lean on Me”
Impression: She’s a strong belter with a country feel.
Verdict: Keith, Mariah and Randy urged her to go country, but gave her yeses.

Nicki gets mad that they’re pigeon holing Summer into country. She takes it personally and walks off the panel.


Contestant: Brady Hamilton, 25, Navy Reservist
Backstory: She’s a Navy reservist who got in trouble for singing all the time.
Song: “All I Can Do is Cry”
Impression: She has a beautiful tone, OK rhythm and emotional. They liked how positive she was.
Verdict: 4 yeses. (She also asks them not to fight because it makes her sad.)

Contestant: Ashley Smith, 22, hostess
Backstory: She’s wearing a blond wig, black horn rim glasses, white lipstick and a nose ring. Even she admits she’s a chatterbox.
Song: “Cowboy Casanova”
Impression: She’s got a major annoying speaking voice, but her singing voice is smoother and sweeter. I really like her and she might have a real shot.
Verdict: 4 yeses.

Contestant: Janelle Arthur, 22, fitness instructor
Backstory: She played a young Dolly Parton at the theme park.
Song: “Where the Blacktop Ends”
Impression: She looks like a young Carrie Underwood when she auditioned. She has a sweet, strong voice. She might be someone to watch.
Verdict: Randy compared her to a young Leann Rimes. 4 yeses.

Contestant: Rodney Barber, 27, singer/bouncer
Backstory: He claims he’s called “the voice of Charlotte” on the street. He’s been homeless.
Impression: It’s a powerful voice but needs better stage presence.
Verdict: 4yeses.

Keith leaves for the day to be with his wife, Nicole Kidman, as she receives an award.

Contestant: Candice Glover, 22, administrative assistant
Backstory: Made Hollywood Week last year and cut in the later rounds. She was really good.
Impression: She’s got serious chops and soul. Randy called it the best audition so far and gives her a standing ovation. Moriah agreed and wished she already had an album.
Verdict: 3 yeses.

Contestant: Ja’Bria Barber, 16, student
Backstory: She goes frog gigging.
Song: “Pride and Joy”
Impression: She sounds a lot older than 16, with the soul wallop of at least a 40 year old.
Verdict: 3 yeses.

Contestant: Brad Harris, 28, supermarket employee
Backstory: Likes to make his own wrestling videos where he slams his head into things. He’s also rapped under the name Ba Con.
Song: “A Whole New World”
Impression: He can’t carry a tune.
Verdict: 3 nos. He asks for a handshake and they also said no.

Contestant: Seretha Guinn, 26, hair stylist
Backstory: Her boyfriend and father of her daughter was in a serious accident that almost cost him his life and has had to have eight surgeries.
Song: “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
Impression: She’s got a fun, poppy voice and looks the part of a pop star. She’s kills it.
Verdict: 3 yeses.

All in all, 37 contestants received Golden Tickets. Next up is Baton Rouge, La.

Did you think Nicki was right to walk off? Would you go frog gigging? Did you hear anyone who you think could win? Give us your TwoCents…

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One Response to American Idol – Recap & Review – Charlotte, NC Auditions

  1. G says:

    Regarding the fight over the “country” fight, I understand Keith’s dedication to country music but I think he was being a little too sensitive. I also understand Randy and Mariah wanting her to choose a lane so that she can define herself as an artist. However, I am with Nicki on this. Why do people always have to be linked to one genre? I guess when you get more recognition you are able to break rules nad barriers and so for people just starting out, they need ot stick to the basics…but I don’t see WHY it’s so important for the judges to box contestants to one genre. With the Taylor Swifts, Nicki Minajs, Ushers who are teter-tottering (did I spell that wrong) between pop and country, pop and rap, pop and r&b, it just gets me annoyed that they will consider preventing someone to go to HOllywood because they don’t fit under one category rather than because they dont have a good voice. What about you? Are you team Nicki or Mariah on this? Or maybe team Nicki and or team everyone else? lolo

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