American Idol recap: Life's a Peach

Auditions No. 4 bring us to Atlanta for American Horror Story: Seacrest House
Ep. 04 | Aired Jan 23, 2014

BOLD SHOULDER Jessica Meuse can work a stage solo.

Fox

Tonight's fourth auditions episode brought us to our host's homestead, Atlanta. Welcome, friends to American Horror Story: Seacrest House. His mom's got a secret.... and it's definitely not "Okay, fine, I do like being on camera."

It seems my favorite two contestants of the week are gentle-voiced African-American girls wearing flower crowns. I totally have a type now. Jade Lathan wooed me Wednesday night; tonight it was sweet 21-year-old pre-school teacher Majesty Rose. I loved her painted guitar, her quiet elegance, and the way her cover of "Violet Hill" was this perfect lullaby that would never actually put you to sleep because you'd want to keep listening. Each note was like a delicate piano tinkle (and she was playing the guitar!). What a cutie. I also enjoyed J. Lo's self-awareness in her envy of Majesty's effortlessness. "I have to work so hard at everything, so I love that," she said.

"I've crafted something in me that just comes out when I sing," Majesty said bravely when put on the spot by Harry. She is pure royalty.

Jesse Cline, 19: Okay, this one did look like he was falling asleep during his cover of "Washed by the Water" -- but his segue into musical dreamland was part of his charm. Keith and Harry are both big fans of the word "milliseconds," and that's how long it took them to recognize the gas station attendant as a believable singer. "Ultimate Cinderella," Harry muttered loudly to J. Lo and Keith behind his own hand. You don't have to hide, Harry -- dude is sleeping! To be fair, Jesse had driven eight hours, after working 'til midnight, toward his final napping destination in the convention center.

The Chris Medina we saw tonight is not the same Chris Medina from season 10, the one whose wife had a brain injury, the one who drove J. Lo to tears as she cut him from the Top 40. This one's only 23, from Jacksonville, Florida, and has a dog. I definitely assumed this Chris was blind -- why else would he get to bring his dog in? -- before I learned he is an Army National Guard. Those people probably can't be blind. Perhaps he suffers from PTSD and that's why he needs Bubby. "Chasing Pavements" was okay. I'm pretty sure we were all watching the dog, who may or may not have really peed on Harry, instead.

Kristen O'Connor and Emily Piriz both advanced, with minimal footage shown. We saw Kristen at work as a nurse tech, brightening the days of a series of empty beds. She looks exactly like Erinn Hayes from Children's Hospital. There's a really pretty tone to her vocal, but I still assumed she might be one of those "let's make this beauty queen an example of how you need more than a great face to be a great talent" types. But nope! Meanwhile, Emily was a little too deliberately swishy on "Mama Knows Best" for my tastes, but that's pretty nit picky. She was just excited! She was an Idol Toddler. (Crying myself to sleep tonight.) There's some real power behind her voice, too.

NEXT: Did Ben Briley have a traumatic childhood encounter with gumbo?

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