American Idol recap: Country Discomfort

Soul-heavy singers battle fuse-blowing Nicki Minaj for the Charlotte auditions spotlight
Ep. 03 | Aired Jan 23, 2013

DA DUN DUN Has Nicki had more work done on her mouth?


After belting out a pretty and controlled "Lean On Me," Summer Cunningham, 20, made the mistake of personally insulting Keith Urban. Hardly, but he took her comment that she'd "done country" and was now into "more of a soulful country?" to heart. Stop internalizing the kids' jibber jabber, Keith!

Mariah and Randy attempted to steer Summer back onto (or keep her on? she never said she quit country, so all of this was even more absurd than it played out) the country road because of the "natural yodel" in her voice. Nicki Minaj suffered through these agonizing 30 or so seconds of not being in the spotlight with some tremendous eye rolls and out-of-this-world stank faces. A stunning achievement in disinterest.

Nicki's point was a good one -- the judges shouldn't "scare" contestants into "lying" about their true passion just to earn a spot in Hollywood, and it might not be the best idea to immediately pigeonhole those who want to branch out. It's too bad the Edible Arrangement chose to follow up her reasonable argument with a threat to "get off the f---ing panel" and a hearty stomp off set. But hey, Mariah was about to do it anyway, at some point. "That was my move -- I was gonna do that the next time [Nicki] ragged on me," explained the other grown woman on the panel. Let's hear it for the adults!

Brandy Hamilton was a sunny presence in her marigold blazer to kick off a subdued Day 2, but I think I appreciated her theatrics and phrasing during "All I Could Do Is Cry" more than her voice itself. Brandy's performance was so chillingly convincing that Nicki felt "like I was watching my man walk down the aisle and getting furious inside." I know that's what we were all wondering. Who let Nicki Minaj into a church?

NEXT: 'I want to skin you and wear you.' --Cotton Candy Head

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