Tonight's auditions road trip deposited us in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- a rich source of Idol talent, or "YO, MY HOME SLICE TOWN!" if you ask Randy Jackson. I feel like no one asks Randy Jackson questions anymore. What would be the point?
Let's quickly blaze through the singers who made it through during this one-hour adventure, which blew by so effortlessly that it now makes even less sense that most audition eps are a whopping two hours. How did we ever survive before this cosmic shift? The quicker hit of crazy on a Thursday night was just the (golden) ticket.
Megan Miller, 22, claimed to be "Miss Baton Rouge" and then the chyron below her as she started singing "Something's Got a Hold on Me" said "Miss GREATER Baton Rouge." Quit underselling yourself, girl! This is Idol; you need all the help you can get. Except Megan didn't because she had a busted leg, imminent surgery following her audition, and a big ol' cast. Megan's a beautiful girl with a big voice, but would she stand (or wobble) out without crutches as props? I have doubts. She's cute, though, and funny. I'm just glad she didn't scream "pageant girl". Well, at least her understated Pocahontas sack dress didn't. (I need that.)
Megan courteously invited Keith Urban to her surgery later that day. Just Keith. No one else. It was sexual. And as he helplessly pointed at his wedding ring, it was awkward.
Okay, now the good vibes really kicked in: Curly-haired redhead Charlie Askew, 17, spoke up right away to the judges and the camera about being incredibly socially awkward, since every hopeful needs a shtick. He really didn't -- this is just one of those rare oddballs with the most beautiful soul and non-cloyingly angelic demeanor. He reminded me of Brett Loewenstern from season 10, but at least 2.5 times more angelic. If that's even possible! At first he launched into Queen's "Breakthru" and though the quality of his voice is undeniable, the judges (and I) visibly cringed as Charlie's volume increased so he could really ROCK IT OUT. Not necessary, but I was grinning so hard at the song choice, so there's that.
"Nature Boy" was a much more fitting choice for this "strange and enchanted boy" who had "wandered very far" from home to visit a brightly hued wasteland overrun by the tyranny of Chanel Castro. (If anyone has a better #nickiname for that white-on-white mindf--- of a costume I'm all ears).
Poor Ryan so desperately wanted a hug. DENIED.
NEXT: Let's hear it for the grandmas