Megan Miller, 23: I knew she looked familiar: This was the girl on crutches from last season! Megan bellowed her way through Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" with such massive force that Harry worried about when her voice would blow out. Keith enjoyed her "impassioned rasp," but very astutely pointed out that if the singer sounds like she's working too hard, it's a two-way street and the audience will strain while listening. Time will tell if this young and bright-eyed Ethel, Louisiana media consultant will emerge as the next Steven Tyler.
Spencer Lloyd, 19: Right away, Harry hated this pretty boy's guts -- his eyes were too blue-green, his name was too cool, he carried a guitar. (I'm so drawn to Harry's friendly animosity I can't even handle it!!!) Wouldn't you know it, the Arkansas worship leader sang a Colton Dixon tune. I could hear his voice go flat a few times, but come on, y'all -- you know singing isn't the real reason he's here. "You're gonna bring something to American Idol that needs to be there -- it's an image thing, so I'm gonna say yes," said Harry. I'm torn between loving the transparency here and hating the fact that the producers were obviously gunning for this guy. Are there no other Hot Men, Good Singers in the 75,000? Come on.
Line of the night from Harry: "Whoever's gonna line up next to you is gonna have to deal with the deafening screams of your looks."
T.K. Hash, 28: Holy s--t, now I've really seen it all. THE PRESIDENT has auditioned for American Idol. This service manager from Charlotte missed some notes on "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)" (I can't believe that is a real song title), but he did have an energy that changed the chemistry of the room for the better, like J. Lo said. Because that's just the effect that Barack Obama has on a room, man. Harry: "I wouldn't say you're the greatest singer I've ever heard -- but you're likable."
John Fox, 20: It's worship leader mania tonight! (Also every night.) John wrote a song for church when he was six, enthused his mom. Aw, this guy's parents were the best -- so gentle and supportive and non-flashy about it. John's twangy "To Make You Feel My Love" didn't seem to stir the judges, at least not visibly, but they approved: Keith liked that the guitar wasn't the dominating aspect of the performance and thought John had authority in his voice. "You're such a great guitarist, Keith," the kid gushed. I love these genuine darts of musical admiration so much more than the BLIND RAGE FREAKOUTS we've seen from…you know. Different types of super fans. I wonder if John will reconsider those earrings for Hollywood Week. I'm picturing an Idol stylist brutally ripping them out upon his arrival. Get to them first, John! Save your earrings! We shall all be saved.
NEXT: 'You'll have your own spot in the sadness'