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American Idol Recap: Mariah Carey And Nicki Minaj Showdown In Charlotte

January 24, 2013 02:02 AM by Melissa Stavarski

After visiting New York City and Chicago, the American Idol judges set their sights on Charlotte. Whether or not the judges found the next Scotty McCreery remains to be seen; however, they definitely found a frog gigger and the straw that broke Nicki Minaj‘s back.

Naomi Morris loves fashion and sings “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. Ouch. She needs to stick to fashion. Joel Nemoyer tells Nicki that she looks like cotton candy. While lying on the floor, Joel attempts to sing Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good.” Randy says, “Never.” Both Naomi and Joel go home.

Brian Rittenberry, a bookkeeper from Georgia whose wife was diagnosed with appendix cancer in 2009, sings “Let It Be” by The Beatles. Not great, not bad. Mariah says, “Wow. I didn’t expect that. I seriously enjoyed it.” Keith compliments his vibrato. Brian gets four yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

Jimmy Smith‘s musical inspiration is Keith Urban. Jimmy sings “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. Keith tells Jimmy his voice has a Gary LeVox influence, adding, “I wish I could sing like that.” Mariah says, “You have something incredibly special and unique.” Jimmy is going to Hollywood.

Randy invites Isabel Gonzalez to audition because of her aunt’s nomination. She sings Sam Cooke’s “Nothing Can Change This Love.” The judges fall in love with Isabel. Keith thinks she’s a natural. Mariah says, “People are going to fall in love with you, because you are a star.” Isabel gets four yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

Taisha Bethea fronts an alternative-rock band and auditions with “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash and “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette. Taisha splits the judges. Nicki says yes, Mariah says no, Keith says yes, and Randy says no. Keith gets final say in Charlotte so Taisha moves on to Hollywood.

Summer Cunningham innocently sings Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me.” Nicki likes her voice, saying, “I think your voice was really pretty and controlled.” Keith asks Summer about her musical direction, to which she says, “I did the country thing.” Her answer slightly offends Keith… Mariah wants to know more… Nicki thinks they’re making too big of a deal over Summer’s “country thing” answer. Mariah says, “I’m sorry. That’s what I do, Nicki. I sing. So, when I’m making comments, I’m trying to help her as opposed to just talk about her outfit.” Nicki is still talking, by the way, and it’s all kinds of awkward.

Keith remembers that Summer is still in the room and tells her she’s going to Hollywood. As Summer leaves, Randy quips, “See you later in Hollywood. Just trying to help you a little bit, you know, [with my] 30 years of insight.” Oh snap! Nicki responds, “You’re right. I’m sorry. I can’t help her. Maybe I should just get off the f-king panel.” Nicki walks off the set. Mariah jokes about wanting to be the one to make a dramatic exit. Production is shut down for the day.

Brandy Hamilton is a Navy reservist and auditions with “All I Could Do Is Cry” by Etta James. She nails it. Randy says, “I love you, man. You came in, you were so positive, and you lit up the room.” Keith wants to hear more… which brings Brandy to tears… she’s going to Hollywood. On her way out, Brandy says, “Please don’t fight – it makes us sad.”

Ashley Smith is exploding with personality! She takes on Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova.” Mariah and Nicki love it. Keith says, “I couldn’t look away.” She’s like, ditto, hot stuff! Ashley easily advances to Hollywood. Rodney Barber sings in the streets of Charlotte to help the homeless and auditions with ‘I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. Keith says, “You have a big voice – crazy big.” The judges love Rodney’s back story and his sound. He’s going to Hollywood.

Auditioning for the third time, Janelle Arthur mixes “Where the Blacktop Ends” and “Walk In The Country.” Super excited about Janelle’s song choice, Keith says beautiful voice, great control, gorgeous tone. Randy says the vocals were amazing. Jenelle gets four yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

Candice Glover is back after being cut in Las Vegas last season and wows the judges! Randy and Mariah stand. Nicki tells Candice that she wants to skin her and wear her, adding, “I’m not worthy to critique you.” Mariah says, “This was the absolute best singing that we’ve heard thus far.” Candice gets a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Ja’Bria Barber ”gigs” frogs – cut the legs off, fry ‘em up, put some hot sauce on it, tastes like chicken – and sings Bonnie Raitt’s version of “Pride and Joy.” All of the judges like her personality and her voice. Ja’Bria gets a ticket to Hollywood despite the disturbing frog hobby. Brad Harris likes to break steel chairs with his head, raps under the name Bakon, and attempts to sing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. It’s horrible. And now I’m craving bacon.

Seretha Guinn brings London Marie, her young daughter, with her and auditions with the theme song from Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and “How Do I Live.” Nicki says, “Incredible. I’m proud of you. You’re a super star.” Randy thinks she has a “Whitney” thing. Seretha is going to Hollywood!

Thirty-seven tickets to Hollywood were given out in Charlotte. Who did you like the most? Did the Mariah vs. Nicki fight bring as much drama as you were expecting? 

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Photo Credit: FOX

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows |

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