"American Idol" continued its audition episodes on Tuesday night (Jan. 26) in Los Angeles, where a few hopefuls came out strong, others came dressed as Adam Lambert, and guest judge Katy Perry gave Kara DioGuardi a reality check.
The latter highlight occurred in the episode's final minutes, as the "Idol" judges shared their reactions to 25-year-old shoe salesman Chris Golightly and his rendition of the Ben E. King classic, "Stand By Me."
"One of my favorites," DioGuardi gushed after the performance. "I think that we may look back at this audition and go, wow, because you're the kind of kid who has just enough talent and just enough of a story and pain and stuff that you've gone through in your life, to really connect with it."
Perry -- who clearly relished in her judging stint and brought some much-welcome personality to the table -- didn't agree. "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweeheart," the pop singer said to DioGuardi. "You have to have talent - everybody has amazing stories." Despite the judges' split reactions, Golightly was unanimously voted through to Hollywood.
Perry wasn't the only guest judge in Los Angeles. Avril Lavigne joined the panel earlier in the episode but was less vocal, only speaking up as a voice of dissent against 27-year-old pastor Jim Ranger, who performed an original song entitled "Drive."
"You're married, and you have three children, and you're a pastor," Lavigne told the contestant. "To become a pop star, you have to travel and you have to leave everything…it's difficult out there on the road." Ranger was also granted a golden ticket to Hollywood.
The usually biting Cowell had high praise for 23-year-old Andrew Garcia, who delivered a standout audition with his version of Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning." "You're the only person who's walked in here today who I genuinely believe is a good singer," Cowell said.
Other standouts included the raspy-voiced Mary Powers, who sang a rock-influenced version of Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield," and personal assistant/pastor Tasha Layton, who performed a soulful version of Joss Stone's "Baby, Baby, Baby."
The "Idol" auditions move on to Dallas Wednesday night with guest judges Joe Jonas and Neil Patrick Harris.