After five long days without an “Idol” fix, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson returned in Milwaukee for two hours of powerful and painful performances. Some singers absolutely nailed genre exercises in country, rock or R&B; other performers found out that opera plus a Justin Bieber pop song is a recipe for disaster. Tell us how you would rank last night’s most memorable performances, and check out our full recap of the Milwaukee auditions below.
Song: Josh Turner, “Your Man” and Travis Tritt, “Put Some Drive in Your Country”
Jennifer said: “You make me smile.”
Steven said: “Will hellfire save matches, f— a duck and see what hatches!”
Randy said: “Love that you’re a throwback country guy, singing low like that.”
We say: While we’re still a bit confused as to the exact meaning of Steven’s “f— a duck” exclamation, the natural talent behind Scott’s country twang definitely warranted it. At 16, the North Carolina native understood how to emulate his deep-voiced country idols without sounding derivative. Maybe he’ll listen to Steven and bring his cowboy hat to Hollywood.
2) Naima Adedapo
Song: Donny Hathaway, “For All We Know”
Jennifer said: “I think she’s, voice-wise and whole-package-wise, one of the best we’ve seen.”
Steven said: “I think you’re all that.”
Randy said: “I love this girl. I love this girl!”
We say: Naima didn’t bowl us over with her vocal power, but the 25-year-old grounds cleanup worker packed a lot of personality into each lyric. Steven and Jennifer beamed like proud parents during her performance before sending her to Hollywood.
3) Chris Medina
Song: The Script, “Breakeven”
Jennifer said: “Go get your girlfriend — we gotta meet her!”
Steven said (to Chris’ fiancee Juliana): “I just heard your fiancee sing — I think he’s so good.”
Randy said: “Really sweet. Nice kid too. He sang great.”
We say: After explaining the story of his fiancee Juliana’s serious accident and his new role as her caretaker, Chris delivered a rousing take on the Script’s recent hit “Breakeven” and subsequently introduced Juliana to the judges. Chris’ sad tale has provoked mixed emotions, but he showed enough potential to warrant a trip to the next round, no matter if you found his story heartwarming or exploitative.
Song: Amos Lee, “Dreamin'”
Jennifer said: “You might be my favorite we’ve seen so far.”
Steven said: “You blew me away.”
Randy said: “Never judge a book by its cover — dude, you were hot!”
We say: Wiping off some lipstick before his audition, Scott found “love in the ‘Idol’ line” and claimed to have made out with a girl while waiting to perform. Maybe he wooed his girl by singing a few bars — after all, the judges certainly melted when Scott dove into “Dreamin'” and let his gorgeous pipes quiver over some extended notes. Expect Scott to steal a few more hearts before this season’s end.
5) Megan Frazier
Song: Justin Bieber, “Baby”
Jennifer said: “Thank you, you were a lot of fun.”
Steven said: “The glass broke!”
Randy said: “Self-imposed opera of a Justin Bieber song — you’re right, that’s what I’ve been looking for all my life.”
We say: Maybe Justin Bieber got it right when he decided to make “Baby” a pop song and not an opera music revival. Megan seemed to be a good sport about the three “no’s” she received from the judges — let’s hope that the Green Bay Packers fanatic is just as upbeat if her beloved team loses next Sunday’s Super Bowl.