Georgia has been veritable treasure trove of American Idol talent. From Ryan Seacrest to Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alayna to Season 11 winner, Phil Phillips, Georgia has proven to be good hunting ground. Did Georgia keep up their track record on Thursday night?
Thursday evening's episode of American Idol had the unenviable task of having to follow Wednesday's episode - an episode referred to, in the last article, as the best in years. In an effort to start things off right, Idol treated viewers to a glimpse into Ryan Seacrest's childhood home in Atlanta, where he was slumbering peacefully until his mom came and roused him out of bed. It would almost have been believable except for the fact that everyone knows that Ryan Seacrest doesn't actually sleep - how could he with the number of projects he has going?
Nevertheless, it was still rather charming to see Ryan and his mom together. He even took her to the auditions, where she proceeded to spank him on national television. Yup, Idol was pulling out all the stops in an effort to feed our hunger for good television, which they awakened in us on Wednesday night. And if all that wasn't enough to titillate you, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. switched seats!
Below are a few of the contestants who added to Thursday Night Lights; the Idol Version.
Majesty Rose sang, "Violet Hill," by Coldplay. Harry called her subtle and elegant. Jennifer called her - come on, we'll give you three guesses . . . yup, JLo called her beautiful. It's like she is intentionally trying to keep the memory of Steven Tyler alive on Idol by adopting the only adjective the man knew that didn't need to be bleeped out.
Jordan Brisbane, 15, captivated the audience with his adorable face and sassy attitude. "I believe I have what it takes to shut American Idol down," he boasted. (Nikki and Mariah uttered the same words before judging last season.) Harry, always handing out valuable advice, told Jordan to "Be careful when you do runs because there are people who do it better than you." Thankfully, despite getting into trouble on the runs, the judges all recognized a natural talent in young Jordan and he''ll be joining us in Hollywood.
Then Idol really hit us below the belt by using the glorious Phil Phillips as fodder for us viewers. It was to be expected though, since Phil is undoubtedly Georgia's greatest export; there's never been a Georgia Peach quite as sweet as Phil Phillips. Sam Burchfield recognized that and, straight off a Phil Phillips concert the night before, Sam attempted to imitate Phil's style. (I know, I know, Tommy Hilfiger would roll over in his Shelburne Paisley Duvet Cover if he ever heard someone referring to Phil's manner of dressing as style.) And while Sam might have had the clothes down pat, he didn't come close to Phil's talent or unbridled charm. He still got through to Hollywood but you can't squeeze blood from a stone; Georgia already produced Ryan Seacrest, Lauren Alayna, Diana DeGarmo and Phil Phillips, it's about time Alabama started pulling their own weight.
Well, Slapout, Alabama was ready to meet the challenge. They presented us with Jessica Meuse whose incredible singing voice and songwriting skills blew all the judges away. Watching Jessica rock out to her original song, "Blue-Eyed Lie," with her radiant pink hair and rock-n-roll style convinced this writer that she had finally found her alter ego. Somewhere beneath this clean-cut, waspy, wordsmith lives a neon-haired rocker chick just screaming to get out. Unfortunately her screams sound no where near as good as Jessica's, so perhaps it's best to stick to the written word.
Two veterans of Season 11 returned to audition, Neco Starr and Caleb Johnson, otherwise known as Glutton for Punishment Number 1 & 2. Both of them were asked to return to Hollywood though it's unlikely that either one of them will meet a kinder fate this year. If they couldn't get past the Season 11 gate keepers of JLo, Randy, and Steven Tyler - they're never going to pull one over on Keith and Harry.
And finally, Bria Anai graced the audition platform, leaving viewers asking two questions: how is it possible that she is only fifteen-years-old and where in the world does someone go to find fuchsia sparkling lipstick to match fuchsia sparkling pants? Bria performed an Adele song, which is typically self-sabotage but she left the judges in awe of her talent which, "belies her age." Yes, Harry really said that. Feel free to add it to your list of "101 Reasons Why Harry Might Just Be The Perfect Man List." We'll wait.
And there you have it, viewers/readers, our second week of Idol has come to a close and what do we have to show for it? Well, 163 contestants, for one, plus a healthy crush on Harry, a wandering eye for Keith, and a growing appreciation for Jennifer's contribution to the dynamic. Add to those things a renewed sense of hope for American Idol's Thirteenth Season and you've got yourself a pretty lucrative two-weeks.
Tune in next Wednesday or, skip the show and read all about it in our American Idol coverage.