American Idol auditions wrapped up Thursday night with tryouts in Oklahoma City, OK. Judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson descended on the Sooner State seeking talent to send on to Hollywood, but ended up running into Steven Tyler in drag. The former Idol judge showed up dressed in a dress, full makeup and blonde wig as a woman named Pepper to audition. Pepper didn't make it to Hollywood, but there was some real talent in Oklahoma:
Karl Skinner initially tried out when the American Idol bus came through his hometown of Joplin, MO. Once he got in front of the actual judges, the red-headed Karl set out to prove that gingers have soul with his over-the-top take on James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)." He picked up the guitar and sang a more subdued, yet vocally impressive original song. Randy said Karl lit up the room, and Nicki liked his wild dance moves. The judges liked Karl's big style, and he's on to Hollywood.
Nate Tao grew up with deaf parents, which led him to become a sign language teacher. He tried out with Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life," and the judges' smiles let his parents know Nate has what it takes to make it as a singer. Mariah enjoyed it, and Nicki liked Nate's charisma. Randy thought Nate was unassuming in his conservative shirt and tie. Keith liked Nate's effortless style. He'll get a chance to show those chops off in Hollywood.
Halie Hilburn brought her stuffed friend Oscar with her to show off her skills as a ventriloquist with her performance of Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart." Halie sang most of the song, but had Oscar do the coyote howls described in the lyrics. The stuffed animal also took on the yodeling part. Once Halie put down the song and sang Gavin DeGraw's "More Than Anyone" on her own, Keith declared that Oscar was holding her back. Mariah loved Halie's voice, and Nicki gave her a yes too. Halie is on to Hollywood, but Oscar will have to stay back home.
Sixteen-year-old Kayden Stephenson has cystic fibrosis and isn't expected to live past 35 years old. He said doing Idol was his dream, and he tried out with "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder. His voice had a spritely quality, and Nicki said it reminded her of Michael Jackson. She was really inspired by Kayden, and Mariah was ready to get him in the studio now. Randy loved Kayden's commitment. He's going on to Hollywood.
Anastacia Freeman was emotional before going into the judges' room, and she gave the judges reason to cry with her terrible performance of Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart." Nicki and Randy couldn't contain their laughter, but they assured Anastacia they weren't laughing at her. They were completely lying though. It was terrible. When Anastacia told the judges God told her she should audition, Nicki assured Anastacia she should be happy she followed her heart. It was a big no for Anastacia.
Are You Kidding?
Zoanette Johnson shook her booty for the camera, showing off her loud yellow and pink outfit before heading into the judges' room. She told her family if President Obama won a second term in office, she would try out with the national anthem. Some viewers may have wanted to retroactively change their vote based on Zoanette's performance though. It was truly atrocious, and Mariah even had to prompt Zoanette on the lyrics. Keith actually fell out when she hit some of the big notes at the end, and Nicki told Zoanette she was obsessed with her after the performance. Zoanette then addressed the camera and told Obama she better get an invitation to the White House for the performance. For some reason, the judges gave her a ticket to Hollywood.
American Idol auditions move on to Hollywood next week when the show returns Wednesday night on Fox.
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