Chelsee Oaks and Rob Bolin are up first together, though apart. They are exes and former duet partners who are trying out separately for American Idol. The judges first try to play Dr. Phil and get them to patch things up which Rob is all for, Chelsee, not so much (and Chelsee's boyfriend standing outside is even more opposed to their rekindling their relationship). They sing To Love Somebody together and they sound like they were meant to sing -- and be -- together. Is there a marital therapist on staff?
Then Rob sings, amazingly well. Great raw, rough vocals, terrific recording voice. Chelsee sings well, too, though not as well as Rob. But they both are going to Hollywood. Is this the start of a new RomCom, maybe they'll pair up during Hollywood group performance round, sit side by side in Room 1 awaiting their fate, and the camera pans in as they realize they were meant to be together? I've seen too many cheesy movies!
Some biker dude who may or may not be a racist (vanilla, chocolate?) sings Skynyrd (shocker) very badly (another shocker). He makes the judges laugh, so that's not all bad. Turns out, he's a cool guy who you'd be happy to have on stage belting it out while you were on your fifth shot of Jack -- but not on your TV when you're stone sober.
Next up is Miss Teen USA 2009 Stormi Henley. She wants to see how far she makes it on her talent. So that's why she shows up in a super short flirty skirt with a plunging neckline and cute cowboy boots. In fairness, though, she did not glam up like a pageant girl, and looks like she should wear a cowboy hat, not a tiara. She sings Father Can You Hear Me. She has a nice though not amazing voice. It has an interesting sound to it and she could easily be the next Kellie Pickler (assuming we need another). JLo thinks she doesn't have enough power to her voice and votes no, leaving it up to the guys to decide if the young, attractive girl should move on. I think you can guess what happens next.
Short parade of no's, then Adrienne Beasley is up. She's a farm girl, African American adopted by white parents. She sounds like a farm girl, strong twangy country voice. She doesn't over-sing and she has a nice gently raspy tone to her voice, also a nice little country cry. But no reason to cry, she's going to Hollywood with three votes! Not so fast, Daddy asks her who's going to pay for her trip to California. Hope he was kidding!
Kameela Merricks has been singing and winning competitions forever, she tells us. She's small, not Snooki small, but much smaller than the loud, painfully loud, sounds that come out of her. As if that wasn't bad enough (and, really, it was) we get a bunch more bad singers. It's AI version of how low can you go, and they're scraping the bottom of the talent barrel.
So when's the reprieve? It comes in the mini-jeans skirt wearing Jackie Wilson. She's another twanger, but again, I have to give her props. She has a pretty nice voice. She needs to control it and not let it get away from her. But she has promise.
Next up is LaToya "Younique" Moore who tells us she's a star and that she glows. She wears a pageant dress and brings in "her CD" for the judges. She sings about breaking down and crying, which is what I'm doing listening to her voice. The song is, I think, called When I Close My Eyes and it makes me wish I could shut my ears. Wait, there's a mute button. Ahh, this is better.
A few good singers in a row. The last one, Danny Pale, I particularly liked.
Now it's time for tonight's feel good story. Matt Dillard is a southern boy with a family that has a huge heart. They have taken in hundreds of foster kids. Sweet. He has a really interesting sound, even if he did sing a little high in his register. I liked the tone of his voice and how he put his own spin on the Josh Grobin You Raise Me Up. But I want to grab a razor and save his face!
Okay, another sad backstory, a girl who's cousin is battling a brain tumor. Lauren Alaina sings and at first, it's not working for me. I don't like the breathiness and the breaks as she sings. It's like listening to music while driving through a tunnel. Of course, it's the judges' favorite performance of the day! It just made me want to send her an albuterol puffer. I was due to get one wrong today, so apparently Lauren's the one. Wait, she sings again, an Aerosmith song, and now I can hear what they're talking about. She sounds awesome! So apparently I like this girl -- I just don't like country music. News flash!
That's it for Nashville. Who did you like?