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‘American Idol’ Baton Rouge Recap

American Idol judges
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

On tonight’s (Jan. 24) audition episode of ‘American Idol,’ Season 12 headed to judge Randy Jackon’s hometown of Baton Rouge, La. The “dawg” looked extra beautiful on camera, with Mariah Carey doing his makeup. On this ep, we met an injured beauty queen with a belter’s lungs and a singing doctor with a butter smooth voice. There was more good than bad, including an awkward teen who uses music to communicate and bridge the gap between himself and the outside world.

Here’s the PopCrush recap of the Baton Rouge auditions on Season 12.

Megan Miller: With a broken leg, Miss Greater Baton Rouge sang ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me,’ and she belted it out with a powerful voice. It was as if her leg didn’t even hurt. She also wore heels to the audition, in a move cribbed from the Carey/Minaj playbook of divadom. Watch her show her stuff here.

Charlie Askew: The redheaded 17-year-old with the coolest last name so far this season was awkward and shy, admitting that he uses music to communicate. He offered up Queen’s ‘Breakthru’ and despite the producers (a)skewing his pre-audition interview package to make it seem like he was going to be awful, he was actually quite good. He got a unanimous pass to the next round and the editing team gets a thumbs up for effective spin. See his audition reel here.

Maddie Assel: This curly-cued, nerdy glasses-wearing teen from Virginia is just 17, but she offered a smoky, old-soul version of ‘Oh! Darling’ by the Beatles. She said she is influenced by Beyonce, Adele and Season 10′s Haley Reinhart. Judge Keith Urban said that she sounds like none of those acts and that’s why she’s special. We think Maddie is one to watch.

Paul Jolley: Oh happy day! This 22-year-old from Tennessee sang Rascal Flatts‘ ‘I Won’t Let Go,’ but it was a clean, pop vocal, not a country twang vocal. The judges celebrated the sparkle in his tone and his well-crafted performance.

Christopher Barthel: This fast-talker was bad — singing-wise. His audition made it to the air since it provided some comic relief. He said he had a nameless alter ego, but Nicki Minaj created one on the spot for and christened him “Mushroom.” Urban called him a “fun guy” — get it?! — when he did Adam Lambert‘s ‘If I Had You’ with John Travolta dance moves. Ugh.

Dr. Calvin Peters: This third year resident specializing in physical medicine sang Maxwell’s ‘Whenever, Wherever, Whatever.’ The singing doctor had a buttery tone that gave us gooseflesh, or as former judge Jennifer Lopez used to say, “goosies.” He’s also one to watch. He might be best served trading the stethoscope for a microphone. You can watch his audition here.

Dustin Watts: This hunky firefighter, 27, sang Garth Brooks‘ ‘She’s Every Woman.’ Everyone liked it and felt he was a believable future country star.

Burnell Taylor: The Louisiana native lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, but he bounced back through music. His soulful, nerve-striking version of ‘I’m Here’ from ‘The Color Purple’ brought tears to Mimi’s eyes and lead to Minaj saying that while all other contestants auditioned, he entertained. The show saved the best for last tonight.

So there you have it — the best and one of the “funny” ones.

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