‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 4 Recap: Baton Rouge Brings the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last night’s episode of ‘American Idol’ is best summed up by Keith Urban: “All the good music’s from the south.” With gospel, blues, soul and country being some of the region’s biggest musical genres, the judges were really hopeful to find some undiscovered talent, especially Randy Jackson, who calls Baton Rouge home. And it looked like Louisiana didn’t disappoint as the state seemed to showcase the some of the strongest belters ‘Idol’ and the bayou have ever seen.
One of the night’s surprising standouts was 17-year-old Charlie Askew, who decided to sing Queen’s ‘Breakthrough.’ The judges (and probably most viewers) had no idea what to expect from this awkward yet confident Arkansas native. However, the maturity and strength in his voice proved that he could go very far in the competition.
Another 17-year-old that wowed the judges was Maddie Essel, whom Jackson surprised the night before auditions. Singing ‘Oh Darling’ by the Beatles, her stylistic voice set her apart from many in the competition so far, and it’ll be interesting to see how she does in the rest of the competition.
As good as the talent was in Baton Rouge, it looked like there were people who were just as bad (or maybe even worse) that kept the balance. One of those unfortunate auditions was with the overtly excited but fun-loving Chris Barthel, who also goes by his alter ego, “Mushroom,” which Nicki Minaj crowned him with. Hoping to bring the fire with ‘If I Had You,’ by Adam Lambert, his choreography and vocals didn’t make the cut but did keep the judges laughing. But before leaving, Minaj wanted to do one thing.
“If you let me run my hand through your hair, you will be blessed forever,” she said.
Nicki didn’t need to do any blessing when Dustin Watts, a firefighter from Albany, La. Instead, she asked what has been one of her signature questions of the season so far: “Do you have a girlfriend?” Minaj’s flirty ways aside, he further impressed her and the rest of the judges with his version of ‘She’s Every Woman’ by Garth Brooks. And unlike the other contestants who were congratulated by loved ones at the door, he took his big news to the Baton Rouge firehouse -- making the moment even more special.
Perhaps the one thing that seemed to be missing from this episode was the feud that’s been brewing between Mariah Carey and Minaj. Aside from one eye from Minaj during the first audition, the two seemed to get along throughout the episode, which may be good for the sake of Jackson and Urban’s sanity but might not be as entertaining for the rest of us. Well perhaps we’ll see it next week.
Watch 'American Idol' Season 12, Episode 4