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‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 5 Recap: San Antonio and Long Beach Defy the Odds

Mariah Carey
American Idol

Last night’s episode of ‘American Idol’ showcased some of the talented voices of San Antonio, Texas and Long Beach, Calif. There were a bunch of really good singers in this one that could really contend for the ‘Idol’ crown, and there were plenty of others who should only sing in the shower.

This episode displayed a few singers who’ve defied the odds to be where they are today. From permanent nerve damage affecting the voice to traumatic brain injuries, some of the contestants showed grit and determination to move past obstacles in life to follow a dream — really one of the core values of ‘Idol.’

One of the contestants who shocked the judges was 24-year-old Micah Johnson, who was left with a permanent speech impediment after a routine tonsil removal went awry — his doctor hit some nerves during the operation, causing the damage. After the judges were skeptical and concerned with Johnson’s voice being the same post operation, they were in utter shock hearing the power in his voice during his rendition of the Zack Brown Band’s ‘Chicken Fried.’

Then there was 26-year-old Matt Farmer, an Iraq war vet who was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after his unit went over an IAD that exploded. Of course he received medical treatment for it, but his medication was said to make him sterile. Luckily, six-and-a-half months later, he and his wife had a daughter. After telling his story, Farmer delivered one of the best covers of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ that ever hit the ‘Idol’ stage.

As with every episode of ‘Idol,’ there are some folks who just don’t belong, and tonight, that was 16-year-old Stephanie Sanson. Going with Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain,’ Sanson switched it up with a heavy metal twist that clearly didn’t please the judges, especially Randy who said for her to just leave. She did, but not before continuing her song and giving the judges the proverbial finger.

For those looking for more gossip on the Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey feud, there weren’t any backhanded compliments, or snarky remarks in this one. Sorry to disappoint you. The ladies kept it G and just took care of business in this episode. Who knows, they might be back at each other’s throats in the next one. You’ve gotta tune in to find out.

Watch Highlights From ‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 5

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