‘American Idol’: Calvin Peters And Burnell Taylor Shine In The Bayou

Lisa Timmons | January 25, 2013 5:49 am

Welcome to the bayou! The American Idol auditions have journeyed to Randy Jackson‘s hometown of Baton Rouge and I’m hoping to see at least one Swamp People cast member.

Mariah Carey‘s arms look good. Nicki Minaj is ready to steer the H.M.S. Do You Have a Boyfriend? in an all-white outfit. Mimi gets to remind us she was a beauty school dropout by doing Randy’s makeup. To her credit, he looks … the same.

First contestant, Megan, is the current Ms. Baton Rouge. She recently suffered an accident and is a regular Brandi Glanville in heels and crutches. Because this is the bayou, I’m going to assume it was a gator accident until I hear otherwise. She postponed surgery to audition. Let’s head below to see how she does!

Megan belts “Something’s Gotta Hold on Me.” The judges love her. Keith Urban cracks a “Lean on Me” joke and I’m reminded why he’s fast becoming my favorite. Everybody’s in a good mood and the day starts off with a unanimous yes.

A wee leprechaun, Charlie Askew, wears plaid and his glossy, well-produced preface lets me know he’s going to Hollywood. He seems like an emo kid. I’m imagining he’s going to sing some Dashboard Confessional. Am I dating myself? Kids, it’s what old ladies listen to when going through hard times.

Charlie is incredibly polite and shy. He kicks off with “Breakthrough” by Queen. Mimi leans in for a closer listen and this kid has mesmerized the panel, especially her. Such emotion and a classic, beautiful voice from such a kooky kid. Love it.

“Do you think you went through puberty already?” Nicki asks playfully. Keith, compares him to David Bowie. Nicki is already over Mariah, who I have to add, looks amazing this episode. I like that Nicki likes to keep things moving and moves it to a vote. Yes.

Maddie is another one of those nominated to be on American Idol by her grandmother. Randy surprises her while she’s singing on the street. I love her Sally Jesse Raphael glasses. All these nominated kiddos are super cute. Grandma is getting ready to flash Ryan Seacrest for some beads and literally tells him her plan to kidnap him. Grandma gets a yes from me.

Keith compliments Maddie on her unique style and she gets all yeses.

Now some terrible singers. “I Want to Do Bad Things To You” plays over a “True Bad” montage. One lady has such a short skirt — I think I saw her panties. Someone even screams. Whatever they’re paying these judges, it isn’t enough.

Paul Jolley is clearly going to Hollywood. He just lost his grandfather and is wearing the shit out of some white pants. He performs Rascal Flatts‘ “I won’t Let Go.” He has dreamy eyes, so I say yes —as do all the judges.

Speaking of which, the judges are practically asleep when Chris Barthel shows up. He has an unnamed alter ego, so Nicki dubs him “Mushroom,” later shortened to just “Shroom.” And by later, I mean two seconds later. After some crazy fast-paced banter, he announces he’s going to sing Adam Lambert‘s “If I Had You.” He opens his mouth and it’s immediately a trainwreck. If this were a hair-flip competition, he would be going to Hollywood. Alas, it isn’t.

Keith makes a bad pun, calling him a “fun guy” and I want to marry him. Chris gets an “entertaining” and “festive” from Mariah, which is truly the highest compliment she can pay a bad singer. Nicki offers to touch his hair, which I think is quite generous. But the biggest shock comes when we meet his girlfriend waiting for him. Hmm. Alter ego, indeed.

Dr. Calvin Peters looks 15 years old. He works at the Veterans Hospital and has the most perfect teeth. He is handsome and sweating up a storm. A barge passes behind Mariah as he introduces himself. This observation is not relevant, but I thought it was funny. His audition choice is “Wherever, Whenever, Whatever” by Maxwell. He busts out a falsetto and Mariah loves the singing doctor. Nicki’s eyelashes are hypnotizing me. All say yes.

Montage of soulful ladies start to all blend together for me. I don’t know how these judges do it. No wonder they’re at each other’s throats. I’m getting into arguments trying to write this recap.

Bad singers. I love the particularly awful version of “Natural Woman.” The singer clomps off sadly in response to her rejection.

Cue the GIANT firefighter. I’m guessing he’s going to be a rock guy. I think we’ve only had one so far. Here comes the obligatory, “Do you have a girlfriend?” from Nicki. I am wrong and he sings Garth Brooks. He gets a yes.

I want Keith Urban to judge me. Even his rejections are like playful slaps from a tiny newborn baby.

Nineteen-year-old Burnell Taylor is going to be good. He survived Katrina and beautiful gospel music plays in the background while he tells his story. He has slight Cajun accent, which I love. He picks a song from The Color Purple. He sounds like John Legend and the judges are giddy. Mariah is literally praying to him. They stand up to applause, all except Nicki who remains on her throne.

Mariah is about to sob. Nicki says, “I feel like we’ve been flying around the country for that.” Literally. I now see that she is actually dressed like an airline pilot.

When I realize tonight’s episode is only one hour, I rise up triumphantly to the sound of Jennifer Hudson‘s voice. This is truly the happiest ending of all as I run out of the room, screaming like a contestant with a golden ticket.

My husband, Keith, accidentally calls Nicki “Mariah” and the ladies show that although they aren’t threatening to cut each other, it’s still not all sunshine and puppies.

Next week is San Antonio and Long Beach. We get some gun-slinging, a guy who looks like Randy and a giant boat. Does the ship crash? Is Nicki at the wheel? We’ll just have to wait to find out.