American Idol
Auditions #4

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 1 USERS: B+
Calling Baton Rouge

At 4:00 PM, Dr. Calvin Peters show up to give us a little tour of his third-year residency at the veterans' hospital. Apparently he's known as "the singing doctor" at work and he's clueless enough to think that's a good thing. But his rendition of a Maxwell song wins over the judges, so he seems destined to instead become a singer who is a doctor. And if this season's Boot Camp is anything like last season's Boot Camp, they're going to need him there.

Michelle Montezeri, Breanna Steer and Brandy Hotard sound good and look better, so they're all through to Hollywood in one of those three-singer boluses that the editors push out once in a while. You'll hear no complaints from me over keeping things moving.

Apparently there's a sudden heat wave in the audition room, which Ryan would have us believe is responsible for the piss-poor auditions of the likes of Alissa Griffin. Fortunately, a literal fireman named Dustin Watts is the next to audition, complete with a little clip package of him gearing up to the strains of the theme from Rescue Me on the soundtrack. He's a bit of a meatball, but Nicki immediately starts flirting with him. Then he sings a Garth Books song ("She's Every Woman") in full Garth Brooks-style. He gets yeses across the board and goes right to the fire station to break the news. Everyone there is really supportive, until he hops in the ambulance and rides it out of the firehouse, sirens screaming, to what I'm totally sure is an actual emergency and not a photo-op.

The last auditioner in Baton Rouge is Burnell Taylor from New Orleans, who tells us that he learned to sing after Katrina, which destroyed his family's home and forced them to move to Baton Rouge. Burnell tells the judges that he comes from a musical family, starting with his bandleader grandfather (not that Burnell plays anything... yet). He's singing "I'm Here" from The Color Purple and blows them away, causing Keith to make one of his best listening-faces yet as he gets lost in the performance. When he's done, Randy, Keith and Mariah all give him a standing ovation. Mariah says he made her cry, Nicki says this is what they came for and calls it entertainment rather than an audition. Randy is amazed and Keith says there's a spotlight waiting for him to walk into it. Burnell is going to Hollywood, but not without Keith advising him to "please dress for the occasion." Good advice. By the way, how many buttons you got done up there, Keith Urban? Ryan wraps it up for the night, saying there were 34 other folks from Baton Rouge who will proceed to Hollywood. There's a montage of winners we'll never see again and Randy, of course, is happy to take credit for his hometown. And the last moment is Keith accidentally calling Nicki by Mariah's name and backing away from his mistake as though from a pair of bombs. As he should. And that's it for tonight -- only one hour, because of Glee. So tonight, I'm a Glee fan.

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American Idol




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