American Idol
Season 12, Auditions #2

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Urban War Zone

After a montage of Mariah fans, we zero in on one named Ieisha Cotton who claims to be a professional dancer. Which is how she begins her audition, by dancing poorly where most contestants are usually singing poorly. Ieisha offers to sing "Thank You" by Ashanti, and wow, now that I'm hearing her sing, I realize that she's not that bad a dancer after all. Compared to her singing she's dancing genius. Mariah tells her to stick with the dancing, Randy diagnoses her with tone-deafness, and Mariah somehow trips herself up into saying yes before correcting her answer to no, which wasn't really necessary because everyone else said no anyway as we all knew they would.

Pretty boy Johnny Keyser from last year is back, but the loosey-goosey version of "Try a Little Tenderness" he treats us to would seem to indicate that he's not exactly been spending the past year practicing non-stop. Or sleeping, going by the close-ups of him. Keith and Randy both give him some positive feedback before Mariah and Nicki start talking over each other over which of them gets to judge first. Mariah also likes him, Nicki likes him enough to dub him Johnny Five, which is coincidentally the nickname of one of my current bandmates (and no, I'm not going to tell you what mine is because a) it's embarrassing, and b) you wouldn't believe me anyway). Nicki polls the judges, and Johnny's got four yeses. So we'll get to see him quietly vanish from the Hollywood round again, looks like.

A very serious, severe woman is worried about ending up in the bloopers reel in such a way as to embarrass her mother or family. I guess she's cool with being a blooper as long as no one else is embarrassed by her. Apparently satisfied with the answer, "Kezban" participates in a mini-bio about how she's a fire performer and balloon animal artist (like last year's Colton Dixon, but with fire!) who doesn't actually expect or want to win. All she wants is to go to Hollywood. She goes into the audition with a guitar over her shoulder and crime scene tape wrapped around the toe of her boots, and sings a jazzy version of "Got No Strings" from Pinocchio before they ask her to switch to the guitar, on which she accompanies herself on an original song that's still in the same key. They like it enough to not only let her finish the song, but also to send her through with unanimous, simultaneous yeses. So she's already reached her goal! Kezban achieves the dream! See what happens when you aim low? She gives Ryan a deadpan interview outside the audition, and asks if she can fill out the paperwork some other day. Then they have a whole awkward thing in which Ryan can clearly not wait to get rid of her, and indeed may for the first time start lobbying for a vote of his own on who gets to go to Hollywood.

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American Idol

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