Montage of judges disagreeing, mostly with Randy or Nicki, while the poor hopefuls awaiting their fate are just tossed to and fro by their whims like Bilbo and the dwarves on the mountain giants. Ryan makes sure we understand that the judges are far from on the same page when in comes today's Unluckiest Person In Charlotte, Summer Cunningham from Warner Robins, Georgia. There's nothing particularly remarkable about her, although she sings "Lean on Me" well enough. Nicki was pleasantly surprised by her, but Keith is offended by Summer's use of the phrase "the country thing," comparing it to saying "the brain surgeon thing." Yes, Keith Urban, your job is as challenging and specialized as brain surgery. Speaking of which, is Keith Urban the only major artist whose name is a completely different musical genre from the one he works in? And no, Chris Rock doesn't count. If there's a country artist out there named Jim Bob Country, let me know.
Back in the audition room, Randy thinks she's got more of a country voice. Mariah remarks on Keith's reaction to her "country thing" comment and asks if that's what she grew up on. Summer, reading the room, says now that she loves country. Keith gives her a yes, as does Randy, and Mariah, although it appears to be on the condition that she does "the country thing." Nicki, who has been sitting there looking extravagantly annoyed this whole time, drones that she thought this was a "country music debate," and takes exception to Randy and Mariah picking on Summer. She accuses them of manipulating her into claiming to be a country lover, which they kind of did. They're all talking over each other and getting kind of personal when Keith earns himself a Nobel Peace Prize by abruptly telling Summer, "You're going to Hollywood!" and thereby dismissing her from the room. Girlfriend doesn't need to be told twice. Randy insists on having the last word, calling after Summer that he was just trying to help, what with his thirty years of experience and insight (and zero years of having anything interesting to say). Nicki takes this as a burn against her personally and storms away from the table, saying, "Maybe I should just get off the fucking panel." "Nicki's mad, she's walking out," Randy narrates. There's that thirty years of insight. Mariah's just mad that Nicki stole the move she was saving for herself.
Day two in Charlotte is kicked off with more of the same overdramatic stuff that started the episode, but Ryan and the auditioners and all four judges come back anyway. The first contestant of the day, Brandy Alexandria Hamilton (no, even with that name she's not a drag queen, unless she's a very convincing one) is understandably nervous under the circumstances. Nicki prompts her James Lipton-style to tell her backstory, which she obligingly does: she's an army reservist who got in trouble for singing. So, not a terribly long backstory. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, she sings "All I Can Do is Cry" by Etta James, the judges dig her and want to hear more, and she's going to Hollywood. On her way out, she says through tears, "Please don't fight, it makes us sad." Because the judges were talking over each other when she said this, Nigel Lythgoe has to translate this for them from off-camera, and the judges are duly chastened. And thus Brandy Alexandria Hamilton earns her place on American Idol version of the ten-dollar bill. But if a contestant shows up with any variation on the name Erin Burr, she's better steer clear.