Since we're in Atlanta, the show needs to give a shout-out to Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who first auditioned in Savannah and threw a concert in Atlanta just a couple of nights ago. In the audience was one Sam Birchfield, who shows up at his audition this year dressed exactly like Phil, complete with guitar. Like Phil, he's also got an offbeat song selection for his audition, namely "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book. Jennifer thought it was pretty original, and Keith liked his singing and his guitar playing. Harry was distracted by some vocal impediment and votes no. Since Jennifer has already said yes, it's up to Keith, and he sends Sam on through. Harry doesn't think he'll last long. Not if Harry has anything to say about it, which of course he will.
Jessica Meuse is a singer-songwriter-performer from Slapout, Alabama. I'm ether going to be a successful musician or a broke one," she tells us. Harry is of course completely distracted by the name "Slapout," which apparently comes from an old shop owner who used to say he was "slap out" of things. Eventually they let her sing, and she starts strumming away on a song she wrote herself, and we can tell. Her voice is a little shrill and grating, and she could stand to learn a fourth chord, but the judges seem to like her. Harry says she seems pretty low-maintenance, with no need of an entourage. Keith says she has this thing that solo performers do where they have to be the whole show, and anyway the point is that they all say yes. She's slap off to Hollywood, but I think it's a matter of time until she's slap out of the competition.
Twitter gets to guess on a guy named Jared Cotton, a classic oversinger who gets shitcanned… as Twitter failed to guess. Twitter is really bad at this.
Let's keep things moving along. Idol runs another one of those newly compact (and thus much better) "look at these weirdoes" sequences. This one features Travis Hunter Brown, 26, doing an unrecognizably tuneless version of "Valerie" while playing a tinny little backpack guitar; some nerd; and a clown in an American Flag outfit who Harry says wasn't singing at all. This segues into 19-year-old Lauren Ogburn, who thinks having an American flag bandanna around her head will make her seem edgy and dangerous and not some clean-cut country girl. Try a little harder, maybe, Lauren. She sings "Fancy" by Reba McEntire, and that vocal has more of the rough edges she was hoping to show, but not in a good way. Keith and Jennifer liked it, but she wants to hear from Harry. "Because I've heard you're kinda…" She's got Harry's attention with that. He thinks she's a little over accessorized, which she gets. They all give her a yes anyway, so it wasn't' even close. And then after acting all tough she basically swims out of there in a puddle of her own tears. Like an edgy person.