'American Idol': Atlanta not hot, but Mallorie Haley and Bryan Walker wow

american-idol-atlanta-320.jpgHotlanta? More like Notlanta on "American Idol" Wednesday (Jan. 13) night.

Did y'all see the junior high-age picture of Ryan Seacrest during the opening?!?! What a pudge muffin! I love it.

We kick it off with Dewone Robinson, who has some serious Motown roots. He sings an original song called "Lady, We're Not Together Anymore" and it's about as good as you'd expect a song called that to sound. The judges crack up over Dewone and we are treated to some more of his song on the Elevator of Sadness ride after his audition.

Keia Johnson, with her huge smile and curly hair, really brightens up the room. Mary J. comments that Keia won "Miss Congealiality" in a beauty contest. So she's the most Jello-like? Keia sings "My Heart Will Go On" and I much prefer her quiet singing to her big notes. She gets a little shouty for me. The judges think she can sing and she has a great personality, though Simon does say she can be a tad musical theater, but she's through all the way.

Good Montage. Mariam Lemnouni and Noel Reese show off their belting voices, while Tisha Holland gets soulful and is declared "best we've seen all day" by Kara. Well, then why didnt' we see her whole audition? Sheesh.

Now we have Jermaine Sellers, a boy who has been taking care of his mom, who has Spinal Bifida. He sings "What If God Was One of Us" and puts his own R&B twist on it, which is very cool. Kara goes bonkers over the version he did, Randy says best vocal they've seen yet (I wouldn't go that far), Mary J. loves his control and Simon just says, "Yes." Golden Ticket for Jermaine.

We now have Christy Marie Agronow, a perky little TV show host who sings "Love is a Battlefield." She not that good. There's talent in there but she picked a horrible song. Either way, it's just a way to get her face out there because she's on TV. Mary J. Blige looks like she wants to stab Christy with her pen. It's four nos for Christy.

Elevator of Sadness Montage. Mohawk, Cute Guy, Denise Richards, sad face, sad face, Lionel Ritchie from 1978, sad face, Kristen Stewart and her dance team entourage.

Vanessa Wolfe is the last audition of the day. She "jumps bridges," is from Tennessee and all of a sudden I'm hearing "It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy, dusty, delta day" in my head. Vanessa plays guitar and sings and feels trapped in her small town in Tennessee. Aw, I hope she makes it. She sings "Wagon Wheel" and while she sings a little through her nose, I like her voice. The judges like her authenticity and her country vibe, though Simon says she is very ill-prepared for this. Yes.

Vanessa is basically Kellie Pickler in need of a makeover. Her success gets Carrie Underwood's "So Small" as its theme music. Love you, Carrie!

After some excruciating "Idol" reenactments of Jesse Hamilton almost dying three times, he finally gets in front of the judges and totally chokes. Mary J. Blige loses her total s**t with laughter, it's hilarious. Jesse finally launches into "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and I have just one piece of advice -- try "America's Got Talent," you'll get $1 million and a Vegas show!

Holly Hardin the "human guitar" is next. She says people ask to "tune her guitar" and "string her." It's unclear as to whether she understands the double entendre. I take it back, Holly is this episode's Kellie Pickler. Vanessa's too smart to be Pickler. She sings "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" and a big, beautiful alto voice comes out of this little girl with a high-pitched voice. Wow.

Mallorie Haley sings "Piece of My Heart" and she sounds A LOT like Carrie Underwood. She's also the first audition of the night I REALLY like (hey, it's no secret I love Carrie). But Mallorie can really sing. Mary says, "She could go to Hollywood" and that that was the best vocal. Mallorie is through unanimously.

Now we have Skii Bo Ski, whose real name is Antonio Wheeler and he sings "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." It was miles better than I was expecting. I figured that for a trainwreck, so it's nice to be surprised. Simon's put off by the attitude and thinks the singing was awful but Kara agrees with me -- he's better than the disaster you expect him to be. Mary, Kara and Randy's yay votes are enough and he's through.

We now have two annoying BFFs named Lauren and Carmen. Lauren Sanders sings... something, it doesn't matter, it's terrible. Carmen Turner sings "Where Is Your Heart." She's pretty good. The judges go yes to Carmen, no to Lauren. Simon says, "They either want to go up together or down in flames together." I think he should've left out "in flames together." Zing!  So Carmen's going to Hollywood. Please someone grab a mop and take all that makeup off her first. Please. She looks like a hooker.

Bad Montage. Mary J. Blige gets the giggles again and one girl lacking MUCH self-awareness goes, "Should I stop?"

Bryan Walker, a small-town police officer, sings "Superstar" in the style of Ruben Studdard. Simon is weirdly absent. Anyway, Bryan has a nice voice and he's got the Michael Sarver-thing going on. The judges like him and he's through with three yesses.

Next up is a big Mary J. fan named Lamar who hurls his way through "Kiss From a Rose." It's terrifying. Why is this man screaming at me? He won't listen to the judges, he keeps bursting forth with "Kiss From a Rose" and then launches into "My Cherie Amore" and has to be escorted out by security while he shouts profanity. You stay classy, Lamar.

General Larry Platt ends Atlanta with a song called "Pants on the Ground" and that's about how I feel about how this night treated me. To his credit, Larry is freaking hysterical and sends everybody into huge laughs. Well done, Larry. 

However... thanks for the (mostly) wasted 90 minutes, "Idol."

Thoughts & Tidbits
  • Did you know Holly Hardin is a cast-off from "America's Got Talent?" Yep.
  • For the city that gave us Fantasia, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson (via auditions) and Ryan Seacrest (via birth), Atlanta was SO disappointing.
  • Vanessa Wolfe is intriguing, Mallorie Haley and Bryan Walker can really sing and Jermaine Sellers wasn't as good for me and as the judges thought he was.

Next week: Chicago!

What do you guys think?

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Photo credit: FOX