American Idol Recap: Nashville Stars?

As for Paul’s fellow Hollywood-bound compadres, I found Jimmie Allen (as well as his hot-pink tee and black cap) a little too Glee for his own good, and didn’t really get enough of a listen to Danny Pate’s “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (with heavy accompaniment by the judges) to make an informed opinion.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure why Cecile Frot-Coutaz & Co. don’t barrel through a lot more performances like this during every audition episode. At 30 seconds max per vocalist, I’m guessing they could pack in a dozen or so fresh auditions in the time it takes them to drag out a sad/desperate/”joke-y” audition like the tattoo artist who sang “Simple Man” or the dental assistant whose yodel/ullullation sounded like something you’d possibly hear fleeing the jungle in 1987’s Predator. Just a thought!

While I’m on the subject of things Idol could do to liven up the next couple weeks’ worth of shows, how about showing us more instances where a split decision on the judges’ panel leads to a “Sorry, dawg, it’s not gonna happen for me, for you”? instead of a Golden Ticket fakeout? Surely — surely — the vetting process for Hollywood Week is more rigorous than “you sounded vaguely okay — and now you’ll be rewarded with a trip to the west coast and two nights’ hotel fare!” Otherwise, those holding rooms are gonna resemble a Tokyo subway train at rush hour.

Tonight we saw two instances of a righteous “no” vote from J.Lo getting overturned by major softies Randy and Steven Simon — for former Miss Teen USA/Trump minion Stormi Henley and big-hearted foster brother Matt Dillard. “That may be the smallest voice we’ve heard in five cities,” J.Lo huffed about Stormi’s cover of “Father Can You Hear Me” (clearly not having allowed anyone to hear the sound of her practicing the much maligned “Louboutins“). What a nice teaching moment it would’ve been for young girls and boys to see Stormi’s wisp of a voice get packed in the trunk along with her sequined gown and sash, but that’ll have to wait for Hollywood, I suppose. The longer the delusion, the harder they fall, as they saying goes.

I also agreed with Jennifer that overall-clad Matt Dillard, 27, needed a better audition than his somehwat tremulous “You Raise Me Up” to advance to the next round, but I’m kind of eager to see if he makes good on his offer to  “pretty up if you wanted me to.” And anyway, if we’re going to reward Stormi for having killer curves and a beaming smile, I suppose it’s only fair to give a free pass to the guy who’s been foster brother to more than 700 kids, right?

What did you think of tonight’s audition show? Not as strong as Milwaukee’s finest last night, right? Did your heart break a little when Ryan hugged the sobbing pharmacy tech kid? Sound off below! And if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw tonight on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the next episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to idoloonies@tvline.com (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or video chat (to tape on Friday afternoons). We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

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