Thursday night, American Idol auditions rolled into Texas, the state that gave us our first Idol champ, Kelly ClarksonIdol has always had good luck in the Lone Star State, so producers figured they could wrangle up some more talent there this year.  And, last night, they snagged a rifle-packin', 4-wheeler-ridin' gal who reminded me very much of Miranda Lambert.  And they found Ramiro Garcia, a medical miracle who defies every odd imaginable to be able to lift his voice up in song.  As usual, our Idol expert, Steve Thompson, shared his thoughts about the episode and the contenders.

 From Steve Thompson:

  • How in the heck do you go about getting an astronaut aboard the International Space Station... Wait a minute!  Phong Vu?  Seriously?  An eccentric rendering of Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton and he seems somewhat-- otherworldly.  That's it!  A. I-- Phong home!
  • Two singers (or so they claim) are hurried through, proving that even the horrendous get the short end of the stick.  Cameron Dobbins and  Lamounte Hall, we hardly knew you-- and for that, the thanks of a greatful nation to the producers.
  • Skyler Laine sang Hell on Heels by The Pistol Annies.  I wasn't too sure what to make of the backstory that tried to paint her as the second coming of Miranda Lambert, but by golly the girl did a nice job with this song.  Good to see we might yet see some talent in these audition stages.


  • Baylie Brown sang Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi.  Frankly, I didn't really recall her from season six, but a clip from youtube refreshed my memory.  That's right.  No song goes unturned in the pursuit of the truth...  Six years ago, Baylie sang a song by Faith Hill.  Good, but not great.  Now, after a few years of seasoning, suddenly she sings like a real contender.  Even Bon Jovi should've liked this version.
  • I don't know what to make of the judges spat, but Rachael Turner, Reagan Wilson and Cheyenne James were all told they should come back another year.  If Linda Williams is any indication, maybe J Lo had a point.  Frankly, I think that might have been The Powers that Be telling them they were giving out too many tickets to Hollywood.
  •  Alejandro Cazares says he wants a revolution.  As it stands, I think we all want to change his head.  He tries to sing Looking Up by Paramore and somewhere Hayley Williams wept.  He idolizes Steven which prompts the Tylerism of the night: "I wrote Dream On back when the Dead Sea was just sick."
  • Speaking of Tylerisms, this may have been why he cracked about everyone trying to sing Adele.  Kristine Osario (video below) sang an Adele song and received a golden ticket.  Cortez Shaw (video below) shocked everyone by giving his own spin on Someone Like You and he received a golden ticket.  On the other hand, Julie Shaman (we'll spare you the video) was the wrong person to attempt Rolling in the Deep.
  • Our final participant of the evening was Ramiro Garcia, who is the worship leader at his church.  Ramiro was born without ears and his parents were told he would never be able to talk-- ket alone sing-- in his lifetime.  Who better to sing Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)?
  • 54 tickets were handed out in the Texas auditions.  Skyler Laine and Baylie Brown looked very promising.  Tune in again next week and we'll see Portland.

@January 26, 2012  Stephen W Thompson