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IDOL WATCH: The Nashville Auditions

Week two of American Idol auditions has come to a close, and in tonight's episode Randy, JLo, and Mr. Tyler left Wisconsin and headed for the country music capital of the world- Nashville. In this second trip to Music City in the past ten seasons, the judges set up headquarters at the iconic Ryman Auditorium of Grand Ole Opry fame and were soon met by 17,000 Idol hopefuls. But would any of the 17,000 prove as promising as Nashville native and country music superstar Carrie Underwood? Hmmmm, maybe a few.

Auditionee Darius Thomas started out the one-hour episode with a bang when he sang a super-shrill yet Steven Tyler-esque high note. He was soon followed up by Christine McCaffery who impressed the judges with her sing-songy speaking voice, but not so much with her rendition of Lee Ann Womak's 'I Hope You Dance.' Needless to say, neither Thomas nor McCaffery will be taking a trip to Hollywood anytime soon.

Definitely worthy of shout out were 23 year old exes Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks, who are still living together, but are no longer an item. When the duo busted out really tight harmonies, they immediately impressed the judges. Separately, Bolin's smoky, Taylor Hicks reminiscent vocals and Oak's perfect tone both earned them golden tickets.

Next up was the 2009 Miss Teen USA winner, Stormi Henley. Yes, Stormi with an 'i'. Henley's tiny but pretty voice pulled off 'Father Can You Here Me,' and Henley earned enough votes to move on to the next round.

The token Idol sob story of the evening went to Matt Dillard, whose family has adopted 700 children in the past 23 years. Now, what is the last thing on earth that you would ever expect a country boy decked out in a cowboy hat and overalls to sing? How about Josh Groban?! Dillard quickly won the judges' favor when he broke into a subtle and unexpectedly touching version of 'You Raise Me Up.'

One of my favorite performances of the night came from Kentucky native Adrienne Beasley.  The 22 year old belted out a powerful and very pure sounding 'American Honey' made famous by Lady Antebellum.

Tennessee's final auditionee was Lauren Alaina, who a shared story about her cancer-stricken cousin who inspired her to sing.  With a twang like Carrie Underwood and riffs like Kelly Clarkson, this girl is on the fast track to Idol stardom. The judges invited her family onto the stage and Steven Tyler joined in with Alaina as she belted out Aerosmith's 'Don't Want to Miss a Thing.' How touching. Watch out for this one!

Overall Nashville definitely brought the talent, but I wish we could have seen more of it. Can't we please lay off of the creepers in body socks and evening gowns and spend just a few more minutes of Idol time on people with actual talent? I'm so ready for the real competition to start!

Don't forget to check in with BroadwayWorld's IDOL WATCH next Wednesday, when the auditions get big in Austin, Texas.  American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on Fox.

Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive produced by Simon Fuller, Founder, 19 Entertainment , a division of CKX, Inc.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, President, Big Red 2 Entertainment.

Among the many American Idol finalists and winners to appeared on the Broadway stage are Fantasia, Justin Guarini, Jordin Sparks, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.

Visit for exclusive videos, interviews and photos, as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.


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From This Author Nicole Rosky