American Idol 2013: Burnell Taylor, Charlie Askew and Dustin Watts Steal the Night in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the home of American Idol’s Randy Jackson and the judge couldn’t have been more proud at auditions. As Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson scout America for the next big star, the talent just gets better and better.
Megan kicked off Louisiana auditions with one of the more memorable performances of the night. Though she explained that she was on crutches because she was in an accident just days before. She put off surgery to chase her dreams, but did not let this be the focus of her audition. Megan chose “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” as her audition piece and blew the judges away. Her voice was sultry and had a jazz dirt to it. Few auditions have had quite the power and range as Megan. It doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful and confident as well. “Undeniable superstar. I want to commend you on coming in here. You didn’t make an excuse. You turned it into something. You used it. It didn’t use you,” Nick Minaj complimented her.
Charlie Askew just has the perfect name to fit his quirky personality. Growing up Charlie never developed great social skills because of a disorder, but he found that music helped him connect with people. Through music he developed a voice and an outlet for dealing with life. Tonight we saw as he channeled this into a touching and emotional performance of Queen’s “Breakthrough.” The judges loved what he can bring to the show. “First of all I can identify with you. I wasn’t shy, but I can identify with you for using music as an escapism. I think there’s an opportunity for you to shake up this competition,” Mariah Carey told him. Charlie got five yeses to go to Hollywood (two from Keith).
Randy Jackson invited Maddie to auditions after her grandmother nominated her through American Idol’s website. Maddie was shocked when she was given the number, but it was well deserving. The teen has a beautiful vintage style complete with a jazzy voice to go with her. She’s easily comparable to season 11’s Haley Reinhart. The judges loved her performance of “Oh Darling.” “You’ve got your own style,” Keith Urban commended her.
Paul auditioned for American Idol after learning that life is short. He recently lost his grandfather and did it in his honor. With a moving performance of “I Won’t Let Go,” the judges were in awe of his sparkle and star power. They even deemed him an “effortless” singer.
Dr. Calvin Peters
American Idol’s first singing doctor is Calvin Peters. Not only is he brave enough to sing in front of his patients, but he’s brave enough to tackle a Maxwell song as well. Dr. Calvin Peters showed the judges, and America, that he has the best range we’ve seen so far in the guys. His falsetto was incredible and clear. Nicki Minaj pointed out “I think you have a lot more technique that people we’ve already sent through to Hollywood.”
If one were to judge based on exterior, Dustin Watts is not your average American Idol contestant. He’s big, muscular and the all around man’s man. As a firefighter he finds his job extremely fulfilling, but he thinks he can offer the world more. When he sang Garth Brooks’ “She’s Every Woman,” the judges were shocked with his caliber of talent. He has the perfect country voice and charming good looks to match. “There’s something special about you,” Mariah Carey told him, while Nicki Minaj added, “You look like a country star.”
Tonight most people are talking about Burnell Taylor after tonight’s auditions. Burnell comes from a musical background and has the vocal ability that is usually crafted after years of experience. The judges were enthralled with his rendition of “I’m Gonna.” Mariah Carey even had tears in her eyes before everyone but Nicki Minaj gave him a standing ovation. “Burnell’s tone is ridiculous. I felt every single word you sang. Just spectacular,” Mariah said. “That is what we came for,” Nick added. Keith put in the last word and perhaps most touching, “Somewhere there’s a spotlight waiting for you to walk into.”