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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 12, Jan. 23 – The Big Fight That Wasn’t

During a montage of bad auditions, Nicki tells one guy that he's not good for the singing portion of the show, but good for everything else. What portion would that be, sitting in the audience?

Rodney Barber, 27, singer/bouncer, Charlotte, NC, is representing Charlotte. He says he's known as the voice of Charlotte. He's been singing downtown, singing in the street, and calls it his stage. He likes helping people. He was homeless four years ago and stayed on the streets for awhile. It was one of the toughest moments of his life, but it made him stronger.

Rodney sings I'll Be and shows he has something for them to work with. He has a nice voice, and with some training could be really good. Mariah thought he was fantastic and also had an experience with him because of what's he's been through. Keith makes note of Rodney's big voice, “crazy big.” Nicki really likes him and is inspired by his story, finding something captivating about him. Randy is inspired by hime, loves his story, and thinks he can ben an inspiration to others to keep life moving. There's no question in this vote.

Keith takes off early to go hold wife Nicole Kidman's hand at a film festival. You know you're important when your husband leaves American Idol auditions to hold your hand.

Ryan Seacrest catches up with Candice Glover, 22, an administrative assistant, St. Helena Island, SC, last seen in Las Vegas last season. She's been working hard to come back and impress everyone. She cried a bit after being cut then, but she wants it now and thinks she's grown a lot. Now she's Candice and knows what she wants to be. She tells the judges people have been telling her lately that she sounds like Joshua Ledet from last season.

Candice sings Syrup and Honey and sounds like syrup and honey as well. Very smooth. She gets a standing ovation from Randy and Mariah, and the former tells her it's the best audition he's heard so far this season. Nicki asks where she's been, and Mariah just wants to listen to her the rest of the day. Nicki is obsessed with her and wants to skin her and wear her. She is what people in America watch the show to hear. She's not even worthy to critique her. Mariah doesn't have any words for it, but says it was the absolute best singing they have heard so far. If she doesn't go far, they figure something's wrong. Randy says “that right there is what it's all about.” The three send her on to Hollywood.

De'Bria Barber, 16, Clover, SC, likes to hunt and fish, mostly frog gigging. That's catching big bullfrogs. They bring 'em home and cook 'em up. She swears they taste like chicken. Nicki can't figure out why they just chop off the legs and throw the body away. She makes some comparison to disabled frogs. Mariah urges De'Bria to try the body to see if it's tasty. Nicki nicknames her Frog Killer.

De'Bria sings the Bonnie Raitt version of Pride and Joy, and for a smaller girl/frog killer, she has a huge booming voice. Mariah likes the song choice, a favorite of hers, and really likes her voice. She's giving her a pass on the frog thing. Randy thinks she has a little spunk and some crazy swagger. He likes that she's not scared and has some conviction going on. Nicki hears a strong voice and sees a big slice of cutie pie. It's obviously three voices.

Brad Harris, 28, a supermarket employee, Maiden, NC, did not have a wrestling team in his high school, so they just started performing and making videos. He tells another auditoner the P.E. teacher used to get mad at him for breaking steel chairs with his head. He feels this is where he's supposed to be. He tells the judges he used to rap under the name of Bakon. This makees Nicki launch into a story about making turkey bacon really, really crispy. If Brad were bacon, he'd be really crisp.

Brad sings A Whole New World and at times seems good, but at other times seems not so much. Nicki asks if he's practicing his breathing when he does that. Mariah stammers around and passes it off to Randy who tells him it wasn't good. Mariah adds in that it's not Brad's thing. They vote a collective no and Brad asks for a handshake or something. Randy shakes his head no. That's kind of rude.

Seretha Guinn, 26, Charlotte, is a hairstylist and mother. She calls herself, her three-year-old daughter, and her boyfriend a beautiful family. Last May her boyfriend was in a serious accident that nearly cost him his life. He was unresponsive for two days. He broke both hands, lost a finger and has metal rods and plates in his hands, with eight surgeries so far, and two more to go. She doesn't see it getting any worse for her now, only better. His boyfriend doesn't even know she's there, as she only wants to give him good news.

Seretha brings her daughter into the audition with her. The judges are captivated by the little girl. Seretha explains her daughter loves Nicki and calls her “Dun Dun.” Mariah makes the connection that finally someone else gave Nicki a nickname. Seretha says London and Nicki are best friends, but Nicki just doesn't know it yet. Nicki asks London if they're best friends, and she nods. She promises to get their picture taken together before they leave. The stuffed bear she's holding is for Nicki. It is also called Dun Dun. Seretha tells her story about her boyfriend, saying it encouraged her to go after her dreams.

It's a first for sure. Seretha announces she's singing Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and it gets somewhat of an eye roll from Nicki. But it makes sense since the lyrics are about going from Charlotte to California. And she's good on top of it. She also sings How Do I Live and that's her moneymaker. Nicki looks like she has tears in her eyes and says it's incredible, She's proud of her to have a baby and her borfriend in a horrible accident, yet Seretha is a superstar. Randy was blown away too and heard a Whitney thing. He loves that she's taking the time to follow her dreams. Mariah heard a beautiful voice and liked the first song better as it sounded more like her. They all love the baby too. She's going to Hollywood. London gets her picture of her and Dun Dun.

What a good night here in Charlotte. They always find a lot of talent in the south, and this year is no less so. It should be more of the same tomorrow night when they're in New Orleans.The big thing between the judges ended up to be no big deal, and I hate even thinking this, but I'm starting to get used to Mariah and Nicki. They don't bug me as much as I though they would. It seems they're settling in to their new roles.

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