American Idol recap: Motor City Madness

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., in Detroit during season...

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., in Detroit during season 13. (AmericanIdol.com)

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:17 PM ET

Would the Detroit auditions for American Idol prove to be Motor City Madness or Motown music to the judge’s ears on Wednesday night?

Turns out, thankfully, more of the latter than the former as the reality TV show’s trio of judges - Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., - touched down in the recently bankrupted city during week two of season 13.

Broke financially, maybe, but rich with talent for the most part.

The show saved the best for last with 17-year-old Marrialle, whose late father built her a studio at home and taught her how to play numerous instruments.

She chose to play acoustic guitar and sing Bruno Mars’ Grenade and blew all three judges away.

“You are going to be a nightmare for the other guys in this competition,” said Connick, usually the toughest judge, now nicknamed Hatchet Harry.

The rest of the best proved to be a wide-ranging group like Keri Lynn who kicked off the two-hour show singing both Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive and Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind.

“A bit of artistry - what a concept,” said Urban.

Malaya, a 16-year-old marching band tuba player, reminded Lopez of “Michael Jackson when he was little,” while clean cut 29-year-old Brian recalled Superman for Connick.

“Bring the cape to Hollywood,” quipped Connick as both Brian and Malaya got through.

The most controversial choice to get a gold ticket proved to be former beauty pageant contestant Khristian, who had an Italian accent that came and went, and an inconsistent performance too.

“There’s a real way to connect, and a fake way to connect, and you need to figure out what that is,” said Connick.

Urban was actually pissed at her for getting upset during Lopez’s assessment that she was "complicated."

“I get really irritated when people don’t listen. ... That’s what pisses me off. It’s about growing and learning and working. And if you’re not prepared to do that then come back next year.”

Canada got a shout out too - other than the playing of Serena Ryder's Stompa during one segment - via half-Italian, half-French Canadian Jena, who did Adele’s Rolling in The Deep her way despite an odd habit of shutting off notes with her tongue.

And the muscially schizophrenic award went to Melanie who did both Peggy Lee’s signature tune Fever, and Bon Jovi’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, “I can hear you recording records,” said Lopez afterwards. “And I don’t think I’ve said that to anybody this year.”

Jade, proved to be “absolutely adorable,” according to Connick after her interpretation of Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good.

But the sentimental favourite had to be 26-year-old father of four Maurice who sang the heck out of John Legend’s So High.

“He should have recorded that song,” said Connick.

“I just sat back and enjoyed the show, and that never happens,” said Urban.

Among the returnees from previous seasons was David, who expertly delivered Alex Claire’s Too Close, after getting sent home in season 12 during the Hollwood round.

“He’s definitely born to play and sing. I just don’t think he’s going to win,” said Connick afterwards.

“You never know,” said Lopez.

“You’re right, and that’s what makes it exciting,” said Connick.

And Urban had his own friendly stalker in the form of Ethan, who had drawn a picture of Urban on the back of his guitar and had him sign it, before singing Urban’s You’ll Think of Me.

“I feel like I’m talking to the TV,” said the 20-year-old Ethan - somewhat worrisome - at one point.

There was also the battle of the male pompadours via Eric, who sang John Mayer’s Perfectly Lonely and art school student Ryan, who made Sarah McLachlan’s Angel his own.

“I want you to know that you are personally responsible for that hole in the ozone,” said Connick of Ryan’s hair spray use.

The judges head to Atlanta on Thursday night.

 


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