'Idol' recap: Altitude adjustment in Salt Lake City

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. (Handout)

American Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. (Handout)

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

Who knew a woman wearing a fanny pack and singing Movin’ On Up, The Jeffersons’ theme song, would get through to Hollywood on week three of American Idol?

Well, 25-year-old Samantha did just that.

“I applaud originality,” said judge Keith Urban, who travelled to Salt Lake City this week with fellow jurors Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr.

Yes, the air up there is thin but it’s also full of some quirky talent like 18-year-old lumberjack Kylee, and funeral home worker Tiquila who both made it through.

“The fact that you swing an axe for a living is extremely intimidating,” said Connick to Kylee.

There was some notable duds too like runway-model-busboy Lane who sang Bruno Mars’ if I was Your Man at the top of his lungs and opera singer Kimberly who destroyed - and not in a good way - Heart’s Barracuda.

“I think I lost a filling,” said Urban after Kimberly left.

Generational stories played out too like 15-year-old Briston whose great grandfather was a Nashville recording artist and 24-year-old Carmen, whose dad is Sugar Hill Gang’s Wonder Mike.

“I remember the first time I heard that song, it changed my life,” said JLo. “Can I meet your dad?”

Then there was the Cher impersonator who was given a second chance.

Initially, 25-year-old Paisley Van Patten got through to Hollywood after a “subdued and pretty” version of Faith Hill’s When the Lights Go Down.

Turns out, alcoholism derailed her first recording contract at age 15.

“I’m sober and I’m still chasing my dream, that’s huge,” she said to fellow recoverer Urban.

“I can relate,” he answered.

“Raw’s a good place to be for an artist, it’s where the truth comes out,” said Urban.

She was also recently supposed to get married.

“I was engaged but he was not supportive of this American Idol thing just ‘cause of everything we’d been through. He said, ‘You do this and we’re done.’ I have to do this, it’s in me.”

But Paisley's story got a comical boost when she belted out a bit of Cher’s Believe in the end after Connick insisted.

“That’s good television,” he said.

Certainly, in week three the Idol judges now seem to have established roles: Connick is the hatchetman, JLo the yes woman and Urban often the deciding vote.

 


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