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American Idol

American Idol 2013 Recap: Oklahoma City Auditions – Steven Tyler In Drag and Gingers Have Soul!

Only an hour in length, tonight’s audition show from Oklahoma City was short and sweet (and actually quite spicy, but more on that later). Randy “The Dawg” Jackson may have lost a few friends tonight by calling Oklahoma City’s own Carrie Underwood out as the greatest Idol to date. When one considers we saw a puppet, Steven Tyler in drag, and possibly one woman’s underpants, this could go down as the strangest audition show in history.

Karl Skinner set the tone, declaring, “I’m gonna prove gingers have soul.” The quirky redhead was possibly the most fidgety contestant ever seen on Idol, but it needs to be said of his performance of “I Feel Good” by James Brown -- the guy can dance. The judges were a bit confused but amused, and Keith Urban asked him to perform something with his guitar. Nicki didn’t approve, saying that it restricted “the monster inside.” In the end, Randy thought he should be the show’s mascot but, more importantly, he earned that golden ticket to Hollywood.

To be filed under the super cute moment of the night, Nate Tao, whose parents are both deaf, came out in a shirt and tie, ready to wow the judges with his bubbly personality and adorable dimples. Taking on Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” the judges were impressed by his tone and range. Randy said he had an unassuming nature, joking that he looked like he was about to do his taxes, but here’s the bottom line -- he made it to Tinsel Town!

Halie Hilburn pulled a first in American Idol history and, after 12 seasons, that in and of itself is impressive -- she showed up with her puppet, Oscar. She’s been a ventriloquist since she was nine years old, and to call the whole shtick awkward is an understatement. From her initial handshake with Ryan Seacrest to incorporating Oscar into her audition, the whole thing was positively awful. Luckily for the newly-wed singer, the judges asked her to bid adieu to Oscar, and her surprisingly nice voice earned her that golden ticket. Poor Oscar.

If you know this reality show by now, you know to have a box of tissues nearby, and you needed one for 16-year-old Kayden Stephenson. To look at the beautiful boy, you would have no idea that he suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, which has a life expectancy of 35 years. But the boy’s demeanor and outlook on life shone from the second he was onscreen. Singing “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder, the judges were enamored of his voice and personality, with Mariah Carey even saying he was “like a baby Michael [Jackson].” He earned four tickets to Hollywood, and surely the hearts of viewers everywhere.

On to the moment of the night no one will likely ever forget -- Zoanette Johnson. She was named as part of our spoiler series as one of the Top 20 females, and it looks like we are in for quite a bit of excitement, to say the least. She promised herself she would sing the National Anthem if Obama won, but it had to have been one of the most interesting renditions ever heard. This was especially true when she “dropped it like it’s hot” at the end, giving the judges a “down below” shot they might not be able to wipe from their memories. The over-the-top singer will apparently show off more of her impressive vocals (and who knows what else), having secured that spot in the Top 20 girls.

After all the golden tickets the judges were doling out seemingly liberally, it’s only fitting we saw one true stinker -- Anastacia Freeman. Her rendition of “Unbreak My Heart” surely broke everyone’s heart, and possibly some eardrums. When Randy asked her who told her to audition, she said God told her to after Phillip Phillips won last year. Needless to say, the heavens did not open up to grant her way to Hollywood, and she ended by saying she thought Nicki Minaj worships the devil. Hmmmkay.

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the last hopeful of the night, Pepper Something-or-Other, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Joan Rivers. Alas, it was former judge Steven Tyler! Dude looked like a lady -- albeit perhaps a bit worn -- and gave the judges some levity after a night of some pretty heavy performances.

So, what did you think of the show in Oklahoma City? Let us know!

02.1.2013 / 08:54 AM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
Related: American Idol, American Idol Season 12

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