'American Idol' Charlotte Auditions: The Two Singers to Watch
'American Idol' Charlotte Auditions: The Two Singers to Watch
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Charlotte was home to the overhyped walkout of Nicki Minaj and the massive feud she had with Mariah Carey on American Idol. The end result proved to be slightly less dramatic than the show made us think it would be. I fully expected/wanted Mariah to yank Nicki's cotton candy wig off her damn head.

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Still, the fight was over country music, which is appropriate since that was the big theme of the episode. American Idol hasn't had nearly as many country winners as it probably should, but all of that could change this season.

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Despite my profound hatred for Nicki's "style over substance" approach to judging and her awful habit of speaking in a British accent and doling out dumb nicknames, I'm on her side. Idol often loves to force its singers into boxes and, in my opinion, that's what Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey were trying to do with Summer Cunningham. They wanted her to be a country girl and all Nicki was trying to do was stand up for a singer's right to be whoever they want to be.

I don't have high hopes for Summer's future, but there were some country singers who might just be the next American Idol.

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But before I get to my two to watch, the feud wasn't the only thing that got overhyped. Candice Glover returned, invoked the name of Joshua Ledet, and then we got some Ledet-sized hyping from the judges. Randy and Mariah gave her a standing ovation (and I really hope we're not in for an entire season of Candice standing Os), then Nicki basically said Candice needs to be in the finale. Sure, she was good, but was she THAT good? It kind of negates the purpose of the rest of the auditions if the judges have already decided that Candice deserves to be there at the end.

The Two to Watch:  Jimmy Smith and Janelle Arthur

Jimmy could be the next country guy to win a FOX competition (following Scotty McCreery and The X Factor's Tate Stevens). He has a nice look with cool hair and a twinkle in his eye and a great tone to his voice. His name may be simple, but that could work in his favor as it makes him sound like a real country star.

Janelle Arthur didn't get a big clip package about her life story (other than working as a young Dolly Parton when she was a child), she just showed up and sang. And boy did she sing. She's got the big, powerful voice and the country chops to go far in this competition and be the next Carrie Underwood.

Do you think a country singer will win American Idol season 12? Is Candice Glover really the one to beat? Are you Team Nicki, Team Mariah or Team Shut Up, Both of You and Your Stupid Fake British Accents?

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(Image and videos courtesy of FOX)