Ryan Seacrest billed it as one of the most serious moments in Idol history, ever. And he wasn’t wrong.
It began with 28-year-old Jarrod Norrell making the bold declaration that he was a “great singer” and ended in handcuffs.
After a truly horrendous performance of “Amazing Grace”, Norrell refused to accept a unanimous no from the judges.
“I’m tripping and losing it,” Norrell warned, after judge Kara DioGuardi described his sound as “like a lawnmower”.
Not deterred, he went on. And on. And on. Until security was forced to intervene and lay on a smack down!
It proved to be the most entertaining moment of Series 9 since “Pants on the Ground” and ensured Orlando will long be remembered.
Onto the serious stuff. After Chicago was a bust, could Orlando be a boom?
Well, 31 contestants claimed golden tickets, including a Beatles beat boxer, a man who split his pants and an over- confident sister double-act.
Other notables: Shelby Dressel, who was born with a condition that paralyzed part of her face, forgot the lyrics to Norah Jones’ “Turn Me On’ and swore midway through.
The panel, sans Simon, thought she had potential. She too made it to Hollywood.
Jermaine Purifory tested his chances at Idol for a second time and got a four-way ride to the next stage. Randy labeled it his favorite audition so far all season.
And the obligatory heartstrings were pulled by Seth Rollins, a 28-year-old married father of two.
One of his children is autistic, he revealed.
“I wanted to feel as if I could fix things, but you can’t fix things,” Seth told the show.
With that, he belted out “Someone to Watch Over Me”, winning the praise of Kristin and Kara. Simon and Randy thought it was good, but they weren’t convinced. Still, it was a full house to Hollywood.
Ensuring all themes were covered in this Idol episode, Matt Lawrence turned up seeking, err, redemption.
The 25-year-old revealed he had robbed a bank, at age 15, and spent four years inside.
Thus, his song choice was wise: “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne.
“Brilliant,” judged Simon. Kara and Randy agreed. Matt, too, was Hollywood bound after a promising show from Florida.