Antonio Wheeler, AKA “Skiiboski” became the sensation of episode two of the ninth season of American Idol — with notable mentions to “Guitar Girl” and the “Singing Cop” — as the television juggernaut rolled into Atlanta, the city which gave us Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson.
While “Skiiboski” didn’t win over soon-to-be-ex judge Simon Cowell, the over-the-top 26-year-old did claim the vital three other judging seats with a rendition of Marvin Gaye.
“You’ve got some good vocals, but I would lose the nonsense,” offered Randy Jackson, referring to his (misspelled) nickname sequined onto a shirt.
If that nicknamed one wasn’t bizarre enough, “Guitar Girl” most certainly was.
Holly Harden revived her Halloween costume and dressed as a giant guitar, but it was her voice which made the biggest impression, earning her a spot in Hollywood.
As did small town cop Bryan Walker, from Tennessee, who had an amazing voice that no-one saw coming. Including Simon, who stormed off set for a second successive time that day, before Bryan auditioned. Does Simon have one foot out of the door, already?
Jermaine Sellers pulled out the old trusty heart strings – and it worked.
The church-singing Jermaine revealed he’s been taking care of his mother, who has spina bifida, since age 17. Judged Randy: “This is the real deal right here.”
As always, the show that has unearthed so many unsung heroes discovered more unique talent.
Vanessa Wolfe, from the small hamlet of Vonore, Tennessee, strapped on a $4.50 dress and headed in for her moment of truth.
The audition didn’t go as well as it could have, thanks to nerves, but Simon saw something. ‘It is all about self belief,’ Simon said.
With that, Vanessa was given a ticket to Hollywood.
And it’ll be her first time on a "arrow plane". That’s aeroplane for those not from the deep south.
The musical (judging) chairs continued, with Mary J. Blige taking over from Victoria Beckham.
But Blige added little more than Mrs. Beckham, despite one uncontrollable and entertaining fit of laughter at Jesse Hamilton, a redneck who claimed to have almost died three times.
“They crucified me,” he bemoaned.
Jesse wasn’t the only train wreck. There was Christy Marie Agronow, Lauren Sanders and General Larry Platt, who sang his original song "Pants on the Ground!" and offered the splits, at age 62.
But no one was quite like Lamar Royal.
Words (and expletives) can’t do justice to his performance, so check out the video. He was loud. Not good. And angry.
So much so, beefy security was called in to stop him singing and get him off set.
“I wish Paula was here,” the fist-punching Lamar mumbled, as he departed episode two.
Twenty-five golden tickets were dished out to send hopefuls to Hollywood. Will any of these be the next Aiken or Hudson? Guess we will have to watch and see!