Atlanta > Boston — at least when it comes to American Idol season 9 audition shows. Tonight’s 90-minute episode — where guest judge Mary J. Blige switched between uncontrollable laughter and succinct gruffness; “I don’t get it” she muttered at a girl dressed like a guitar — highlighted three or four legitimately talented prospects, without relying on an excess of hokey, overblown backstories. (Huzzah!) [West Coasters: Spoilers lie ahead.] While I go work on my full TV Watch recap (it’ll post first thing tomorrow morning at EW.com, so do check back!), you might want to check out some past works by a few of tonight’s better vocalists (act now while supplies last; you never know when the Idol powers-that-be will scrub ’em from the Internet). Share your thoughts about tonight’s show in the comments below, check out my recap of last night’s Boston auditions, and to get all my Idol news and updates, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak. Now let’s take a look at some of the folks who are headed to Hollywood:
Onetime pageant contender Keia Johnson covered Erykah Badu’s “On and On” during a 2007 concert (embedded below). I wish she’d auditioned with this instead of a played-out Celine Dion track.
Charming “church boy” Jermaine Sellers, a caregiver for his ailing mom who impressed with a reinvention of Joan Osborne’s “One of Us,” performed “Keep Your Head to the Sky” on a BET show (embedded below).
Striking country songbird Mallorie Haley has a MySpace page. “Pretty Smile” ain’t half bad!
And “Guitar Girl” Holly Hardin — she’s on MySpace, where she mention being an America’s Got Talent vet — apparently fronted The Dry County Band on a track called “Wring Your Longneck.”