American Idol San Antonio-Long Beach auditions: Matheus Fernandes, Papa Peachez, Micah Johnson advance

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 30, 2013 

Two cities, two hours and one screamo rendition of "Set Fire to the Rain."

Yeah, Wednesday's episode of "American Idol" was eventful. The show featured auditions in San Antonio, Texas, and Long Beach, Calif. It included many successful contestants, some of whom you might actually want to follow in Hollywood.

Here are the top five singers who will likely dominate post-show conversations.

Matheus Fernandes auditioned in Long Beach and was the final singer of the night. He's really short, but doctors haven't been able to diagnose him with a specific condition. He got a four-way "yes" for Hollywood after singing "A Change Is Gonna Come." He moved to Los Angeles from Atlanta. Something that wasn't mentioned on Wednesday's episode: Matheus appeared on the first season of "The Glee Project." He placed eighth. Learn more here.

Micah Johnson is another Long Beach auditioner who advanced to Hollywood. He hails from Morrow, Ga. When he had his tonsils removed, the doctor hit some nerves, leaving Micah with a speech impediment. His speech impediment disappeared entirely during his very strong performance of "Chicken Fried." Check this out, it's awesome.

Papa Peachez auditioned in San Antonio. He described himself as more than a "cute little white boy." He said he's actually a big black woman trapped inside a cute little white boy's body. He performed an original song. Among the lyrics: "I may be gay, but that's OK." He narrowly advanced to Hollywood. Confused? Check out his YouTube channel.

Briana Oakley auditioned in Long Beach. She said she was severely bullied after being featured as one of the most talented kids on "The Maury Povich Show." She got a four-way "yes" for Hollywood after performing a nice, controlled version of "Up to the Mountain."

Adam Sanders auditioned in San Antonio and advanced to Hollywood. He didn't have an elaborate back story, but I think he was the biggest surprise of the night. Watch this and tell me if you agree.

Thursday's episode will feature auditions in Oklahoma City. Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show.

***

First city: San Antonio.

Vincent Powell is a 29-year-old returning contestant who's in love with Mariah Carey. He performs a good, soulful rendition of "Rock Me Baby." He deserves a chance. He says he didn't advance past Hollywood last year because Randy took a giant sip of Coke and made him nervous. Um, whatever. Either way, the judges love him. "It's clear that your voice is amazing," Nicki says. She wants him to make a gospel CD. "You obviously know what you're doing and you sing like an angel," Mariah says. He unanimously advances.

Next up, we have a duo: Derek and David Bacerott. Together, they perform a wacky rendition of Mario's "Let Me Love You." It's clearly a joke audition. "The whole thing was terrible," Randy says. He's right. This seems like a giant act. Let's move on.

Savannah Votion, 24, flaunts a super short crop top and a bare midriff. She has a 5-year-old daughter. She performs "At Last." It's nice, but I feel like I've already seen this audition 1 million times on "Idol." The judges are impressed. "I thought you were very strong," Mariah says. She gets a four-way "yes" for Hollywood.

Cristabel Clack, 29, is a worship leader who is married with three kids. She sings "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. It's OK at points, but it seems like she's straining her voice during much of the song. Honestly, I thought this would be better. The judges don't agree with me. "I know you, I get you, I love you," Mariah says. She unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Ann Difani, 23, is one of the people who got nominated to audition. Her husband nominated her and Randy Jackson surprised her at a University of Arkansas game. She delivers a pretty good rendition of Faith Hill's "Stronger." Keith thinks she has a "pretty tone." She unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Victoria Acosta, 20, got involved in singing when she joined an all-girl mariachi group. She performs Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry." It seems like she over-sings most of the song. Randy asks her to do her mariachi thing. The judges love it. She unanimously advances to Hollywood. I never thought I'd say this...but I want the judges to argue. Why is everybody agreeing tonight?

Papa Peachez says he's more than a "cute little white boy." He's actually a big black woman trapped inside a cute little white boy's body. He performs an original song. Among the lyrics: "I may be gay, but that's OK." It's not entirely awful...but I'm not sure "Idol" is the best vehicle for him. "It's very theatrical," Keith says. Meanwhile, Nicki loves him. Of course she does. Nicki says yes, Keith says no, Randy says no and Mariah gives a "small yes." Randy is the tiebreaker in this city. He changes his mind and advances Papa Peachez to Hollywood.

Sanni M'mairura is a choreographer who wants to be a role model in addition to a performer. His parents hail from Tanzania and Kenya. He performs a pretty good rendition of "Who's Loving You.'' He has potential, but he could use a little more practice. "You're fresh, man. I like it," Randy says. He unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Adam Sanders, 19, seems a little nerdy and gets somewhat flustered when he approaches the judges. They seem skeptical of his decision to sing Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind." But wow...his performance is intense. It's pretty awesome. He has some serious power in his voice. He unanimously advances to Hollywood and even Nicki is speechless.

Now, it's time for Long Beach auditions, which take place on the Queen Mary ship. Nicki and Mariah are late.

Shubha Vedula auditions for just Randy and Keith. She performs "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Christina Aguilera. I like it...and the guys agree. With two "yes" votes, she advances to Hollywood.

Mariah arrives, sporting some serious cleavage.

Brian Martinez claims he was singing in a bathroom and a producer encouraged him to audition for "Idol." He performs a disastrous version of "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins. He's unanimously rejected.

Matt Farmer, 26, has a 3-year-old daughter. He says he served overseas and was injured by an IED in Iraq. He was diagnosed with a brain injury. The medication was supposed to make him sterile, but he was able to have a daughter. He delivers a nice rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. I like this guy. He unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Stephanie Sanson has purple hair and wants to bring something different to "Idol." Well, she achieves that goal with this audition. She performs a screamo rendition of Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain." The performance involves displaying her middle fingers and possibly throwing around a few obscenities. She exits the judging room before getting her verdict for Hollywood.

Nicki arrives.

Jesaiah Baer performs a cool, jazzy rendition of Kimbra's "Settle Down." That is, until a fire alarm interrupts her audition. Everybody leaves the room...but don't worry, everything's OK. Jesaiah continues her audition. "You are really, really talented for 16," Randy says. Mariah adds, "I thought it was interesting." She unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Quick montage of bad singers. With ghosts!

Micah Johnson hails from Morrow, Ga. He recently had his tonsils removed. The doctor hit some nerves during the process and now Micah has a speech impediment. But his speech impediment entirely disappears when he performs a very strong rendition of "Chicken Fried." It's pretty awesome. He unanimously advances to Hollywood. Good job, judges.

Rachel Hale impresses the judges with a nice performance of "People Get Ready." She's pretty awesome. "I'm just enjoying you as an entity," Mariah says. She unanimously advances to Hollywood.

Briana Oakley, 16, was severely bullied after being featured as one of Maury's most talented kids. She had to change schools. She performs a nice, controlled take on "Up to the Mountain." The judges are impressed. "It all worked for me," Keith says. Randy adds, "This could be the start of something huge for you." She gets a four-way "yes" for Hollywood.

Matheus Fernandes, 21, is originally from Atlanta but moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. He's really short. Doctors haven't been able to diagnose him with a specific condition. He summarizes their diagnosis: "You're just, like, short." He's been bullied for being so short. He approaches the judges and asks if "Idol" has a height limit. (It doesn't.) I like his rendition of "A Change Is Gonna Come." Nicki says, "We're looking for a unique, special person and you fit that bill." Randy adds, "To me, you're 10 feet tall right now." He unanimously advances.

With that, we're done!

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