Charlie Askew sings next on "American Idol," doing Genesis' "Mama." Slow start, but hits the chorus and hurls the mike stand aside; suddenly he's all power and big voice. A very odd choice; doesn't quite hang together for me or mesh with his persona, but he's got a pure vocal and he definitely isn't mailing it in.
Keith Urban says "I wish I knew what people at home were saying right now," says he thought the faces of the audience "were varied." Concludes "it feels not quite genuine," and I agree. Nicki Minaj asks, "where's my little baby at Charlie? What happened? I feel like someone stole my kid." She doesn't like his bare arms, his earring, his anger, his vibe.
Randy Jackson says, "I'm worried for you. Honestly, the front part was terrible." Mariah Carey says, "I enjoy you a lot as a person."
Poor Askew looks like he's about to cry, just stands there listening to it all and taking it. He tells Ryan Seacrest afterwards, "I needed to vent a little bit." He's very emotional, tells Seacrest he's not happy all the time contrary to what some people believe, that he just feels like he needs to be. Seacrest tells him he's among friends and puts his arm around him; quite an extraordinarily non-staged few minutes. Seacrest was at his best -- just understanding Askew without judging him, while it turns out the judges maybe have no idea what he's really like.
Nick Boddington next, at the piano singing the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris." He's intimate, emotional and controlled; a bit cheesy and some oversinging, but easy to listen to. No goosebumps, but enjoyable.
Urban says, "what a perfect song for you," thought he was nervous but that he pushed through it. Minaj thought it was "pretty" and he was in his "comfort zone." Jackson calls it a "good, solid performance," while Carey thought he really nailed it at the end.