American Idol Proves We Are Not Out of Singers Yet

Teenager Sings Beyoncé, J-Lo Wants Everyone to Go Home

Jennifer Lopez was on The Daily Show last week. And when the conversation turned to American Idol, host Jon Stewart asked her a question. A really good question.

“When are we, as a nation, going to run out of people who can sing? Am I the only asshole in America that cannot carry a tune?” Stewart asked her.

And after about half of Wednesday night’s (Jan. 28) American Idol auditions, I was beginning to think Stewart was on to something, and maybe we’d finally run out.

Sure, there was crew-cut-blue-eyes-and-guitar guy. There was mama’s boy. And there was ukulele guy, Reno Anoa’i, who Keith Urban had to kind of scold.

He was actually just starting to pray — midcritique — and Urban basically told him to pay attention.

“I get it,” Urban told him. “But please don’t ever let your own desire stop you from hearing some things that can help you grow. It’s really important, man. Have faith.”

Ultimately, I had no faith. I thought the talent well had pretty much run dry.

Until Maddy Hudson.

The 16-year-old had the whole Taylor Swift back story: music is her life, middle school kids bullied her, her mom is her best friend and so on.

But when Hudson sang — she chose to tackle Beyoncé’s “Resentment” — there were just no words. Goosebumps, yes. But not a lot of words.

Finally, Urban spoke up.

“You know what I really love?” he said. “I love everything that’s on the outside, but I really love what it’s covering up. I heard and felt every bit of it.”

After she left the room, he voiced what else he liked about her.

“She’s got pain. She’s got misunderstanding,” he said.

But J-Lo said it best when she handed Hudson her golden ticket to Hollywood.

“Tell everyone else to go home,” Lopez told Hudson, who could very well be the next Idol winner.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.