"What are you doing? You can't spank me on national television!" Seacrest exclaimed after one especially cheeky move from his mom, Connie.
Ahem. Back to that talent.
PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times
On Thursday's show we met …
Majesty Rose, a 21-year-old preschool teacher with a flowery headband that evoked her name. "I like that headband. That says, 'I'm cute,'" Harry Connick Jr. told her. After she'd sung Coldplay's "Violet Hill," he called her style "quiet," "very subtle" and "elegant." "The quieter you got, the more I leaned in," Keith Urban said.
Gas station attendant Jesse Cline, 19, who in from Kentucky and impressed the judges with what they termed his "believability." Coming across as a "believable singer … happens within milliseconds," Connick said.
Twenty-three-year-old Army National Guardsman
Pretty nurse tech Kristen O'Connor, 24, and student Emily Piriz, 17, who has been watching the show "since Season 1 and I was a little girl."
Ben Briley, 24, a server from Gallatin, Tenn., of whom Urban gushed, "If you sang a cappella on the radio right now, I'd pull to the side of the road. I might crash my car. I love the sound of your voice." Connick dubbed Briley "Brother Gumbo," a nickname the contestant said he hoped wouldn't stick.
Nica Nashae, 24, whose "Natural Woman" had the judges hammering out a beat. "Tear it up … win it," Connick urged.
Cherubic 15-year-old Savannah, Ga., high schooler Jordan Brisbane, who told the judges, "I believe I have what it takes to shut the 'American Idol' series down," and then did so with his take on
Sartorial Phillip Phillips-alike and soon-to-be college grad Sam Burchfield, 21, who impressed Urban and
Pink-haired, pink-lipped Jessica Meuse, 22, of Slapout, Ala., who performed a song she wrote called "Blue-Eyed Luck." Urban admired her right shoulder, which kept time to the music. And Connick sensed a "
Nineteen-year-old Lauren Ogburn, who moved the judges with her version of Reba McEntire's "Fancy." "Great pitch … the perfect song," Urban said. Lopez said she'd gotten "goosies." But Connick cautioned Ogburn, who wore an American flag bandana on her head and cowboy boots emblazoned with the stars and stripes, just for starters, that it's possible to "overaccessorize to the point of ridicule." "Americana … we get it," he said.
Season 11 returnees Neco Star and Caleb Johnson, both 22, who each got a second chance.
And, perhaps most memorably, Bria Anai, a 15-year-old singer who'd matched her sparkly violet lipstick to her pants and boasted about her "momager." ("You should meet her daygent," Connick quipped.) Her lush take on
About as long as the audition phase of "American Idol" usually lasts, but this season, they seem to be flying.
Do you have any favorites?