In the second episode of "American Idol" season 12 which aired Thursday, January 17, the auditions moved to Chicago. The show started strong with MacKenzie Wasner who got four "yes" with her cover of "Whenever You Come Around".
Kiara Lanier, who once performed for a President Obama birthday fundraiser, wowed the judges with her rendition of Celine Dion's "The Prayer". Stephanie Schimel also got the golden ticket though her performance of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" was a bit shaky. Nicki Minaj said, "You're not giving me that thing," but the raptress was overruled by the other three judges who gave "yes" answers.
Melissa Bush brought a T-shirt as a present for Randy Jackson, but he didn't show any love for her rendition of "Downtown". She got unanimously rejected by the judges. Another disastrous performance came from Kevin Nabity, who sang "One Week" and insisted on having a second chance by singing "Come Sail Away".
After a series of bad performers, Isabelle Parell came. The 15-year-old, who admitted to being a fan of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, asked Keith to sing the male part of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". He agreed and there was the improptu duet.
Mariah liked her "humble, adorable" qualities, while Nicki said, "You have a thing about you that seems to me like a star." Randy was less impressed by Isabelle, but the young "Idol" hopeful got sent to Hollywood anyway.
Keith had to leave for a concert, so the auditions continued with only three judges. Nicki got flirty with some good-looking contestants, while Mariah got tearful when Mariah Pulice shared her sob story.
The young girl is a recovering anorexic and she poured her emotion in her rendition of "Let It Be". Mariah (the judge) wiped tears when the contestant was singing and later said, "You touched me. I know what it's like to have to sing through tears. It's really difficult." She was sent to Hollywood.
Appearing at the end of the show was Lazaro Arbos, who has a difficulty to speak. His stutter, however, disappeared when he started singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water". "You're adorable. You're gonna do great," Mariah commented as the judges gave unanimous "yes."
A total of 46 people got the golden tickets during the auditions in Chicago. Besides these good performers, there were some bad auditionees, including musical-theater student Ashley Curry and Johnny Keyser, who did better when dancing than singing.