After walking off "American Idol" set during the Charlotte auditions, Nicki Minaj returned to the judging panel in Baton Rogue, New Orleans. Opening the January 24 episode was Megan Miller, the current Miss Baton Rouge, who was in hospital after an accident which injured her leg. Her injury has gotten infected, but she postponed her surgery to come to the audition. "The leg can wait," she said.
Singing Etta James' "Something's Got a Hold on Me" on crutches, she proved that the sacrifice she made was worth it. The judges were impressed with Randy Jackson calling her a "natural." Keith Urban jokingly said he wished to see her move around more, before Megan was handed out the golden ticket.
Charlie Askew described himself as being socially awkward, but found no trouble communicating with music. He covered Queen's "Breakthrough" and Mariah Carey said, "I think there's an opportunity for you to really shake things up in this competition if you stay on the right track." He was sent to Hollywood.
Maddie Assel was recommended by her grandmother, so Randy came to visit her while she's singing Otis Redding's "(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay" at New Orleans' Cafe du Monde. At the audition, she sang The Beatles' "Oh! Darling" which might remind viewers of "Idol" alumna Haley Reinhart. She also got through to the next round.
Burnell Taylor came with a sob story of being the victim of Hurricane Katrina. He sang "I'm Here" from "The Color Purple" and moved Mariah to tears. "That's what we came for. I feel like we've been flying all around this country for that... Everybody else auditioned. You just entertained us," Nicki raved as the judges gave him unanimous "yes."
Singing doctor Calvin Peters, singing fireman Dustin Watts and Paul Jolley were among others who got the golden tickets in Baton Rouge. Christopher Barthel who got a nickname "Mushroom" from Nicki, on the other hand, delivered entertainment with his fun personality, but it wasn't enough to get him to Hollywood.