I don’t know much about country star Josh Turner. But I do know Scotty McCreery, who turned Turner’s “Your Man” into his reality-competition signature tune. When I hear, “Baby, lock the doors and turn the lights down low, put some music on that’s soft and slow,” I think of Scotty’s surprisingly deep and velvety vocals. The Season 10 winner performed that song for his audition and also during Hollywood week.
When Scotty had his hometown visit to Garner, North Carolina and performed before a sizable audience at the local fairgrounds, his idol Turner showed up as he was singing “Your Man” and the crowd went crazy. Then a high-schooler, Scotty declared that “it might just be the best day of my life.”
But now that “American Idol” is on ABC instead of Fox, it seems like any old auditioner can be the one commanding that those doors get locked. Last year, Season 16 runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang it for his solo during Hollywood week.
Now, I will give somewhat of a pass to the new line-up of judges last year. I doubt Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry paid much attention to “American Idol” before they signed on for this new version. But what happened on Season 17’s third night of auditions this past Sunday was just wrong.
I found something practically sacrilegious about 15-year-old Austin Michael Robinson — who Katy dubbed “the country Justin Bieber” — daring to sing “Your Man.” Especially after Luke expanded upon Katy’s observation by saying he looked as if “Bieber and Alan Jackson had a child.” The small-town Texan lives on a ranch and he hunts and fishes every day. Katy then asks if he can lasso, and he pipes up and says, “I can.” Of course, he brought his rope with him. We know where this is heading.
But, first, the singing. Austin mush-mouths his way through the lyrics before he reverts to some hip swaying action that makes Katy’s eyes pop. Apparently, this is a move Luke does onstage. So the guy is borrowing a-plenty here. Yep, they ding him on his inability to fully open his mouth. Katy thinks he might need to be “slow-cooked like a good whiskey.” But then she builds him up again by calling him “the gosh-darn Leonardo DiCaprio of country music.” The guys fall for him, unseasoned as he is, while Katy holds back. But Austin is going to Hollywood.
First, however, he must fulfill Katy’s need for shenanigans as he rushes back into the room after he tells his folks that he has a golden ticket and then asks, “Did someone order a roping?” They get him a chair to perch on. But then Luke just ups and puts this country sprite on his shoulders as Austin (who actually looks like a pubescent Orlando Bloom with his goldilocks) lassos Katy.
So should they lock the doors on anyone else singing Scotty’s song — um, Turner’s song — again? Or am I just a grumpy old-school “Idol” watcher?