NOTES: ‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 2

– What a painfully staged opening segment to begin the show.

– Thought Mackenzie Wasner was good but unless you’re Carrie Underwood-good, it’s tough for a woman country artist to win this show because it seems most get lost in the shuffle during certain theme weeks due to a lack of range.

– Nicki Minaj rarely critiques a person’s voice and instead focuses on other things: look, personality, aura, nickname… it’s funny at times but I think overall it reflects her credentials compared to the other three judges.

– Keith Urban I think is going to end up being the real star of the panel – his critiques are right on and he has some good, albeit corny one-liners that get people laughing.

– Liked Kiara Lanier. Would love to see more like 21 year-old Stephanie Schimel and I think we will now that alternative rock has gone pop.

– It was interesting to see how Mariah and Nicki handled critiquing a rock singer in Gabe Brown. I thought he was OK.

– It’s cool when Nicki busts out her English accent in her songs. In person? I’m growing weary of it.

– Isabelle Parrell is only 15?! Blew me away, absolutely amazing.

– Nicki had one of the lines of the night with: “Bieber doesn’t do this to me!” Hilarious.

– Loved the whole segment with Curtis Finch Jr., but don’t think he’ll go far in the competition.

– Josh Holiday has a different vibe that I like. Glad to see Johnny Keyser return too, he was a favorite from season 11.

– I was shocked by Kez Bah, in a good way. Then floored by Lazaro Arbos. But how will that poor kid make it through “Hollywood Week”?

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