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'American Idol' recap: Deep in the heart of Texas

OK, so, all the buzz today was about how the show was going to issue some sort of apology, which, based on Ryan Seacrest's Tweet about it, I figured would be tongue-in-cheek. Well, what happened was ... it apparently started before 8 p.m. and my DVR didn't catch it. Grumble. But here's my recap of the rest of the Austin auditions:

Corey Levoy only met his sister when he was 16 and she was 14 due to parental differences. Now they're best friends, and she's his biggest fan. The judges let her join them at the judging table, and she says she's always honest. He sings "I Can't Make You Love Me," and he is stunning and strong. Sister Brooke votes yes, natch. They say they're surprised about his singing voice because his speaking voice is so high, and he says he's been teased about that forever. They say that won't happen anymore as he gets unanimous yes-votes. He also shows off his rear and says he has been told forever that he has a J.Lo booty.

Hollie Cavanaugh, a 17-year-old who is from England but living in Texas, sings Etta James' "At Last." Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson say she was switching up the keys a lot and not quite ready. Randy votes no, and she cries. Jennifer asks her to collect herself and sing one more song. Then: commercial! Drama! Or is it? They've been really nice to the criers -- and the teenagers -- this season. She sings another song, and she is even more all over the place. She has a nice tone, but … Randy claims it was better and reverses his vote, and Steven and J.Lo vote yes too. What just happened? Simon would have told her to get some practice and come back next season.

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Montage of nos.

A guy slaughters “Circle of Life,” and then we get a montage of cowboys getting told no.

John Wayne Schulz is a many-generation, real-life cowboy. When his mother was fighting breast cancer, she made him promise to try out for Idol. But can he sing? Steven and Jennifer like him, and Randy says, “I get you.” They call in his parents, so of course it’s a yes.

Courtney Penry is obsessed with Ryan Seacrest. Like, she cries. And says she is going to marry him. Her first move for the judges is to imitate a chicken. I don’t support that decision. Then she sings, which is a better plan. Jennifer says some parts of her voice are strong and some have some “weaknesses.” Steven says she has star quality. Randy thinks she has potential and some habits she needs to break. Steven says yes, Randy says no, Jennifer says yes. Ryan congratulates her and then helps her pull a golden-ticket fake-out on her family.

Montage of yeses, but really I didn’t think they were that fantastic.

A ridiculously lovey-dovey couple, Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink, want to be Idol’s first “power couple.” Man, they’re annoying and fake. She sings “Mercy,” and he is rocking out in the corner. His turn, he sings “Sunday Morning,” and she gazes at him. They love both of them, but she was way better than him. Unanimous yes votes for both.

Janelle Arthur is a country girl through and through. She says her family has been trying to get her to do this forever. They were on the right track; she is great. Yes-yes-yes. That one I agree with.

The next contestant is a stunt auditioner in a seven-foot armadillo costume, which kicks off a montage of badness and crazy costumes and Randy being “mean.”

Then there is a montage of people yelling at the camera and in one case hitting it.

Casey Abrams plays “a melodica,” which looks like a cross between a little keyboard and a harmonica. He says he has been “practicing for this show for my whole life.” He sings “I Don’t Need No Doctor” by Ray Charles. The judges look like they think he’s going to stink up the room, but he starts singing and rocking out and scatting, and he’s fun and energetic and pretty good. They all yell “YES” at him. He can’t believe it. They tell him it was “sick good.” He plays the melodica and dances with all the judges.

50 Austin contestants made it through to Hollywood. That is so many!

Tomorrow night: Los Angeles.

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