After a trio of two-hour episodes, it was such a nice change of pace to have only an hour of American Idol to deal with. Gone were most of the novelty acts, which is always my least favorite part of the show. Thankfully, the talentless famewhores were bundled up in a montage set to the theme song of True Blood aka “Bad Things” by Jace Everett. Obviously being in Louisiana, referencing the HBO supernatural drama was a no-brainer. Being a fan, I enjoyed this short filler.

Another bonus of having a shorter episode, was the focus on talent and not so much on the judges. With I-would-shoot-you-if-I-had-a-gun-gate over, Nicki and Mariah entered a new phase of playing nice. The two divas must’ve had one serious scolding by producers, management, lawyers and their teams to be this congenial with each other. While not BFFs (yet), Minaj and Carey were quite pleasant with each other and kept things on the professional tip.

The only naughty one in tonight’s episode was Keith Urban for calling the ladies the wrong names. He jokingly said he was doing penance by doing one Hail Mary, which Nicki quickly replied, he should do ten. LOL. Check out my favorite sizzling auditions from the Baton Rouge stop below.

American Idol 12: Baton Rouge’s Best Auditions

Charlie Askew

The 17-year-old describes himself as socially awkward and based on the few minutes we saw him, he’s bang on. When he sings, it’s also a bit uncomfortable to watch. That said, when you don’t look at him à la The Voice, he’s sounds extraordinarily beautiful. His unpolished rich cover of Queen’s “Breakthrough” was superb, but his take on Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy” was anything but awkward. It was perfect. I can’t wait to see how he copes with the Hollywood and Las Vegas rounds.

Paul Jolley

When you close your eyes, he sounds awfully similar to Clay Aiken. And that isn’t a dig. No, seriously… I meant it as a compliment. As an aside, not trying to out him to his late grandfather, but I think this kid plays for our team. Just sayin’

Michelle Montezeri, Breanna Steer & Brandy Hotard

It’s a shame these three young ladies’ auditions were relegated to a short montage. I could’ve done without the Maxwell wannabe doctor. Love Maxwell, but the doc was not even close to channeling the R&B singer. Based on the short snippet we heard, the trio of ladies were fantastic. My personal favorite was Breanna Steer. I’ve heard Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down” massacred too many times on Idol that hearing a singer do it justice was such a fresh of breath air. And bonus points for giving it some sass. OOMPH. Her vibrato gave me goosebumps.

Maddie Assel

The new addition of “write in campaign” auditions have been hit or miss so far. Maddie was a hit. The 17-year-old impressed with her Haley Reinhart-type growl. Hopefully, she doesn’t overdo it, because when used too much… it’s borderline annoying. I just wish she hadn’t picked a Beatles song. I’m sooooo over the Fab 4′s catalogue being used and abused on these singing shows.

Burnell Taylor

The second he revealed “I’m Here” from The Color Purple as his song choice, I was on pins and needles. Such an unusual selection, yet brave and daring. The Hurricane Katrina survivor was flawless. Not one bum note and he displayed excellent control. I have high hopes for him.

Did you enjoy the one-hour episode of American Idol? Who impressed you the most? Do you think we’ve already seen this year’s winner in the first four cities? Sound off below.