American Idol Red Wine Recap: Shannon Gibbons and her sunflower pants give me life

Shannon Gibbons cries and auditions for American Idol
Shannon Gibbons brings the fire to American Idol auditions in Episode 3. Pic credit: ABC

Monsters & Critics columnist Liz Long recaps American Idol Season 18 Episode 3, with a little help from a glass of pinot merlot (or two)…

Hello my Idol Addicts, and welcome back to another installment of Idol audition recaps!

With this episode, I drink a nice glass of merlot… fitting because after last week’s schticks of gas leaks and takin’ it to the streets, I need balance.

And, for the most part, this episode gave me just that.  Nice and even-keeled, sticking to the talent, yet injecting a blend of funny and sweet.

Ryan Seacrest crying, anyone? (More of that please.)

Let’s just discuss the highlights, shall we?

Kimmy Gabriela, her Spanish, and our first “Top 10” (cringe)

Kimmy auditions for American Idol
Katy Perry gives out her first loose Top 10 of the night to Kimmy Gabriela. Pic credit: ABC

Oh, hey, am I in Peter Weber’s house with all this seemingly impromptu Cuban dancing in the kitchen?

No, wait! It’s Kimmy Gabriela! She has a rich tone, and, of course, Katy asked her to sing in Spanish, so we know that will get weaved in and out at random if we hear her past Hollywood Week.

But the Spanish didn’t have a dramatic effect on me like I felt it should.

Nonetheless, Katy drops a “Top 10” on her, which was as loose as Peter’s Cuban heritage. I mean, could you imagine Simon saying that? I think not.

No offense, Kimmy. It’s just that we are only in episode 3, and I think our “Top 10” cup runneth over.

What happened to that calm merlot sipping, you say?  Sorry.  I’m going in order here and can’t help when these judges drive me nuts from time to time.

And, well, it’s my job to bring the snark so the snark I shall bring.


Lauren Mascitti and her guitar-playing fiance Shawn Couch who everyone knows but me

Lauren Mascitti auditions with help from guitarist Shawn Couch
Lauren Mascitti auditions with help from guitarist, songwriter, fiance, what have you, Shawn Couch. Pic credit: ABC

I can’t wait to talk about Lauren Mascitti. But, first, who knew Katy was engaged to Orlando Bloom? Everyone?  Oh.  I must have been in a pod binging on way too much Love is Blind. Forgive me.

Lauren brings a handsome gent by the name of Shawn Couch.

Now, I clearly must have been living in my pod for too long because am I the only one who doesn’t know this dude just by looking at him?

Apparently, everyone (including the guy who auditions next!) knows this man is the guy who wrote Garth Brooks’ Two Pina Coladas!

I immediately hope she’s good because I like these two humble lovebirds.

And my prayers are answered because we have an old country voice on our hands. Unique right down to her boots, she gets compared to last season’s Lacey Kay Booth (who I absolutely loved … spray tan and all).

Safe to say, I like Lauren too. Well done, lady.

Ryan Seacrest and Courtney Timmons have an Idol moment

Ryan Seacrest celebrates with Idol hopeful Courtney Timmons
Ryan is a cute, proud pappa to Idol hopeful, Courtney Timmons. Pic credit: ABC

Courtney Timmons’s “audition” certainly made me realize one thing: We haven’t seen enough Seacrest! Less Bobby Bones. More Ryan Seacrest, I say!

Though this part teetered on schtick (plucking her off the street to audition though no one had yet screened her or heard her sing), it quickly tottered over to pure cuteness.

First, not only was she good, giving a heartfelt rendition of Andre Day’s Rise Up, but Ryan Seacrest had genuine tears in his eyes after the performance.


You’re probably “the” best singer we’ve had today, says a judge (doesn’t matter who — they all do this). Why not give her a Top 5, I say (sarcastically for those of you just joining).

Thank you, Ryan, for saving that segment for me. Just keep sipping. Just keep sipping.

Dwayne Crocker Jr.’s Grandmother wants to be Lionel Richie’s “Lady”

Idol contestant Dwayne Crocker Jr. and his grandma dance with judge Lionel Richie
Idol hopeful Dwayne Crocker, Jr. is outstaged by his grandma and Lionel Richie. Pic credit: ABC

Seventy-eight-years-old. Six-inch heels. One bad dress. Introducing Dwayne Crocker, Jr.’s grandmother! But don’t worry. Be happy.

She’s as sweet as her grandson, who I didn’t think I’d be writing about, but he sure did come through with a clever rendition of Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Yes, it started off soooooo slow, but when he opened up his range and moved into that little staccato thing, he had me.

Side note:  I like how Luke can just bust out with Lady on the keys.  It reminds me we are dealing with some solid musicians here even if the critiques aren’t the best.

I mean, comparing our next contestant to Chris Isaak?! Huh?

Come on merlot. Why aren’t you soothing me. It’s times like these I could really use a a spiritual cowboy… Oh, hey!

Dillon James, our Spiritual Cowboy

Dylan James is a cowboy and Idol hopeful
Dillon James prays to his chest tattoo that he gets a “yes” from Idol judges. Pic credit: ABC

Dillon James walks into the Idol room, and I immediately think, he looks like he’s been through some stuff.

Then sure ’nuff, we learn he has a full Jesus Christ tattoo on his body and that he is two years sober. (In all seriousness, kudos to you, Mr. James).

Now, I must say, Mr. Dillon James looks like a completely different person in his construction suit and sans cowboy hat. I much prefer his “musician look” and am almost hoping he is a reborn Jeff Buckley!

But that comparison quickly stopped for me once he opened his mouth.

He sang, To Make You Feel My Love, and I wasn’t expecting his higher-pitched voice. I hate saying this, but it just plateaued for me. I wanted more.

But Luke Bryan comes with this: You have a Chris Isaak thing. I’m all in.

Which makes me come with this:

Britney Spears judges singers and looks confused
Pic credit: Giphy

NEXT! Can someone please come along and maybe set some sort of standard.

Shannon Gibbons sets the “Shannon Standard”

Shannon Gibbons wears sunflower pants and auditions for Idol
Shannon Gibbons and her sunflower pants audition for Idol, and I’m sure glad they did. Pic credit: ABC

Shannon Gibbons walks in with her sunflower bellbottoms, belts some Etta James, I’d Rather Go Blind, and I am just all, Yaaasss!!!

Maybe it’s because I love me some Etta James, or because she said she’s in a band with a bunch of “middle-aged men,” or because she’s spiritual, or because she wears sunflower bellbottoms. I don’t know.

All I know is this girl’s voice is kick ass.

Yes, she’s been through hard times (shocking and horrific that she contemplated suicide at age four(!)), but you go, Shannon.

She has the kind of natural soul that Kelly Clarkson has. You know. The kind that shouldn’t come from a white girl? Yeah. She exudes that, much like our original queen.

Lionel has a great comment: “if you came in this calm, obviously someone possessed your body.”

I beg to differ Uncle Richie. I submit that when you’re the real deal, you’re the real deal. (Was Adam Lambert nervous, guys? Like ever? I digress.)

The judges declare she has set the “Shannon Standard,” as they should. And I declare, good on you, little judges.

a lady happily pours wine
Pic credit: Giphy

Genavieve Linkowski is our comeback kid of the night

Can someone wake Laine Hardy up, please?  He might be pleased to know he finally got his first shout out of the season.

Yeah, remember him? Laine also might like to know tonight’s episode was also completely void of any Alejandro references.

(We won’t tell him about the 100 Alejandro references we’ve already heard from the first two episodes. Wink. Wink).

Genavieve Linkowski is our comeback kid of the night, and Luke remembers her quite well.

But unlike Laine’s absence where he just made Laine merch, Genavieve, unfortunately, had to deal with the tragic death of her sister, Corrine.  Oh my god, this was so sad.

Especially when they showed the sisters harmonizing and how Corrine was at the Nashville auditions, supporting Genavieve. Now I feel like I’d be a jerk if I don’t absolutely love her performance, but, I have to say, it stayed too full force.

But, then again, she was singing from her heart, How Do I Live Without You, and there is nothing more I can say on that.

Well, that will do it for this week’s episode! Who was your favorite of the night?

I’ll leave it with this hilarious moment, given to you by Katy Perry and some guy rocking out on the piano to a Billy Joel song. Now that was some good stuff.

Til next week, my Idol Addicts!

Katy Perry dances alongside Idol hopeful who plays the piano
Katy Perry rocking out to Billy Joel on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

American Idol airs Sunday, 8 pm EST, on ABC.

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