Sometimes talent catches you off guard, and Scott Dangerfield came into his Milwaukee audition on Wednesday's (January 26) "American Idol" episode without a hard-luck tale or a weepy backstory. But he left elevated on a cloud of praise and was dubbed by Jennifer Lopez as her "favorite" contestant thus far.
The first thing the judges noticed about Dangerfield, an unassuming 22-year-old student teacher in Milwaukee, was his lips, and how he appeared to be wearing lipstick. Blushing, he wiped off his lips. "I was kissing one of the girls backstage!" Dangerfield said, prompting Jackson to make a crack about a potential love connection. "More than one destiny is going to be made for me today," Dangerfield joked.
With his shaggy haircut, black framed glasses and bookish outfit — he wore a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a casual pair of shorts — Dangerfield gave off a slight Clay Aiken vibe, albeit cooler than the season-two contestant. And when he sang, it was similarly surprising: He did Amos Lee's 2005 song "Dreamin' " and infused it with his rich, soulful tone, made smoother by his easygoing style. There were no nerves on display as he sang, and Dangerfield sailed through the audition.
The judges were floored. "You might be my favorite so far," Lopez beamed. "I swear! Wow!" She pushed for a quick vote, giddily bouncing in her chair and repeating "I want to vote!" like a toddler trying to get her way. Yes, Dangerfield managed to turn J.Lo into a pile of mush.
Following Lopez's yes vote, Randy Jackson offered one of his trademark over-the-top endorsements — "hundred million percent yes" is just the same as "100 percent yes," Randy — and Steven Tyler chimed in by saying, "We've been waiting all day for you." But Lopez still wasn't finished gushing: "Keep the hair, keep the glasses, I like all of it," she said, reiterating, "You're my favorite."
In the hallway outside the judges' room, Dangerfield was greeted by a group of friends, to whom he bragged about Lopez's praise, saying it almost caused him to faint. But he had earned his right to gloat: Unlike his namesake Rodney, this Dangerfield got plenty of respect.
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