Last night’s episode of American Idol proved one thing – two of the most talented contestants hail from these parts.

Todrick Hall, the 24-year-old dancer, actor, and playwright from Arlington, did a bang-up job of the Jason Mraz song “I’m Yours.” Several other contestants tackled this song, but Hall revamped it in his own funky way and actually improved on the original.

Controversy, however, is nipping at Hall’s heels.


Last summer, a consumer investigator at a Nashville TV news station linked him to what appeared to be a scam. A play he wrote and directed took money from families, but was never actually held, and the money wasn’t refunded. This site has the most in-depth look at the situation, and it doesn’t look good for Hall.

But the dude can sing:

Casey James, the bluesy dude from Cool, Texas (about 45 minutes west of Fort Worth), did the unthinkable and sang the bubblegum pop song, “Bubbly” by chick singer Colbie Caillat.

Sample lyrics: I’ve been awake for a while now / you’ve got me feelin like a child now / cause every time I see your bubbly face / I get the tinglies in a silly place / It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose / where ever it goes I always know / that you make me smile…”

Songs like that are so sugary sweet they afflict me with ear diabetes.

But James pulled it off somehow.

And cameras don’t lie; they fully captured Judge Kara DioGuardi’s continued freefall into total cougar infatuation with her blond boy toy.

Here’s an earlier performance by James. Watch the look on DioGuardi’s face:

A couple of other contestants with local connections remain in the running for the Top 24. They’ll either make it or not during tonight’s episode.