Steven Tyler returned to the American Idol judging table on Wednesday evening (18 January 2012), and didn't take long to begin stirring up controversy. The rocker, 63, recently proposed to his girlfriend Erin Brady, but had no qualms dishing out the compliments during the show's earlier auditions.
Singing hopeful Shannon Magrane, 15, gave a stirring rendition of the Etta James hit 'Something's Got A Hold On Me', wowing the judges and prompting her entire family to rush into the audition room. As many viewers soon realized, her father was the former St Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane, who began making small talk with Randy Jackson and Tyler. Asking the Aerosmith frontman, "How's Beantown?", Magrane didn't exactly get the reply he was expecting, with Steven yelling, "Great, beautiful. Hot, humid and happening...yeah, just like your daughter!" - the room fell silent. Describing the awkward atmosphere that followed, the Los Angeles Times said, "The world seemingly comes to a stop as Magrane gives Tyler a look that would have killed any non-rock star. You can actually see the wheels spinning in Magrane's head as he debates whether he should end his daughter's chance of making the show and just deck Tyler right away". Luckily, there was no violence, and Taylor, Jackson and Jennifer Lopez voted unanimously to send Shannon through to the next round.
This year's American Idol auditions continue on Sunday (January 22, 2012) in San Diego - home of former runner-up ADAM LAMBERT.