Cindy Jo Will Bring the Backwoods to Hollywood

You know you're in Minnesota when... a cute blonde admits to being a USPSA pistol shooter and avid hunter, and then invites you to the best fishing spots after her American Idol audition. Cindy Jo Schloer — seriously, with a name like that how much more Minnesotan can you get? — of North Branch, MN arrived at her Idol audition in her best hunter-chic outfit, complete with pistol necklace and cowboy boots. Schloer brought the confidence she learned from being behind a shotgun to the Idol stage, but she wasn't as sharp of a shooter as the judges would have liked.

Schloer's voice definitely packed a punch in her rendition of Patsy Kline's "Crazy," but she failed to impress Jennifer Lopez. Her voice was definitely good, but she did have some technical issues and was clearly trying to mimic other artists voices rather than perform as her genuine self. The judges questioned her authenticity, as well, wondering if she was really as backwoods as she was trying to be. She assured them that, yes, she was a gun-shooting, bear-killing, fish-frying Minnesota girl, who also happened to be a powerhouse singer. Thankfully they believed her, because I really wouldn't have wanted to see her prove it.

Now, I definitely questioned Schloer's authenticity too, but if she says it's genuine then I'll take her word. Jennifer Lopez was not impressed by her theatrics and unoriginality, though, and gave her a negative vote. Sure, Schloer waivered at points and was a little over the top, but her base was very strong and she hit some pretty solid power notes that less experienced artists would not be able to hit with the same confidence. The judges have let through artists that are far worse singers than her, so the fact that she didn't get a unanimous "yes" really surprised me. She was one of the most impressive of the whole night in Minneapolis. Luckily for Schloer, her country roots appealed to Urban, earning her a yes from him. And thankfully she told her story of killing a bear the previous week, because she probably wouldn't have earned Connick, Jr.'s vote if he hadn't been scared of her. See you in Hollywood, Cindy Jo. Leave the hunting gear at home.

Image: Youtube-American Idol