American Idol judge behaving badly: Steven Tyler puckers up in Aspen

American Idol judge Steven Tyler is engaged, but isn't ready to let go of his lover-boy image just yet. Keep your eyes on American Idol contestant Haley Smith.

By , Contributor

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    Musician Steven Tyler (l) and singer Jennifer Lopez, co-hosts of American Idol, snuggle up during the FOX Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.
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Wednesday night's American Idol began with overexcited, 24-year-old, Jenni Schick, a writhing, coquettish, ball of energy who freely discussed her desire to kiss various celebrities.  And though Idol host Ryan Seacrest did not join the ranks of smooch-worthy Adam Levine, Lady Gaga, and Steven Tyler on Jenni's list; he did make the list of people Jenni's boyfriend would like to kiss. Hmmm.

So, Jenni bounds into her audition and immediately expresses her desire to lock lips with Steven Tyler.  Steven shows an amazing amount of restraint for an over 60 man whose days of young girls throwing themselves at him must have an expiry, and makes her sing for him first. There was a lot riding on Jenni's audition: The affections of both Ryan Seacrest and Steven Tyler, and its also safe to say that after this performance, Jenni is no longer going to have her job as Virginia elementary school music teacher.

Her cover of Pat Benatar's, "Heartbreaker", manages to (just) earn her not a ticket to Hollywood and a full-on-the-lips smooch from Steven.  Being engaged (to model Erin Brady), Steven really should have played a little harder to get.  Perhaps Ryan could offer some lessons on boundaries.

Recommended: How much do you know about American Idol? Take our quiz.

Despite Steven Tyler and his loose lips, there was something special about American Idol's auditions in Aspen.  Not only were the contestants entertaining and some even talented, but the entire judging panel seemed more likeable.  Maybe, it's the altitude?  Maybe JLo, Steven, and Randy are best served chilled?  Whatever the reason, there was faint glimmer of promise in the judge's on this episode – and it was a sight for sore eyes.

Richie Law was certainly happy to see the judges in his neck of the woods.  He's obviously been practicing his best Scotty McCreery (Season 10 Idol winner) impression for the past year.  And while he has a good (deep) voice, he should have been denied a ticket to Hollywood on the grounds that Idol 't doesn't need a Scotty 2.0 this year.  Idol should be holding out for the truly original contestants.

I'm talking about vegetarian, sausage-maker Haley Smith.  Haley breezed into the audition with the relaxed mellow air of a true flower child, which did her so much more justice than the slightly maniacal pre-audition clip of her professing her love for nature, complete with unstable laugh.  The judges were digging her 60's vibe, man.  The free love continued, especially after Haley's performance of Rufus's, "Tell Me Something Good."  And that they did. Not only did the judges give her a ticket to Hollywood but Steven Tyler expressed his honor at being able to hear her sing.

The judges weren't so unanimous when it came to self-proclaimed Vintage Glitter Queen, Angie Zeiderman's cabaret performance.  Jennifer respected Angie's show tune's chutzpah but Randy scoffed, claiming it was an instant turn off.  Both Angie and Jennifer were determined to prove Randy wrong, so Angie offered a beautiful rendition of "Blue Bayou," instead.  Thankfully, this was enough to change Randy's mind and Angie earned her golden ticket to Hollywood and was one step closer to opening for her own idol, Lady Gaga.

Of course, she'll have to get in line behind Jenni.

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