Idol‘s Texas Showdown: Simon vs. Neil Patrick Harris

01/28/2010 at 12:00 AM EST

Idol‘s Texas Showdown: Simon vs. Neil Patrick Harris
Michael Becker/FOX
Carrie Underwood is guest starring on How I Met Your Mother, so it's only fair that Neil Patrick Harris joined Randy, Simon and Kara in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday as the American Idol audition tour rolled on. Joe Jonas sat in for the second day in Dallas but didn't have much to say. Maybe he's too cool. But like Katy Perry in Los Angeles, Harris, who's also pretty cool, squabbled with one of the judges. He and Simon, it seemed, disagreed more than agreed and their row was highlighted when Kimberly Carver walked in the room. She sang a jazzy original song, which Harris thought was "quite great." But Simon told him, "Under normal circumstances you wouldn't be interested. If it was Jazz TV, yes." Luckily for Harris, Kara and Randy were on his side and Kimberly got a golden ticket to Hollywood. Thirty others from Dallas will join her there.

Lloyd Thomas, a dock worker at an airline and dad to two little girls, sang "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder. He turned out to be one of Simon's favorites.

Erica Rhodes, who once starred on the kids' show Barney and Friends, came to the auditions in an all-black S&M getup, complete with a whip. Her song of choice was En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" -- and the judges saw past her outfit and sent her through. Maybe they were intimidated?

Tourette's syndrome didn't stop Dave Pittman from auditioning -- in fact, singing "Bring It on Home to Me" by Sam Cooke momentarily stopped his Tourette's syndrome. Simon's verdict: "People are going to like you."



Todrick Hall, who performed in the musical The Color Purple on Broadway with Idol winner Fantasia, charmed his way to Hollywood with a clever original song about his Idol audition. Randy said it was on of the best he's seen this season.

A very casually (tank top, jean shorts) dressed Maegan Wright surprised Kara with her version of "To Make You Feel My Love" -- "I really liked it," she said, "I though this was going to be a joke." Simon liked her dressed-down approach. It made her audition seem effortless.

Those not moving on from the Lone Star State included Julie Kevelighan, who auditioned in Dallas alongside original Idol winner Kelly Clarkson in season 1, but didn't make it. Despite a sign that said, "This is my year," her version of "Black Velvet" was a distaster, according to the judges. Simon told her to add a word to her sign so it would say, "This is NOT my year." Dexter Ward, who was certain he would make it all the way to the finale and win, left in tears after Randy said his audition "looked like it hurt." (Maybe it did?) And the "super optimistic" Vanessa Johnston, who dressed like a rainbow, sang "At Last." Simon said her performance was "like what my nightmares look and sound like." With a smile on her face, she said, "At least you're dreaming about me." That is super.

Tell us: Who were your favorites of the night? Were Neil Patrick Harris and Simon really fighting?Michael Becker/FOX

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