RECAP: American Idol’s Hollywood Week


After the disastrous and extremely hard to watch season of X Factor, I was weary about doing recaps for American Idol. After giving the auditions and Hollywood Week a chance, I’m actually pretty excited for this season of the show.

One things for sure- American Idol has taken note of why Phillip Phillips has been able to “make it,” and has allowed for more artistry in the contestants. This meant to lots and lots of guitars and original songs from Idol hopefuls. The new- and most definitely improved- judges panel also has made this season worth watching. Jennifer Lopez has taken the nice card a la Paula Abdul, Keith Urban the random annoying card a la Randy Jackson, and Harry Connick Jr. is the mean one, like a certain Simon Cowell. The difference between Simon and Harry is that Harry manages to still come off as likable, often adding either comedy or valuable advice to his critiques.

With all that being said, the judges still made mistakes- letting mediocre contestants go through to Hollywood, as well as letting some talented individuals go home. A total of 212 contestants packed their bags for Hollywood week.

In a new twist, Hollywood week began with a selected handful of contestants having to sing for their lives. Before even making it to their hotel rooms, 52 of perhaps the weakest contestants sang under pressure without notice. Some came through, but the majority did not. Second generation Idol contestant Tristen Langley (son of season 1’s Nikki McKibbin) Johnny Newcomb, and Caitlin Johnson are among the selected to perform. The 52 were split into two groups and sent on two separate busses- one going to the hotel, and the other back to LAX to send them all home. Unfortunately for the three listed above, they were sent back home.

The next morning, the contestants went on stage in groups of 5, each singing solo. After all 5 performed, the judges would immediately decide who would go home and who would stay. Standouts include Majesty Rose, who sang “1234” by Feist, and Austin Wolfe with Adele’s “Take it All.” Among those sent home are Ayla Stackhouse and Quaid Edwards.

Next up for the contestants still in the competition, the dreaded group round. This year’s round seemed tame in comparison to previous years with just one overbearing stage mom, one group break up, one lost sick person, and two dropouts. The focus on group night seemed to be less of a focus as it had in previous years, perhaps allowing for more emphasis of the decision making behind the pick for Top 30. Regardless, more cuts were made, including Maidson Walker, Austin Precariou, cheerleader Stephanie Petronelli, and the dubbed “sound healer,” Adam Roth. Early standout Tiqhila Wilson left the competition after stating the competition was not for her and that her “heart is gospel.”

Seventy-seven contestants remain in the competition. This week, the judges will reveal which of them will make the Top 30.

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