'American Idol' - 'Hollywood Round One' Recap

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 9th 2010 11:03PM
american idol judges
(S09E10) ELLEN! I've been waiting for this. I've been a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan for years, so I was psyched to hear she was going to be a judge this year. A lot of people are worried that she'll rely too heavily on the comedy, so tonight is a big night; we finally get to see how she does.

It's also a big night because it's the beginning of Hollywood week. I always feel terrible for the people who get sent home, but I'm trying to remember this: at least they got a sweet free trip to Hollywood. That's something, right? All in all, it's a pretty good group of people, but there are several who just completely biff their auditions. How does that happen? It's a mystery for the ages. Let's ponder it together, shall we?

Day 1:

We start off with Katie Stevens. She's 17, but has a big voice. She does really well, and the judges seem to like her. Next up is Skiiboski. Remember him? He's the one who should have been horrendous, but actually ended up being quite good. He sings "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," and he does a great job, although Ellen tells him he's a bit scary. Katie ends up getting through, but Skiiboski does not. I find that kind of sad.

Andrew Garcia, who has an adorable song, is the first one to play an instrument tonight. He does a rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," and I kind of love it. Part of it is because 'Forever Your Girl' was the first tape I ever bough, but also because it's just really good. I love this guy.

Vanessa Wolfe
is the "aeroplane" girl, and she is shaking so hard that she's making me nervous. She's singing Blind Melon's 'No Rain,' and it's pretty terrible. She doesn't get much feedback, other than Ellen telling her that her nerves are going to kill her. We don't see her perform, but Worship Pastor Tasha Layton is also in this group. She and Andrew Garcia get through, but Vanessa Wolfe does not.
Cornelius Edwards is the dude who split his pants in his audition is up next and sings "Cowboy Take Me Away." It's kind of terrible. When you see people like this in Hollywood week, it makes you feel really bad for the people who didn't even get to this point. Maegan Wright is also up in this round. She's playing the piano, and in the short clip we see, sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, Kara tells her that she's "all over the place," and she's going home, along with Cornelius Edwards. Amadeo DiRocco was also featured during auditions, and also apparently became a terrible singer between his auditions and Hollywood week. It's the end of the line for him as well.

Janell Wheeler is hoping to break the streak. It looks like she will, because she does a great job. Ellen tells her that she's "amazing," and is an easy "yes."

After Janell, we get a montage of other people playing instruments, and they all crash and burn. Again, how did these people make it through in the first place? The audition process on this show is so arbitrary (shocker!).

Next up is 16-year-old Haeley Vaughn. She's also playing an instrument, but hopefully she'll do better than the people before her have. She's really good at the beginning and the end, but her performance got real dicey in the middle there. Also in her line is Mary Powers, the woman with the daughter who loved Simon. She does really well this time, just as she did in her audition. Both of them make it through to the next round.

Also moving through is the highly-controversial Toddrick Hall, Charity Vance, and Ashley Rodriguez.

Day Two:

Okay, I originally loved crazy beatboxer Jay Stone, but dude. It was obvious after your audition that Simon did not enjoy your antics. It got you noticed, but now you're in Hollywood: it's time to sing. However, he pulls the same shtick, and I can't see it working in his favor at all.

I am not a fan of Lilly Scott's hipster-grey hair, but she's singing Ella Fitzgerald, and man does she have a voice. I love everything about it. She gets through, and predictably, Jay Stone does not.

Next up is Michael Lynche. I liked him from the audition round, so I want him to do well, but his wife is in labor with their first child, so I kind of want him to tank it so he can get home to them! She's having a baby! He has a guitar and is singing John Mayer quite well, so it may be a little while before he meets his baby. Simon likes him, so I hope Michael's wife is doing okay!

Next up is Tim Urban, who barely made it through the audition round. He must have been practicing though, because he does a great job here, as does cancer survivor, Justin Williams. This is good, as Williams is a voice coach, and if he totally biffed it, that may be bad for business. Except, awkward, Justin doesn't make it.

Also going home are Paige Dechausse and 'Barney & Friends' alum, Erica Rhodes, along with sisters, Bernadette and Amanda Desimone.

Maddy Curtis is one of the inspirational stores. She's also from a town about 15 minutes away from me, so I'm pulling for her. However, I'm having a hard time judging how well she did, because her song choice was pretty terrible.

Casey James took his shirt off for Kara in his audition, and actually does a pretty good job in his Hollywood performance. He makes it through to the net round, but it's the end of the road for Maddy.

Didi Benami is the one who could barely hold it together in Los Angeles. She's singing a Kara DioGuardi song, which is always a risky move. However, she does a great job with it. She also seems much more composed, which is a big plus for her.

Crystal Bowersox made a stop on the way to Hollywood week to get her son's name tattooed on her back. I will say this: the photo of her son that she showed is pretty hilarious. I like funny professional photos, and that one is adorable. She's singing 'Natural Woman,' and does quite well, although I remember her audition being a little bit better. However, toward the end, she nails it. She and Didi both make it through to the next round.

At the end of the first round, a lot of familiar faces make it through. However, tomorrow is the group competitions, and that's generally when everything starts falling apart. Hopefully nobody too great has a meltdown!

Who has the best chance of becoming the next American Idol?
Katie Stevens18 (4.5%)
Andrew Garcia167 (42.0%)
Tasha Layton2 (0.5%)
Janell Wheeler18 (4.5%)
Haeley Vaughn14 (3.5%)
Mary Powers5 (1.3%)
Lilly Scott33 (8.3%)
Tim Urban5 (1.3%)
Casey James14 (3.5%)
Didi Benami60 (15.1%)
Crystal Bowersox41 (10.3%)
Toddrick Hall5 (1.3%)
Charity Vance8 (2.0%)
Ashley Rodriguez8 (2.0%)

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Andrew Garcia was that good playing Straight Up on guitar! He did it his own way, a dramatic contrast to the high energy big '80s production we're used to hearing of Paula Abdul's song! Also, I liked both Didi and Crystal. I hope that they can each make the top 24 or maybe even the top 12! Lilly Scott is very good too!

February 11 2010 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I LOVE Hollywood week. There were several good surprises: Andrew Garcia, Janell Wheeler, Casey James and Crystal Bowersox. And one huge let down for me, Justin Williams getting cut!


February 10 2010 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm in Leesburg and was rooting for the local girl Maddy. Her song choice was horrible but she did sound good. It's too bad she didn't make it to the next round.

February 10 2010 at 8:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Andrew Garcia and Didi Benami stole the stage for me. I loved them both. I hope they hold it together.

February 10 2010 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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