'American Idol' - 'Hollywood Round #3' Recap
by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 17th 2010 12:25AM
Alright guys, it's a big night tonight. It's the beginning of the end of Hollywood Week, and we're actually learning who some of the Top 24 are, instead of finding out who made it tomorrow. At the end of the two hours we found out the fates of some of the contestants, and have 7 of the Top 24.
There were some major surprises on both sides. I was definitely wrong a few times when it came to who was going home and who was staying. Like any year, some of the choices are no-brainers, while others make you scratch your head. But it wouldn't be 'Idol' if it was any other way.
This seems a little different than in years past: we start off with the contestants already divided up into the three rooms, and we're reverse engineering the divisions.
We see room 3 denizen Angela Martin up first, and she does a fantastic job. In this round, their final performances, they don't get any feedback from the judges, but if Kara's dancing is any indication, Angela did a pretty good job.
Jermaine Purifoy is in room 2, and his final song is 'Brick House.' He does an interesting, energetic version of the song, and it's pretty good, but I'm not sure how much Randy and Simon enjoyed it.
Casey James is in room 1, and he's the only guy singing 'Bubbly.' He has his guitar, and while he does an admirable job with the song, there's clearly a reason he's the only guy who chose that song.
Also in room 1, is Jermaine Sellers, who bravely sings 'Man in the Mirror,' and it's fun and funky. He does a great job, but then he does something really stupid: he tells the judges that he had cut out the last part in rehearsal, basically saying that the band did something wrong. Kara quietly says, "don't throw the band under the bus," and she's absolutely right. You need to roll with things, and especially at this point in the competition when you're absolutely nobody, you should not be insulting your backup band. It's bad form.
Siobhan Magnus is another room 1 dweller, who was criticized early on in the competition for seeming too old. In this performance, she makes a point of loosening up. She does a nice job, but just when she's about to bore me to death, she hits this crazy high note, and I'm suddenly interested again. I liked it.
Crystal Bowersox has this Janis Joplin thing going on, and it's working for her. Also working for her is the fact that she's playing guitar and harmonica. While she's talented, her image is definitely incongruous to the general 'American Idol' image. She's singing 'If it Makes You Happy,' and it's the most interesting version of that song I've heard in years.
Can Alex Lambert really get too far in the competition when we already had someone with a very similar name come in second last year? Not that I think it matters much, because he's kind of a mess. He's singing 'I'm Yours,' and it's wholly unremarkable.
Michael "Big Mike" Lynch, on the other hand, also sings 'I'm Yours,' and while it's not the best we've seen from him, his personality is so infectious that I want to see more.
Todrick Hall also chooses the Jason Mraz song, but gives it an R&B feel. I'm not the hugest fan of it, but he's definitely the most innovative of the three, so he definitely gets points for that.
Also scoring points is Thaddeus Johnson, who makes Simon laugh after pointing out to the band that they're playing the wrong song for him. He's also singing 'Man in the Mirror,' and it's very gospel. He has a huge voice, and it's almost impossible not to start moving your shoulders when you're sitting and watching him. Plus, he has a very proud and enthusiastic mom, and that's pretty cute.
We start off room 2 with Charity Vance. She was an early favorite, but this song doesn't really work for me. She seems almost shrill.
Worship pastor Tasha Layton did a fantastic job on day 1, but we don't get to see her final performance.
This year's Nikki McKibbin, Mary Powers, is also in room 2, and she's been making quite the impression on the rest of the contestants all week. Seacrest interviews her and she says the song she's about to sing "is cake," and then she goes on to say that she's not intimidated. Something tells me that this may be the pride before the fall that we're witnessing. Indeed, she's singing Katy Perry, and it's like bad Karaoke. She's all sassy face, with very little with which to back it up.
Lloyd Thomas misses his wife and kids, and it's shown in a way that makes it seem like getting cut at this point in the competition may not be such a bad thing. He's singing 'Man in the Mirror', and while it's fine, it's an unremarkable performance.
Hope Johnson has performed strongly all week, but she's not blowing me away in this final performance. Kara's smile actually looks a little pained.
Shelby Dressel is singing 'More Than a Feeling,' which is an interesting choice, and it's not good, you guys. Even Ellen is wincing a little bit. Room 3 is not off to a great start.
Aaron Kelly is absolutely adorable, but he forgets his lyrics during his audition, which is absolutely heartbreaking. He's attempting to sing "Angel," and while he manages to pull it together, he's young and I have a feeling they may just tell him to come back next year.
Ashley Rodriguez is in this room, though, and she's been consistently good. Her final performance is no exception, and now I'm really confused as to what room is in and who's going home.
Lee DeWyze and Joe Munoz also perform well, so things are looking up for room 3. Haeley Vaughn is also in this room, and the judges love her, so I can't imagine her not making it.
Janell Wheeler is having voice problems, and she's singing Taylor Swift. She does a pretty good job, despite her issues. However, for singing such a fun song, she doesn't seem to be having that great of a time with it.
Right before we find out who's cut, we learn the names of some more people in room 1: we have Tori Kelly, Lilly Scott and Andrew Garcia (oh, this group is so in). In fact, the judges come in and tell them that they're all in.
Next, the judges visit room 2. This room had the weakest of all of the performances we saw, so I'll be shocked if they make it through. Simon tells them that they haven't made it.
In room 3, Randy and Kara are the worst at doing the fake-out. Kara really gets over-dramatic, so a lot of the people in room 3 probably figured out they were moving through before they were actually told.
The setup for the final judgment is different than the weird mansion setting of last year. This year, the contestants are finding out their fates in the Kodak Theater, and they have to walk down the entire length of the auditorium and sit onstage in a chair with a spotlight over them. Then, the judges sit across from them and give them the news. It's a very artificially tense scene for a situation that's naturally tense, so it just seems a little weird.
- Michael Lynch: In
- Didi Benami: In
- Katelyn Epperly: In
- Shelby Dressel: Out
- Casey James: In
- Aaron Kelly: In
- Lee DeWyze: In
- Todrick Hall: In
- Jessica Furney: Out