'American Idol' Hollywood Round, Part 1 Recap

by Hilary Rothing, posted Feb 10th 2011 10:04PM
Double the contestants! Double the drama!

Welcome to Hollywood, kids, where lyrics are forgotten, tears are shed and dreams are crushed!

Actually, tonight's first dip in the deadly Hollywood waters wasn't all that shocking. As expected, the judges cut some of the lesser talent while keeping most of the early favorites on board for next week.

Boca Raton's Brett Loewenstern was the first of the front-runners to pass muster with J.Lo, Steven and Randy. Brett's personal story revolved around the constant bullying he suffered in high school, thus his choice of The Beatles' 'Let It Be' was touching. Seriously, stop beating this kid up.

New Yorker Rachel Zevita, talent show vet Thia Megia and the jazzy Casey Abrams all made it past the first round. Abrams' second performance was particularly strong. After all, how easy is it for a guy who looks like Seth Rogen to be taken seriously with an a capella cover of Ella Fitzgerald's 'Lullaby of Birdand?'

Victoria Huggins, American IdolAs for those who couldn't take the Hollywood heat, bubbly North Carolina teen Victoria Huggins found out that her ever-present smile and "aww shucks" charm can only take her so far. Her performance of 'Dancing with the Stars' staple, Julianne Hough's 'My Hallelujah Song,' was anywhere but on key, forcing the 17-year-old to do an about face back to North Carolina, with 11 pieces of luggage in tow.

New Orleans' Paris Tassin made it through, despite going with the deadly, 'My Heart Will Go On.' And last night's big story, James Durbin, got by with The Beatles' 'Oh! Darling.' But his over-indulgent screeching could get old fast if the judges/mentors don't reel him in.

Nashville favorite and the girl Steven called "the one," Lauren Alaina, gave a strong performance of 'Unchained Melody.' And Milwaukee's Chris Medina got by on a rather shaky rendition of Jason Mraz's 'You and I Both.'

If there's one thing the producers want us to know about the first round of Hollywood, it's that the contestants are all really nervous. Case in point, the fragile Hollie Cavanagh. After catching a break in Austin with a second chance, she hit a home run in Hollywood with Miley Cyrus' 'When I Look at You.'

Jacee Badeaux, American IdolMeanwhile, 15-year-old NOLA stand-out Jacee Badeaux showed no sign of nerves with his version of Rascall Flatt's 'Bless the Broken Road.' Badeaux, along with New Jersey's Robbie Rosin, secured slots in the next round.

As for this season's power couples, irony abounds. Exes Chelsee Oaks and Rob Bolin made it through with ease while their new best friends, lovebirds Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford, were savagely torn apart by the heartless 'American Idol' judges panel. Jacqueline made it while Nick bombed. However, his beloved's achievement seemed to be of little comfort to Nick, who was too caught up in his own rejection to care.

A trio of familiar faces took the easy route by going with audition encores instead of risking the first Hollywood round on a new tune. Jackie Wilson, Jerome Bell and Scott McCreery all skated by with the same songs that got them to Hollywood in the first place.

And as expected, a few other favorites from last night's San Francisco auditions also got through with ease. Clint Gamboa, Julie Zorrilla and Stefano Langone are among the 168 contestants to make it to the next round. Included in the group is also Milwaukee Summer Fest employee Naima Adedapo.

But how New Jersey's Tiffany Rios skated by is still a surprise to me. Rios prefaced her performance by making a rather bold claim. "I'm tired of seeing people try to do what I know I can," said Rios. Her rendition of Etta James's 'All I Could Do Was Cry' didn't sound that hot through my lousy TV speakers, but the judges apparently found it worthy of round two.

Now, does Rios understand that if she continues on she'll be living under the same roof as the competition she claims to best? Or maybe that's her whole angle to begin with. Because I'm not sure how much further her singing can take her.

'American Idol' continues in Hollywood next Wednesday at 8PM ET on Fox.

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I like the new Idol. it is more interesting this year. It had become boring with the changes made before.

The fun of the show was or is seeing these people who think they can sing well enough to be in the finals.

February 11 2011 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Simon where are you? Anybody seen Simon? I don't like Lopez, she just dosen't seem right for the show. I can take Tyler he's not so bad. Randy, I can't believe you let the guy go that did know how to sing and kept the lil short guy who was crying the blues.

February 10 2011 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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