American Idol 2013 Recap: Hollywood Rounds Part 2 — The Guys Go Solo! (VIDEOS)
On American Idol 2013 tonight, the guys return for the next round of their Hollywood Week battle to reach the Top 20. The grueling group phase is over and now the men will be flying solo for one last chance to win the hearts -- and votes -- of the judges. Join us here for our live American Idol recap and find out who was eliminated and survived during part two of Hollywood Rounds! From our Season 12 spoilers for the Top 40, we already know who was eliminated on American Idol 2013 during the Hollywood Rounds. Watching how it all goes down, however, is an entirely different story. Sometimes the judges seem to have it totally right about who should move on, and sometimes the fans are outraged about the great talent that gets sent packing. In the first night of the guys Hollywood Week rounds, viewers saw several strong early favorites among those who went home on American Idol last night. Handsome firefighter Dustin Watts, singing doctor Calvin Peters, heart-of-gold country boy Brian Rittenberry and ‘The Turbanator’ Gurprett Singh Sarin were among those who were eliminated. Adorable Kayden Stephenson failed in the group round and sighs over the grief on his cute face were audible across the country. The most heartbreaking elimination of the night, however, was train singer Frankie Ford, who wept and sobbed like a sad, broken thing after the American Idol judges decided he would not continue on. In between the tears, however, there were plenty of joyful moments on American Idol 2013 last night as well. Lazaro Arbos overcame the obstacle of his thick stutter to survive through both the a capella and group rounds despite difficulty communicating with the judges and other contestants. Micah Johnson, who suffers a very different kind of speech impediment due to a tonsil surgery complication, also make it through. Papa Peachez moved on simply because of judge Nicki Minaj’s adoration and Burnell Taylor, the man who made Mariah Carey cry during auditions, also squeezed through despite a rough group performance. All that is in the past, however, and in our American Idol recap for the second round of the guys Hollywood Week, everything reboots. Even if a contestant was absolutely fabulous in both of the previous rounds, a terrible solo performance tonight could still keep him from reaching the Top 40. Who will make it through to Vegas Week from the guys? Our American Idol live recap starts right here at 8 p.m. ET. And here we go!
After the usual review clip from last night’s episode, the first solo performer up for the night is the normally cheery Paul Jolley. He is so scared of what will happen tonight, his voice is shaking with nerves. The judges tell him to shake it out. He promises to hold it together and starts to sing...
Nicki Minaj says Paul walking out so defeated and nervous really turned her off. Paul starts talking over her and interrupting her. Randy tells him to “be jolly” in the first lame joke of the evening. He won’t find out if he is going through yet. He’ll have to wait and sweat it out, as host Ryan Seacrest says, because they will be eliminating in groups of eight.
Papa Peachez brings attitude and confidence to the stage, but the judges aren’t quite sure what he is going on with his song choice. Nicki Minaj told him last night he was too complacent last night and she tells him that she is now pretty sure his “flame is completely burnt out.” She tells the other judges he was “such a f**king dissapointment.”
Next on stage is Lazaro Arbus, who sounds great, but we only get a brief snippet before the cameras are moving on. He shouldn't have any trouble getting through to Vegas Week.
Cutie Jimmy Smith is back to redeem himself after a not-so-stellar set of performances last night, but his Stevie Nicks song choice is not sounding like much of a redemption. He seems nervous and uncomfortable. Is it me, or does he look like that kid from The Blue Lagoon?
Papa Peachez and Nicholas Mathis are eliminated, but Jimmy Smith, Vincent Powell and Johnny Keyser are passed through to Vegas Week. Nicholas is crushed and asks for the cameras to get out of his face, yelling and cursing.
Nick Boddington was eliminated in Vegas in Season 11 and he’s really hoping he doesn’t end up going home even earlier this time around. He’s decided to play the keyboard himself for his solo performance. Keith Urban is feeling it, whispering to the other judges that “he has a beautiful voice.”
Curtis Finch Jr. gets far more screen time and he gives a gorgeous performance that prompts Mariah Carey to tell him she is a “fan” and he sounded beautiful. I think it's a given he will get a yes from the judges.
One of my favorites, the very quirky Charlie Askew, comes up next. He says he picked his song because of, well... “there was a girl...” He is doing “Somebody I Used to Know” because he hopes he won’t end up being just that to this girl he dated. He is simply spectacular. A few rough moments but just awesome. Nicki says she is “obsessed with you” and Charlie says “Baby, I could say the same thing.” Snap! Charlie says he glorifies “weirdness” and Nicki says please “don’t change, please stay like that.” After he leaves, Nicki tells the other American Idol judges she is “going to eat him,” which is apparently high praise from Nicki!
The first group of eight guys are pulled up on stage to find out their fates. Paul Jolley, Lazaro Arbus and Curtis Finch Jr. are all selected to move on to the next round. The other five guys, who aren’t named, are sent home.
Back from break and the nerves are getting to everyone. There are tears, shaking hands and sweating all around. Except for contestant Devin Velez, who seems as cool as a cucumber. He seems to have the right idea. You have one chance, there is no good reason to muck it up by freaking out over it. He starts singing and Randy Jackson is immediately making happy affirmation noises while Keith Urban starts humming along. Going to Vegas? Oh yeah, I think so. Keith says Devin is “born to sing.”
The next group is waiting to find out if they will be eliminated and it looks like... Nick Boddington, Josh “Jada” Davila, Mathenee Treco and Charlie Askew are all going to Vegas!
Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon both sing the same song and the judges seem to like them both equally well, although I personally wasn’t strongly taken with either performance.
Gurpreet Singh Sarin sings “Georgia On My Mind,” which is just totally fun coming from a guy in a turban, especially since he rocks it with his guitar.
Micah Johnson, on the other hand, is a total enjoyment. Like Lazaro Arbos, when Micah starts singing, you totally forget there is anything wrong with his speaking voice. Before he can find out if he’s safe, however, we have to have another commercial break.
Cortez Shaw also gives a deliciously sweet performance that has the American Idol judges clapping and laughing in appreciation.
Sadly, the judges don’t agree with my opinion that Micah is awesome and they decide to cut him. Also gone are baker Gabe Brown, Sanni M'Mairura from San Antonio, and Nate Tao.
The guys who are left are all celebrating, but then suddenly they are called back to the stage. Panic time! The judges congratulate them on their success today. However, it is not all good news. There are 28 left after the first Hollywood Week, but next Thursday night, eight more of them will be sent home to finalize the Top 20 guys.
Before we find out who they are, however, (unless you want to read our American Idol spoilers), the girls will take the stage for their own Hollywood rounds! Be sure to join us for our live American Idol recaps next week!
Former The Glee Project competitor Matheus Fernandez performs “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson, but unfortunately it is just not the best song choice. Either his voice just can’t handle it, or he is too nervous to pull it off. He goes off pitch, sounds flat and loses his breath during the chorus. Sadly, it is a very weak performance and the judges are not looking pleased. At the end, Nicki Minaj tells him he doesn’t need to “milk” the fact that he is super short because he mentions his struggle with that before every performance. She says that doesn’t matter because if he is great, no one is going to even notice.
Welcome back to solo day after another break. Nicholas Mathis was part of a group that got a standing ovation during the group performances, but now he is on his own. He hopes to provide a better life for his children. Randy is bobbing along, but Mariah is not looking happy and Keith Urban just seems confused.
Nicholas falls to his knees dramatically during the chorus of his song, but it does not improve his performance. Keith says he felt like he was “chasing the song” and Nicholas begs for a second chance... but there are no second chances in Hollywood Week. He can only hope his group performance will be enough, but he is in angry tears that he did not do better in the solo.