After six nights of auditions we've finally made it to Hollywood Week for American Idol Season 13 and we couldn't be more excited! We're finally getting to know the contestants and man, are there some talented ones this year.
Rumor has it this latest round of Hollywood magic is chock-full of twists including one that will send wannabe American Idols home just moments after they make it to California. Sound rough? Yep, we think so too but when it comes to Idol, only the best need apply.
If you're interested in which lucky souls make it through the next four rounds of shows to break into the Season 13's Top 31, we've got spoilers with just that kind of info. You can also get a sneak peek of what to expect during tonight's episode and let us tell you, these performers came to play (both instruments and in a bigger, "I'm gonna win!" sense of the word).
Be sure to check back here throughout the episode — which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on FOX — for a live recap of everything Hollywood. We're sure there'll be tears and cheers, good performances and bad and we'll be here, documenting every moment!
Okay, so the big surprise about Hollywood Week? Instead of heading to their hotel to rest once the contestants arrive in California, they're being taken to a secluded airplane hangar. We swear, it's not as murder-y as it sounds — J.Lo, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban are there, after all. But they're picking select contestants to perform for them on the spot — that's right, with no prior warning or time to practice— and if they don't pass the test, they're out. Yikes! This is terrifying!
Johnny Newcomb is first to be called, and if he's any indication, the judges are choosing contestants they've been iffy about since auditions to sing in the Danger Hangar. No pressure, guys.
Soon, we start to see contestants we recognize — like Adam Roth. You probably remember him as the guy who wants to heal us all with sound, and now, he's performing his own rendition of (what else?) "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. So far, he's the contestant who's handled the pressure best of all, although can we really blame these people for choking in a situation like this?
The judges are lecturing the contestants because they've got a feeling they're not taking it seriously enough, and in doing so, they are totally giving us America's Next Top Model flashbacks. The reality star spirit of Tyra is definitely in this hangar.
Afterwards, the judges hear from Neco Starr, and he totally makes up for all those bad performances we just had to sit through. His version of "Gorilla" would make Bruno Mars so proud.
Everyone who hasn't auditioned again at this point is sent home. They're fine. Everyone who sang, though? They've gotta stay and wait for their names to be called. One group will be boarding a bus to the hotel, and the other bus will take contestants back to the airport. You mean to tell us these people are getting on a bus without knowing if they're staying or going 'til they realize what their destination is? Tough.
The first real Hollywood day is kicking off, with the contestants' families in the audience. Majesty Rose is going first, performing "1,2,3,4" by Feist. She looks a little nervous, but her adorable dress and her voice both compensate for any nerves.
Brandy Neelly, who is also in Majesty's line, steps up to perform soon after. She's got such a huge voice! We love it. And apparently, so do the judges, because she makes it through to the next round!
When Spencer Lloyd takes the mic, we know we see a star in the making. First of all, just look at that face!
Not only is he adorable, but he can sing — and like J.Lo said, singing A Great Big World's "Say Something" was the perfect song choice for his vocal range. We're looking forward to seeing more of him now that we know he makes it through to the next round.
Welcome back, Girl With The Most Awesome Name Ever! You guessed it: Austin Wolfe is back, and she wants to be the next American Idol because she wants "to perform in front of people who actually want to see me," which is a pretty good reason. Covering Adele is always a slippery slope, but Austin's not half bad.
We also welcome Bria Anai Johnson back, and while her super sparkly lip gloss is a bit distracting, she has one of the strongest voices we've heard so far. Go girl!
Our hearts are in our stomachs for Selena Moreno. She tries so hard to get that high note out, and it's just not happening. How sweet is her sister cheering her on from the audience, though? Even though she didn't make it through, she still wants the best for her sis. Selena's headed home, but at least she gave it a fair shot — and she's got her sibling for support.
It's the next line's turn! Sam Woolf flawlessly pulls off John Mayer's "Waiting on The World to Change" with his grandpa in the audience to root him on.
C.J. Harris is not even a little bit distracted by Jen and Harry's banter. He's here to perform, and perform he does. And J.Lo's compliment that "that boy can sing" doesn't hurt, either.
Alex Preston covers "Scream and Shout," and it's totally unexpected and also way better than the original song. Sorry, Britney.
Kenzie Hall is still one of our favorite contestants so far. Adorable plus talented, and she can rap better than Macklemore? We're definitely rooting for her.
We've never heard a guy sing Lorde, but Briston Maroney and his crazy standout voice take "Royals" to a new level.
Dexter Roberts is up, and the judges are the happiest we've seen them all night watching him. Keith even joins in on Dexter's guitar. This is the kind of reaction you want, people!
If Maurice Townsend did not take his adorable little boy to Hollywood after he packed himself in his dad's suitcase, we don't want to know what was actually worth packing. So cute! Either way, Maurice's rendition of "Impossible" is making his kiddies proud.
Speaking of cute kids, Casey Thrasher is up next. We want this guy to make it only so we can see more of his adorable kidlets!
Harry's BFF is back! Remember the time Harry cradled someone as he sang and it wasn't us? How could we forget?
Caleb Johnson is giving us serious Michael Jackson flashbacks with that red leather jacket... even though he relates to Michael Jackson in no other way.
Kristen O'Connor performs with so much emotion and heart. We like her. And Keith does, too. Dd you catch that look of adoration in his eyes?
Emmanuel Zidor is actually adorable... but we really, really hope he does his actual job just as well as he sings despite what he told the Idol cameras. Especially when we're flying into and out of the Atlanta airport.
After a few truly bizarre auditions, we get back to the music with 16-year-old Malaya Watson, who is way too vocally advanced for someone her age. Can you believe she's still in high school?!
Jena Asciutto sounds amazing. We would buy her album yesterday.
Surprise! Time to get into groups... which is going to be a major drama fest. We can't wait! Ugh, this is bringing back painful memories of high school science projects.
Aaaand the rehearsal room is looking a lot like a high school classroom, too. Arguments over who's in whose groups, drama between group members, and even tears. It's like we can smell the No. 2 pencils and Scantron sheets.
The morning of the group performances, it sounds like nobody got enough sleep — duh, you were up 'til 3 a.m. rehearsing! Group members are missing, some are still sleeping. What a headache! And the judges just have to waltz in and, you know, judge people all day in their big comfy chairs. Where do we sign up for that job? Also, this guy on the piano is made of sass. We love it.
So how do the group performances go? We'll have to find out tomorrow night...