The hangar auditions of last night's episode (February 5) were a trial-by-fire surprise for the contestants, and — like the hair of Keith Urban's bygone mullet — many were cut.
In case you missed the brutal twist last night, the aspiring singers arrived in Los Angeles only to be brought straight to a cavernous hangar, where they had to perform on the spot for the three judges — Keith, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr.
Then, as if it weren't stressful enough, the group of auditioning contestants were divided into two groups and sent to two buses — and only once they were aboard were they told whether their bus was headed to Hollywood or back to the airport.
Tonight, it's time for contestants to meet their first real challenge — you know, not counting the whole airplane hangar nightmare — and it seems like just about everybody is cracking under the pressure. The first contestants to go (David, Tony, and Sarina) have all been to Hollywood Week before, so this is old hat to them. And it's a good thing they knew what to expect, because the other contestants are super impressed by their performance!
J.Lo says they're cutting the group from 100 to 50 after the group performances, so this is going to be a bad day for half the contestants there. Tony, the first person to be eliminated, is taking it pretty well, so maybe we're in for fewer tears than we've seen so far? Then again, maybe not.
Next, the Backstreet Cowboys — also known as Casey Thrasher, Dexter Roberts, and Ben Briley — deliver a grittier, country-er version of the Backstreet Boys hit, "I Want It That Way." J.Lo's look of delight through their whole performance and the standing ovation they received afterwards made it no surprise when all three guys got through.
Briana Oakley is killing "Royals" by Lorde. The rest of her group sounded good, yes (and they all made it through), but Briana is definitely a standout so far.
Spencer Lloyd is adorable, but there's no way his group had even close to enough time to perform. Their rendition of "Best I Never Had" by Gavin DeGraw was an actual train wreck — and not necessarily because of their voices.
Tiquila Wilson is seriously dropping out of the competition? We get that you gotta do what your heart says, girl! But that's such a huge opportunity to give up. We don't think we'd be able to let go of a single moment to spend with Harry Connick, Jr.
Another group who doesn't know the words to their song? The audience likes it, but the judges do not look impressed. Wait, didn't you guys get to choose which song you did? We're not understanding the whole forgetting the words thing.
Yikes. We can't imagine being sick on a day as important as one where we're performing for the American Idol judges.
Watching Jess Meuse stumble through "Single Ladies" is almost painful. We feel so bad for her, but also questioning that there are people in the world who don't worship Beyoncé. Also, we can't handle the mom pulling an Amy Poehler in the back doing the dance moves for her daughter.
And now, this mom has officially gone from lovably embarrassing to seriously embarrassing. Who's rude to total strangers on camera? Besides maybe Real World roommates. And Kanye West.
The judges are definitely getting a lot harsher with the contestants now that the competition is getting real. Thankfully, the final performance was awesome (even if it did involve more leather than we'd hope). Malaya Watson definitely knocked it out of the park!
Next week, we get the final judging before the Top 30 are announced — one more round of solos. We can't wait! See ya Wednesday!