It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holiday season — it’s Hollywood Week, y’all. Time for all the wannabes and gonna-bes to really show the judges — and more importantly, us! — what they’re made of.
Steven recites the Cowardly Lion’s “Courage” speech from The Wizard of Oz as a pep talk for the contestants, and it makes us miss Blaine Anderson. (Here’s hoping his eye is all better in time for Valentine’s Day!)
We’re starting out with what Ryan cheerfully calls “Sudden Death.” All the contestants will perform the song of their choice acappella, and the judges will call them out in groups of 10 to learn their fate. Half of the contestants will be cut in this round, ouch!
The first singer tonight is blue-eyed cutie pie Johnny Keyser, who’s still pretty dreamy. The only other person we see sing from this group of 10 is nerdy-but-charming Heejun Han. He doesn’t sound great on “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” but his voice is definitely good, and they both go through, obviously.
Girl power! Elise Testone performs a rockin’ and raspy version of “Virtual Insanity.” (Remember when Blake Lewis sang this in Season 6? It was awesome.) Baylie Brown remains gorgeous, as does her voice. Hallie Day does a nice job with the done-to-death “Natural Woman.” All through to the next round!
Oh, never mind, here’s the pain. Some girl destroying Heart. Some girl destroying Adele. Various other girls crashing and burning spectacularly. Sorry, ladies, we may have jinxed you.
Phillip Phillips, whose audition version of “Thriller” we looooooved, is extremely nervous. His Hollywood performance is a little shaky, but he’s still a doll. Reed Grimm sings “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, which is hilarious, plus he’s pretty good. The crowd loves him. Travis Orlando has a sad story (his mom walked out on his family) and a sweet voice. Unfortunately, while Phillip and Reed go through, Travis doesn’t make the cut.
Also cut, Ramiro Garcia, the man born without ears, and a mechanic with the freakin’ awesome name Wolf Hamlin. For that name alone he should’ve made the semifinals, right?!
Adam Brock is a little bit dorky and a little bit cute, and he has an adorable baby, and his voice is really gorgeous on “Walkin’ in Memphis.” We like him. We like Jane Carrey (Jim Carrey’s daughter) somewhat less. She’s beautiful, and she seems to have a lot of personality — no surprise, considering half of her DNA — but her performance is rough. Adam gets through; Jane doesn’t. She calls her dad for comfort. We assume he makes her laugh, too.
After a montage of people begging for additional chances, it’s time for “resident ladies’ man” David Leathers, Jr. Oh, no, fakeout, first we get Shannon Magrane. Her take on Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’” is pretty nice! Now it’s David’s turn, and he sings “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. Has his voice not changed yet? It’s incredible, but not a grown man’s voice. If it changes mid-competition, this could be very interesting! Anyway, next up is Jessica Phillips, whose boyfriend is still recovering from his stroke. She’s all right — her story is better than her voice, honestly. Either way, all three make it through, and a bunch of people whose names we’ll never know get sent home.
Erika Van Pelt sings the sparkles out of Pink’s “Glitter in the Air” and we just freakin’ love her. Creighton Fraker does a really great version of “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Aaron Marcellus has a range that’s bigger than Steven Tyler’s lips. Lauren Mink sings “Alone” by Heart and it’s a little wonky. Jeremy Rosado does a decent job with “Superstar.”
The last singer for the day is Symone Black, a pretty 16-year-old girl with a stage dad and a lovely voice. She sings some Otis Redding and it’s very nice, and then she proceeds to totally take a header off the stage while she’s talking to the judges! Sweet Merciful Seacrest, what the hell was that? Is she okay? Does she make it through to the next round? We don’t know, because that’s the end of the episode. Argh!
Join us again tomorrow to see the rest of the contestants sing, and to find out Symone’s fate. What did you think about tonight’s singers? Did you find a new fave? Let us know!
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