'American Idol' Start of Hollywood Week: More Cuts, Shocking Ending
Now all the contestants who tried out in the various Idol auditions across the country have landed in Hollywood. A total of 309 arrived in Tinseltown where half that number will be eliminated. The first round consists of singing a solo in front of the judges without any music accompaniment.
- What is Hollywood Week?
- First Round - A Cappella Solo
- Some Old Familiar Faces & Win Some, Lose Some
- Shocking Ending
What is Hollywood Week?
Those who received a golden ticket to go to Hollywood began arriving with stars in their eyes on "American Idol" Wednesday night. Sadly, many will be leaving during this crucial round where they sing without any music, much like the city auditions. The big difference with Hollywood there will be hundreds competing for a spot in the coveted Top 24.
Now the pressure is enormous, because they are performing not for the judges, but an audience of competitors too. If they make it to the second round they will get into groups of at least 2 to a maximum of 4 for the group round. This is the most challenging part of Hollywood Week. The last competitive round is performing solo for the judges with music. Finally, there is the selection process by the judges on who made it to the semi-finals.
First Round - A Cappella Solo
Is it A Cappella, Acappella, Acapella, A Capella, Acapella or A Capela? Actually the first one is correct. An easy way to remember this, its two words in one with two “p’s” and two “l’s.” A Cappella is singing without musical instruments, live or recorded. In all seasons on Idol this is the first stage of Hollywood Week. This is what they had to do in front of the judges in whatever city they auditioned in. One big difference there is others up onstage with them when they sing individually to the judges again. The city audition was more intimate. Hollywood is a true cattle call. Here is where the judges separate the wheat from the chaff.
Some Old Familiar Faces & Win Some, Lose Some
The ones who were featured extensively in the city auditions such as Baylie Brown, Hallie Day, Shannon Magrane and Lauren Gray were highlighted in this Hollywood episode. It was like seeing old friends returning to the stage. Lauren Gray was really into her bluesy a cappella that I didn’t want to end. She was just getting started while Randy was waving her to stop, since he heard enough. Finally Gray looked up and stopped. Shannon Magrane is from my hometown of Tampa, Florida. Magrane sang Alicia Keys “Fallin’” with a lot of gusto for a young teen. Another one we didn’t see in earlier episodes, such as Elise Testone, gave a powerful performance. Jeremy Rosado is one we saw for the first time. It was interesting to find out he is also from the Tampa Bay area. My favorite audition of the night was from Johnny Keyser, whom we saw recently from the St. Louis auditions.
Inevitably there were others we got to know during the auditions who will not be moving on in the competition. One prime example was Travis Orlando whose story we got to know for season 10 and 11. He was cut in the first round last year and once again this season. Ramiro Garcia, who was born without ears, did not make it. Jane Carrey who auditioned in San Diego, and her famous father is Jim Carrey, gave a very weak and amateur performance. She wore one of the most hideous dresses I have ever seen. It made her look extremely overweight. By far the most pathetic moments of Hollywood were the ones who kept asking for a second chance. I'm sure they state the rules to the contestants beforehand.
Hollywood Week has been filled with plenty of tears, disappointments and fights, but nothing could match the unbelievable incident that ended with a cliffhanger. Near the end of the show one last group was auditioning. One in particular, Symone Zaire Black, was the first time we were introduced to her. Instead of focusing on her story earlier they showcased it for Hollywood.
Black, 16, described her dad as a vocal coach, mentor and stage dad. When the judges asked what she would be singing she answered “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. I truly liked her song choice as that is one of my all-time favorite songs. It has vivid lyrics, a nice story and the whistling at the end by Redding is infectious.
After Symone Black was finished, the judges were asking why that song? She said she wanted to reach an older crowd. Randy Jackson joked “we are an older crowd?” It was then Black was defending her response as she was walking towards the edge of the stage when she fell right off. This reminded me so much of the time when Marie Osmond passed out on “Dancing with the Stars.” One minute she’s fine, the next time she’s on the floor. What a way to end the first night of Hollywood Week.
American Idol Official Website, AmericanIdol.com
Primarily A Cappella, Singers.com
Carla Patton, “'American Idol' Recap: Dropping Like Flies in Hollywood," BuddyTV.com
Brian Mansfield, “‘American Idol’ in Hollywood: Strong start, shocking ending,” USAToday.com
All photos and promotional image from Wikimedia Commons.