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Season 12
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In the world's ultimate talent search, where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Mariah Carey
Randy Jackson
Nicki Minaj
Keith Urban
Mentor Jimmy Iovine
Announcer Mark Thompson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Nigel Lythgoe
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Trish Kinane
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Wed & Thurs, Fox
@American Idol

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Hollywood Week: Part 1
February 6

Over 150 people received the ticket to their dreams. But now it's a matter of hanging onto it at any and all cost. Call it the Callbacks. Call it the Bootcamp. Call it Hell Week. Anyway you call it, it's HOLLYWOOD BABY.

Valley Performance Arts Center - Northridge

And if you think you know the Hollywood Round.. think again.

There are three parts - the line sing, the group sing, and the solo sing. The difference this year, the PRODUCERS choose the groups you sing in. Each group will choose a song from a group of 20. In the solo sing, you will perform a cappella unless it is second nature for you to use an instrument. And in the end, only 20 guys and 20 girls will make the cut.

And all through the proceedings, the men and the women will perform and be judged separately. The ladies will perform next week. The men will perform RIGHT NOW.

DAY 1: The Men's Line Sing

This day will separate the men from the boys.

Micah Johnston (24; Morrow, GA; Navy) kicks us off with "Bennie and the Jets". You remember him as the guy whose nerves were nicked from a tonsillectomy. That starts a run of... well, runs. Micah... is IN. So is Peter, Mathenee, and Devin. And Nate Tao (24, Reston, VA; ASL teacher), Gabe Brown (22, Marion, IA; baker), and Gurpreet Singh Sarin (22; North Potomac, MD; student). What about Karl Skinner (26; Joplin MO; pizza chef), blasted off that Coke and the "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"? What about the rest of his line? What about... no. Firefighter Dustin Watts and singing doctor Calvin Peters are also discharged.

Finally before lunch, Cortez Shaw (22; Dallas; sales rep) takes on a dangerous song... Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You". He says he grew up with nothing. He may yet leave with nothing. Mariah liked it. Nicki didn't. Randy didn't. ... but he gets one more shot. Curtis Finch (24; St. Louis, choir director) joins him. Frankie Ford (25; Brooklyn; busker) joins BOTH of them. Lazaro Arbos (21; Naples, FL; ice cream scoop) tries "Angels" by Robbie Williams. Nicki loves it instantly. So does the rest of the panel. They put him through. Trevor Blakney (24; Corinth, MS; Army sergeant), Bryant Tadeo (23; Hilo, HI; sales associate), and Charles Allen (22; Saginaw, MI; server) all join him... well... Trevor and Charles do. Bryant... is tired. Sleep well knowing you'll be singing another day. FAKE OUT!

Last line of the day has Brian Rittenberry (28; Jasper, GA; bookkeeper) singing "Back at One" by Brian McKnight. But I'm afraid it's back at one for Brian. Half of the guys join him.

The other half must prepare for the toughest 24 hours of their lives.

DAY 2: The Men's Group Sing

Drama. Lots of it. Who mans up, and who ships out? Many of them have decided to form groups the first moment they found out they've been making it. BUT, as you know, there's a twist... This year, the decision is being made by Ken Warwick & Nigel Lythgoe. The excrement has been rendered factual. And the differences are starting to bubble to the surfaces. Meanwhile, the groups are working with the team of vocal coaches. And whoever doesn't have a coach, is in the bathroom or wherever they are practicing.

And then people start dying. At 4 in the morning, frustrations start to set in. Country Queen - made up of two hipsters and two country crooners - call it a night after failing to find common ground.

Morning comes and so do the final products. Each group will be performing with Ray Chew and the American Idol band, but they'll be judged individually.

First up, the Mathheads (Nick Boddington, Mathenee Treco, Matheus Fernandes, Gabe Brown) with "Somebody to Love" by Queen. They have a great blend... Matheus... Nick... Mathenee... and Gabe... are all going through.

Normal Hills (Johnny Keyser, Kareem Clark, et al.) continue with "Reach Out (I'll Be There)"... even as Johnny doesn't know the lyrics. I think he just blew it. For everybody. Kareem... is out. Johnny is in. JUST BARELY.

Charlie Askew, Curtis Finch, and a third started out well, but when Charlie fell ill... It was a fight to get on stage with a partly poppy, partly churchy "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars. That was creative. They're all through.

The Four Tones (Micah Johnston, Vincent Powell, Marvin Calderon, David Willis) sing "Hold On, I'm Coming". All four Tones are through. Young Love (Zach Birnbaum, Nate Tao, Cortez Shaw, Elijah Liu) sing "Some Kind of Wonderful"... and they're in.

The Tailors thought they were easy with "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson. Obviously... not. Paul Jolley and Will White live to sing another day. B-Side ... same issue with "Payphone" by Maroon 5. This personified the train wreck. Mark... Peter... Gurpreet... and Chris... are through?! As in the next round, through? SERIOUSLY?

Time for more slaughtering. Last Minute (Jason Jones, Dan Wood, Jessie Lawrence, and a fourth) are doing One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful"... and it's already. Actually to call it a massacre would be an insult to massacres. They're ALL going home.

Next, the only group - Ryan Connor Smith, Devin Velez, Devon Jones, and Adrian - to do their performance a cappella of "Payphone". They could've used the band. They really could've. Devo/in and Adrian... are all in. Ironically, Ryan's out.

Group Day continues with MoFlo (Burnell Taylor, Darien Moses, Tony Foster Jr., Mario Jose) is learning a new song, and learning that learning said song is hard. It's "Some Kind of Wonderful". It's some kind of not terrible. They've got easy confidence, but the pitch was shaky. Darien and Mario... are going home.

Super 55 (Lazaro Arbos, Josh Stephens, Scott Fleenor, Christian Lopez) perform "Wouldn't It Be Nice", a song that Lazaro doesn't know beforehand.  They spent too much time teaching Lazaro the song and not enough time on the blend. Josh... Scott... both leaving us today.

It's been a long day, and it's going to get longer... next is Country Queen (country crooners Lee Pritchard & Trevor Blakney and non-country crooners JDA & Joel Wayman) singing "More Than Words" by Extreme. They have one thing in common... they don't know the words. Trevor is outta here. Josh, JDA, and Joel on the other hand... are. And honestly, Trevor takes the news hard.

Next, the youngest group, DKSK, including returning contestant David Leathers and the youngest in the contest Kayden Stephenson. With Sanni M'Mairura and another, they'll sing "For the Longest Time" by Billy Joel. David... and Sanni... are in. Kayden, better luck next time. Joining him: Griffin Peterson and Clifton Duffin.

7:30pm. We're nearing the end of the group sing with Oz (Frankie Ford, Papa Peachez, Charles Allen, Adam Sanders) left to perform. From go, they had a musical imbalance. Can they finally bring it together with "American Boy" by Estelle. And yeah, Frankie completely blows it. He steps forward... Papa Peachez... Frankie... is going home. Papa Peachez is through. And that will do it for the guys tonight. Tomorrow, they will all take the stage one more time to sing for their lives.

To see extras from this episode, go to www.americanidol.com.