Round: The Line Sing
Thousands auditioned over eight audition
cities. From there, 147 people heard those magic three words: "Welcome
to Hollywood." Now the time has come to separate the wheat from the
chaff as those 147 people are cut, like overgrowth of the Australian
bush, to the final 36.
One shot. One song. One star.
Welcome... to Hell Week.
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - Kodak Theatre
On this stage, five of the last seven
Idols were crowned. This year, it's the venue for Hollywood Week. Simon
stresses that you're only giving you one shot.
First, though, a twist. The
quarterfinalists are going to Boot Camp to get glammed up, sung up, and
taught up through a master class by star mentor Barry Manilow. "What is
the secret to becoming a star? Preparation meets opportunity. Think
about the songs that you're going to do, and then think about the
Half of the lucky 147 will sing today.
The other half take in the sites.
Today's group sing will be played in
groups of 8, with each contestant just passing the mic to the next... A
cappella. Then the four judges begin to cut.
First line contains Dennis Brigham and
Lil Rounds. (Memphis, TN; 23; service rep). Lil tries "I Will Always
Love You", a song that has been traditionally taboo. And for good
reason. She belted it with all her might. Kara enjoyed it Next, Dennis
Brigham (Glen Carbon, IL; 19; floor maintenance) sings "For Once in My
Life". Simon says that no one will take him seriously. Lil... will stick
around. Dennis is going home. And he won't leave without a fight.
"That's y'all decision... Y'all SUCK as judges."
Back outside the Kodak, the kids are
living it up in Hollywood.
Inside, a little less leisurely. Judges
take a break as the ladies document that it's been a rough start.
Next group has Nathaniel Marshall (18;
Malone, NY; unemployed), with "The Anchor Holds." With a headband, a
tie, a T-shirt, flip-flops, two lip piercings, and tattoos up and down
his arms. I hope he can sing, because he sure as hell can't dress. He's
got a clean tone to him, though. It's kinda Justin Timberlakey. Paula
complains that the song didn't go anywhere, but he had a good voice.
Nathaniel says that music has always been an anchor to him before
breaking down on stage. Also there, Anoop "Noop-Dogg" Desai (21; Chapel
Hill, NC; college student) with "If It's Magic" by Stevie Wonder and
Jasmine Murray (16; Starkville, MS; HS student) with "The Trouble with
Love Is" by Kelly Clarkson. One was full-bodied. The other was nasal.
Finally, we have Rose Flack (17; Rathdrum, ID; student), who had a bad
rehearsal and is struggling to find her voice. Will she find it with
"Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding? Sounds like it. Let's go to the
judges. They're... ALL THROUGH.
You didn't see it, but Michael Castro
(Jason's brother) was also in that group.
Next is Von Smith (22; Greenwood, MO;
singer), Jorge Nunez (20; Carolina, PR; college student), and Stephen
Fowler (26; Beachwood, OH; musician). Stephen sings "Superwoman" by
Stevie Wonder. Randy called it one of the hardest, but Stephen slayed
it. Jorge sings "Angel" by Jon Secada. Another on-point performance.
Finally, Von gives an interpretive performance of "If the Rain Must
Fall" by James Morrison. A little TOO interpretive. Simon: "I thought it
was indulgent nonsense. Horrible song, horrible performance, it's the
sort of thing a child would do."
Through to the next round: ... all three?
WHAT?! Von says that having been given another chance is humbling. We'll
Nerves are hitting all-time highs as
people are forgetting Unwritten Idol Rule #23D.4L: SONG CHOICE IS
EVERYTHING. Pick the right song and you will cruise to the next round.
Pick the wrong song, and you might as well pack your bag right now.
Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell (27;
Brookfield, CT) had a harder time with getting rid of "Norman Gentle"...
Here comes Nick Mitchell... OR NOT. You know what, who cares what he's
singing. He's going home. Fine. It's "And I'm Not Going Nowhere."
Unfortunately, you are. And it's not because he can sing, it's because
he's not taking this seriously enough to just sing the song. He has
talent, but he's not focused. Simon?
"Nick... Norman... whoever... you're
going to have to do this all over again. You're through."
Wait a minute, what? As for Norman
Gentle... Please, Nick... KILL HIM WITH FIRE. Joining him, Scott
McIntyre and Frankie Jordan. They get to rest for the next day while day
2 brings... well, we'll see.
Eighty-seven more soul prepare to take
First is Jackie Tohn (28; Silver Lake,
CA; actor/singer), who literally brought down the house in New York
City. She sings "Rock Me Right" by Susan Tedeshi... which was pretty
scary on many many levels. Randy thought she was wild and likeable.
Paula calls her memorable. So despite looking "terri-bla"... she gets
the nod through, but the victory is bittersweet, as her friends are not
What about Danny and Jamar? They were
friends before the auditions. They both talk about Sophie some more.
First is Jamar Rogers (26; Milwaukee; bartender) with MORE of
"California Dreamin'." Dude, you sound great, but pick another song.
Still, Randy says he's relevant. Next is Danny Gokey (28; Milwaukee;
church music teacher) with "Kiss from a Rose" from Seal... which went
flat going into the chorus. But he's got the it, so he'll pass. Paula
says he's ready to record. The friendly rivalry continues through to Day
Next up... Katrina Darrell (21; Chino
Hills, CA; model/former Hooters girl)... you remember her as Bikini Girl
from Phoenix, but how will she go about it in Hollywood? We'll find out
soon, but right now, a glimpse of the future... a number with stars on
the boobs. She's singing "Breathe" by Faith Hill... which is flat and
whiny. Kara, who really gave her what for in Phoenix, said that she
sounded better starting out... then took it back and says she didn't.
Paula agrees. Simon and Randy say that she needs the music around her.
End result... she's going through.
Jessica Furney... Sharon Wilburn... and Patricia Roman... not so lucky.
Next up, it's Jeremy Michael Sarver (27;
oil rig roughneck; Jasper, TX) with "More Than Anyone" by Gavin DeGraw.
Randy calls it one of the best, even better than the first time he was
seen. Jesus Valenzuela (29; fleet manager; North Highlands, CA) follows
it with a staid "Lately" by Stevie Wonder. Jesus steps forward. Jeremy
steps back.... Back row is through. Jesus is going back to North
Highlands. And he's not too happy about it. "I need to catch a flight to
Sacramento and get back to work. I'm done with this."
It's time for the last line of the day
with David Osmond (28; Provo, UT; musician; "The Way You Look Tonight"),
Erika Wesley (29; FBI agent; Portland, OR; "Don't Think Twice"), Emily
Wynne-Hughes (21; Los Angeles; singer in a band; "Excuse Me Mister")...
who completely screwed her shot at it by not rehearsing that song. The
final result... David steps forward... Emily steps forward... and
both are through. Erika, on the other hand, doesn't accept defeat
gracefully. She says she's spent her whole life being a fighter. She
wants another chance. Paula and Simon come to blows over this.
End result... the play on the field
Meanwhile, the dream is still alive for
104 contestants. But they have little time to celebrate, because around
the corner is the next challenge... the Dreaded Group Sing Round, where
your fate is not in your own hands, but in the hands of the collective.
Who will rise to meet challenge, and who'll be thrown under the bus?
Hollywood Week continues next time.