Although it seemed like it took forever to get here, Hollywood rounds are finally underway tonight. It should be interesting to see if the potential stand outs of the audition rounds do well, or if there are a few surprises along the way. There were over 300 contestants that were told they were "Going to Hollywood", well a lot of those people will check out the big "Hollywood" sign, sing a little then be going home. We'll see who survives, and who makes it to the next step in the hopes to make it eventually to the live rounds. Half of these people are going home tonight.
It's still a little hectic with there being a ton of contestants, but we'll try to narrow it down to make it easier. Here we go:
Notable Group 1 Performers:
*Johnny Keyser-This guys sounds like a mix of John Legend and maybe some Stevie Wonder and someone else I can't think of this second. He sounds just as great as he did the first time we saw him. Randy just keeps saying "Amen" over and over so I guess that means he is good.
*Heejun Han-Low on confidence, Heejun had to sing right after Johnny, so that's a whole lot of pressure. Yet, his voice didn't know that. J.Lo tells Steven that 'she loves him' and gives him an air kiss.
Continuing On?: Both Johnny, Heejun and some random girl they don't identify are moving on.
Notable Group 2 Performers:
*Elise Testone-"Wow" is all we hear from the judges. I like her, maybe not as much as the judges but I like her.
*Baylie Brown-We only heard a short clip, but her voice is really pure and I remember quite quickly how good she was initially.
*Hallie Day-Really sweet sounding voice, and her name still entertains me.
Continuing On?: All 3 ladies and many other random people.
Notable Group 3 Performers:
* Jen Hirsh-I don't really remember her from the audition rounds, but she does have a voice and hits the high notes really well.
*Lauren Gray-The girl the producers wanted to compare to Carrie Underwood definitely sang great again. She sings so well she didn't realize that she eventually had to stop.
Continuing On?: Both ladies and no other random people.
Notable Group 4 Perfomers:
*Phil Phillips- The man with the same name twice. It's been awhile since we last saw Phil but I do remember his acoustic version of "Thriller" which was good. During this round I do feel like he pushed his voice too much.
*Reed Grimm-Singing "I've Got a Golden Ticket", which is a bold choice. He does a lot of 'interesting' things with his voice, especially with the scatting. I can see that if he does too much scatting it can get a little annoying, so hopefully he'll only utilize the scat once in awhile.
*Travis Orlando-This is the second time that Travis has come to Hollywood round and second time that he has come with a ton of family issues. I actually like him better now then I did in the audition round, but the judges aren't that into him.
Continuing On?: Phil and Reed do continue on. But Travis is sent home again. Travis put a lot of pressure on this. I'm no school counselor or anything but I think Travis should go back to high school and figure out what else to do, because American Idol doesn't look like it's going to work out for him.
***Other Notable Day 1 "No's"=Romero 'man born without ears' Garcia, Wolf Hamlin and Jenny 'Kiss on Steven Tyler's lips' Schick.
Notable Group 5 Performers:
*Adam Brock-He doesn't have a really calm part of his voice, everything is very loud, but the tone and melody are decent.
*Jane Carrey-AKA Jim Carrey's daughter. If she gets to other rounds I'll stop calling her her father's daughter. But the way that judges looked I guess I don't have to stop calling her that.The judges aren't impressed with Jane this time around and neither is Jane.
Notable Group 6 Performers:
*Shannon Magrane-I liked Shannon's initial audition which had the awkward moment when Steven inadvertently told her Dad that Shannon was hot. Liked Shannon again here, very nice voice and she can do a lot with it.
*Davis Leathers Jr-This is the kid that looks like he is 11 yet is really 17, competed against Scotty McCreery in a competition a few years ago and beat him, and sounds like a young Michael Jackson. He doesn't disappoint again. He can hit those high notes that only a handful of females have hit.
*Jessica Phillips-This is the young lady that is taking care of her boyfriend that suffered a stroke. I like Jessica now, I liked her before, don't think that she is the best I've ever heard, but she is different and sounds really fresh.
Continuing On?: Shannon, David and Jessica all advance, as well as unheard Angie 'wants to be the Broadway Lady Gaga" Zeiterman and Britney "NBA Cheerleader" Kerr.
Notable Group 7 Performers:
*Erika Van Pelt-Mobile DJ Erika was strong before and is again. I like her a lot. You can hear her voice has a lot of experience behind it.
*Creighton Fraker-This is the guy that came up with a song on the bus ride to the audition round. I liked him this first time around, and I like him again.
*Aaron Marcellus-I honestly don't remember Aaron. He has a voice, but he does so many runs and high notes that I can't quite tell what kind of voice he has.
Continuing On?: All 3 sail into the next round as well as other random people.
Notable Group 8 Performers:
*Lauren Mink-Does not have the best audition. Is relatively decent, but nothing outstanding.
*Jeremy Rosado-Again, I really don't remember Jeremy, but J.Lo clearly enjoys his voice, and I liked it a whole lot.
*Symone Black-I like this girl a lot. Her voice is really fun, sweet and I think that she'll do well. That is until she fell off the stage. Like legit fell off the stage.
Continuing On?: TBD. After Symone's fall the show ends, and thus we don't learn the fate of these 3. At least not until tomorrow. That was one crazy fall, definitely gotta admit that.
*I'm not terribly shocked that the majority of the contestants that had full performance audition rounds did pretty well in tonight's episode. Only a few contestants that had some significant time early on didn't make it through. It makes sense, why should the producers spend time on people when they know that they aren't going further than the first day of Hollywood? But, I do wish that we had met some of the people in the audition rounds that randomly made it to the next round. They were cast aside again tonight.Those initial audition rounds are lengthy, why not let us see a few more contestants that go pretty far, rather than show us many people that are terrible and don't make it past their audition?
*I can't remember year to year, that's why I write this blog, but I can't remember if Hollywood rounds have always been an hour long. I feel like these rounds have been 2 hours in the past. If they are doing these rounds differently then I applaud the producers for trying to make a swifter, more crisp show because that's how it felt tonight. If this isn't anything new then I give the producers no credit.
Come on back her tomorrow when we will see what happens in Round 2 of Hollywood Week. We started with over 300 tonight, and now have about 150, tomorrow should see some more significant cuts. Please check us out right after the end of the show. Until then, see ya!