AMERICAN IDOL: Hollywood: Over 300 conetstants made it to Hollywood and only 70 will survive. The Hollywood round begins Wednesday, Feb, 8 (8:00-9:00 PM ET PT ) and Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Pictured: Ryan Seacrest with the Hollywood contestants. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

If you define a few as approximately 300 people, well – I guess a few people made it to Hollywood Week!! I’m ready to see what happens…the ads being run say it’s the most intense Hollywood Week EVER. We’ll see.

Steven Tyler quoting the Cowardly Lion’s speech from The Wizard of Oz is fairly inspiring. Half of the contestants take the stage tonight.  Ryan explains the rules…they will come out in groups of 10 and sing an acapella song of their choice and they will receive no feedback from the judges. Half of them will go home tonight.

Johnny Keyser - Dreamin’ (Amos Lee) – he was amazing and though there was supposed to be no feedback, the judges whooped in joy after his performance.

Hee Jun HanHow Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Michael Bolton) – he got the very nervous guy portrayal before he sang, but he knocked a really tired song out of the park.

They should both make it through to the next round and they both do. Elise Testone, Hallie Day and returning auditioner Baylie Brown all go on to the next round as well.

Jen HirshUp to the Mountain (Patty Griffin) – she is singing the song that won Crystal Bowersox (Season 9) a spot on the live shows. It is a great song for her voice and I am sure the judges are going to put her through. She is followed by Lauren Gray who gets so into her song that she does not notice Randy flagging her down to stop. It’s all good though – they are both through to the next round.

Phillip PhillipsPapa’s Got a Brand New Bag (James Brown) – he does not have his guitar in this round and he sings this song nicely, but the musicality was off for me. Reed GrimmI’ve Got A Golden Ticket (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory). This was a scat-filled performance and it was almost too much for me, but he is a personality and sometimes that is all that is needed. Travis Orlando has been here before and if he does not make it through to the next round he’ll go home to a rather sad situation. It took me a few seconds to realize he was singing Stevie Wonder’s All I Do (Is Think About You) but I like his gruffness. Hoping he makes it. Phillip and Reed make it but Travis is sent home in tears! So sad. Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer, took to Twitter tonight (@dizzyfeet) and said he disagreed with the judges in reference to sending Travis home. Unfortunately, Travis and 67 others (68 total) get cut on day one.

Day two singers look much more nervous than the others did. I have to guess it is because they know that 68 of their former competitors got the boot. Adam Brock is calm, cool and collected and waiting to let the “large black woman trapped inside his body” out. Jennifer suggested that he sing Walking In Memphis (Marc Cohn) and it is was a great choice, I think. He does have a very soulful voice. Jane Carrey is up next and she talks about trying to make her own way even though she is under the huge shadow of her dad, Jim. She sings a pretty mundane version of Lookin’ Out My Back Door (CCR) – I will be quite shocked if she makes it past this round.

Jane does not make it, but Adam Brock does.

Why do these singers beg and plead after they have been cut? What they not seen this show before? Ugh – take your lumps and go home. If you really want it – try again next year.

David Leathers, Jr. (17) sings one of my least favorite songs of ALL time. He is working out Celine’s Because You Loved Me and he knocks it out the park. He is in the same group as Shannon Magrane who sings a good version of Fallin’ (Alicia Keys). I would be shocked if either of them gets cut. Jessica Phillips sings You Fill Me Up (Whitney Houston) – her boyfriend had a stroke and she sings with such amazing emotion that she makes me like a Whitney song again! All three of these singers make it through to the next round.

Pittsburgh is in the house, Erika Van Pelt, Creighton Fraker and Aaron Marcellus all show what they got and what they got is a whole bunch of talent! All three are moving on.

Going home are Lauren Mink and Jeremy Rosado who both turn in rather underwhelming performances. And now we move on to the story that has captured the Twitter-verse. Symone Zaire Black (16) is getting into her groove singing (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay she does a great job and has the judges and her dad smiling. When she is talking to the judges, she gets too close to the edge of the stage and she falls off, hitting her head! The credits roll as the medics appear…a cliffhanger.

Hollywood Week starts out with a bang for sure and I was happy to see many talented people move through to the next round, although I think the judges made a mistake by passing on Travis Orlando.

 
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Deejah Figueroa is the Managing Editor of Pop Culture World News. She can be found on Twitter: @PopCultureDee and on Facebook: PopCultureDeejah

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