American Idol Review: Let the Drama Begin
If the first 60 seconds of this week's American Idol were any indicator, we're in for one Hell of a ride during Hollywood week. Let's get to it, shall we?
To encourage the contestants, or at least entertain them, Steven Tyler gave a rousing speech borrowed from none other than the Cowardly Lion about what they would need to get up on that stage and sing... with courage. And with that hair and those jowls, Steven could probably play the Cowardly Lion if there were a modern remake. I mean, I could buy that he's a lion (or tiger, or bear, oh my!) of some sorts. Or was. Or thinks he still is.
Ryan reminded us that half of the hopefuls will be going home during Round One of Hollywood week and gave us the breakdown for how this round works. Contestants will be placed in groups of ten and each contestant in each group will sing one song a capella. They'll find out immediately after all the group members have performed who's staying and who's going.
Johnny Keyser sang first and, y'all, he's a tough act to follow. He's got a great voice and he's easy on the eyes. Heejun Han, with a complete lack of confidence (a lack I think he faked) went second. During Heejun's audition, J.Lo whispered to Steven "I love him!" Color me not shocked that they'll both make it to the second round.
Elise Testone, a contestant we didn't really see during the auditions, sang in the same group as Baylie Brown and Hallie Day who both got a considerable amount of screen time in comparison. I'm not sure I'm feeling any of these girls, but all three are safe for now so I've got some time to decide.
Jen Hirsh said her game plan for the day is just not to fidget. Not "sing well," or "don't forget the lyrics." Just not to fidget. Good plan? I guess? She's got a solid voice, so maybe fidgeting was all she really needed to worry about.
Randy looked like he might've been practicing to guide an aircraft to landing with the crazy arm gesticulating he had to do to get Lauren Gray to stop singing. That's what happens when you close your eyes while singing, Lauren. She and Jen will see another day.
After quite a few crash-and-burns we were treated to a montage of ditzy girls asking to be able to sing just one more note. Please? Just one? Pretty, pretty please!?
How 'bout no, ladies?
Yawn. So far Round One of Hollywood is a snoozer.
And then Phillip Phillips hit the stage. It might've been his first time west of the Mississippi, y'all. He'd only been on one plane before his trip to Hollywood and that was a plane he jumped out of. This country boy can survive, however, and he advanced to Round Two.
Reed Grimm sang - hold on to your hats - "I've Got a Golden Ticket." From Willy Wonka. And this is after he auditioned to the theme song from Family Matters. Sure, he's been on stage since he was two years old and he could probably sing the phonebook and sing it well. But really? That's what you're giving us? The quirky songs are working for him, though, because he's also going on to Round Two.
Travis Orlando, who was on his first time in Hollywood but second time auditioning for Idol, was also in their group of 10. And he got cut.
So did Ramiro Garcia. The judges sent home 68 people on the first day.
Day Two of Hollywood Week dawns and Adam Brock, another contestant we didn't really see during auditions, is missing his baby girl. He'll have to keep on missing her because he's sticking around a little while longer.
Oh look, it's Jane Carrey! Except she got cut. It was probably because she chose to sing Credence Clearwater Revival. Poor girl.
More begging. BOO. This never ends well, contestants.
The next group contained Shannon Magrane and the world's youngest looking 17 year old EVER, David Leathers Junior. Want to know how I know this kid cannot be 17? Because he sang Celine Dion and hit notes that no 17 year old boy should EVER be able to hit.
Jessica Phillips and her boyfriend Angelo traveled to LA together. This girl was born to sing. Born for it.
The three of them, along with Lady Gaga wannabe Angie Zeiderman and NBA cheerleader Brittany Kerr, advanced to Round Two.
Erika Van Pelt, mobile DJ, sang "Glitter in the Air." Creighton Fraker, starving artist, sang "Somebody to Love." Aaron Marcellus, music teacher, sang, well, I'm not sure what he sang because it was mostly just a bunch of vocal runs. All three of them advanced to round two.
Lauren Mink changed keys during "Alone" and the judges noticed. It sounded like she tried to make the song her own and failed. (Note to any and all possible future contestants: Only ONE contestant has been able to pull that song off. One. And she's making millions now. You are probably not her.)
Jeremy Rosado gave J.Lo goosebumps with his rendition of "Superstar." All I could think about during his song was whether or not he sanitized the microphone before singing since his day job as a front desk clerk at a doctor of infectious diseases office has made him a germaphobe.
Symone Black really fell for the judges. Literally. Right off the stage and onto a cameraman's head. After singing "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" (in order to appeal to an "older" audience) she fainted or blacked out and just fell right off the edge of the stage bringing us to the end of the show.
Well played, producers. Well played. We were shown teasers of this event throughout the entire show and now we'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out what happened to Symone and the rest of her group members. I'm giving you the side-eye for this. And an A for "Attention" because you've got mine.
What'd you think of the first round of Hollywood week? Did you think it was boring until the last five minutes? Who were your standouts of the night?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.