Welcome to the live blog and recap for “Hollywood Week, Part 2″ of American Idol Season 12!
The all-male Hollywood Week appears to be conspicuously devoid of WGWGs. In fact, the entirety of Hollywood week so far has been strangely lifeless, save for a few brief trainwrecks. I blame the absence of women, a circumstance I believe to be the culprit for much of the world’s ills.
Let the madness begin!
-Flashbacks to last night. Apropos of nothing, David Leathers looks like The Famous Jett Jackson.
-The guys are preparing for solo performances. They’ll be working with the Idol band, and working on arrangements, if that’s the approach they opt to take. This will also be their first opportunity to play their own instruments. HALF of the field of 43 will be cut.
-The guys are organized into groups, in which they’ll perform one at a time. And the first group of performers is on deck…
-The nerves are eating him alive, and he seems ready to vomit and cry while talking to Ryan backstage. Once onstage, he doesn’t seem any better off, as he tells the judges how badly he wants this, sounding close to tears.
-Paul sings a pretty solid, if unspectacular, rock vocal. He’s definitely got a good voice, but this isn’t the kind of music he should be singing.
-Nicki scolds Paul for coming out with such a sense of defeat, saying it was a real turnoff, and all she wanted was a minute of professionalism. He says he had a lot going on in his head, but Nicki doesn’t really want to hear it. She’s really disappointed.
LAZARO ARBOS is up next!
-We see about ten seconds of his performance of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”, and it’s pretty good, for what little we hear of it.
CURTIS FINCH, JR.
-He tells the judges he’s here to inspire people while a voiceover from Ryan says that Curtis came into the competition as “an early frontrunner”. I don’t know about all THAT now.
-He sings “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri and it’s a wonderfully layered vocal. He’s not my cup of tea, but I can’t deny he’s got a beautiful voice.
-Judges deliberate, no waiting rooms or anything. The contestants in the first group line up onstage and, naturally, the judges call forward the only three performers we actually saw.
-PAUL JOLLEY, LAZARO ARBOS, and CURTIS FINCH, JR. advance to the next round!
-The next set of performers is up next, and the nerves are getting to the contestants…well, except for Devin Velez, who claims he hasn’t really gotten nervous yet in this competition.
-He recounts his Hollywood Week so far, saying the highlight was during acapella rounds, in which he got a standing ovation from Randy for his performance of Andrea Bocelli’s “Somos Novios”. I would have LOVED to see that, actually. That’s such a great song.
-Devin sings Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”, and it’s outstanding. I really, really enjoyed that vocal.
GURPREET SINGH SARIN
-Gurpreet whips out his guitar and sings “Georgia On MY Mind”, and I’m surprised at the jazzy soulfulness of it.
-He sings a version of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” that is a bit overwrought towards the end, but is still pretty damn good, resulting in a voiceover from Ryan proclaiming that the guys are “killing it” so far.
-Matheus introduces himself, joking that he’s 21, not 10. He thanks the judges for bringing him here, as this is all he wanted to do.
-He sings a slow, grungy version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, which is my favorite vocal so far.
-Mariah says that he’s accomplished so much so far, but that his performance “didn’t really feel connected.”
-Nicki says that he milks his height too much, to the point where what could be inspiring is starting to come across as him wanting a pity party. She says “Once you’re great, we don’t even notice your height.”
The judges deliberate and call the various name
GURPREET SING SARIN, DEVIN VELEZ, CORTEZ SHAW and ADAM SANDERS (whose performance was not shown, for reasons that confound me) advance to the next round!
And it’s the end of the line for Matheus Fernandes, who breaks down in front of the camera before composing himself and adding that he’s going to take this experience and learn from it, and will also learn to play with a band.
-Next set of contestants is up, including Charlie Mathis (now going by “Nicholas Mathis” for whatever reason), who tells Ryan he’s doing this to provide a better life for his daughter.
-He sings “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars, falling to his knees and really belting it out. I thought it was kind of average, actually.
-Keith felt Nicholas was “chasing the song” and never really caught it. But then again, he says there are four judges onstage, and it’s not solely up to him, so we’ll see.
-Papa sings “You and I” by Lady Gaga, and it sounds like one long yawn. I just was not feeling that at all.
-Nicki asks Papa if he remembers what he told him yesterday about being complacent. She says “Now I feel like that flame is completely burned out.” She’s so disappointed that the fire in him is gone, and she has no idea why he’d choose that song. Papa apologizes, saying the fire is still there, but Nicki reiterates, “No it’s not”, before adding that she still loves him though. However, once he’s offstage, she turns to Keith and asks “What the f*** was THAT?”
-Jimmy sings “Landslide” and it’s the best of the three vocals we’ve seen by a pretty safe margin, although I don’t know if that’s saying much. But it definitely is a damn fine vocal, and redeems him from his poor showing in the group round.
-Judges deliberate and the boys are called out onstage. Nicki tells the guys this was the one time to fight for their lives, and if they didn’t, then they should be pretty upset with themselves. And we go to commercial break…
-That Applebee’s commercial with the brother groovin’ his ass off to the under 550 calories menu needs to be on ALL THE TIME.
-Back from break, and Nicki asks Nicholas Mathis and Papa Peachez to step forward. Papa looks hopeful, but then Nicki lowers the boom: it’s the end of the line for Papa and Nicholas.
-VINCENT POWELL, JOHNNY KEYSER, and JIMMY SMITH advance to the next round!
-Nicholas breaks down outside in a completely histrionic outburst, asking the cameraman to get away from him, and ranting to a friend (or family member) that he can sing better than anyone in there.
-Papa Peachez, meanwhile, says that this just isn’t the competition for him. He doesn’t like singing other people’s songs.
-Next group is at bat…
-He recalls getting cut last year at Vegas round, and debates playing the keyboard for his performance.
-He eventually goes for it, singing “Stars” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals in one of the better performances of the night so far.
-Charlie does jumping jacks backstage to prepare, and I was worried he’d tire himself out with how he was going at it.
-But once onstage, he’s very effusive with his charm, talking about how “there was a girl”, and they dated for a few months but broke up recently, and that’s why he’s singing this song…
-His performance of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” is easily the best performance of the night, in my eyes. He hit every note, crisply and clearly. Nicki echoes my enthusiasm, saying “I’m OBSESSED with you!” to which Charlie responds, “Baby, I could say the same to you.” Let it be known: Charlie Askew is a man for all seasons.
-Nicki feels that, today, he became a true artist. Charlie responds that he glorifies weirdness, and Nick adds that THAT’S an artist.
-The judges deliberate, and it’s a pretty quick and easy decision, although Mariah says it was divided.
NICK BODDINGTON, CHARLIE ASKEW, JOSH “JDA” DAVILA, and MATHENEE TRECO advance to the next round!
-Back from break, and apparently everyone has been singing “Jar of Hearts”, including…
-It’s in a pretty low key, but it’s perfect for his range.
-The song is in a higher key for him, and I’m struck by how much he both looks and sounds like a cross between Jamar Rogers and Andrew Garcia.
BURNELL TAYLOR and MARVIN CALDERON advance to the next round!
-We continue with the next group of contestants…
-He sings “I Told You So” by Randy Travis after a brief background package in which he discusses his Hollywood Week so far, and reiterates how much he wants this.
-His performance is really rich, if relatively unspectacular. It might not blow anyone’s minds, but he did a much better job than some of the people who’ve advanced so far.
-Mariah talks about how she wishes he’d have done more with his performance, before adding that despite this, they all really love him. So it looks like it’s going to be another split decision. We head to break on the cliffhanger…
-Still can’t get enough of that Applebee’s commercials. That man is unrelentingly fly.
-Back from break, and Mariah breaks the news: it’s a “no”.
-Ryan speculates that it might be Micah’s lack of consistency. Micah says there’s always next year.
-We also say goodbye to Gabe Brown (NO!), Nate Tao (NOOOO!!), and Sanni M’mairura (N–oh…meh).
-And that’s it, but for one last twist from Randy, revealing that the remaining cuts won’t be made until the girls go through their Hollywood Week. Not exactly the “Let’s bring back Gabe and Nate” twist I was hoping for.
-I’ll say this, if a girl can’t win THIS season, then a girl is never going to win this show again.
-One last promo hyping next week’s Hollywood Week for Ladies, and the revelation of your Top 40!
That’s it for me. Thanks for reading, and keep refreshing the page as I’ll be adding videos to the post as the night goes on!
See you next week!
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