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American Idol – Hollywood Week Round 1

Amid my excitement at the end of the now very routine preliminary rounds, I forgot that I don’t  really start loving this show until it goes live with the final 24.  I think it’s the live aspect of this show that makes it so exciting, as well as the opportunity to see full performances and full critiques.  Since the fourth season or so, Hollywood Round has been condensed and edited down so much that it’s still hard to develop opinions or significant attachments to anyone.  But of the moments we were allowed to see…


  • Lilly Scott may have been my favorite of the night.  Not sure how to describe her style, which included long platinum/purple hair, but I certainly didn’t expect her to sing Ella Fitzgerald, or that voice to come out of her.  Amazing.  So unique.  Sounds like she could already be a star.
  • Andrew Garcia sang a very cool version of “Straight Up” by our dearly departed Paul Abdul.  Kara thought it was “genius”.  I think that was a bit much.  But it was very good.
  • Crystal BowerSox (is that a real last name?), the single mom who looks like she’s 16, but is really 24 sang an acoustic version of  “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.”  This song always makes me think of Kelly Clarkson’s performance in season one, but it was so different, and in some ways, almost as good.
  • Mary Powers.  Wow.  What a powerful voice.  Wow.

Strong Contendors

  • The show started off with Katie Stevens singing “For Once In My Life”.  She was terrific, attractive, and picked a great song.
  • Having met her at last week’s auditions, we see Haeley Vaughan again, and she’s terrific.  I’m not sure I have ever seen an African-American woman sing country music.  She’s 16, adorable, and I’ve never seen anyone quite like her.
  • Didi Benami took some horrific Kara DioGuardi song and made it sound amazing.  She’s got a great voice and should do well.
  • Michael Lynche sang a good acoustic version of John Mayer’s “Waitin’ For The World To Change” after learning that his wife’s water broke and having virtually no reaction.  He really chose this above being there for the birth of his first child?  The guy is 26.  He could certainly come back next year.
  • Casey James. Somewhat hot shirtless guy.  American will love him.  No sparks from this end just yet.

The Bombs

  • Most eggregious were the woman who did a completely merit-free version of Left-Eye’s rap from “Waterfalls” and the guy who butchered Anita Baker’s classic, “Sweet Love”.
  • Vanessa from the south who came to Hollywood on her first trip in an “air-o-plane”.  Ewwwwwwww.  Ellen says she is unique, but hiding inside and scared to death.  I just heard gross.  But in the end “we say goodbye to the country girl who stole our hearts.”  At least she got to ride on an air-o-plane.
  • Maddie Curtis. Bad song.  Bad performance.  But her dress was worse, which got no comment whatsoever.
  • Jay Stone.  The guy who beatboxes and sings at the same time.  Not sure why they put him through in the first place.  He was no Blake Lewis.
  • I’m sorry, Eddy, but Skiiboski – Ellen told him he was scary.  He was simply not talented.  Goodbye.


  • Tim Urban sang a serviceable version of David Cook’s “Come Back To Me”.  It never fails to surprise me when people choose to sing songs by former Idols.  He was fine, but I didn’t expect him to move on.  He did.
  • We saw a couple of brief moment of the very attractive good-voiced cancer survivor Justin Williams who somewhat inexplicably was not passed through to the next round.

Enjoyable episode, but not incredibly exciting.  Ellen was a great addition to the mix, as I suspected she would be.

What did you think?

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