American Idol Hollywood Round 1

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The first round of auditions are done, and now we know that 175 singers made it through to the Hollywood round of American Idol. Last night, the first two days of what is called hell week aired on FOX, and we saw that number of singers left go from 175 to 109 after the next round of auditions. American Idol even beat out the Grammy's in the viewer numbers last night.

We saw some familiar faces from the city auditions, and those that did extremely well in that first round, did well here. However, a few that did make it through to Hollywood showed there true colors. Some just weren't ready. For one thing, the Brittenum twins were all over the auditions in Hollywood. They had something to say about everyone and everything. They even offered their own commentary on past American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood. With the other set of twins that didn't make it through the first cut in the Hollywood round, the Brittenum's offered them some advice and a name to contact because they were better than American Idol. This was a different tune than earlier when they were looking to see the twins eliminated.

Emotions are also running high during this competition. We saw both anger and tears from those that don't make it through. Those hopeful 175 know that by the end of hell week only twenty - four will remain, those being the top twelve females and top twelve males. The first round of hell week saw the singers picking one song from a list of twelve. While half of the contestants went on a sight seeing tour of Hollywood, the other half went in front of the judges. One of the first females to go up was North Carolinian Kellie Pickler. She is one of my favorites, but she did have a bit of nerves. She did make it through, and what I like about her is she is a natural talent. She has no training whatsoever, and she can still sing. With some work, she could be even better.

Another performer that wow'ed the judges in this round of the competition is Lisa Tucker. With her performance of Hopelessly Devoted to you, she made it through to the next round. We even saw one country male singer, Matthew Buckstein of Burbank, sing the classic song from Grease, and he made it though to the next round as well. However, some that made it through to this round made you wonder how they did that in the first place. Randy even pulls one group aside and tells them and those watching how they need to step up their game, or they will be sent home.

A good part of the episode focused on one singer, Megan Zeiger. She woke up with a case of laryngitis. Luckily, she wasn't in the first group of auditioners in Hollywood. She came in day two, and she was still sick. She tried to sing, and she had a less than stellar performance. The judges knew something had to be up, so they tried to find out what happened. When she explained she was sick, they allowed her to perform again in a key lower to help save her voice so she wouldn't strain it. She does make it through, and as expected many that followed her used the 'I'm sick' approach.

The women are definitely a force to deal with so far in this competition, but there are a few men that stand out as well. Travis Hicks, Chris Daughtry, and Brett "Ace" Young are all performing quite well so far. In fact, Brett gave one of the best performances of the day two auditions. On the female side, Katharine McPhee stood out day two.

Next up, we have the group performance round. Just from the previews, tensions look to be running high. For a look back at the city auditions and some of the controversies from American Idol up to this point, check my round one wrap-up on my Media Village blog here.


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