By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Last week, Hollywood Week returned to American Idol with a vengeance!
Hundreds of hopefuls were eliminated as they failed to reach judges Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban’s high expectations. However, several performers such as Majesty Rose, Kenzie Hall and Jena Asciutto took the challenge by the horns and delivered outstanding vocal performances.
Tonight is the Final Judgment!
Whose dreams came true? Whose dreams came crashing down? Read on to find out…
The first artist to face the judges was Emily Piriz. She proved herself worthy with a powerful cover of Grace Potter’s “Stars.” This was on par to Amanda Brown’s cover on The Voice: Season Three. Before the results, Jennifer told her that she was a huge fan of her since the beginning of Hollywood Week and the guys agreed with J.Lo to send Emily to the Live Shows.
Austin auditionee Spencer Lloyd was a frontrunner since his audition. However, his diva antics during Group Round and his original song choice could have hurt his chances this time around. The judges stated that it was a tough deliberation, but decided to send him through. Even though he was sent through, his diva antics could cost him a spot in the Live Semi-Finals.
While she was not shown a lot during Hollywood Week, X Factor USA alum Jillian Jensen already experienced a similar situation like this when her mentor, Demi Lovato, eliminated her during the show’s sophomore season’s Final Judgment. Jillian changed her fate when she delivered a stunning personal song. This time around, the judges welcomed her with open arms into the Final 30.
After seeing others fall on their swords, 24-year-old George Lovett did not want this experience to end. He gave a chilling and brilliant performance of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up.” I hope that he continues to deliver the same type of performances during the Live Shows.
Another contestant that wanted good news was Sam Woolf. He delivered a touching original song called “I Try” that hit all the right buttons. J.Lo stated that all of the judges thought that he could be the next American Idol. I think that he could the anti-Phillip Phillips and that he could be a contestant to watch for in the coming weeks.
Malaya Wilson almost did not make it to the Final 30. During her final performance, Malaya and the band were in two different keys! Harry stopped the performance and asked for a restart. During the second run-through, she soared with a strong show-stopping vocal that brought J.Lo and Keith to their feet…but secured her place in the Top 30.
As Malaya ran her way around the hallway, family man and Detroit native Maurice Townsend headed up the elevator to hear the results. The crooner delivered a fiery “Wrecking Ball” that was almost on par to Matthew Schuler’s version. I wished that they showed more of the performance. Luckily, we will be seeing more of Maurice later on this season as part of the Top 30.
Throughout the evening, Idol would occasionally send two people up together onto the elevator. Jess Meuse had a hellacious Group Round experience due to a vile stage mom in her group. During the final solo round, Jess redeemed herself with an original song that captivated the judges. Meanwhile, Jesse Roach rose to the occasion several times during Hollywood Week. But, Jesse forgot the words to “Wide Open Spaces” during the final solo round.
When they got to the Judges’ room, J.Lo stated that they ran into a problem deciding between the two of them. Harry added that they wanted them to sing right in front of them. After the girls sang their final solos, it took the trio a long time to choose a victor…but at the end, it was Jess who went through and Jesse Roach who was sent home.
Soul singer Emmanuel Zidor survived a nasty group round to make it to the last day of Hollywood Week. He performed a sassy cover of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down” that included a fiery falsetto finish! Before the judges revealed his fate, he broke down because he was thinking about the haters in Miami that said that he could not do it! J. Lo revealed that he would prove them wrong because he’s in the Top 30! After the first group hug of the season, Emmanuel lifted Ryan Seacrest in celebration and vice versa.
Like Emmanuel, M.K. Nobilette had a rough time during group day. However, she redeemed herself with her cover of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team.” During the deliberation, the judges admitted that it was difficult where to place her. M.K. herself admitted that she was a lesbian but also stated that the world has changed and is willing to accept her. The judges agreed and M.K. grabbed a spot in the Live Shows.
Most 16-years-olds want a car for their birthday! But for Atlanta’s Jordan Brisbane…he wanted to be on American Idol. He threw down the gauntlet and delivered an interesting take on Beyonce’s “Halo.” Jordan received an impeccable birthday gift as the judges gave him a spot into the Top 30.
Malcolm Allen made a huge impact on the show with his Austin audition where he received J.Lo’s first triple “Yes” of the season. He stole the show on the first day of Hollywood Week but failed to impress on group day. Malcolm recovered on the final day with his cover of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down.” J.Lo and Harry were divided to what he did with Malcolm. In the end, Malcolm will be staying in Hollywood to compete in the Top 30.
Alex Preston has been one of the most unconventional artists that has advanced in the Hollywood Rounds. His cover of will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream and Shout” turned heads but his original song left a question mark under his name. However, the judges turned that question mark into a definitive “Yes” as Alex became the next guy to move on to the next round.
The judges asked to see both Alabama natives C.J. Harris and Casey Thrasher together. Both men delivered amazing performances during Hollywood Week and each of them are considered to be frontrunners. Harry stated it was very hard to decide between the both of them and asked them to perform one final song. C.J. grabbed the opportunity by the horns and slayed his final song. Despite a slow start, Casey delivered an equally strong performance.
Tomorrow night, C.J. and Casey will receive their fate as the judges finish up selecting the Top 30!