'American Idol' recap: More cuts in Hollywood

Here's Janell on last night's Idol:

Things are getting real, y'all. It's the final day of Hollywood week, and all 100 remaining contestants get one final solo, with a band, backup singers, instruments, the works. Or not.

We start with Haley Reinhart, who forgot the lyrics in her group performance and was scolded by Jennifer Lopez. She has a big growl, and the judges like her again.

Then there's "new face" Ashthon Jones, who was in the group with emotional drama queen Ashley Sullivan. Ashthon does a fine job, and Ryan Seacrest's voiceover says that the female talent is impressive.

Thia Megia continues the female streak, she's got a lower voice and good control, Jennifer calls her amazing. She doesn't sing like a 15-year-old, but she wears the colorful sweater of one.

Adrian Michael, Caleb Johnson, and Frances Coontz restart a few times. Ryan Seacrest takes a moment with the keyboardist, who admits that he's not enjoying the day so much.


Now it’s Clint “Junebug” Gamboa, also known as the novelty glasses-wearing karaoke host who kicked Babyface Jacee out of his group.  He wails “Georgia on My Mind,” and the judges like it.

Kendra Chantelle also sings “Georgia,” as does Sophia Shorai. Wait a minute - Sophia is barefoot. That’s a no for me. I was on the fence about her emotional hair touching, but then I saw the bare feet. Sorry. But the judges like her.


Chris Medina and my geeky boyfriend Carson Higgins were in the same group yesterday, and Carson’s dance moves stole the performance. They’re both singing “My Prerogative,” Chris with an acoustic guitar and Carson with the full band. Carson’s personality and his growly voice give him a lot of mileage, while Chris doesn’t think he did that great.

Here are some people with instruments who perform well: Julie Zorrilla on piano, Caleb Hawley on guitar, Colton Dixon on piano (I’m not sure if I’ve noticed him before, but he’s got some punkish hair sticking up, and I think I’m into it), Adorable Tomato Brett Loewenstern on guitar (sounding beautiful), and Robbie Rosen on piano (also sounding beautiful).

You may remember Casey Abrams, when he played the melodica (tiny keyboard wind instrument thing) during his first audition. Now he’s playing the stand-up bass. He starts plucking and singing “Georgia,” and Randy Jackson is stunned and says, “Really?!” Steven Tyler screams. It’s pretty cool.

Now here’s Chelsee Oaks, whose ex-boyfriend Rob was cut yesterday. She became BFFs with her roommate Jacqueline, but Jacqueline fell ambiguously ill and dropped out of the competition to go to the hospital. She was a strong personality, but I’m glad to not type out the name Jacqueline anymore. Chelsee was crying before her performance, but I think she still sounds good.

Lauren Alaina is described as a “judge favorite,” she sang “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” with Steven after her Nashville audition. She sings it again here.

Yesterday, Ryan’s voiceover told us that Jacob Lusk was a new favorite. He sings “God Bless the Child” with some falsetto scatting, and it is awesome all over the place. Steven howls, and all three judges give him a standing ovation. Jacob left it all on the stage, and he goes out in the hall and sobs, repeatedly, on his mother’s shoulder. “I’m not a crier!” he lies to Ryan.

John Wayne Schulz cowboys that one song that Fleetwood Mac did that the Dixie Chicks then covered. “Landslide”? “Waterfall”? Brain cramp, sorry. (

SKK: Landslide it is!


Ryan warns us that “emotional time bomb” Ashley Sullivan is up next. She’s singing “Everything” by Michael Buble, and she dedicates it to her boyfriend. She sings directly to him in the balcony, gets emotional, and stops. She tries again, singing to the judges, and stops. Starts again, freaks out, chats, sings, stops. Then she goes off and sobs on her boyfriend’s shoulder. I think she’s not quite ready for this.

Stefano Langone, Jovany Barreto, and Jacee Badeaux all do well.

Now Cowboy Scotty and Tatynisa Wilson are both singing “I Hope You Dance.” Scotty just learned it, and the captioners show us that he messes up the words spectacularly. Tatynisa messes up the words, too. Scotty thinks he could be cut, he says the only thing keeping him in is his deep voice.

That’s all the performances. The judges deliberate, and the contestants are separated into 4 rooms.

Room 1 contains Ashley Sullivan, Adorable Tomato Brett, Babyface Jacee, “rocker” James Durbin, bass player Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, and that punk hair boy. Do not be shocked when I tell you that they all move through to the next round. Well, okay, be shocked about Ashley.

Room 2 contains a girl named Brielle and a boy named Corey, but I don‘t recognize any of them. They are all eliminated, but the judges stick around to hug people and tell them to work some more.

Room 3 contains Mark Gutierrez (of the Gutierrez brothers, but his brother was already cut) and ex-girlfriend Chelsee Oaks. That room is also eliminated. Sad for Chelsee! Now we have no lovers, present or former, on the show.

Room 4 has that 15-yr-old girl with the sweater, my geeky boyfriend Carson Higgins, the stadium cleaner girl, Cowboy Scotty, and some others. Yep, they make it through to the next round.

Room 1 and Room 4 open up and two tidal waves of happy singers crash in the hallway.

After this episode, I find myself with a few questions. White House intern girl, where are you? I don’t know that I was a big fan of hers, but her story was unique enough that I thought the show would highlight her journey. Also, what about Guy With Fiancee in a Wheelchair? Is he still there? The show didn’t point him out to me lately, so my short-term memory doesn’t know. Did anyone catch him? Are there any others that we’re missing? (

SKK: He was the one who did "My Prerogative" acoustically, but I didn't see if he made it.


I guess we’ll find out next week. “Hey, recapper Janell, what’s happening next week?” I’m so glad you asked. It will be a “new challenge,” on the “toughest stage yet.” The undisclosed number of contestants will take on Beatles songs, and they’ll have 24 hours to learn them. It looks like they’ll be performing in groups, on a stage with various set pieces, and they’ll wear fancy clothes. There might be an actual audience, too, although it’s not live. What you need to know is this: next week will get us down to the Top 24. I know! Eventually we’ll get down to 12 people that I can actually name!

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