February 09, 2010 07:10 PM by Candace Young
Tonight on FOX, American Idol 9 gets Hollywood Week underway. Hundreds of hopefuls have made it past the initial audition rounds, but will now be wittled down to just 12 guys and 12 girls! New judge, Ellen Degeneres joins regulars, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson. Ryan Seacrest heads up the proceedings…read on for highlights!
As the first group comes before the panel on Day One of Hollywood Week, Katie Stevens impresses the judges with her effort. She is followed by infamous contestant, Skiiboski. Ellen tells him he scares her – it’s a fine line between sexy and scary! The first group is given their verdict – Katie makes it, but Skiiboski is out. Simon tells him he’s just not that good.
Vanessa Wolfe and Andrew Garcia are among the next group of hopefuls. Andrew is singing an acoustic version of the Paula Abdul song, Straight Up. The judges seem to love it, in fact, Kara tells him it was genius. Vanessa, the girl who feels ‘stuck’ in Tennessee, is up next. She is extremely nervous when she sings. Ellen tells her to accept who she is – those nerves are going to kill her. In the end, Andrew moves on, and Vanessa is cut.
Janell Wheeler takes the stage late on Day One, and Ellen pronounces her song to be amazing. Simon tells her it was well done – she moves forward. Many crash and burn, however, and Haeley Vaughn is becoming nervous. Accompanying herself on guitar, Haeley’s tune makes the judges happy. Mary Powers, is also in this group, and Ellen tells her she was ‘in’ the song. In the end, all three make it to the next round!
To end the day on a positive note, Ellen plays with the final group a little bit before putting all four of the out of their misery and telling them they’ll all go forward!
Simon begins the day by warning the hopefuls not to be boring, and not to forget the words. Jay Stone does his beatbox routine and Simon is put off. Lilly Scott does an Ella Fitzgerald tune with guitar accompaniment – it’s excellent. Kara compliments her uniqueness. Out of the first group, Lilly and a contestant named Sam go ahead. It’s the end to the road for Jay Stone.
Waiting for his opportunity is Big Mike (Michael Lynche), whose wife just went into labor. He also plays guitar as he sings Waiting on the World to Change. Simon tells Big Mike he’s made the cut!
Tim Urban had a shaky audition in Dallas, but does well with a David Cook tune in Hollywood! Also in his group is Justin Williams from Utah, who accompanies himself on keyboards. Randy calls it interesting. Ultimately, Tim goes through with the rest of the group, but Justin is sent home.
Sixteen year-old Maddy Curtis is taking her shot in Hollywood with the next group. Simon tells her it was the wrong song for her. Casey James, the male model-esque hopeful, is up next playing blues guitar and getting the audience clapping along. Randy loved it. Casey and three others make it to the next round, but it’s curtains for Maddy Curtis.
In the last group of Day Two, Didi Benami appears to sing Terrified by Kara Dioguardi. Simon admits he really likes that song – he also likes the idea of a waitress coming on the show and doing well. Crystal Bowersox is a single mom, who is trying to become the next Idol to make a better life for her infant son. Her singing really gets the others going! Simon says she’s infectious – it was good. Crystal and Didi both make it through!
Tomorrow night will bring the Hollywood Week Group Round!
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Photos Courtesy: FOX