February 08, 2012 07:02 PM by Candace Young
The American Idol audition rounds have ended for Season 11 on FOX, and it’s time for Ryan Seacrest and judges Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez to join holders of the Golden Tickets in Hollywood! Keep reading for all of the highlights…
Hollywood Week kicks off showing video clips of some of the 309 hopefuls packing and heading out for Los Angeles. Half the contestants will take the American Idol stage on Day One – anxiety is running high. As in the past, hopefuls come out in groups of ten and will sing A Capella.
Johnny Keyser from Florida is confident as he does his thing – with good reason; he does great. It’s a tough act to follow for Heejun Han, who isn’t nearly as sold on his own talents. His worries seem unfounded, however, as the judges are thrilled with his performance. Both boys go through with two blonde girls.
Elise Testone wows the judges with her raspy voice in group two. Baylie Brown’s melodious vocals also impress the panel, as does Hallie Day. All three ladies advance.
Jen Hirsch is nervous as she takes the stage in Hollywood, but it doesn’t show – she sings amazingly. Lauren Gray is also in this group – she keeps singing when Randy waves at her to stop – not sure if that’s good or not. Turns out it is – both Jen and Lauren go through to the next round.
We watch a series of train wrecks next, including those who beg for another chance when they muff it. Gah! How did they get to Hollywood in the first place?
Phil Phillips, who took his first flight ever to Hollywood, isn’t exactly in his element in L.A., but he’s pretty comfortable on the stage performing – I love his style. Reed Grimm also holds his own singing I’ve Got A Golden Ticket. Travis Orlando, who didn’t make it through Hollywood Week last year, is back for another shot. He has a strong vocal this year, but doesn’t get the nod. Phil and Reed advance.
One of my favorites from the audition rounds, Wolf, is among the sixty hopefuls sent home on Day One.
Adam Brock kicks off the day with a positive attitude. His rendition of Walking In Memphis is beautiful. Jane Carrey (daughter of Jim Carrey) does a country tune which may or may not make the cut – it’s iffy. Adam and six others go through, but Jane is dismissed along with a guy named Joe. Jane calls her dad for comfort.
Seventeen year-old David Leathers approaches Hollywood Week with the same confidence he did his audition. He hits some unreal notes and gains the respect of the panel. Steven Tyler shakes his head and muses that he has ties older than David! Shannon, the 15 year-old with the former baseball player father, blows the judges away as well. Jessica Phillips is another standout. They all go through.
Erika Van Pelt, a DJ, is in the next group. Her voice sounds full-bodied the judges take notice. Creighton Fraker also knocks ‘em dead with Somebody To Love. Aaron Mercellus has Randy hollering and waving. All three advance.
Feeling the pressure, the next line steps out on stage. Lauren Mink belts out Alone by Heart. Jeremy Rosado sings Superstar and gives JLo goosebumps. Symone Black is hoping to get the panel’s attention – her version of Dock of the Bay does the trick, and so does her terrible fall off the front of the stage! The judges gasp that she hit her head and medics are summoned.
Watch American Idol tomorrow night to find out what happened to Symone.
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Photos courtesy: FOX