Cast: Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez
: Fox, airs Wednesdays and Thursdays
Original Telecast: February 17, 2011

I really wish that they would have started this year’s AMERICAN IDOL in Hollywood. It would have not only saved me some time in my life, but it would have given us an even greater insight into the whole process of deciding who gets to perform for America and who does not.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been more than happy we have gotten as much as we have as we have not had this type of access or interest paid to the process until now. But still, I kinda want some more. I want the process to be more about the singing right from the get-go rather than this deep into the season already. We’ve seen the freaks and bad singers, we don’t need to see them anymore. Show us the talent, that’s what makes this show special.

Still, this last day of “Hollywood Week” delivered as we got a slew of performances in the individual segment – moreso than I think ever in previous years – and that made it good. We got to see why those that moved on did and why those that we had a hefty dose of TV time didn’t.

So that’s good indeed. That’s the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff this show as needed for years, and I welcomed it.

Some the outstanding performances came from:

  • Haley Reinhart – Who despite fumbling her lines was put through – delivers a stunning song and wows the judges. Made it through.
  • Theia Megia – Someone we haven’t really seen much up until this point proves while she has been put through so far by giving a great performance of “Wonderful World.” Made it through.
  • Clint Jun Gamboa – He was the one who didn’t want to work with the 15-year old kid from the previous day and just hit it out of the park and really made an impression on the judges even though he was rather cruel before. Made it through.
  • Kendra Chantelle and Sophia Shorai – Both performed “Georgia” and showed both not only have the looks but the pipes as well. Both made it.
  • Carson Higgins/Chris Medina – The blonde guy that looks like a total dork but has a great voice and vibe and the dude with the crazy hair both did Bobby Brown, it really was like night and day. Higgins wowed while Medina didn’t really do much more than “meh.” Higgins made it.
  • Julie Zorrila – Who we have seen quite a bit of from the beginning of the competition continued to be very strong. She made it.
  • Colton Dixon – Playing piano really did a great job as well showing his skills and could do really well with the female contingent. He made it.
  • Casey Abrams – With stand-up bass in hand did something that I don’t think we have ever seen with an interesting performance that was very coffeeshop-ish in his version of “Georgia.” I liked it, but it might not get him through.  But he made it.
  • Jacob Lusk – Who showed how he could really perform in the group sessions from Wednesday continued to impress with great control of his voice and a really cool stage presence. He could go very far. Easily made it.
  • John Wayne Schulz – The guy with the great name and comes from a small farm that we saw profiled in the auditions also impressed. Also made it.

Some of the more disappointing performances came from:

  • Caleb Johnson – who really didn’t get it and had a hard time mixing it up with the house band. Got cut.
  • Frances Coontz – Was simply terrible and I can’t even believe that she made it as far as she did. Got cut.
  • Chelsee Oaks – After losing her best friend in the competition and she did OK, but not that great considering the other blockbuster performances we have seen. She was cut.
  • Ashley Sullivan – The chick that nearly quit the night before crashed and burned on stage, which wasn’t really surprisingly. She didn’t have a very strong voice to begin with and was far outshined by the others we saw. However, she made it.
  • Jovany Berreto – was just boring. I just wanted it to be over. Quickly. Yet, he still made it.
  • Jacee Badaux – While I think the kid is sweet and has some talent, he just can’t hold muster against some of the stronger competitors. I’m afraid he will get eaten up. Yet, he still made it.
  • Scott McCreary – Wow, terrible. Move along, next. Still made it!

So now with the competition down to 50 people, we’ll see just who continues to shine and who will falter.

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