'American Idol' cuts 43 hopefuls during Hollywood Week's first round
By Steve Rogers, 02/04/2009
American Idol's eighth-season dream ended for a third of the season's 147 Hollywood Week hopefuls during last night's Fox broadcast of the week's initial elimination round.
Forty-three contestants were cut, leaving 104 contestants in the running for American Idol's 36 eighth-season semifinals slots.
American Idol's eighth-season Hollywood Week rounds began with the 147 contestants arriving at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre and participating in a brief "Idol boot camp" -- the show's first-ever -- in which the hopefuls met with vocal coaches and stylists. The boot camp culminated with a visit from Barry Manilow, who urged the contestants to make the most of their Idol opportunity.
"What is the secret of becoming a star? Preparation meets opportunity," Manilow told the contestants. "Now you've got the opportunity so now it's really up to you to prepare. Really think about the songs you're going to do and make them your own."
Afterward, the contestants were divided into two groups and one group spent the day sightseeing in Hollywood while the other took the stage eight at a time and individually performed an a capella song for the judges. After they performed, the judges voted on the performances and, similar to the season's initial auditions, either advanced them to Hollywood Week's second round or eliminated them from the competition, with Simon Cowell's vote serving as the tiebreaker for any 2-2 tie votes.
Most of the first group's contestants advanced, including Lil Rounds, a 23-year-old service representative from Memphis, TN; Nathan Marshall, an unemployed 18-year-old from Malone, NY; Anoop Desai, a 21-year-old college student from Chapel Hill, NC; Jasmine Murray, a 16-year-old high school student from Starkville, MS; Rose Flack, a 17-year-old high school student from Rathdrum, ID; Stephen Fowler, a 26-year-old musician from Beachwood, OH; Jorge Nunez, a 20-year-old college student from Carolina, PR; Von Smith, a 22-year-old singer from Greenwood, MO; Nick Mitchell, a 27-year-old from Brookfield, CT; Scott MacIntyre, a blind 23-year-old from Scottsdale, AZ; and Frankie Jordan, a 24-year-old waitress and new mom from Hollywood, CA.
The next day, the second group's 83 contestants took their turns singing for the judges.
Once again, many of them advanced to Hollywood Week's second round, including Jackie Tohn, a 27-year-old actor and singer from Silver Lake, CA; Jamar Rogers, a 26-year-old bartender from Milwaukee, WI; Danny Gokey, a 28-year-old church music teacher from Milwaukee, WI; Katrina Darrell, a 20-year-old model from Chino Hills, CA; Jeremy Michael Sarver, a 27-year-old oil rig roughneck from Jasper, TX; David Osmond, a 28-year-old musician from Provo, UT; Emily Wynne-Hughes, a 21-year-old band singer from Los Angeles, CA; Alexis Grace, a 21-year-old musician and stay-at-home mom from Memphis, TN; Brent Keith Smith, a 28-year-old musician from Blanchester, OH; Ann Marie Boskovich, a 22-year-old from Nashville, TN; and Adam Lambert, a 26-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
American Idol's coverage of the eighth season's Hollywood Week rounds will continue with tonight's broadcast of the week's group round performances, after which the pool of contestants will be eliminated further.
Although their identities appear to have already leaked online, American Idol will formally reveal the eighth season's Top 36 semifinalists during next Wednesday's broadcast.