'American Idol' cuts more hopefuls in Hollywood Week's second round
By Steve Rogers, 02/05/2009
American Idol's eighth-season dream ended for more than two dozen additional Hollywood Week hopefuls during last night's Fox broadcast of the week's second elimination round.
About 75 contestants survived the week's group performance round, which required the 104 eighth-season hopefuls that survived the week's initial individual performance round to organize themselves into small groups and do a group performance for American Idol's judges. After they performed, the contestants were then individually cut or advanced to the week's third performance round.
Several of the newly-formed groups advanced en masse, including two foursomes that featured India Morrison, a 22-year-old college student from Kansas City, MO; Matt Giraud, a 23-year-old dueling piano player from Kalamazoo, MI; Kris Allen, a 23-year-old college business major from Conway, AR; Justin Williams, a 26-year-old voice teacher from Mesa AZ; Jeremy Michael Sarver, a 27-year-old oil rig roughneck from Jasper, TX; Adam Lambert, a 26-year-old stage actor from Hollywood, CA; Matt Breitzke, a 27-year-old welder from Bixby, OK; and Jesse Langseth, a 25-year-old administrative assistant from Minneapolis, MN.
Two additional groups that included Danny Gokey, a 28-year-old church music teacher from Milwaukee, WI; Jamar Rogers, a 26-year-old bartender from Milwaukee, WI; Taylor Vaifanua, a 16-year-old high school student from Hurricane, UT; Muna Hiluf, a 16-year-old high school student from North Las Vegas, NV; and Tatiana Del Toro, a 23-year-old singer, actress, and model from San Juan, PR, were also shown advancing in their entirety.
Many other contestants also managed to advance to the third round despite the axing of one or more of their brief bandmates, including Jorge Nunez, a 20-year-old college student from Carolina, PR; Nick Mitchell, a 27-year-old from Brookfield, CT; Alex Wagner-Trugman, a 19-year-old college student from Studio City, CA; Anne Marie Boskovich, a 22-year-old waitress and nanny from Nashville, TN; Jasmine Murray, a 16-year-old high school student from Starkville, MS; Kristin McNamara, 22-year-old karaoke hostess from Napa Valley, CA; and Nathaniel Marshall, an unemployed 18-year-old from Malone, NY.
In addition, Scott MacIntyre, a blind 23-year-old from Scottsdale, AZ; Mishavonna Henson an 18-year-old from Irvine, CA; Brent Keith Smith, a 28-year-old musician from Blanchester, OH; Junot Joyner, a 26-year-old from Bowie, MD; Jackie Tohn, a 27-year-old actor and singer from Silver Lake, CA; Von Smith, a 22-year-old singer from Greenwood, MO, and Lil Rounds, a 23-year-old service representative from Memphis, TN, were all among those briefly shown successfully making it to Hollywood Week's third round.
Several contestants which American Idol's broadcasts had previously spotlighted failed to survive the second round's cuts, including Emily Wynne-Hughes, a 21-year-old band singer from Los Angeles, CA; Katrina Darrell, a 20-year-old model from Chino Hills, CA; Rose Flack, a 17-year-old high school student from Rathdrum, ID; and David Osmond, a 28-year-old musician from Provo, UT.
"I wish [I'd] had an opportunity to really share what is inside of me," Osmond -- a nephew of entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond -- said after his elimination.
Darrell -- the "Bikini Girl" that had sparked conflict between Idol's male and female judges by performing her initial audition in a bikini -- didn't take the news of her elimination as well and walked off stage without offering her congratulations to Murray, her advancing groupmate.
"She doesn't even hug her... she doesn't even hug her," Idol judge Paula Abdul noted as Darrell departed.
"Humm, that's what I love about her!" Simon Cowell responded.
"She must be ready for her close-up... damn, what a b-tch," new fourth judge Kara DioGuardi added.
In addition, Maryn Azoff, an unemployed 28-year-old from Nanuet, NY; Austin Sisneros, a 17-year-old high school student from Riverton, UT; J.B. Ahfua, a 16-year-old high school student from Taylorsville, UT; Shelby Swartwood, a 17-year-old high school student from Bountiful, UT; Julissa Veloz, a 19-year-old sales associate from Orlando, FL; Ryan Pinkston, a 21-year-old wedding singer from Boston, MA; Lauren Barnes, a 25-year-old singer and songwriter from Brooklyn, NY; and Nancy Wilson, a 28-year-old hair stylist from Miami, FL, were all eliminated from the competition.
Wilson -- who had performed in a trio with McNamara and Marshall -- also took her elimination hard and seemed to blame it on McNamara, who had rejected Wilson's request that they practice more, citing a desire to save her voice.
"You spend two years running after this and then I let someone get the best of me," a crying Wilson vented to Marshall.
"Oh my God, I can not believe this sh--!," exclaimed Wilson, who had also shouted an expletive-filled warning at McNamara when she attempted to approach Wilson after the judges revealed their decision.
American Idol's coverage of the eighth season's Hollywood Week rounds will continue with next Tuesday's broadcast of the week's third round performances. 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.