'American Idol' narrows twelfth-season female contestants during Hollywood Week
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/14/2013
American Idol narrowed its pool of 162 twelfth-season female Hollywood Week hopefuls during Wednesday night's Fox broadcast of the week's initial elimination rounds.
Last night's episode began with all the season's successful female auditioners arriving to Hollywood and being told the news that -- as many of the girls had suspected after hearing rumors of the men's prior Hollywood Week -- in an Idol first, only the women would be competing against each other in the first two days of Hollywood Week for judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson.
Each hopeful was allowed to give a single a capella performance while standing in a line of 10 women total onstage in a round called "sudden death." After all 10 contestants sang, the judges decided whether they would advance to the week's subsequent group round or be eliminated immediately.
According to Idol host Ryan Seacrest, there were many more girls than guys who made it to Hollywood this year, so the judges had to make some "massive cuts."
The female contestants that were cut right away on Day 1 included Megan Miller, Mariah Pulice, Ashley Smith, Anne Defani, and Sarah Restuccio.
By the end of Day 1, only 76 girls remained and would be moving on to the group round.
The following day, the remaining women were given 24 hours to prepare for the notorious group round. However, in a special twist revealed by American Idol producers -- in another Idol first -- the contestants were told the producers would decide who goes in what group, and once placed, they could not change their group. In seasons past, the contestants themselves were able to form their own groups and work with whomever they pleased.
Once the groups were established, they each had to collectively select and agree upon one song to perform from a list of 20 choices, choreograph a routine and master the song's lyrics. Those to make it through the group round would move onto the solo round, while the cut contestants would learn their fate right on the spot.
Day 2 began with only Carey, Minaj and Urban present on the judging panel, as Jackson was apparently tied up in the studio.
Once Jackson returned to the panel, the other women shown moving onto the solo round were Zoanette Johnson, Erin Christine, Liz Bills, Daysia Hall, Stephanie Schimel, Holly Miller, Britnee Kellogg, Kree Harrison, Haley Davis, Ban, Breanna Steer, Miller, and Arthur.
The women who failed to advance to the upcoming solo round included Savannah Votion, Lizz Weiss, J'Leigh Chauvin, Shubha Vedula, Aubrey Cleland, Seretha Guinn, Lauren Bettes, Shira Gavreilov, Alisha Dixon, Courtney Calle, Alex Delaney, Kalli Therinae, and Brandy Neelly.
Thursday night's one-hourAmerican Idol broadcast will air on Fox at 8PM ET/PT and feature the remaining women performing their solos and then the judges revealing the season's Top 20 male and Top 20 female contestants.