'American Idol' ousts 108 of 212 Hollywood Week hopefuls in first two rounds
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/06/2014
American Idol's thirteenth-season dream ended for 108 hopefuls following the two initial rounds of Hollywood Week during Wednesday night's broadcast of the Fox reality singing competition.
Last night's episode began with 212 contestants arriving in Hollywood and concluded with only 104 hopefuls still in the running to secure one of American Idol's Top 30 spots.
The 212 hopefuls arrived expecting to get settled in their hotel rooms, however, they were surprised by being taken to a secret airplane hanger and told some of them must compete in the competition's brand new "Hollywood or Home Round."
All the contestants met with the judges who had previously revealed everyone's audition tapes. The judges asked the singers whom they were unsure about to perform again for them in a "sing for survival" type of format. Over 50 contestants were asked to sing on the spot inside the hanger for the judges and only 20 of them ended up making it through the new round.
One bus full of contestants who didn't make the cut was immediately taken to the airport to fly home, however, the 20 singers on a second bus who survived the elimination round soon joined the remaining contestants in the hotel.
Some of the contestants who were asked to sing in the "Hollywood or Home Round" and were highlighted in the broadcast are as follows: Johnny Newcomb, a 17-year-old student from Maryville, TN; Connor Zwetsch, a 20-year-old musician from Tampa, FL; Ali Jane Henderson, a 16-year-old student from Gaffney, SC; Caitlin Johnson, a 16-year-old student from North Plains, OR; Adam Roth, a 28-year-old sound healer from Sacramento, CA; Tristen Langley, a 15-year-old student from Kennedale, TX; and Morgan Deplitch, a 15-year-old student from Somerset, MA.
More singers included: Stephanie Petronelli, a 23-year-old cheerleader from West Bridgewater, MA; Rich Lafleur, a 20-year-old in landscaping and construction from Clarksville, MD; Eric Wood, a 28-year-old oil field worker from Higginson, AR; Neco Starr, a 22-year-old personal assistant from Atlanta, GA; and Khristian D'avis, a 23-year-old server from Chicago, IL.
It was unclear which of those contestants were sent home.
The next day, the 160 contestants still in the running for Idol's thirteenth-season title were asked to sing a solo for the judges one at a time either a cappella or utilizing an instrument. Cuts were made throughout the day until only 104 hopefuls remained at the end of the day.
Some of the contestants who impressed the judges and were told to advance to the Group Round are as follows: Majesty Rose York, a 21-year-old pre school teacher from Goldsboro, NC; John Fox, a 20-year-old worship leader from Magnolia, TX; Brandy Neelly, an 18-year-old fitness center receptionist from Louisville, KY; Spencer Lloyd, a 19-year-old worship leader from Bryant, AR; Austin Wolfe, a 17-year-old student from Park City, UT; Bria Anai, a 16-year-old student from Lithonia, GA; C.J. Harris, a 22-year-old guitar teacher from Jasper, Al; Alex Preston, a 20-year-old student from Mont Vernon, NH; and Kenzie Hall, a 17-year-old student from Draper, UT.
And the list continued: Ben Briley, a 24-year-old server from Gallatin, TN; Briston Maroney, a 15-year-old student from Knoxville, TN; Dexter Roberts, a 22-year-old dog trainer and farm hand from Fayette, AL; Rachel Rolleri, a 17-year-old student from Danville, CA; Maurice Townsend, a 26-year-old music minister from Grand Rapids, MI; Casey Thrasher, a 22-year-old musician from Tuscaloosa, AL; George Lovett, a 24-year-old student from Baltimore, MD; Tiquila Wilson, a 24-year-old funeral home singer from Winston Salem, NC; Emily Priz, a 17-year-old student from Orlando, FL; and Malcolm Allen, a 21-year-old deli grocer from Wrightsville, AZ.
Additional contestants who survived the round of solos are as follows: Munfarid Zaidi, a 19-year-old student from Sugar Land, TX; Ethan Thompson, a 23-year-old student from Whitefish, MT; Austin Percario, an 18-year-old student from Warren, NJ; Caleb Johnson, a 22-year-old musician from Asheville, NC; Stephanie Hanvey, a 16-year-old lifeguard from Howell, NJ; Kristen O'Connor, a 24-year-old nurse tech from Sebastian, FL; Emmanuel Zidor, a 24-year-old airline ramp agent from Miami, FL; Briana Oakley, a 17-year-old student from Antioch, CA; Jesse Cline, a 19-year-old gas station attendant from Ashland, KY; Keith London, a 21-year-old handyman from Hazleton, PA; Malaya Watson, a 16-year-old student from Southfield, MI; Jena Asciutto, a 17-year-old student from Farmington Hills, MI; and Savion Wright, a 21-year-old student from Jasper, TX.
Three hopefuls who were shown getting cut after taking the stage with their solos are Samantha Calmes, a 25-year-old musical educator from Hammond, LA; Selena Moreno, a 22-year-old hostess from Sacramento, CA; and Quaid Edwards, a 21-year-old student from Papillion, NE.
The 104 remaining hopefuls were then instructed by the judges to form a group of three or four members. They were given a list of songs to choose from and were told the judges would be looking for "choreography, harmony and unique performances."
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest revealed at least half the remaining singers will be cut by the end of the Group Round. The Group Round will continue during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.
Seacrest also announced the final spot in the Top 30 finalists will be decided by America although no specific details were disclosed.