'American Idol' wraps Hollywood Week and decides Vegas hopefuls
By Reality TV World staff, 02/16/2012
American Idol narrowed its eleventh-season contestant pool to its Vegas Round hopefuls during Wednesday night's third and final broadcast of the Fox reality singing competition's Hollywood Week phase.
Wednesday's American Idol broadcast picked up where last Thursday night's had left off -- with the season's 185 remaining hopefuls beginning their group round performances early on Hollywood Week's third day.
During the round, several contestants struggled to overcome exhaustion, dehydration or flu bug that contestant Amy Brumfield, an unemployed 24-year-old from Gatlinburg, TN, had spread among the hopefuls during their group rehearsals the prior evening.
Jacquie Cera -- a 26-year-old receptionist from Portland, OR who was part of Brumfield's group -- passed out shortly before her group performed and she and Brumfield both subsequently struggled with their performances, resulting in their eliminations.
Imani Handy, a 17-year-old student from McKinney, TX, also collapsed while rehearsing before her group's performance but was medically cleared to sing with them when it was their turn to take the stage for the American Idol judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson. However, Handy then collapsed a second time while singing onstage with her group and was cut from the competition after unsuccessfully begging the judges to give her another chance and advance her to Hollywood Week's next round.
In addition, numerous hopefuls who had been highlighted during American Idol's prior broadcasts were also cut following their group round performances -- including Kyle Crews, a 19-year-old student from San Diego, CA; Alisha Bernhardt, a 27-year-old police officer from Indianapolis, IN; and Symone Black, a 16-year-old student from Rancho Cucamonga, CA who had collapsed and fallen off stage during Hollywood Week's initial performance round.
Ninety-eight contestants remained in the running for one of American Idol's eleventh-season semifinalist slots at the conclusion of Day 3's group round performances.
The following day, the remaining hopefuls were given one last chance to impress the Idol judges by individually taking the stage and performing one final song while accompanied by the house band. If desired, they could also perform while playing their own musical instrument.
Several contestants delivered impressive performances during the final solo performance round, including Joshua Ledet, a 19-year-old student from Westlake, LA; Colton Dixon, a 20-year-old musician and face painter from Murfreesboro, TN; Jen Hirsh, a 25-year-old winery employee from Agoura Hills, CA; Creighton Franker, a 28-year-old starving artist from Queens, NY; Shannon Magrane, a 16-year-old student from Tampa, FL; Reed Grimm, a 26-year-old nanny from Ellsworth, WI; Adam Brock, a 27-year-old creative arts director from Washington, PA.
After all 98 contestants performed, the judges deliberated and divided the hopefuls into four groups that were sent to four different rooms to learn whether they would advance to the competition's next audition round in Las Vegas.
Room 1 was the first group of contestants to learn they advanced en masse. The group included Franker; Hirsh; Erica Vanpelt, a 25-year-old mobile deejay and wedding singer from South Kingstown, RI; and Hallie Day, a 24-year-old waitress from Baltimore, MD.
Room 2 was the second group to learn their fates, and the judges also announced positive news. Among the contestants in the room were Magrane; Phillip Phillips, a 20-year-old pawn shop employee from Leesburg, GA; Eben Franckewitz, a 15-year-old student from Milford, OH; and Skylar Laine, a 17-year-old student from Brandon, MS.
The news wasn't as good for Room 3, which learned their American Idoleleventh-season dreams had ended. Rachelle Lamb, a 26-year-old divorced mom from Mountain View, MO; Brittany Kerr, a 24-year-old NBA dancer from Charlotte, NC; and Jennifer Malsch, a 20-year-old singer from Washington, DC, were among the disappointed hopefuls in Room 3.
Room 4 was the last group of contestants who waited to hear whether they would advance in the competition, and the judges finally revealed they would also continue on to Vegas. The Room 4 group included Stephanie Renae, a 15-year-old student from Orange Park, FL; Baylie Brown, a 23-year-old nanny from Nashville, TN; Britnee Kellogg, a 27-year-old banker from Vancouver, WA; and Angie Zeiderman, a 25-year-old waitress from Delray Beach, FL.
American Idol's eleventh-season semifinalists selection process will continue with Thursday night's broadcast of the competition's Vegas round.