'American Idol' narrows twelfth-season male contestants to 43 hopefuls
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/07/2013
American Idol narrowed its pool of twelfth-season male Hollywood Week hopefuls to 43 contestants during Wednesday night's Fox broadcast of the week's initial elimination round.
Last night's episode began with all the season's successful male auditioneers arriving to Hollywood and being surprised with the news that, in an Idol first, only the men 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 men 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.
The male contestants that were cut right away on Day 1 included Karl Skinner, a 26-year-old pizza chef from Joplin, MO; Dustin Watts, a 27-year-old firefighter from Albany, LA; Dr. Calvin Peters, a 28-year-old physician from Fort Worth, TX; and Brian Rittenberry, a 28-year-old bookkeeper from Jasper, GA.
The men shown advancing to the group round were Micah Johnson, a 24-year-old U.S. Navy seaman from Morrow, GA; Mathenee Treco, a 26-year-old choreographer from Aurora, CO; Nate Tao, a 24-year-old sign language teacher from Reston, VA; Gabe Brown, a 22-year-old baker from Marion, IA; Gurpreet Singh Sarin, a 22-year-old college student from North Potomac, MD; and Cortez Shaw, a 22-year-old sales representative from Dallas, TX.
In addition, Frankie Ford, a 25-year-old busker from Brooklyn, NY; Lazaro Arbos, a 21-year-old ice cream scooper from Naples, FL; Trevor Blakney, a 24-year-old U.S. Army Sgt. from Corinth, MS; Bryant Tadeo, a 23-year-old sales associate from Hilo, HI; Curtis Finch Jr., a 24-year-old choir director from St. Louis, MO; and Charles Allen, a 22-year-old server from Saginaw, MI, also advanced.
By the end of Day 1, half the male contestants were cut.
The following day, the remaining men were given 24 hours to prepare for the notorious group round. However, in a special twist revealed by American Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick -- 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 a song 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.
Nick Boddington, an unemployed 27-year-old from Memphis, TX; Treco; Matheus Fernandes, a 22-year-old computer salesman from Atlanta, GA; Brown; Johnny Keyser, a 24-year-old musician from Pompano Beach, FL; Finch Jr.; Johnson; Vincent Powell, a 29-year-old praise leader and teacher from Austin, TX; Marvin Calderon, a 22-year-old college student from San Diego, CA; David Willis, a 21-year-old worship leader and server from Mount Dora, FL, all survived the group round.
Also shown moving onto the solo round were Zach Birnbaum, a 15-year-old student from Cherry Hill, NJ; Tao; Shaw; Elijah Liu, an 18-year-old college student from Rowland Heights, CA; Sarin; Paul Jolley, a 22-year-old in retail sales from Palmersville, TN; Will White; Devan Jones, a 27-year-old wedding singer from Aurora, CO; Devin Velez, an 18-year-old student from Chicago, IL; Tony Foster Jr., a 25-year-old retail consultant from Oklahoma City, OK; Burnell Taylor, an unemployed 19-year-old from New Orleans, LA.
Christian Lopez, a 17-year-old student from Martinsburg, WV; Arbos; JDA, a 27-year-old in cosmetic sales from Chicago, IL; Joel Wayman, a 24-year-old nanny from Indianapolis, IN; David Leathers Jr., an 18-year-old student from Fayetteville, NC; Sanni M'Mairura, a 16-year-old student from Pearland, TX; Papa Peachez, an unemployed 19-year-old from Jackson, MS; Adam Sanders, a 19-year-old musician from San Antonio, TX; and Allen also made the cut.
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The men who failed to advance to the upcoming solo round included Lee Pritchard, a 25-year-old equipment operator from Boardman, OR; Blakney; Mario Jose, an unemployed 24-year-old from Concord, CA; Darien Moses, a 27-year-old business analyst from Boynton Beach, FL; Kareem Clark, a 22-year-old inventory company employee from Asbury Park, NJ; Jason Jones, an 18-year-old student from Chicago, IL; and Dan Wood, a 22-year-old server from Tampa, FL.
Other male contestants who were shown being eliminated were Jessie Lawrence, a 25-year-old server from Newark, NJ; Josh Stephens, a 19-year-old house remodeler from Carmen, IN; Scott Fleenor, a 21-year-old shoe salesman from Winfield, KS; Kevin Quinn, a 15-year-old student from Wilmette, FL; Kayden Stephenson, a 16-year-old student from Tulsa, OK; Griffin Peterson, a 22-year-old student from Oconomowoc, WI; Clifton Duffin; and Ford.
Thursday night's one-hour American Idol broadcast will air on Fox at 8PM ET/PT and feature the judges determining which 20 men will advance and which 23 male contestants will be sent home after they perform again.