The Final “American Idol” Hollywood Week begins!

American Idol final Hollywood week

The “American Idol XV” hopefuls wait to hear instructions from the judges. (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Over the past two weeks, the Idol judges (Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez & Keith Urban) handed out countless golden tickets to hopefuls who wanted to be the bookend to Kelly Clarkson.

However, the judges can only take 24 singers to Idol’s final live shows! In order for the judges to narrow the herd of hopefuls down to find the best singers, the producers of the show created one of the worst weeks in any talent competition hopefuls’ lives…. Hollywood (aka Hell) Week!

Throughout the show’s 15 years, this crucial week has seen front-runners such as  David Archuleta and Adam Lambert cemented their places at the front of the pack, while underdogs like Angie Miller shocked both the audience and judges with their impeccable performances that earned them a spot in the Top 24.

Who will rise through the challenges that Hollywood Week brings? Whose dreams will shatter? Read on to find out…

All 190 Golden Ticket recipients arrived in LA for Hollywood Week and took their seats in the Dolby Theatre auditorium. The judges arrived and announced the traditional lines of 10. Harry reminded them that half of them would be going home and advised them to leave everything on the stage. Jordan Sasser was the first person to face the judges and he set the standard with a fiery cover of Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us.”

There were many artists that stood out to me, but one artist that continued to caught my eye was former School of Rock teacher Dalton Rapattoni.  Ever since he auditioned with “The Phantom of the Opera,” I thought that he was someone that had potential to get to the live rounds. He tackled singing competition staple “California Dreamin’” for his first Hollywood Week performance.  While America’s Got Talent’s Samantha Johnson and The X Factor UK’s Seann Miley Moore delivered superb diva interpretations of the Mamas and the Papas signature song, Dalton gave the song new life and Green Day vibes with his superb interpretation.  My only wish was that Keith did not stop the performance.

Back in San Francisco, Harry and Jennifer debated if either the girls or the guys would be stronger this year. So far in Hollywood Week, the ladies started to prove that Jennifer would win this debate. While some girls shined during their performances, La’Porsha Renae proved to both the judges and her fellow contestants that she was going to be force to be reckoned with as she sang “Roar” that gave me chills and the judges sent her to the next round.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell kicked off day two of the Hollywood Week. Ryan even snuck into the audience to watch her audition. Jeneve hypnotized the audience with her impressive cello and folk rock skills, which earned her a spot in the Group Round. Meanwhile, Gianna Isabella hoped to make her mother, Brenda K. Starr, proud with her audition. Gianna stole the second day with her powerful cover of Jennifer Hudson’s “One Night Only.”  Meanwhile, Tristan McIntosh, whose mother surprised her at her American Idol audition, countered with Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water.” Both girls made their mothers proud as the judges told them that they made it to the next round.

Sickness and Hollywood Week go hand-and-hand. In the past seasons, a majority of contestants that succumb to the flu receive the illness from another contestant. This season’s unlucky recipient of the bug: Trent Harmon. 20 minutes before he was supposed to take the stage, Trent began to show symptoms of Mono. Doctors even told him that it would be best for him to exit, but Trent decided to go against the doctors’ orders and performed a fantastic cover of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down.” The risk paid off as Trent made it to the next round.

Tomorrow night, the “Idol” Group Rounds start!

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. All “American Idol” performances belong to FOX & 19 Entertainment, Samantha Johnson’s performance is property of NBC & SYCO Entertainment and Seann Miley Moore’s performance of iTV & SYCO Entertainment.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar