Idol: How Was Round Two of Hollywood Week?

Drama scored a resounding victory over vocal ability as Round Two of Hollywood Week continued tonight on American Idol.While the group performances got underway, cherubic youths wept openly, one possibly unbalanced singer threatened to pack up her toys and go home, and J.Lo made a variety of facial expressions that ranged from “Child, please” to “I am not even trying to hear that.” With the rapid-fire pacing of the two-hour telecast, it was often hard to hear or understand the judges’ decisions: They tossed aside several singers who sounded pretty good to me, while keeping a number of folks who went off pitch or flat-out forgot their lyrics. Why The Face?

Thankfully, a small handful of singers emerged as possible successors to Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, and recent Grammy winner Fantasia Barrino (holla!), but here’s hoping Thursday night’s telecast yields an entire armload of star-making performances, no? The Idoloonie Nation cannot live on one rousing rendition of “Get Ready” alone, can it?

Anyhow, now it’s time for me to get working on my full episode recap, which will post right here at in the wee small hours of the morning. Until then, feel free to hit the comments and sound off on which contestants impressed you, which left you heartbroken, and which ones should’ve gotten another chance. And for all my Idol-related ridiculata, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Marta says:

    I really enjoyed tonight’s episode– I thought it was pretty nicely paced and nicely produced….It didn’t drag TOO much (like other 2 hour episodes have done in the past.)

    I look forward to tomorrow’s singing. Until then, I’ll continue to be bewildered by Ashley Sullivan’s surprisingly decent singing voice, Chris Medina’s mediocrity once again being enough, and James Durbin’s unlike-ability factor. (Because seriously, we should want to root for that kid, right? But yet, I don’t. At all.)

    • Ash says:

      Thank you! I don’t hate him because of his maladies. I hate him because he’s such a pale imitation if Adam Lambert.

      • MizFurball in Oregon says:

        Thank you. You have expressed my feelings exactly.

      • Inspireluv says:

        He was exactly like Adam Lambert-screamer! We dont need more gay dance club music!! Complete unoriginal-just like Lambert(gaga copycat)

        • Even if James makes it to the Top 40 and even the Top 20 I don’t see the public liking his schtick. The reason people liked Adam Lambert was because he was original and had control, this guy is neither original nor controlled. I don’t hate him as a person, but on this show he is completly annoying and got through to tomorrow based on his past performances, because this one was increibly bad.

          • GingerSnap says:

            I think he has talent, and he’ll make it to the top 20 (judges clearly favor him), but some things about his Tourette’s will end up annoying people, making it hard for us to like what we see on camera. Idol is still about likeability and he will be tough to look at. Still, he might be able to meet someone who can help him advance his music career and cover up some of his less attractive qualities.

        • Scooter says:

          ‘gay dance club music’?? what the hell are you talking about? yes, James screams like Lambert, but neither of them sing dance club music. (that there are dance remixes of Lambert’s songs does not classify him in that genre.) and Lambert’s music has no relation to Gaga. clearly you’re just another troll who knows nothing about music.

          • NJ says:

            Other than Gaga having written one of his songs, of course.

            Also I know it’s a popular thing to say Adam screams, but he’s in control of his voice, which puts him miles ahead of James, who just comes off as a screecher to me.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      You hit it exactly re: Durbin. His higher notes just sound screachy. Lambert knew how to do it.

    • Emma says:

      The show needs James because the show needs love-them-or-hate-them characters. We all know what happened in season 9 when all of the contestants were blandly likeable, raising no feelings.

  2. Andrea says:

    The first 40 minutes was boring with no singing. Jordan Dorsey was a total diva. He’s a good singer, but I’m not into him now. Clint Jun Gamboa was totally the ring leader in kicking out poor young Jaycee out of that group. Not cheering for him either (Clint). I loved the show once it got into the group numbers. The girls who sang the Blu Cantrell song (Hit ‘Em Up Style) were AMAZING. Love Ashton Jones, Brett Loewenstern, Lauren Alaina, and Scott McCreery. I have no idea why the let the blond in the final group through. She was horrible.

  3. Ablo says:

    Hated tonight. It’s such forced drama — for no intrinsic reason whatsoever. Why don’t they let a Bengal tiger run through the hall from time to time? Or have the building shake in a mock earthquake? Or make the contestants sing while taking being hit over the head lessons? There’s enough drama in the competition. And while I’m ranting — 15-year olds aren’t mature enough to have their lives defined by such a public loss. And I understand why their moms are there — but that’s an indication of why the singers are too young.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      The biggest reason they should not have lowered the age was Stage Mothers. I don’t know what they heard in the theater but coming across the tv, both groups who did Somebody to Love were terrible.

  4. Mel31602 says:

    The only people I thought really got robbed were the nameless girls in Lauren Alainas group. Otherwise it was nice to see new people though it’s hard for me to remember most of them. And none of my early favorites got cut yet amazingly

    • Katie says:

      My sister and I were just talking about this exact same thing. The girls in the group with Lauren should have gotten through as well

    • sara says:

      I am not sure what was more disturbing there, Lauren and her group of (seemingly) under-age girls singing seductively to 60 year old Steven Tyler, or the banishing of everyone else in that group. Seriously, what WAS that??

      • Eolra says:

        I didn’t think any of them should have gone through personally. That was a terrible concept for an audition – totally based on a stupid gimmick with no attention paid to showing individual personality, or to the group as a whole. Just all about Steven. If you’re stupid enough to take the focus off yourself even for a second when you know you have only a few seconds to sell yourself, you deserve to go home.The only reason Lauren didn’t go home with the rest was because she’s The Chosen One.

    • Ejd says:

      I totally agree with you. The girls in Lauren’s group did get robbed! The tall brunette is Sarah Ames and she auditioned in SF and did a fantastic job. Not sure why she was cut. Mistake on Idols part

  5. Caitlyn says:

    I really disliked the first half of the show, absolutely nothing happened. There was too much drama with Jacee being kicked out and Jordan quitting, and not enough singing. Personally, my favorites so far are James Durbin, Brett Loewenstern, and (surprisingly) Hollie Cavanagh. I used to be a big fan of Lauren Alaina, but the way she was dancing in front of Steven was really disturbing.

  6. Kathy says:

    James Durbin is the Scott Savol of season 10. Great voice, but there is a turnoff factor working against him. Still loving James now, just like I loved Scott six years ago. I have a thing for the unlikeable underdogs.

  7. Andrea says:

    I like James Dubin. He’s not trying to be like Adam Lambert. He just happens to have a similar style and that big voice. I feel bad for him. A lot of people are saying they hate him or don’t like him. He has Aspergers Syndrome which makes it difficult for him in social situations. He’s got a great voice. I hope he goes far.

    • Bethrose says:

      So what you’re saying is, is that we should like James Durbin because of his Aspergers and Tourettes and therefore vote for him because of that, because we feel sorry for him? Since when has a sob story EVER done well on the show and out of the show? If he already has a hard time in social situations imagine how horrible its gonna for him when goes through the media grinder. the same could be said for Chris Medina and his sob story.

  8. Andrea says:

    Ashton Jones brought it on Group Day.

  9. Becky says:

    Great show tonight. Have to say I agree with James – is it fair to the other groups to have the young kids have the stage moms present to give advice, choreograph the act, and in general lend tons of support? I understand the chaperon factor, the legalities, etc., but keep the stage moms out of the picture and I’m not sure that group performs as well as it did.

    • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

      Gotta be honest — I had a bit of a problem with that, too. Of course, I’ve always felt the minimum age for AI should be 18, which would eliminate the need for stage moms. That being said, those kids did a GREAT job.

    • ed says:

      Seeing how well the group performed, I think Idol should hire the Moms to be coaches during the finals rounds.

    • NJ says:

      I agree. Have the moms there, sure, but only as chaperons. I wish I knew how much the kids actually worked on the arrangement and all.

  10. Anne says:

    I loved the fact that we got some fresh faces (and voices) tonight– way better than the first Hollywood day. Also obsessed with Brett and Jaycee being together forever. That group caused lots of squealing in my house, along with the strong desire to pat the TV on the head.

  11. Titina says:

    I loved the Get Ready group with Casey and Julie! So happy they went through.
    Especially Casey! I really love his voice and him.. He, he. He is sexy even beneath those clothes. At least tonight he was dressed all black. Can´t wait to see what he does next.
    i hear he plays five instruments!

  12. Derek says:

    I’m sorry but anyone who has been following AI for any length of time can’t be surprised by people who forgot their lyrics still making it through. Group round in season had people like Fantasia, JHud, John Stevens, etc. Dropping lyrics. Heck John forgot lyrics every round in Hwood except the last day. On a side note, this drama was light compared to most seasons especially seasons 8 & 9.

  13. Meghan says:

    I can’t decide who I think came off looking worse, Jordan for leaving his group or Clint for kicking Jaycee out of his. I really like Jordan and hope he doesn’t go the way of Todrick Hall or Jermaine Sellars last season–well received at first, but never recovering from the negative light they were shown in during Hollywood Week. Idol is in serious need of a strong black male in the finals, it has been too long.

  14. Connie D. says:

    Who was that blonde guy with the personality? He hit some sweet notes.

    Karen Rodriguez and Jacob Lusk sounded real good. I also liked Deandre, the guy with all the hair in the kid/stage mom group.

    Jacee Badeaux, Brett Loewenstern, and Scotty McCreary… I definitely want to see on tour.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I was suprised how good Scott McCreary sounded on a non-country number. Loved Denise in the group with Lowenstein and Jacee. She seems like a real sweetheart.

    • NJ says:

      I can’t remember the blond guy’s name either (the actor guy, right?) because I’m terrible with names and only kind of start to learn them during the voting rounds, but I really enjoyed him.

  15. Anna Barnes says:

    Was very disappointed about Rob Bolin….Chelsee was fine but that Jacqueline girl is no good. My favorite was Ashley’s girl group. The producers really set that one up nicely as a “wow, they’re actually not a catastrophe!” so maybe I had reduced expectations but they are the audition I really remember. Jordan Dorsey comes across as a d-bag and I’m not crazy about his voice. Clint Gamboa comes across as a d-bag and I am crazy about his voice. Sometimes, it’s possible to celebrate the talent from the personality I guess…I mean, it’s not like all of my favorite (famous) singers are/have been saints, right?

  16. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    Can someone please refresh my memory — who was the gal who sang “Until you come back to me” in both the local auditions and the first day of HW? Did she make it through tonight? I am blanking out on her name and can’t remember whether I saw her in tonight’s episode.

  17. GingerSnap says:

    The last group of Rob, Chelsea, and Jacqueline were awful! None of them deserved to go through! Rob was bad, but the girls are headed for home tomorrow.

    Bad mistake to focus on the dancing and not help Rob learn the lyrics and the song!

    • I though Chelsee was decent. At least in this particular group. Jacqueline was just awful. I think she got saved because Rob was pitiful and by comparision to him she was really good.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Chelsea is the only one who had a decent performance in that group, but she is going to be swallowed up by better female performers tomorrow. She’s not top 40 material, and they sent better singers than her home tonight.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Agreed – if there is one guy that really can’t dance, then they should have taken that into consideration. The girls were still pretty awful though.

  18. DJ says:

    I enjoyed the show tonight. Didn’t agree with all the judges decisions, but then I never do, and you do have to make some allowance for performances sounding different live than they do on TV. The problem I have with Hollywood week every year continued tonight. They cut too much out. It’s one of the best parts of the show, but they only give us little tidbits and throw out the rest. I think some of the time they purposely don’t show performances because they can’t really justify not putting some people through, but they do it for drama. Like one of the harmonizing brothers not making it and the other having to go on alone, and that blonde girl from San Francisco not making it.

    I still wish they would have the parts that ended up on the cutting room floor online for people to view if they wished. You know they filmed it, so why just throw it away? It would be nice to be able to follow your favorites’ journeys from start to finish.

    How could that one group be mean to JC? It’s like kicking a puppy or disemboweling a teddy bear.

    • GingerSnap says:

      With two hours and over 160 people still around, they had to cut. Let’s hope that ST and JLo can filter better next year so they don’t have to weed so many out during Hollywood week. Maybe with 80 contestants and 2 hours, we could see a few more of the groups.

  19. Sophie K says:

    Approximately 95% of all my actual caring thus far is devoted to the Sugar Mamas (Sugar Mama and the Babies? Whatever.) Jaycee is adorable, and despite being 15, handled the pressure way better than, say, Ashley. I think Brett Lowenstern is the real contender from the group, though. I’m not a fan of all the young contestants in general, but if I didn’t know, I wouldn’t believe that boy was only 16.

    3% for Scotty McCreary who apparently can sing more than one song!

    The reamining 2% distributed in some lukewarm feelings for various other contestants. (My strange affinity for Crazy Ashley, for instance).

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I have a strange affinity for Ashley too (actually her whole group did well – best of the day). Hollie Cavenaugh also suprised me.

    • NJ says:

      When I saw Jaycee’s audition I really thought he’d get eaten up alive in Hollywood, but I agree, the way he handled things was really cool.

  20. ed says:

    Did anyone catch if Molly Dewolf, the White House intern made it through?

  21. Erin F. says:

    So glad other people mentioned the girls who got cut from Lauren Alaina’s group. Why did she go through and not them??? They sang just as well, if not better, than Lauren did. Also don’t understand how Chris Medina made it through. The judges seemed inconsistent … giving some people a hard time or cutting them for forgetting the lyrics, but others did it and it went unmentioned.

  22. ladyhelix says:

    I’ve never watched a whole Hollywood episode before tonight but I really enjoyed this! Sure I would have like to hear more comments and more singing – but I was fascinated with the first part of the show. None of it was too angry/mean/dramatic – and they didn’t linger too long in any one place.
    Oh I’m sure Nigel will do something shortly that will make me crazy – but I liked this. And it seemed like they covered most of the people we met in auditions. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night – hopefully we’ll get to hear a lot of kids sing. And sing really well.
    Hey – I saw Ryan on the Red Carpet at the Grammys and was SHOCKED. He was excellent! I’d only never seen him anywhere before except on Idol – – with awkward questions, bad jokes, and rude responses. It’s great that this year they’re using him so much more judiciously this season – and that when he’s on camera he appears sensitive and intelligent. Especially now that I know he actually is!!

  23. Jill says:

    Rob sunk himself by staying with his ex. Should have found a group with more rock/guys. He knew it wasn’t working, but stayed on the sinking ship.

  24. James says:

    Man it sucked that Rob had to pack it up and that a few other chicks I enjoyed did as well…at least that New Jersey chick is gone!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Wow, we were all surprised to see Supersized Snooki leave.

      You know, she has a pretty good voice. She just needs to learn hat sometimes less is really more and stop being so annoying.

  25. Dee says:

    Two words: STAGE. MOMS.


    • Snsetblaze says:

      Why do they allow the family into the theater at all?

      • sara says:

        And letting them on the stage?? What the???

        • Emma says:

          They are there because all minors need a parent there. It’s required by law.

          For them let to the stage – that’s just producers trying to make up drama. (I’ll say that having annoying stage moms having power at this stage will kick them in the ass later. You think that they’ll step back later, huh?)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        These kids are quite young and they probably need to have a chaperone.

        I was quite surprised by the group that had all the young kids in it – they were very good.

        My guess is AI played up the whole “Mama Rose” thing to the hilt – it probably wasn’t as bad as it seemed on TV.

  26. Eolra says:

    Thought 1: I don’t blame Jaycee’s group for cutting him for one minute. Based on their performance I can really see that Jaycee’s voice and style may not have fit into what they were trying to do. Hey man, we’re talking about making it – you gotta look out for number 1. Too often we see good singers get killed in the group round because of a bad mix in the group. I’m not saying Jaycee isn’t a good singer, or a nice kid, but I just can see where they were coming from in terms of needing the group to gel. Also, I sort of got the impression that the producers edited the segment in a way that made it look like he had been rehearsing with the other group for much longer that he actually was, and the switch was much closer to the beginning.

    Thought 2: Love me my Scotty. And he’s a nice boy too. How unlike me :P

    Thought 3: I guess I’m not in the situation so I don’t know, but I’ve always found it weird that some of these people, who claim singing in their life, can’t memorize ONE line of lyrics in a 12 hour period. I can understand losing your place, or going suddenly blank from nerves, but both Rob and Jaycee seemed to have genuinely no recollection of the words, and both said they had been struggling with the words *all night*. I dunno, I feel like I could get the ONE LINE of my solo part down within an hour, even if I had to fudge on the background vocals a little…

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks for defending Clint. The producers really put a bad spin on what happened – I know Clint personally and he is a real sweetheart. It’s nice to see someone who can look through the B.S. and see a true singer.

  27. Marge says:

    What happen to Thia Megia? I did not see her perform tonight 2-16-2011 on group night. Is Thia Megia still in? Does anybody know?

    • GingerSnap says:

      I’m thinking that we didn’t see everyone perform Wednesday and we’ll see them Thursday, either dropped off or sent through. The producers made sure we saw the best and the worst, but we missed a lot the tweeners and Thia & Molly belong with the “tweeners”. After all, there are still about a 100 singers left, so there are quite a few people we didn’t see.

    • Normel Talon says:

      Yes, I’m also searching for an answer…

    • James Smith says:

      Yeah also looking forward for THIA, spoilers say she made it to top 20…but where is she now? I bet J.LO and Randy J. loves her so much…

    • thathics says:

      we didn’t see thia performs but she’s in I saw her just tonight she’s part of the room 4

  28. notmzbehavin says:

    What ever happened to John Wayne, the cowboy? Did he get axed?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Good question about John Wayne the cowboy. I about fell off my chair (okay, sofa) when Steven Tyler told him he sounded like he rode his white horse into the Apollo Theatre! That had to be one of the best lines of the night.

  29. kenjimora23 says:

    James Durbin is the real deal….

  30. darcy's evil twin says:

    There’s an old Porter Waggoner song – if you don’t know who Porter Waggoner is, google him. He’s the man that made Dolly Parton famous. Anyway, he had a hit song many years ago called “I’ve enjoyed as much of this as I can stand”. I think that’s the song Rob should have sung. ;-)

    I felt sorry for the poor guy.

    How in the name of Sam Hill Jaqueline got through is beyond me. I’m not sure how much farther Chelsee will make it but she’ll still have that great hair!

    And I’m glad to see other people mention the women in Lauren Aliana’s group that didn’t make it through. The girl that sang right after Lauren (she was a tall brunette) was quite good. My husband even looked up from his paper and said, “Wow, she can sing”.

    When Ashley was having her meltdown she looked about 60 years old. My husband said “Good grief – she makes ME look good”, and he’s well into his 50s.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Simon used to talk about being “memorable”. Lauren has been memorable before, during, and after that performance. I can’t remember anything about the other performers unless I replay the episode and look for that group. Right now, there are only about 6 people this season that I can actually put a name with a face. Not good for future votes when we hit the top 20. Other people have been “memorable” but for the wrong reasons.

    • jhd says:

      The tall brunette that sang after Lauren Alaina is Sarah Ames who auditioned in SF. Agreed, she CAN sing and was totally robbed!

  31. JAKE says:


  32. Suncatcher says:

    Lots of good singing but confusing judging last night!

    – Ashley Sullivan has a good voice but is way too drama queen. I end up crying too. Also broke out in hives.

    – Wanted to kick Rob Bolin to the curb. What a loser. Now the entire country knows that too. Should have stayed home, Rob.

    – Maybe we should hook Tiffany Rios up with Rob?

    – Keep the stage moms off the stage!

    Great job, Slezak! I can’t remember a fraction of the contestants this year – too many of them!

    • bytes says:

      i think there was some manipulations from the producer with regards to rob, maybe he was not allowed to choose other team except with the “couples group,” ‘coz its good television and when he noticed that that’s where the whole thing going through he threw out the towel…

  33. Sondra Jackson says:

    I was just wondering if Paul McDonald made it through last night, 2-16-11? I do not recall seeing him and I read that he did make it through to the second round.

  34. JS says:

    I have a question: Does anyone know the “background filler music” that was played when a few got sent packing? The Song was something related to Going Home or Goodbye???

    • MH says:

      The song is “It’s Over (Goodbye) by Jared Lee.
      There was another song palyed in the background lyrics: “I wanna believe again”…by a female singer, does anyone know the name of the song of the singer? Thanks!!

  35. Val says:

    Can anyone tell me what some of the songs were that the contestants sang last night 2/16? There was one song that I really liked, but don’t know that name and who sings it. Anyone???

  36. Doug says:

    Does anyone know the song they played as filler that had the lyric “I want to believe again”?

  37. Melissa says:

    I think it was It’s Over(Goodbye) sung by Jared Lee.

  38. Brian says:

    Does anyone know the name of the beautiful sounding “filler” music that was played just after Jacob Lusk finished and everyone stood up as he ran out of the auditorium??

  39. Elvis Gilmore says:

    The AI judges are inconsistent and don’t fololow their own rules.
    Their rule is “if you don’t know the words, you are out.” So why did
    they allow Ashley Sullivan, who had two tries and still didn’t know
    the words, and Scott McCreery, who erred also, pass through.
    Paris Tassin didn’t even get to finish her audition because the other
    girls in her group were so terrible, they made it impossible for Paris to compete properly. If you can pass Scott and Ashley for not knowing the words, then Paris shuld get another try.

  40. Michele says:

    Does anyone know the song played during the group cuts? It went something like … Oh love (lord) I see, far away …this song was played on Thurs night cut Feb 17 with about two to three minutes left in show.

  41. greg says:

    the song is believe by orianthi
    took some looking but it was worth it!!

    • Michele says:

      It was the very last background song (sang by a male) while the three judges cut groups after contestants sang singles. It was last Thurs night show?