‘American Idol’ Hopefuls Kick Off ‘Hollywood Week’ With Genre Challenge (VIDEO)
This is the week legends are made. After hearing the emotional stories and witnessing some standout auditions, it was time for “Hollywood Week” on American Idol — the ultimate singing boot camp at the Dolby Theatre where judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have to make some hard cuts.
To lighten up the mood, the trio of music superstars jammed with the Idol hopefuls for a rendition of “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles. These talents needed more than that to get through to the next round. Each contestant was asked to choose one of six genres: indie-folk, pop, rock, R&B, soul, or country. They were then broken off and competed against others in their respective groups. In-house mentor Bobby Bones was there as life coach and resident guidance counselor.
See some of the top talent whose journey continues into the duets round. A round that will see the judges decide the pairings.
Claudia Conway Reinvents Herself
Included in the Pop category is Claudia Conway, who in an interview says her first audition wasn’t her best effort. Maybe to boost her confidence, she has changed her look, including dying her hair black. This time, Kellyanne Conway, yes, the close advisor to Donald Trump, is there to cheer on her daughter. Claudia sings “River” by Bishop Briggs, which is enough to move her forward to the next round.
Star Rising and…a Karen?
Also in the Pop category, Andrea Valles shows we may have a star on the rise with a strong performance of “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith. Fresh off a breakup with her boyfriend, Erika Perry brims a bit too much with emotion but pulls it together enough for a performance of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. It’s not enough for Erika to move forward, but Valles does along with resident Viking Anthony Guzman. Erika does not take rejection well, and asks to speak with the manager. Are we sure Erika’s real name isn’t Karen?
And More Pop Green Lights
Mary Jo says she had never performed for people before her first audition, but once again proves a natural with her cover of Harry Styles “Falling.” Colin Jameson helps round out the pop category with a cool rendition of “Sex On Fire” by Kings of Leon. They both move forward.
Liahona Olayan, 17, comes out strong at the piano in the Pop genre with a rendition of Megan Trainor’s “No Excuses” and shows off a lot of personality. Her brother Ammon Olayan, 18, goes with “Lost In Japan” Unfortunately, Liahona gets chosen while Ammon is sent home. A devastating blow for Liahona, so let’s hope she does just fine without her older brother.
‘Country Just Arrived’
This country clip shows Caleb Kennedy hitting it out of the ballpark (he moves on) and a super sweet moment when Alex Miller gifts Cameron McGhar a personalized belt buckle after she had mentioned how much she liked his during the initial auditions (awww). Once Cameron brings his twangy self up to the mike and sings, Luke remarks how “country has arrived.” Unfortunately, Cameron, who does a pretty countrified rendition of “Stay” by Sugarland, is eliminated.
Kinstler Kills It
In the Soul genre, Grace Kinstler and DJ Johnson have had their issues with nerves and self-confidence, but they had to work past those insecurities. Kinstler does a fantastic job with “10 Seconds” by Jazmine Sullivan, but Johnson’s “Rise Up” by Audra Day isn’t enough to take her to the next stage. Another to watch out for is Xavier Washington, who the judges were pretty excited about.
Hunter Metts quit his job as a software engineer for this opportunity and is making the most of it. He performs his take of Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted.” Graham DeFranco, the pilot, decides on the Bob Dylan song “Mama You’ve Been on My Mind.” Cassandra Coleman doesn’t let her nerves get the best of her for “Dynamite” by Norway’s Sigrid. All. three move forward.
Murphy and Wyatt Win Over Judges
Murphy and Wyatt Pike are two of the indie-folk who have taken the road less traveled to deliver their respective messages. Murphy, a versed performer, pulls out the perfect song choice in “I Got A Name” by Jim Croce. Wyatt Pike has a unique take of “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. They get the judges smiling and are sent through.
American Idol, Sundays, 8/7c, ABC