Welcome to Idolator’s American Idolatry, our show-by-show recap of the American Idol pop-star sausage factory. Last night’s episode was the first to cover the Hollywood round of the auditions, where those singers who stood out in the early rounds for positive reasons tried to impress Simon, Paula, and Randy all over again. The episode was divided into two halves: first came the 30-second solo round, after which about half the talent pool was cut; then came the group round, during which all the singers broke off into groups and taught themselves chestnuts like “My Girl.”
Throughout the show, there were tears, and quite a few singers who made us wonder just how they’d charmed the judges into a free Hollywood trip.
THE TERRIBLE HIGH SCHOOL FLASHBACK: Total omigod BFFs Antonella Barba and Amanda Coluccio teamed up with 16-year-old Underwoodabe Baylie Brown for the group round, and the result was not unlike a triple-threat episode of My Super Sweet 16–three chicks who had obviously never been told “no” tussled over who would be Alpha Girl. In the end, Antonella was the only one allowed to stick around, although not before Amanda had some great lines about why she succeeded:
- On why she won: “You know what? Because God likes good people.”
- On how she’d sworn off flirting, despite blowing off rehearsals the night before too moon at some dudes: “We don’t flirt with boys. This is a job interview. This isn’t fun.”
Too bad she got kicked out at the episode’s end. And by “too bad,” we mean “who are we going to direct our bile at when we do this tomorrow?”
THE GUY WHO SINGLE-HANDEDLY EARNED CINGULAR ITS PRODUCT-PLACEMENT MONEY: Minneapolis auditioner Matt Sato called his mom after every step of the way and put her on speakerphone, thus adding to the voyeuristic shilling. He also cried buckets of tears and confessed that his mother rarely, if ever, told her that she loved him–which caused him to dissolve into sobs again. All those tears probably dried out his voice, because he was shown the door after the group round.
THE ONE WHO STUCK WITH HER GIMMICK: Shakira photocopy Perla Meneses was taped arriving from the airport, and her coochy-coochy to people waiting at the gate–who were probably just wondering why there were cameras getting in the way of them boarding their flights–made her repeat performance of “Hips Don’t Lie” all the more aggravating. She was booted after the group round because of her inability to harmonize, as well as her tendencies toward sounding like a strangled horse.
THE OBLIGATORY “INTERNET BUZZ”-GENERATING PERFORMANCE: Who knew that an a capella version of “How Deep Is Your Love” that used a human beatboxer as its percussion would be sort of endearing? Damn you, Idol producers, for tweaking our musical funny bones.
THE MISSING LINKS: A few of our favorites from past episodes–Lauryn Hill lookalike Ashlyn Carr, ironwoman Porcelana Patino–got dismissed in two-second blips, and other standouts were just missing altogether: Opera-trained Jeff Buckley acolyte Rachael Zevita got no camera time (although this picture would suggest that she didn’t make the cut), nor did baby-talker Katie Bernard.
THE UNEXPECTED CAMEO: If you were nodding off during the episode’s end, you probably missed the brief appearance of Robyn Troup, also known as the chick who awkwardly dueted with Justin Timberlake on Sunday night’s Grammy telecast. So she made it to the Grammy stage, but she didn’t pass muster and make it past the early rounds of American Idol–does this mean that she’ll come in fourth after showing off her jump-rope/baton routine on America’s Got Talent?
Tomorrow: The remaning 40 are cut down to 24, and the inevitable Jack Bauer crossover action results in “the most explosive elimination yet!” Okay, we’re just guessing on that last part.