American Idol 2021 Recap Hollywood Week Genre Challenge Live Blog
American Idol 2021 Hollywood Week begins tonight with the Genre Challenge. Who will move on to duets?? Who will be sent home! We’re live blogging all the performances here.
Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan return, along with host Ryan Seacrest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is the rule in the studio!
NO SPOILER TALK IN THE COMMENTS HERE. Keep it in the spoiler post. Thank you.
The show opens with the judges singing “All You Need is Love” with the Hollywood Week contestants. There seem to be considerably fewer than in previous seasons. ABC uploaded this performance on Friday.
Ryan explains that there are two rounds, the Genre Challenge and the Duets. Tonight it’s the former. The contestants each choose a genre from the following: Indie folk, Pop, Rock, R&B, Soul and Country. The singers will also choose their own song and will compete head to head in the same genre. The format helps the judges to compare and make cuts. But there are no quotas.
Bobby Bones joins the show in Hollywood. He’ll serve as a part therapist, and musical mentor.
The brother sister duo from Utah will perform solo for the first time.
Liahona Olayan – 17 – She is definitely the most talented of the two singers. She’s got charisma in addition to a solid pop voice.
Ammon Olayan 18 – On stage, he tells the judges he wants to beat his little sister to keep her humble. Welp. Dream on fella. His voice is whiny and a bit pitchy. Will he leave tonight or tomorrow night (before his sister does).
Liv Grace Blue – 17 – She sings a very sloooowwww version of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” It’s the parade of the teens!
Laila Mach – 15 – Gabby Barrett called to wish her good luck during her audition, and that really gave her confidence! She and Ava are the youngest contestants and also BFFs. She’s a little pitchy, but she sings passionately and maturely for an artist her age.
Ava August – 15 – She was a The Voice No Turn at 13. She’s improved CONSIDERABLY since then. She’s tamed down those vocal tics.
Results: Line them up~ Ava August, Laila Mach, Liahona Olayan are pulled out front “We don’t think you guys are ready yet…” says Katy, “To leave this competition.” Already with the fake outs. Liv Grace Blue and Ammon Olayan are sent home. And the brother and sister are separated on day one. Not surprised.
Drake McCain – 19 – Drake and his hair are back! The young singer is a season 18 returnee. He’s going country this time.
Caleb Kennedy – 16 – He’s still working on his self-confidence, as Katy asks him to pull his cap back to reveal his eyes. He’s got a raw quality that’s appealing
Mignon – 25 – Here’s a singer we haven’t seen before! She’s nervous about the competition. But she’s got a good voice! Wish we saw her audition.
Mason Picks – 23 – And another not-seen-before contestant. He’s pretty average though.
Alex Miller has a crush! He gives cheerleader Cameron McGhar a handmade belt buckle. She’s probably not that into you, dude.
Cameron McGuar 16 – At the auditions, the judges coached a few subpar talents, before giving them a crack at Hollywood, including Cameron. She’s a little better here. Katy calls it “authentic.”
Alex Miller – 17 – This kid doesn’t have the best voice, but he is personality plus on stage. He knows how to tell a story. The coaches are on their feet.
Cecil Ray – 20 – His baby just turned two months old. He wants to give his daughter the life he never had. OHHHH. He missed his cue. And now here comes a commercial. CLIFFHANGER. Katy allows him to begin again. This time, he hits his musical mark. He’s got some raw talent, but he’s really not there yet. He’s obviously inexperienced.
Results: Drake McCain, Caleb Kennedy, Mignon, Cecil Ray, Alex Miller, are on to the next round. Cameron McGuar is sent home.
RE’H – 27 – Thank you RE’H for your service (she’s in the Army National Guard), but she’s not a great singer.
Celeste Butler – 23 – Celeste wants to make sure she’s not “cruise ship” this week. Katy is still not convinced.
Xavier Washington – He’s studying at Yale. He’s boning up on his Chinese for a class. Although he’s enrolled at an Ivy League school, he sees music as his future more and more. And actually, he’s an impressive, soulful singer. Great tone and tasteful runs. The judges are totally into it.
Grace Kinstler – Her audition racked up over 13 million views online, says Ryan. Grace is one of the standout singers of the season. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t make the Top 10.
DJ Johnson – DJ is still feeling a lack of confidence, even though her audition made Katy cry. But success on Idol is really helping her. She’s also very good and deserves to go far. Oh. She’s got blue tongue! (Lozenge!)
Results: DJ Johnson and Celeste Butler are eliminated. WOW DJ eliminated already? I’m surprised. R’HE, Xavier Washington and Grace Kinstler advance. I would have absolutely swapped out R’HE for DJ.
Christina Daugherty – 28 – She’s a high school teacher whose students vowed not to study if she didn’t audition. We’re seeing Christina for the first time. She has a very soft voice. The arrangement of “Hit the Road Jack” is interesting. The rasp in her voice Lionel loves sounds like a sore throat to me.
Hunter Metts – 22 – He quit his job as a software engineer. He’s not a great singer, but there’s something compelling about Hunter. He holds the stage.
Graham DeFranco – 27 – He’s been working as a pilot that last couple of years. We got less than 10 seconds of his performance. Too bad.
Cassandra Coleman – 24 – Cassandra sounds really nervous at first. But she gains confidence as she goes. She has a trembly tone, but it reveals an arresting vulnerability. She’s good.
Results: Christina Daugherty, Graham DeFranco, Hunter Metts, Cassandra Coleman are through to the next round. Everybody is through!
Anthony Guzman – 27 – He’s the guy who sang standards dressed like a Viking for his audition. He dialed back the outfit. But not really with the skirt or kilt or whatever that is he’s wearing? Hm. This version of “Fever” is just OK.
She Nova – 27 – “Somebody’s been in Katy Perry’s closet!” Luke quips. Well, this performance is very screamy.
Yurisbel – 25 – He’s the singer people lost their minds over advancing to Hollywood, rather than the trans teen. Neither should have advanced, I believe. But obviously, Yurisbel is here for the lulz. He’s entertaining sort of, but NOT a good singer.
Andrea Valles – 23 – We saw this wedding singer in auditions, but not much. Her performance of a Sam Smith hit is very torchy. That was pretty great.
Erika Perry – 26 – Her boyfriend dumped her before the auditions, now she’s on the prowl for a new man, as she scopes out the competition. This is a bit unsavory. Erika was another allowed through after a pretty terrible audition. She’s still over enunciating. and blowing it on stage. She asks to start over. She’s annihilating “In The Air” It’s not pretty!
Results: Andrea Valles and Anthony Guzman are the only two going forward. Yurisbel, She Nova and Erika Perry are eliminated. Erika asks Katy “Are you sure?” Oh, don’t beg. It’s not a good look. Uh oh. Erika turns into a KAREN. “I want to speak to a manager.” She literally says that.
James Perdue – 28 – He admits that he’s never sung outside of his small West Virginia town. His performance of “Simple Man” is a little shouty.
Christian McGuckian – 21 – Again, another singer not ready for prime time that the judges let through. She swears she feels more confident now. She’s been working with a timing mechanism. She’s singing a cappella, which is probably a bad idea. The judges stop her to help keep the beat for her. STOP SHE’S NOT READY. NOT READY NOT READY. The judges, like me, wonder why she didn’t choose accompaniment.
Chayce Beckham – 24 – Chayce describes getting sober after a terrible car accident. We previously previewed this performance HERE. His style is more Americana than country. He’s an intense singer, really holding the stage with just his voice and his guitar.
Results: Chayce Beckham moves on, while James Perdue and Christian McGuckian are eliminated.
Mary Jo Young – IT’S MY GURL MJ. Heh. Mary Jo is a big on Tik Tok, but doesn’t really sing in front of people. The thing about her, she has a terrific voice, but all of the songs she chooses to sing sound the same. If she goes further, she needs to step out of the big ballad box.
Colin Jamieson – 22 – He’s the former boybander who already knows how to work the camera. That’s half the battle, right? The judges criticized his breathy voice last time. It seems like he listened to their advice–somewhat. Yes, the trio seems pleased this time. Colin thought the performance was rough. He was hard on himself in his audition as well. That’s probably a good thing.
Claudia Conway – 16 – “Her family is no stranger to voting,” says Ryan. Oh boy. How long will Claudia make it in Hollywood? The daughter of Kellyanne and George Conway is back–with dark hair. Katy told her to calm the storm. Of course, she hasn’t. Oh. MOM IS WITH HER THIS TIME. PLZ GO AWAY KELLYANNE THNXOKGBYE. The two are doing the bit where Kellyanne criticizes every little thing she does. Probably true. Hm…this performance is just ‘aight dawg. She wouldn’t have made it past the producers except for her notoriety.
Results: Claudia Conway, Mary Jo Young and Colin Jamieson are ALL THROUGH to the next round. Not done with the Conway antics yet. OH NO KELLYANNE IS SINGING MY EARS MY EARS MY EARS. “This Girl is on Fire,” ruined forever.
Vahhley – 23 – She and her son have been homeless for months. After her audition aired, somebody found her a place to live, right? Her tone and phrasing are good, but unfortunately, she’s eliminated. That’s too bad. Tryzdin Grubbs, Brianna Collichio were also eliminated.
Wyatt Pike – 19 – Wyatt stood out in his audition, and now the Park City Utah native brings a unique presence to the stage with a cover of Rihanna’s “Stay.”
Emisunshine – 16 – Oh, she’s a newbie. Her version of “Take Me to Church” is a little tuneless.
Trinity Rose – 17 – She’s covering my favorite Beach Boys song ever. “Wouldn’t it Be Nice.” While “God Only Knows” has been covered so much on singing shows, I think it’s a first for this song. I don’t love what she’s doing with the melody, however.
Lizzy O’Very – 20 – She’s accompanying herself on accordion. Whatever this is, it’s not good. She knows she didn’t do well.
Murphy – 27 – He’s legally blind, and a busker. His father passed when he was 17. He’s been singing for a living on the streets for years. He covers Jim Croce, which is a rare thing on Idol. Again, his style is a bit too…jaunty. Slow down maybe? It’s hard to connect.
Results: Wyatt Pike, Murphy, Emmeshunshine, Lizzy O’Very go through. Trinity Rose is eliminated.
There are ONLY NINE rock singers in Hollywood. My how times have changed.
Beane – What is he doing in the rock genre? He’s a Broadway-type singer. I guess he’s trying the rock thing out. He’s singing “Bennie and the Jets.” He’s very theatrical still, but I’m not mad! I’m getting Adam Lambert vibes. NOT AS GOOD OF COURSE DON’T KILL ME.
Casey Bishop – 15 – Luke called her the “damn winner of American Idol” last time, and he may not be far off the mark. This gal can SANG. Here, she wails an impressive version of “House of the Rising Sun.”
Christian Terry – 21 – He claims he’s nervous, but the little clip here is pretty solid.
Althea Grace – 21 – Her daughter almost died of liver disease. But here, she sings a bluesey number, accompanying herself on electric guitar. Better than her audition.
Results: Luke says it was a tough decision. Christian Terry is eliminated. Beane, Casey Bishop and Althea Grace advance.
Odds and Ends
Next, it’s a montage of singers who make it to the next round, including Zach D’onofrio, Anilee List, Alyssa Wray, Jason Warrior, Madison Watkins, Abby LeBaron, Alanis Sophia, Ronda Felton and Amanda Mena, who sings over the montage. Short shrift for this singer again!
Willie Spence – 21 – He mentions the video of him singing Rihanna in high school that went viral. He felt like his career was ready to take off, but then his mother had a stroke. He moved back home to take care of her. She seems ok now. So Willie is headed to Hollywood. He sings John Legend’s “All of Me” and this is way more impressive than his audition. The judges don’t even waste time on the line. Willie is right through to duets.
OH THERE IS GAME CHANGING NEWS. The judges are choosing duet partners. OH WELL. Bobby had already revealed this particular twist. See you tomorrow! Unless you’re watching The Voice. In which case. CATCH UP WITH OUR RECAP!