American Idol season 17 Hollywood Week is happening as we speak. It’s all taking place this week at the Orpheum theater in Los Angeles. Radio personality and Dancing with the Stars champion Bobby Bones, who has returned to the show as full time mentor, posted a dispatch from inside the theater.
At the time of filming the “lines of 10” auditions were going on inside the auditorium. During the “Lines of 10” round, singers lineup to sing for the judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Afterward, the trio make hard decisions. By the end of the round, at least half of the singers are eliminated.
“It’s getting kind of crazy around here,” says Bobby. “A lot of nerves today because today is the first day…you could be sent home. We’re still waiting on the cuts.”
On the first night, Bobby gave a pep talk to the contestants. “Last night was still pretty upbeat,” he said. Producers put a keyboard on stage, to see who would walk up onstage and just start playing. “People trickled at first,” says Bobby, “Some people were anxious to get on and some were a little timid. But by the end of the night, pretty much everyone had gone up and started singing. It was a really cool environment, very happy.”
But by morning, things got serious. “There are real life nerves and people know that half the people or so are not going to be here in the next day or two.”
Illustrating how competitive the atmosphere has become, Bobby explained: “Some of the contestants…are really beloved by the others so they’ll get up on stage inside the lines of ten. You’ll see some of the others start singing with them, start to cheer with them. But some of the really really good people, they don’t have a whole lot of support because I think the others see that they’re the ones to beat.”
Bobby has designated himself as the question man. And the questions he’s being asked are mostly about what the contestants can expect in the next couple of days, “more so than what’s going to happen on the television show whenever you guys finally get…to vote.” The most important advice Bobby gives to the singers is to sleep. “I know this seems fun, and there are a lot of people here,” explains Bobby, “but you gotta sleep because there are overnights, there are group dances, there’s a lot of things that are going to happen here you probably weren’t able to prepare for.”
“I’m mentoring, I’m trying to teach them that it’s all about trying to be who you are,” says Bobby. “Don’t sing like the artist’s song that you’re singing.” To illustrate, Bobby shares how a singer performed a karaoke version of a Lady Gaga song. “I got to them and said ‘Hey that’s like the worst thing you can do is actually try to sound like the artist that you’re singing because it’s just like you’re impersonating them’.”
Check out the clip below:
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) December 11, 2018
Consider yourself mentored … pic.twitter.com/2q5HiomvKC
— Bobby Bones (@mrBobbyBones) December 12, 2018