American Idol XIII – Hollywood or Home! Live Blog and Videos

I think the producers are trying to kill me. They pack so much stuff into these episodes, I can barely keep up.  In tonight’s two hour episode, there was the Hollywood or Home round, the initial solo performance and 30 minutes of Hollywood group round drama. Tonight had everything!

I’ve got to give a hand to the producer who came up with the Hollywood or Home twist. First, you had the entire group of 200+ waiting on pins and needles in some big ass airplane hanger, to hear if they’re going to have to sing for their lives.  Then, the remaining 50 or so who sang aren’t told on the spot if they made the cut or not. No THEY ARE SPLIT UP AND SHIPPED OUT ON BUSES.  The eliminated contestants didn’t know where they stood until the bus pulled into LAX!

Was it cruel? Yes. Was it great TV. HELL YES.  Kudos, producers!

Solo round standouts include: Majesty York, Kenzie Hall, CJ Harris. Also awesome were Alex Preston, Spencer LloydBrandy Neelly, Sam Woolf, Dexter Roberts

Yeah…now I remember why Jennifer Lopez got on my last nerve. She mostly has no idea what she’s talking about. She may know how to be a famous person, but she knows nothing about music.  She’s going to drive me crazy when the live shows begin, I can just tell.

American Idol XIII Hollywood Week begins! Tonight, it’s HOLLYWOOD OR HOME! The 200+ contestants are taken to an airplane hangar and informed by the judges that SOME of them will need to sing again. Those who don’t’ make the cut are sent straight home without stepping a foot into the Dolby theater, where Hollywood proper will take place.

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? I’ll be live blogging right here.

We see Hollywood contestants wake up and prepare to leave for Hollywood! They board their planes and take off, arriving in LAX. The cameras are at the airport to capture their excitement as they pick up their bags.

The contestants THINK they are on the way to the hotel, explains Ryan. Little do they know, they are heading to a massive air plane hanger. The judges muse about the reaction. They are expecting the kids to freak out. The kids applaud as the 3 judges arrive. Pretty soon, they won’t be so cheery.

Keith and the gang have been reviewing the auditions and have chosen contestants who will need to sing again. Some will be going straight home. The contestants dread

Johnny Newcomb is first. Harry felt the 17 year old’s voice was premature. He sings “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People. He’s OK, with a pleasant rasp, but he’s obviously terrified and sounds tentative.

Connor Zwetsch – “Let Her Go” – Back during auditions,  Harry had told her the vocals weren’t strong enough, but he appears to be won over by her delicate performance.

Alli Jane Henderson – “Toxic”. At her audition, Jlo felt her vocals were sleepy. She slooows things way up.

Caitlin Johnson – “Only Girl in the World” – Harry told her she wasn’t ready. Her performance was SUPER SHOUTY. The judges are taken aback. Backstage she tearfully claims stage fright.

Next, is a montage of contestants choking, heartbreakingly. This is separating the men from the boys, so to speak.

Adam Roth – “Radioactive” This was the “new age” asshat who sang “Hallelujah.” His piano playing was terrible, not impressing the judges at all. Plus, his vocals were not good. Jlo is inexplicably defending him. She can separate his crappy piano playing because “I don’t play like you guys.” Oy.

Tristen Langley – Oh. He’s Nikki McKibbon’s kid. Not surprised he’s being asked to sing again. He sings a nasally version of  “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. After, Tristan says he was nervous. Harry says “superstars don’t get knocked off the track.”

Morgan Deplitch – Harry was freaked out by the 15 year old’s sexy song choice in Boston. Now, she sings a slowed up performance of “Brave” at an electric piano. IT’S SO FREAKING PITCHY.

Stephanie Petronelli – The cheerleader from the Boston Patriots sings “Whipping Post” and it’s underwhelming.

Rich Lafleur – He’s super nervous. No one, so far, is really bringing it. Keith thinks he’s phoning it in. Keith advises the crowd to TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. Harry says, “If you screw it up, you’re going home! It can’t be mediocre.”

Next, Eric Wood sings “She Talks to Angels” by the Black Crowes, guitar in hand. It’s a very passionate performance. Alyssa Siebken performs a solid rendition of “Warrior” by Demi Lovato and Neco Starr sings “Gorilla” He makes Jlo grin from ear to ear.

Khristian D’avis – She was the over-dramatic singer with the fake Italian accent. She’s still fakety fake and mediocre. “She’s really in to the sound of her own voice,” says Keith.

The judges heard from over 50 contestants. Everyone who didn’t sing is declared safe and allowed to leave. 160 leave the hangar. 52 remain as the judges make some tough decisions, seemingly in front of their faces.

Group 1: Caleb Hartsfield, Rich LafleurKhristian D’avis, Johnny Newcomb, Caitlin Johnson, Tristen Langley (Nikki McKibbon on the bus, looking pretty upset!)

Group 2: Connor Zwetsch, Eric Wood, Neco Starr, Morgan Deplitch, Emkay Nobilette, 

The judges call each contestant and place them in two groups. One group is safe, the other is heading back home. They are instructed to board a bus. The two buses drive away. The contestants won’t know where they stand until they arrive at their destination! The safe group is heading to the hotel. The eliminated group on to  LAX to catch a flight home!

Camera’s on the bus capture the contestants reactions. One deluded singer in Group 1 can’t understand why everyone is so upset! There’s plenty of great talent on the bus! While another notes that a much bigger group boarded bus 1, a good indication that they’ are doomed. And indeed, bus 1 pulls into LAX and the tears begin to flow. Meanwhile, the twenty contestants on bus two, are informed they are safe and headed to Hollywood. The celebration begins!

Whoa. This is a creative and DRAMATIC WAY to split the kids in groups. The judges don’t have to deliver the bad news, either. So mean…yet so good!

Day 2 – Hollywood begins! Ryan explains that many iconic moments have happened on the Dolby stage, including some early Idol finales.

Today’s round is solo performances. The singers are led out about 10 at a time.

Majesty York – Ryan comforts a nervous Majesty back stage. Out on stage, she explains that she wants to leave a good mark in the world. She performs a loved version of Feist’s “1234.” This girl is a freaking keeper. LOVE HER.

Samantha Calmes, John Fox, Brandy Neelly are next. Samantha and Brandy really stand out. The judges separate the group into two. Samantha is going home. John, Brandy and Majesty are on to the next round. Boo. Kind of bummed Samantha is leaving.

Spencer Lloyd – “Say Something” by a great big world. – He’s more impressive in this setting, at the electric piano. He doesn’t have a powerful voice, but he’s grounded and sings with emotion. Spencer is on to the next round!

Austin Wolfe – “Take it All” by Adele – She sings a’cappella, and her beautiful voice rings throughout the theater, Bria Anai delivers a strong vocal.

Selina Moreno – She auditioned with her twin, the twin didn’t make it. I liked the sister more. I’m still not impressed. Whoa. She BLOWS A NOTE. Her sister is in the audience. She continues to crack. And we’ll have to wait until after the break to find out what happens! Harry tells her to take a big breath. But she’s lost it. She hits a nice note at the end, though.

Austin Wolfe, Jessica Meuse, Bria Anai, and Shannon are safe and on to the next round. But Selina is heading home. Lauren Ogburn is also heading home.

Sam Woolf – He’s the boy who sang “Lego House” in Boston. Here, he sings “Waiting on the World to Change.” He brings his own flavor to it. Nice. Keri Lynn Roche – Bluesy rocker girl performs “One and Only” by Adele. Ayla Stackhouse – Teen gal with swag, sings “Cold Shoulder” by Adele

CJ Harris – “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne – He’s freaking fantastic. So much grit and soul this boy has. He’s becoming one of my favorites. Jlo gives him a standing ovation.

CJ Harris, Sam Woolf, Keri Lynn Roach are through. Ayla Stackhouse heads home.

Alex Preston – Whoa. Fancy finger picking! A flipped version of “Scream and Shout” by Britney Spears is compelling.  Next, its Sydney Arterbridge and Jesse Roach (She sings “Angel from Montgomery”

Alex Preston and Jesse Roach advance. Jade Lathan, Sydney Arterbridge and Bryan Watt (young country singer they loved at audition) head home.

American Idol asks for your twitter vote, Will Madelyn Patterson move on to the next round? You voted yes. And indeed she did.

Kenzie Hall – “Can’t Hold Us” Wow. She speed raps her way through this song. And the vocals are marvelous.

Quaid Edwards – He sings “I’m not Moving” by the Script and it’s just a’ight.

Kenzie is on to Hollywood Quaid is heading back home.

Ben Briley (awesome version of “Stars”) , Briston Maroney (an odd rendition of “Royals), Dexter Roberts (impressively bluesy). Keith plays Dexter’s guitar! Heh. All three advance

Rachel Rolleri – “Angel in Montgomery” – Keith sings harmony from his seat at the judges table! That was lovely.

Maurice Townsend (Impossible), Casey Thrasher (He Stopped Loving Her Today) – The family men! Both deliver incredible vocals. And of course both are through to the next round. George Lovett, Tiquila Wilson Emily Piriz, Malcolm Allen also advance!

Munfarid – It’s the cradle guy! He facetiously introduces himself to Harry. Now we get a review of Harry holding him in his arms. He sings a slowed up version of “Proud Mary” that doesn’t seem entirely serious. The judges are laughing.

Ethan Thompson, Austin Percario (Oh HE’S stage mom guy. I’m getting people mixed up!) are next. All three make it through. Munfarid is cradled by his fellow victors!

Caleb Johnson (Sympathy for the Devil, barely recognized it), Stephanie Hanvey, Kristen O’Connor (Halo) are next. All three advance.

Emmanuel Zidor – He’s a ramp agent at an airport. He sings “And I’m Telling You. ” He sounds ridiculous. Inexplicably, he’s on to the next round.

Briana Oakley (Mama Do)   Jesse Cline  are next. Both are through.

A montage of singers who blow it. Keith tells one his guitar is hopelessly out of tune.

Keith London – “If I Were A Boy” – Another day, another girl song to flip. I’m still not impressed by this guy. Ooh. Top notes are super strained. The judges were distracted by his out of tune guitar, and his song choice. Why would the song choice flummox them? So, he’s singing from the point of view of a girl. They were so distracted, talking amongst themselves during the song, they want to hear something else. He sings “Same Love”.  He’s obviously got a message guys. Just shut up and listen. The vocal here is better.  Keith advances despite the judges confusion.

ETA: Last night an unsurprising tweet from Keith:

The last line takes the stage!

Malaya Watson – Detroit teen, at the keyboard, sings “Brand New Me” by Alicia Keys. Jena Asciutto also at the keyboards, sings “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey. Keith didn’t know Lana! He’s off to download the song.

And, Savion Wright sings an original song “Breathing Underwater” and dedicates it to his brother. Oh. Two weeks before Hollywood he died! Very sad.  Malaya, Jena and Savion advance.

The round is over. 104 contestants remain.

Harry is amusing in this video package of singers joking with the judges

Keith informs the contestants about Group Day! Jlo says the judges want choreography and harmony. There will be a song list. The contestants will be able to form their own groups.

Casey Thrasher, Ben Briley, Dexter Roberts form a group called the Backstreet Cowboys.

Maylaya Watson is struggling to find a group.  She finds a home..until a supervising producer informs them that they can’t have a group of 5.  Three and four only!

Savion Wright, Jon Fox, and Madelyn Patterson come together. They’ve been buds since the Austin audition. They are the first ones to make it to the vocal coaches, where they rehearse, “Royals” by Lorde.  With limited time, the groups fight for time with the coaches. Tensions are high.

Matthew Hamel, Jessica Meuse and Clark King are struggling. Clark is losing his voice. Matthew (who looks like he’s 12) is  having trouble singing harmony. Jessica is cranky. She feels her group isn’t prepared, and it’s screwing her.

It’s midnight, and tensions are beginning to flair. Malaya Watson, Christina Collins and Queen Bulls and Olivia Diamond are Loud and Fierce and they are openly arguing in front of the coaches.

Carmen Delgina and Terrica Curry are still looking for a group.  They join The  Emmanuel Zidore and Mkay Nobilette who were with another group called The Dreamers, but after hours of bickering, split off.

Jessica continues to be frustrated with Matthew, who just can’t get the harmonies down. She breaks down into tears. She’s a “broke ass musician” looking for a break. And now, she’s about to be taken down, no fault of her own.  She’s ready to move on to another group.   Because he’s lost his voice, Clark decides to leave the competition. Jessica encourages him. Boy, she is AMBITIOUS.   Jessica tells Matthew that she wants to part ways. The Backstreet Cowboys reject her. Matthew finds a home with CJ Harris and Caleb Johnson of the Freedom Breathers.

Carmen Delgina and Emmanuel Zidore are now at odds with Emkay. Terrica isn’t happy either.  That was fast!

It’s the morning of group day! Emmanuel and Carmen continue to look for their missing members. They enter her room, she gives them the silent treatment.  The producer asks off camera if maybe Terrica is causing some unnecessary problems. “NO” she says curtly.  They finally get her, reluctantly, on board.

The dress rehearsals begin and they aren’t good. “What a mess!” exclaims musical director, Michael Orland.

Loud and Fierce are next to rehearse. They sing “I Want You Back,” forgetting the words.  It’s a mess. Michael is rolling his eyes.  He says they sound individually great, but the missed lyrics are going to ruin everything.

After rehearsal, the blame game begins. One of the girls bitches that they spent too much time dancing.  “I REFUSE TO LOSE!” She screams. “You don’t go on crying about it. You get stronger! I want us to smash this!” Malaya turns to the camera and smirks, “OK! That was interesting…”

Sam Woolf is having trouble without his guitar (NO KIDDING!). Not a dancer, is he. Back in the holding room, Jessica is worried about her group.  The group that took her in, Sparkles,  keep changing the dance. She’s worried about learning the song.  The group is comprised of Nica Nishae, Carol Watson, Stephanie Hanvey. Stephanie’s mom is all up in there business, and Jess is not digging it. Oh dear, Jessica is completely out of her element in this pop group. Singing “Single Ladies”? Oy.  She’s sick of being a “broke ass artist” which is why she auditioned. But I have my doubts she’ll be able to compromise or let go of her “artistic integrity.” She’s destined to butt heads and be too cool for school.

Also having trouble: Munfarid Zaidi, Jena Asciutto, Allie Odom of the group Clarity.  One of their members, Sikenya, wants the day off to nurse a lost voice.  She feels really bad! They work feverishly to turn their quartet into a trio.

Tomorrow…it’s group performances! At least HALF of the contestants will be cut. 50 will remain.

About mj santilli 33190 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!