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''American Idol'': The real competition begins!

Hooray for Hollywood! The real competition finally begins on ”American Idol.” Who are your favorites? Who’s going to crash and burn? Weigh in!

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Paula Abdul, American Idol

”American Idol”: The real competition begins!

Briana Davis, we hardly knew ye. As American Idol moves toward the light at the end of the audition rounds this week — heading to Hollywood to winnow down 193 contestants to just 24 semifinalists — Simon, Randy, and the increasingly frisky Paula have checked their hearts at the door of the Orpheum Theater, crushing the dreams of dozens of aspiring singers in the process. Among the early casualties on Tuesday night’s show: blue-haired opera singer Davis, twin sensation Rich Molfetta, and off-key farm boy Patrick Norman.

The others, however, will press on Wednesday night, when they will audition in groups. Expect bickering, forgotten lyrics, and gallons and gallons of tears — plus return appearances from early favorites like sultry songstress Lindsey Cardinale, farmer’s daughter Carrie Underwood, and Anthony Fedorov (a.k.a. Clay Aiken 2.0).

There’ll be plenty of suspense, too. Is brash Mikalah Gordon good enough to be the next Fantasia? Is rocker Constantine Maroulis true Idol material? Which contestants deserve to get one-way tickets back to obscurity? Post your opinions here, then check back on Thursday morning to get EW.com’s official take on the proceedings.