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'American Idol' recap: Hollywood Showcase

The final 48 take the stage at the House of Blues.

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Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

What’s Hollywood Showcase week? Who knows! We’re about to find out.

Hollywood Week is over, you guys. And that means there are 48 contestants left, and they are off to the House of Blues. This is a new step for this show, so anything could happen, I suppose! But this final challenge—performing in front of a live audience—is actually going to tell us a lot about these kids. This isn’t the audition room, this isn’t playing to a half-full theater of your friends, this is a real show. Remember why last season was so dull? Because the contestants had fantastic voices and no stage presence. So this step is, hopefully, guaranteeing a top 24 that can do it all.

Michael Simeon (yep, still J.Lo’s prom date), really has a great, smooth voice, and he’s got that straight-dude thing going on where he’s quirky enough to wear a bow tie but his jeans are still too big and he’s kind of a bro, which ladies seem to like. So I think he’s a good bet. He could use an extra dose of personality, but I have to imagine the Idol team sees $$$ when they look at him. He sang “Classic” and rapped a little, which he called a huge risk. Risk, sure. Huge risk? Jury’s still out. So Michael performs and we immediately cut to his weird starry-lit interview with the judges, positioned at the end of that very long runway that this show just loves so much. J.Lo is just so happy to tell him he’s in the top 24.

Remember how I came around on Loren Lott last week? I’ve changed my mind. She’s obviously talented, but this version of “My Heart Will Go On” (a weird thing to sing at the House of Blues, right?) is shrill, and I just don’t want to hear more of her. I’m so sorry.

Imagine my relief when Harry agrees with me. Thank god. But then, he lets her though. So Michael Simeon and Loren Lott, our first two finalists. Even though I don’t love her (I’m hoping I can be won over, seriously!), her reaction is super endearing.

I forgot that Adam Ezegelian, Idol’s resident toy designer, was still in the game! I don’t know why, but I thought he got kicked off. My apologies, Adam, seriously.

Guess what? They let him through. Is everyone going through tonight? We have to get rid of 24 people. Did anyone tell the judges?

Cody Fry gets the boot, poor sweet thing, so I guess someone did, in fact, tell the judges. Elimination time is here.

Ugh, Lovey James, with her silly name and gum-wrapper-looking headband. I’ve liked her leading up to this, but she’s sounding pretty flat on “Wings” and seems to be attempting to channel Meghan Trainor in a displeasing way. But when she meets with the judges, floppy hat in tow, she gets through. The judges seem super excited about her—“She’s adorable,” “She’s gonna be great,” etc. etc.—so we’ll see where she goes.

NEXT: Two contestants are forced to face-off.