After strutting onstage for Solo Day, the contestants await possible doom in the Hollywood Week jail cells
Casey Abrams Idol Hollywood
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Tensions ran high at the end of Hollywood Week’s solo day. The kids who knew how to play instruments could breathe a little easier, but not if they knew what was good for them: a few more solid hours of gut-busting anxiety. Even the judges felt the pressure as they traipsed around to four different American Idol-branded jail cells. “This is the worst part for me so far,” whined J. Lo, and considering the ridonkulous black sparkly shorts she was wearing, I had no choice but to believe her.

The episode was mostly short snippets of people’s solos, so I’ll at least attempt to be brief.


I remember Haley Reinhart from the Milwaukee auditions, but she hadn’t been featured in Hollywood Week so far. Turns out she botched the lyrics during the group round, but her guttural cover of “God Bless the Child” had Steven Tyler leaning back in his chair in either ecstasy or a brief nap. His contribution to the end of the song — “Yeahhhhhhhhh” — confirmed it: ecstasy! It’s a wonderful drug. All-natural. We certainly hadn’t seen enough of Ashton Jones, the standout performer in Ashley Sullivan’s girl group from Wednesday’s show. Steven liked the way the 24-year-old retail manager attacked “And I Am Telling You,” and I liked how spirited and un-self-conscious she was onstage.

Clint Junebuggeroff Gamboa was treated to a “redemption edit” of sorts with his overblown cover of “Georgia On My MInd.” He came down with a severe case of runs at the end — and if you think that sounded needlessly gastrointestinal, that is exactly what I was going for. Two new faces — not bodies, just their faces — chose the same song as Clint, so they finally got the spotlight, too: Kendra Chantelle, 22, and Sophia Shorai, a 28-year-old vocalist with blonde bangs and an aversion to shoes. Pretty funky, that one. There are so many people we’ve never seen! What are they like?!

NEXT: Casey Abrams and Jacob Lusk own the stage

Speaking of funky, 15-year-old Thia Megia is really committed to this “colorful geometric sweaters” look and will hopefully enjoy many weeks of forced corporate sponsorship from Lisa Frank. “What a Wonderful World” seemed too old for her, but hey, she’s versatile. And drowning in rainbows!

Crazy blonde actor Carson Higgins and sane brunet caregiver Chris Medina chose “My Prerogative,” which Chris called “the most unlikely song that I would pick.” So why did you pick it? And why are you a liar? The extroverted Carson yanked the audience members onto their feet with his invisible puppet strings, then pretended to fall over with his mic stand at the end. He was kind of cute as he freaked out, high on life, about wanting it more than ever. But I really didn’t start liking Carson Higgins until….

…He was shown in the audience having a blissed-out “I’m Lovin’ It” moment during Casey’s upright bass showstopper! Yep, scat daddy (sorry) Casey Abrams, the Neil Armstrong of season 10, wielded his massive instrument in front of the judges for “Georgia.” Is it weird that I found his plucking style so sexy? Do I care? No. If it turns out that Casey Abrams can play every instrument in existence, I’ll have to put together an endless photo gallery ranking how much his skills turn me on. You can’t wait. Get ready, ’cause here I come.

Lauren Alaina gave the judges “exactly what they’d hoped for” (according to the sometimes haunting Ryan voice) with her reprise of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Snooze. Been there, done that, bought the black lace leotard. Meanwhile, Jacob Lusk‘s moment onstage was an “unexpected delight,” said our host. We didn’t need the verbal confirmation — Steven was wailing on his glass with his pen (the surest sign that he’s feelin’ it), and Randy was so overcome with joy that he couldn’t decide whether to clap for Jacob, wave at him, or swat at some imaginary flies. Really, go back and watch Randy here, if you have the chance and if you’re nuts. It’s a real head-scratcher, which is another move Randy could have tried. Anyway, Jacob’s “God Bless the Child” was full of “doo-ba-doo”s and “heh-heh”s and was my favorite song of the night along with Casey’s. Do we believe Jacob’s claim that he’s not typically a crier? Ryan didn’t, and Ryan seems attuned to that sort of thing. It’s part of his complicated coding.

NEXT: We’re gonna need a mop in Rooms 2 and 3, please

Julie Zorrilla, Caleb Hawley, Brett Loewenstern, Robbie Rosen, John Wayne Shulz, Colton Dixon, Stefano Langone, Jovany Barreto, and Jacee Badeaux impressed the judges without incident, but Scotty McCreery buckled under the pressure of learning the words to a second song. What is going on with this guy? I’ll let Scotty explain it himself: “The only thing keeping me here is my deep voice.” If he is really that brain-dead about music, he’s screwed.

“Emotional time bomb” Ashley Sullivan warmed herself up for solo day with some Chicken Soup for the High Maintenance Mole Person. She was excited to sing Michael Bublé’s “Everything” because, she said, “That’s like my song to my boyfriend, so I scream it out loud all the time.” That must be so fun for him. Anyway, Ashley messed up the words and psyched herself out, twice, then sputtered out the exact opposite thing that everyone else was thinking: “I can’t believe I’m freaking out.” Yikes! This poor girl….is moving on in the competition! The judges also went easy on Adrian Michael, who messed up at the beginning of his song and kept conveniently wondering what was up with the band.

Also spotted in Rooms 1 and 4: James Durbin, Kosovo girl, Rachel Zevita, Naima Adedapo, Lauren Turner. I know everyone is wondering about White House intern Molly DeWolf Swensen L’Elk Porcupinée Ratatat Stouffer, and I am pretty sure I spotted her in the previews for next week’s field trip to Vegas.


Chelsee Oaks was so emotionally shaken after her “best friend in the world” Jacqueline Dunford fell ill (Peroxide Shock Syndrome) that she threw on an ill-fitting white top and blew her one shot at happiness with a sad, shy performance. Other losers: Corey Levoy, who TOTALLY snubbed Randy during the tearful goodbyes, Mark Guiterrez, Frances Coontz (Scooby-Doo glasses girl), Brielle Von Hugel, Caleb Johnson, and a girl who looked a lot like Zooey Deschanel, but I guess not enough.

I’ll see you Wednesday night after these people desecrate some Beatles songs!

Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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