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IDOL WATCH: Hollywood Round 3; The Return of the Solos

There's good news for Idol this week: for the first time in the show's history, American Idol went up against CBS's megahit Survivor. In fact, while contestants were shakin' it in group numbers last night, the rival reality show's most recent adaptation, 'Redemption Island' had its season premiere; and rating results were mortifying. Fox crushed CBS with more than double the viewers, marking Redemption Island as the lowest rated premiere in Survivor history. That's embarrassing.

In other news, Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe recently tried to justify the judges' Hollywood week choices. Lythgoe told TV Squad, "We knew it was going really tough. It was just going to be a bloodbath and we didn't want to lose anybody. The judges this year have been particularly picky and careful about giving everyone a second opportunity because everybody screws up with nerves, and they know because they've done it themselves." I for one haven't been bothered by their selections. In fact, I find myself loving the Idol judging panel more than ever.

Moving on. The lucky few who made it through group auditions last night found themselves in serious danger of being sent home again in tonight's 3rd Hollywood Round. This meant mass casualties yet again as the contestant count was cut in half tonight, leaving only 50 singers in the competition. And yes, this is the famous round in which contestants do not know their fate until they are spilt into four separate rooms at the end of the day.

The evening started off with some serious girl power, featuring familiar faces Hayley Reinhart, Thia Megia, and newly featured Ashton Jones. Reinhart, from the Milwaukee auditions, showed off her unique tone on "God Bless the Child." Jones gave a typical, yet impressive performance of "And I'm Telling You," and 15-year old Thia Megia proved that she could bust out an extremely mature sounding "What a Wonderful World." All three ended up in a ‘good room.'

Stand out Clint Jun Gamboa rocked "Georgia" with long runs and exquisite control. He might have been a little over the top, but as they say: if you've got it flaunt it. He was followed by Chris Medina and Carson Higgins, who performed two totally different versions of "My Prerogative." Higgins threw his crazy personality into the song, while Medea's rendition was more artsy and acoustic. They're all through to the next round as well.

Tonight was the first time in the competition when contestants were able to use instruments and many wisely took advantage of the opportunity, all earning spots for next week. Julie Zorrilla, Colton Dixon, and Robbie Rosen all wowed on the piano, while Caleb Hawley and Brett Loewenstern impressed the judges with their guitar skills.

Casey Abrams took it all a step further when he sang an overwhelmingly wonderful "Georgia" while playing the standup bass. I'm not ashamed to say that I am head over heels in love with his talent- I need to see more!

Lauren Alaina impressed as usual when she sang "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." She's just bound to be spectacular when the live shows begin. Newbie Jacob Lusk brought he crowd to its feet with his well-placed and unexpected high notes on "God Bless the Child." Why haven't we seen more of this guy?!

Despite Ashley Sullivan's hot mess of a performance she managed to sneak her way through to the next round, along with favorites Scotty McCreery, James Durbin, and Jacee Badaux.

At the end of the day, 50 contestants earned spots in next week's Beatles themed round. Don't forget to check in with BroadwayWorld's IDOL WATCH next Wednesday night when they rock out to the vast songbook of the Fab Four! American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on Fox.

Miss last American Idol's Hollywood Round #2 last night? Click here for a full recap!

Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive produced by Simon Fuller, Founder, 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, President, Big Red 2 Entertainment.

Among the many American Idol finalists and winners to appeared on the Broadway stage are Fantasia, Justin Guarini, Jordin Sparks, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.

Visit americanidol.com for exclusive videos, interviews and photos, as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

 

 


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From This Author Nicole Rosky