Hollywood Week is underway on American Idol and last night's episode ended in a cliffhanger!  The final contestant of the evening, young Symone Black, had just finished singing some Otis Redding when the judges started to question her song choice.  She was so nervous and caught up in the moment, she passed out and fell RIGHT OFF THE STAGE!  Producers of the show promised drama!  And, last night Idol delivered drama.  So, what did our Idol expert, Steve Thompson, think of the show? 

Yep!  That's gonna leave a mark.  We'll have to tune in to the next episode to find out what happened to Symone, but, in the meantime, Steve Thompson has more fish to fry with last night's installment.

From Steve Thompson:

  • After an interminable (or so it seemed) audition process, Idol finally found its way to the Hollywood round.  Cramming as much as they could into an hour seemed a little rushed, but at this point in the proceedings any hesitation at all would not be worth our time.
  • Our first section of auditioners features Johnny Keyser and Heejun Han.  Johnny has an interesting soulful vibe in his voice and Heejun sings How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.  Both guys are saved to the second day.
  • We didn't get to see Elise Testone but about a few seconds in her first audition.  Suddenly, she seemed to be a major player among the female singers.  Baylie Brown still sounds just as promising as she originally sounded.  Hallie Day sang a nice version of Natural Woman.  All three ladies are passed to the next day.
  • Jen Hirsch, whom I didn't recall ever seeing before, sang an excellent version of the song Up from the MountainLauren Gray also gets to return on day two.  To make things even, the producers show a few folks  who are told no.  Of note, perhaps Heart and Adele may not have been the best selections for the ladies who didn't make it.
  • Phil Phillips wowed everybody with his take on Thriller in his original audition.  His attempt at James Brown didn't do anything for me-- but the judges gave him a pass. 
  • Reed Grimm, who obviously marches to his own drummer, sang I Got a Golden Ticket from Willy WonkaTravis Orlando, the kid who had enough soap opera in his life to propel twenty years of Young and the Restless, was not invited back.
  • A few more favorites (according to the fan sites) who were let go after day one included Wolf Hamlin and Jane Carrey


  • Adam Brock sang a decent version of Walking in Memphis and was invited back to day two.
  • In our next segment, Shannon Magrane sang Fallin' by Alicia Keyes, David Leathers sang Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion and Jessica Phillips sang All the Man I Need.  All three were passed on to day two and the group round.
  • Erika Van Pelt, Creighton Fraker and Aaron Marcellus were also greenlit to the next round...
  • Then in something that was so uncomfortable it was hard to believe Maury Povich wasn't involved, we were forced to endure Symone Black falling off the stage.  We had just been treated to two a failed audition from Kentucky girl Lauren Mink, then Symone comes on to sing some Otis Redding.  At least the producers didn't make us hear Fallin' again.
  • So Thursday night we get to see the group auditions.  And we breathlessly await to see if Symone recovers.
  • Cheap stunts for $1000, Alex.

@February 8, 2012  Stephen W Thompson