American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Hollywood Round #1"

Season 8, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: They're going to Hollywood: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson appraise performances in the first installment of the Hollywood rounds.
Original Air Date: Feb 3, 2009

American Idol Episode Recap: Hollywood Week, Part One Season 8, Episode 8

Finally we've reached Hollywood week; the make it or break it time where 147 wannabes are whittled down to 36. Whose dreams will be shattered and who will make it through to another week?

Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? I wonder if the Idol wannabes feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman right now (not the hooker part, but the wide-eyed wonder of getting star treatment for a week). I hope they lap up every moment of this experience because for some, it may be a one-time deal.

Side note: I hope you all stayed away from a certain spoiler site that may have given away the top 36. Personally, I prefer to watch the actual episode so I can really feel all the pain and agony — or joy and bliss right along with the contestants.

As the episode begins, Simon decides to scare the crap out of the Idol wannabes saying that they only have one shot today, and it's the most important day of their lives. Contestants, feel free to change your pants now.

Ryan tells us that, for the first time ever, they have put the Hollywood-ers through an American Idol boot camp. There, the wannabes get made over by stylists and much more importantly, they got help from vocal coaches (it's about time they did that)! To really get the kids freaked — er, psyched — they bring out Barry Manilow on to "mentor" them. Really, he just gives them a big ol' pep talk, but still, that's probably the coolest thing the contestants have ever experienced.

Ryan then explains how the first part of the auditions works: Contestants will come out on stage in groups of eight, and each one will step forward and sing whatever they want — a capella. After everyone performs, they ask one group to step forward and the other to hang back. One of those groups will advance and the other will go home immediately. Ouch!

Day One Standouts
Lil Rounds wowed the judges (though I didn't think she sounded so hot) with "I Will Always Love You," while Anoop Desai and Jasmine Murray impressed Paula and Kara with their ease and raw talent. Though our filthy-footed favorite Rose Flack had some trouble in rehearsal, she sang well enough to make it past the first round. Stephen Fowler "slayed" his audition according to Randy, while Von Smith's audition was called "indulgent nonsense" by Simon — but was still put through to the next round.

After a huge montage of contestants who got booted for picking the wrong song, we reconnect with Norman Gentle (Nick Mitchell) who butchers, albeit in an entertaining way, "And I'm Telling You..." Paula and Randy both admit that even though he's wacky and a little annoying, he can sing. Paula wants to see what he's like without the costume and "character." He gets through to the next round!

Day Two Standouts
Jackie Tohn does her rocker chick thing (which annoys me) and it really works for both Paula and Randy. Jamar Rogers, his BFF and Danny (Downey Jr.) Gokey are huge judge favorites and make it through to the next round. Oil field worker Jeremy Michael Sarver was "one of the best" Randy heard that day, and he makes it through as well.

WTF: Katrina Darrell, aka Bikini Girl, is back kissing Ryan (ew), pissing off Kara, flirting with Simon and Randy and singing in a very mediocre way. But of course, for entertainment's sake, Simon and Randy give her way more leeway than she deserves. If she makes it through, I will throw something at my TV. She just got through! Sorry poor TV, my shoe is coming your way! Please explain to me and millions of Idol fans how Bikini Girl gets through but not the awesome Jessica Furney, who was kinda like a young Janis Joplin? Not cool, guys. Not cool.

Who were you upset went home? Who were you surprised made it through? Did you have a favorite meltdown?

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Finally we've reached Hollywood week; the make it or break it time where 147 wannabes are whittled down to 36. Whose dreams will be shattered and who will make it through to another week? read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,320 ratings)
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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