Looks like we’ve made it. We’re in Hollywood. Is everyone ready? Fearful? Already exhausted? Anticipating multiple medical emergencies? I love Hollywood Week, it’s SO SCARY. Anything could happen, really. Our 200 or so contestants are going to be cut down to a tidy 24. So, slaughter. Here. We. Go.
J.Lo’s outfit is ON POINT today, just saying.
The judges immediately put a few contestants on the spot at the Orpheum Theater. Ryan tells us they’re asking to see the most memorable kids, which is a good thing, but the kids don’t know that! Yikes, scary. So Jax, from the New York auditions (and one of the names we wrote down, remember?) is up first. She’s not as glittery as she was when we first met her, which is fantastic news.
Jax hops on the piano and breaks into an artsy version of Britney’s “Toxic.” As previously mentioned, I will never tire of this kind of performance. Jax is still fab. J.Lo agrees.
Mark Andrew (we also wrote his name down), Emily Brooke, uber-New Yorker Sal, and toy designer Adam Ezegelian all get their time on stage. Shockingly, no one cracks under the pressure. Adam runs into a serious case of the nerves, but he holds his own. It’s not a deal breaker.
While these folks are being called up, they’re getting no feedback. And neither are we, really. We don’t know if they’re going to cut people, keep people, send people into space—nothing. It’s brutal.
Our girl Tyanna Jones, whom we met just last Thursday, sings a snappy little jam, and her stage presence is fully intact. She and her purple hair are endlessly entertaining. It’s always fascinating to see the contestants hear one another sing for the first time—it’s easy to expect jealousy and angst, but when someone is good, there’s nothing but admiration on the faces of the audience. It’s really heartwarming. And the faces when Tyanna was singing? Smitten.
Savion Wright, one of our early favorites, sings “Get Lucky,” which, I hate to say, hurts my ears a little. But his peers loved it. Hollywood Anderson is another of our faves from New York. (I don’t remember the producers showing us all the memorable favorites right away in years past, but gotta say, it’s a smart move.) Hollywood sings “Someone Like You” in completely unrecognizable, weird, jazzy, super slow form—I honestly had to rewind three times before I knew what the hell he was performing. His voice sounded great, but the whole bit was lost on the judges, who are getting bummed that everyone seems nervous. Honestly, Keith, I appreciate your “Loosen up, mates!” sentiment, but are you aware of what these kids are up against? Of COURSE they’re nervous. Give them one tiny sliver of a break.
NEXT: Our very first panic attack.