Tonight begins the Hollywood Week round of auditions on American Idol. If you're like me and want to know more about the contestants who made it to Hollywood, visit the American Idol website page Hollywood Week Hopefuls. Each of the contestants is listed along with a photo and video footage of his or her golden ticket interview. Some of the auditions themselves are up on the site, but as far as I can tell they are the auditions that already have aired. Because many joke/bad auditions were shown in lieu of the good auditions we still haven't heard many of the contestants actually sing!
Hollywood Week is also the first time we will see the new fourth judge, Ellen Degeneres. For auditions in cities across the country different celebrities filled the fourth judge spot: Victoria Beckham, Kristen Chenoweth, Shania Twain, Mary J. Blige, Avril Lavigne, Joe Jonas, Katy Perry, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Do you have favorite contestants you're looking forward to hearing more from in Hollywood Week and (hopefully) the rounds to come? The inevitable negative result from becoming attached to a contestant so early is that he or she won't get past Hollywood Week and we'll have to choose new favorites. Oh well. Anyway, here are my favorites I picked from the audition footage shown so far. I organized the contestants by their audition cities. Feel free to add a comment with your favorites!
Boston auditions: Benjamin Bright (sang "All My Loving" by the Beatles), Justin Williams (sang "Feeling Good"), Leah Laurenti (sang "Blue Skies"), Mike Davis (sang "Yesterday" by the Beatles), Tyler Grady (sang "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye)
Atlanta auditions: Jermaine Sellers from Joilet, IL! (sang a R&B-flavored "One of Us" by Joan Osborne), Tisha Holland (sang Christina Aguilera's "Impossible"), Mallorie Haley (sang a country-fied version of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart")
Chicago auditions: Crystal Bowersox (sang "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin), John Park from Evanston, IL! (sang "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" by Blood Sweat & Tears and received many compliments from guest judge Shania Twain), Lee Dewyze from Mount Prospect, IL! (sang "Ain't No Sunshine")
Orlando auditions: Lacey Brown (sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow")
Los Angeles auditions: Andrew Garcia (sang a soulful version of Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning"), Didi Benami (sang "Hey Jude" by the Beatles and made it her own)
Dallas auditions: Hope Johnson (sang a very joyful version of Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance"), Todrick Hall (sang an original song about making it to Hollywood)
Denver auditions: Jessica Furney (sang "Footprints in the Sand"), Mark Labriola (sang "Tempted" by Squeeze)