Hollywood Week begins on American Idol

by Ruth Anne Boulet

Three hundred and twenty-seven contestants were put through to Hollywood. That’s a crazy amount of people to cut down to 40.

Round one is the lines of 10, each singing a capella with no feedback. It’s sudden death — you are either in or you’re out. Heidi Klum does not give you an auf wiedersehen. Instead Randy, Jennifer or Steven tells you it’s the end of the road.

Of course we only really see the chosen folks that were featured in audition rounds. There are hundreds of singers we never hear, and will never hear on the Idol stage. The producers planned this season far enough in advance that we don’t have to be bothered with the backstories of folks who don’t make it through.

Hollywood week is the cold slap of reality for talented singers who have believed they were the chosen ones. They were the ones who were going to make it through. But they aren’t. They’re going home. Many of these contestants have pinned their whole self-worth on making it on American Idol. Now these singers need to create a new sense of self.

Most just cry. Others fight, like Nick of the super-puky Austin couple. He begs for another shot and sings on the way out to prove himself. It doesn’t work. It never works. I hope Idol has counselors giving advice on the ousted contestants way out.

One hundred sixty-eight survive the first round cut. They’ll be treated to the fun of the group performance. Fun for us, at least.