Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
By Elisabeth Kramer
Beaming as they touch down in Hollywood, the American Idol Season 13 finalists have no idea what's ahead of them for their first few hours of this year's Hollywood Week. Thinking they're going to the hotel for some much-needed R&R, they're actually driven to an airport hanger where they'll be forced to compete in a brand new round, "Hollywood or Home." As Jennifer Lopez points out, "They don't even know they're singing today."
Here's the deal: Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr., and J.Lo just reviewed the people they gave Golden Tickets to and found quite a few wanting. Cue the cutthroat eliminations about to go down in front of these folks' competitors, loved ones, and, oh yeah, all of America.
"The stakes are very, very high," Harry tells us, and we're worried despite how adorable Harry Connick looks.
Up first to prove he deserves his spot in the show: Johnny Newcomb from Salt Lake City. He sings "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People and we're digging it. Strumming along to his guitar, Johnny's voice sounds young but this kid is only 17, after all. What did the judges think? We don't know yet! To make things even tougher, they deliberate in front of the contestants and won't be sharing their verdict until the very end.
Also fighting for their lives: 20-year-old of Connor Zwetsch from Atlanta with "Let Her Go" by Passenger, Ali Jane Henderson with Britney Spears' "Toxic," Caitlin Johnson and a bad case of nerves, and the musical healer, Adam Roth, with yet another rendition of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. There are quite a few others but these are the ones who earn themselves more than a couple of seconds of airtime.
Tristen Langley from Austin also takes the mic; you may remember him as the son of the Season 1's Nikki McKibbin. Right behind him, Morgan Deplitch, Stephanie "The Cheerleader" Petronelli, and Rich Lafleur.
"It can't be mediocre. It has to be great," Harry says, as the masses look on in horror.
We also see Eric Wood, Alyssa Siebken,Neco Starr, and Kristian "Sometimes I Have an Accent" D'Avis and with that it's the end of "Hollywood or Home." The rest of the contestants, the lucky ones, get sent home and the remainders, the unlucky ones, are split into two groups. One bus goes to the airport. One goes to the hotel. Both are freakin' out.
Which bus is the one you want a ride on? That be Bus No. 2.
Who else just lost five years off their lives?! And we're only 30 minutes into this episode, guys!