American Idol Season 14 Hollywood Week Recap: The Solo Rounds

American Idol 2015‘s Hollywood rounds wrapped up Thursday night with the solo rounds and the finalization of the Top 48.


At first I was excited because the episode was playing out like a regular performance show. I was all ready to recap each performance and grade each one. And then after five performances, Idol producers and editors decided to just jumble everything up again. So that left me with five structured performance reviews and then a jumbled mess. Enjoy.

Lauren Lott, “Skyfall.” First of all, I have to say, she’s got the look. She’s a beautiful girl. But she’s no Adele, so she shouldn’t have chosen an Adele song. But her she can hold her own with her voice. It was a pretty solid performance, especially that pristine note she held onto forever. Performance Grade: A-

Daniel Seavey, “I See Fire.” OK, we all know he’s a cute kid now. I’ve said, you’ve said it, everyone says it. But can he sing? This was actually one of his best performances, I think. His voice is finally finding the right place to sit. And he pulled out some tricks that I really enjoyed. He might not be the absolute best to listen to, but he’s so much fin to watch. Performance Grade: B+

Big Ron Wilson, “Let’s Get it On.” Is this the only song he knows? Regardless of us hearing this more than once from him, he’s still a great singer. He’s smooth and soulful, but does lack control of his voice just a bit. He’s still seemingly a great guy. Performance Grade: B

Hi Scott, “All I Can Do Is Cry.” Well at least she didn’t sing Amy Whinehouse or Duffy. But she did do Etta James in the style of Amy Winehouse. Actually, I’m being nitpicky because I don’t really like Shi. But this was actually a better performance because it didn’t seem like a total impersonation. Performance Grade: B-

Adam Lasher, “Free Fallin.” I like this guy. His vocals are tight and everything about him seems effortless. I could see him getting boring, but he’s pretty entertaining right now. I would love to see him get out of his comfort zone. Will he be given the chance to do so? Performance Grade: A-

It’s time for some cuts. Big Ron and Adam were did not make it through to the next round.

Quentin Alexander, Trevor Douglas and Maddie Walker were all up next and even though we got abbreviated versions of their auditions, they were all sent through to the next round.

And now we get a few more structured performances.

Michael Simeon, “Try.” This guy is just always on. He never has an off moment. This was another great performance. We didn’t get to see it all, but what we did see was pretty good. Performance Grade: A+

Nick Fradiani, “ Babylon.” I like Nick. I think he’s a natural talent. This wasn’t his absolute best performance, but I’d definitely keep him around to see what else he can do. Performance Grade: A

Katherine Skinner, “Alone.” Well we haven’t heard “Alone” for at least one season, so I’ll excuse her for that. But I can’t excuse her for the not-great vocals. I mean she’s perfectly find, but this was not a great audition. And the judges knew. Performance grade: C

Michael and Nick make it through. Katherine is cut.

Oh, it’s back to the jumbled mess format. Clark Beckham and Mark Andrew both perform. They’re pretty decent. They’re sent through to the next round along with Shannon Berthiaume and Katherine Winston.

And then we get one final structured audition.

Joey Cook, “Across the Universe.” Was that even an actual song? I mean I know it’s a Beatles song, but her performance didn’t even sound like a song. It just sounded like a girl making a bunch of annoying sounds. I hated it. Why is she still in the competition? Performance Grade: D

Joey makes it through again, however. For some reason the judges love her. I, however, do not.

At the end of the night, the finalists were cut to 48 and up next for the contestants: performances in front of the House of Blues Crowd.

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American Idol Season 14 Top 48

The Girls
1. Adanna Duru
2. Alexis Gomez
3. Anjelika Joseph (aka Jelly)
4. Ellen Petersen
5. Emily Brooke
6. Erica Washington
7. Erika Davis
8. Hannah Mrozak
9. Hunter Larsen
10. Jackie Cole (aka Jax)
11. Jaq Mackenzie
12. Joey Cook
13. Kalynne Schoelen (aka Kalynne Michelle)
14. Katherine Winston
15. Loren Lott
16. Lovey James
17. Maddie Walker
18. Maddy Hudson
19. Monica Laire Pidoy Mendoza
20. Najah Lewis
21. Nalani Quintello
22. Rachael Hallack
23. Sarina-Joi Crowe
24. Shannon Berthiaume
25. Shi Scott
26. Tyanna Jones
The Guys
1. Adam Ezegelian
2. Hollywood Anderson
3. Casey Thrasher
4. Clark Beckham
5. Cody Fry
6. Daniel Seavey
7. Hector Montenegro
8. Jessie Nunn III (aka J. None)
9. Josh Sanders
10. Mark Andrew
11. Michael Simeon Smith
12. Nick Fradiani Jr.
13. Qaasim Middleton
14. Quentin Alexander
15. Rayvon Owen
16. Reno Anoa’i
17. Ricky Hendricks
18. Riley Bria
19. Savion Wright
20. Tion Phipps
21. Trevor Douglas
22. Zack Kaltenbach