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Here is my recap from last night's show:



• Hollywood Week for Season 14 of "American Idol" kicked off as the three judges greeted them from the stage of a theater and warned them it would be a tough week, and they'd need to find a way to stand out. They told them they would be asking some contestants to perform first. Unbeknownst to them, these were some of their favorites from the auditions.
• First was Jax, 18, who sang "Toxic" by Britney Spears, accompanying herself on keyboard. She gave it the singer/songwriter treatment, as if she were channeling Tori Amos. Like the others to follow, she wouldn't get any feedback, although Jennifer Lopez told her fellow judges, "That's how you reinterpret a song without losing the melody."
• Mark Andrew, 29, gave a bluesy performance, playing the guitar and wearing his ever-present knit hat . Also performing: Emily Brooke, 15 and Sal Valentinetti.
• Toy design intern Adam Ezegelian, 21. He performed "Demons" by Imagine Dragons and gave it the rocker treatment. Jennifer, however, thought he was a victim of nerves, and Harry noted some pitch problems.
• After a commercial break, we heard from Tyanna Jones, 16, who was very confident and won some praise from Harry (expressed to his fellow judges). We saw just a little bit of Savion Wright singing "Get Lucky," to crowd applause; and Hollywood Anderson, 22, performed "Someone Like You" by Adele, changing up the melody to the point where Jennifer hated it and Keith Urban told his fellow judges it wrecked the emotions.
• After a pep talk from the judges, Shannon Berthiaume, 17, who sang "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder, forgot the words anyway. With the crowd's support, she got back on track and finished stronger.
• Then was Adam Lasher, who Harry Connick Jr. called a superstar after his rousing performance of "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak, which really captured the emotion of the song and the meaning of the lyrics.
• Then was Garrett Miles, the blind country singer, who did a countrified version of a Bob Dylan song. Harry liked his ability to hold notes without a vibrato.
• Also performing was the geek-next-door, Trevor Douglas, doing an impressive rendition of "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran ; and violet-haired Joey Cook and her ukelele, seemingly confident despite her assertion that she wasn't confident without her squeezebox.
• After all those 38 performers were finished, Harry asked them to step up on the stage. The judges told them they'd been asked to perform first because they'd been among the most memorable, and that they would give them the benefit of the doubt for problems they might have experienced that day. They were all moving forward.
• Harry told the rest of the contestants that they, too, would be coming back tomorrow. So a stark difference from last year, when half of the contestants were sent home the first day after surprise performances in the airport hangar.
• On day two, the remaining contestants performed in groups of 10, with the judges deciding at the end of each group which ones would go through.
• Reno Anoa'i played guitar as he sang, after dedicating his performance of Allen Stone's "So High" to his mom. Unfortunately, he had some pitch problems. Then was Priscilla Barker, 20, a country singer, who was pleasant but not outstanding. Then was Jaq McKenzie, whose grandma and great aunt had performed on that stage when they were in Vaudeville. She sang "Cool Kids" by Echo Smith. Harry felt she got too loud. Jaq and Reno made it to the next level, but Priscilla was sent home.
• In a montage, we saw some teary eliminations: Courtney Guns, Tera Honda and Courtney Zahn.
• Better luck for Erica Washington, whose performance of "This Girl is On Fire" by Alicia Keys got her to the next level.
• Jennifer fans Michael Simeon performed at the keyboard doing "Warrior" by Demi Lovato, followed by "Big Ron" Wilson, who blew him away with "Song for You." Both made it through.
• Gabby Zonneveld, 16, performed "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae but forgot the lyrics and choked. End of the episode.
• Tonight, the continuation of Hollywood Week!

I never did get around to writing a recap for the second show from last week, and here are my favorites from last Thursday, the continuations of the San Francisco auditions:
• Hunter Larsen, a bright spirit who sang a Frank Sinatra song and made it sound fresh.
• Tera Honda, who made that old chestnut, "You Make the Earth Move" current. She couldn't make it last, though, and was cut the second day of Hollywood Week.
• Tyanna Jones, whose natural hair was died dark purple, and who has a lot of raw talent.

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