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'American Idol' Season 14 Recap & Review: Tension Was High, But Jax, Big Sexy & Garrett Miles Pull Through

by Shawn Christ   Feb 4, 2015 22:04 PM EST

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Hollywood week is here, and we're stoked about it. We know you are too. "You have to figure out how to stand out to survive," Keith Urban said following advice by Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Some singers were able to distinguish themselves right from the start, while others let the nerves take hold. One missed opportunity in Hollywood could mean the end of the line though.

This is where, historically, Idol thrives. Viewers come back to feel this tension. And with all the potential finalists in one room, you could argue that these rounds are just as stressful, if not more stressful than some of the last performances. A singer with a winning voice can be thrown off by being asked to hop onstage out of nowhere. A true star is always ready to display their talent.

Anxious whispers in the contestant crowd were quickly silenced as the judges started calling out the names of singers they wanted to hear again. Jax, from the Brooklyn auditions, kicked it off with a steamy rendition of Britney Spears' "Toxic." Adam Ezegelian, also of Brooklyn, fumbled through Imagine Dragons' "Demons." No one would know if that performance was the deciding factor. Judgment would come at the end. 

Tyanna Jones brought her "big voice" to the stage in addition to a lot of energy. Savion Wright and Joey Cook with her ukulele delivered solid performances as well. An early show favorite, Hollywood Anderson, took Adele's "Someone Like You" on an awkward journey that the judges didn't dig at all. Urban turned to the singers and asked them to loosen up. Connick, of course, told them to get tense. 

Shannon Berthiaume forgot some words to Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," but she rebounded with some impressive power. "She can sing her little butt off," J.Lo said initially. Adam Lasher then brought the house down with his intimate display. Amber Kelechi almost didn't make it to her audition, fighting off mini panic attacks before managing to pull something off that was inferior to her Nashville audition.

Garrett Miles, the blind cowboy, hit the stage with so much country swagger that it was undeniable that he was moving on. Trevor Douglas matched that confidence. He could also be dangerous with his One Direction good looks and complete mastery of the guitar. 

Halfway through the episode, the performers were brought back onstage and presented as the most memorable acts from the audition rounds. They were given a pass to the next round, along with the rest of the singers. That was a surprise because there were some flops and people who couldn't tune their guitar. There were contestants that needed to be dismissed at this point, but J.Lo said the judges were giving them the "benefit of the doubt." That's some pressure for their next performances.

For day two, the judges made sure everyone was aware that half of the singers would be heading home. They came out in lines of 10 with each singer taking the microphone before the cuts came. Judges asked certain singers to step forward before they relayed the news of moving on or going home. The tactic undoubtedly got the contestants feeling antsy as well as the parents and viewers. 

Big Ron aka Big Sexy brought some loose, R&B soul for his audition and was by far the most memorable of the night, singing directly to J.Lo. Michael Simeon, the gentleman who slow danced with the female judge after his audition in Nashville, also scored a "yes" from the judges. 

Most of the performers were ready to show their stuff in Hollywood, but nerves played a huge role. The episode was left as a cliffhanger, with one contestant messing up her audition right before the credits rolled. Classic Idol.

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