Katelyn Epperly, 19, a student, West Des Moines, IA is up next. Her father had left the family shortly before her audition. Simon wasn’t totally thrilled, and after singing Something to Talk About, Ellen told her they were looking for a more emotional connection. She sang Bubbly on her last day in Hollywood, and frankly it could have gone better. Yet, she’s worked hard and is proud of what she’s done. Ellen addresses her and says she knows what it’s like to wait, as she’s auctioned many times too, and heard the word no. She wants her to hear right way, but keeps talking on and on. Katelyn is going through. She runs out screaming and knows her mom is going to freak out.
Shelby Dressel, 18, a waitress, Avon Park, FL is worried, but still riding on the mentions of her last performance. She’s so drained emotionally, and just to go further would be such a blessing. Randy addresses her, asking how she feels. She feels good, like a dream. Randy notes the high and low points, and how tough it’s been, but says they need to figure out who’s got it and who doesn’t. Unfortunately, she didn’t make this year. I’m shocked. I thought she was a lock. They think she showed a lot of growth, through the week. Simon doesn’t look happy, so I think he lost out on this one. After she leaves, either Ellen or Kara says it was hard, and Simon says it was the wrong decision. Outside, Shelby is saying it’s just the beginning.
Casey James, 27, a musician, Fort Worth survived a motorcycle accident, only to audition and be asked to take down his hair and unbutton his shirt. He started impressing more and more after that. As he walks in to hear his judgement, Ellen notes to Kara that he left his hair down for her, but it’s actually up and just falling out. She notes he’s from a town called Cool, and they all embark in a discussion about a town called Cool. Kara thinks it’s pretty cool that he’s going through to the next round. He jumps around and celebrates, hugs everone, and runs out. Kara totally flirted, doing the foot lift as he hugged her. After Casey walks out, Randy busts her on it.
Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, PA is next in. He’s been anxious, and Hollywood was filled with ups and downs like his difficult upbringing. He sounded really good on day one in Hollywood with Kara thinking he had natural ability. But in Group Round he was a lyric forgetter, and Simon thought it seemed like community theater. Ellen asks him how his week has been. He thought it was exciting, but difficult. Group Round was the hardest for him. She tells him it’s good to see he’s a good guy too, and she thinks the people at home will enjoy it too, as he made it through.
Lee Dewyze, 23, a paint sales clerk, Mount Prospect, IL struggled all week, yet still thinks he’s going through. He’s trying to get the negativity out of his head as it comes creeping in and steps up on the stage to hear his judgement. He can’t be the fourth guy in a row going through. Kara tells him he has a great big voice, very powerful, and what they all saw was a lack of confidence onstage and really owning it to be a star. He doesn’t agree and thinks he can do really good things in music. She tells him they didn’t agree until about five minutes ago. He’s in and cries, as they really had him going I think. He stops halfway out and asks if they’re kidding.
Todrick Hall, 24, an actor/playwright, Arlington, TX was asking women if they would get engaged to him out by the pool, asking if their parents would be pleased to meet him, and also asking i they knew he was black. He’s feeling the pressure a lot, as he’s a trained dancer naturally, and was never known for a voice. He gives the credit for all his success to his mom. He tried out thanks to Fantasia encouraging him after he worked with her on The Color Purple. Kara tells him … yes, as he asks, “That’s it?” He made it, and again Simon doesn’t look happy. No wonder he’s leaving after this season.
Jessica Furney, 20, a caregiver, Wamego, KS had been rejected in Hollywood during season eight, but is determined this time. She was the only one in the Group Round to get the lyrics right for Sweet Escape, and insisted she get to sing it, even though Simon cut her group off before her part. There’s a joy coming out of her today. Randy notes her long walk, then says he won’t delay it, and while it’s been tough for them all, she didn’t make it. She begs, saying she’s been through so much and they have no idea.
Jessica knows she can do better. She does everything short of falling down to her knees, and Simon says they won’t be changing her minds, as they’ve made their decision. She asks what she did wrong, and he says she didn’t sing as well as the others, and she counters saying they didn’t have to deal with losing their voices, but he replies some of them did. Ellen says it’s not the end of her career. Simon cuts the session off. She’s done. She still feels like it’s unfair. If she could change one thing, it would be to not stay with the group she was in on Group Round, as she lost her voice trying to help those people, and it bit her in the ass.
Well, they kind of pulled a fast one on us, didn’t they? While we were expecting to get the announce for he top 24 tomorrow, they started it tonight. They make it seem in the promos as if someone of big notoriety doesn’t make it tomorrow, and they show a montage of people and start with Andrew Garcia, but that just can’t be. Yet, we’ll have to wait for tomorrow now to make sure that it just can’t be.
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