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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol, Feb. 15 – Flu Bug Claims More

Jen Hirsh sings an amazing version of Georgia On My Mind but I’d still pick Casey Abrams’ as my favorite ever. She has some great jazzy notes in there. Her facial thing is a little odd though, but it was because she was feeling every note. Creighton Fraker is flat out amazing singing Wonderful World<. If this guy doesn’t get to final 20 there is no justice. He gets his peers cheering him even and a standing O from the judges. Well, a jumping O from J-Lo.

Thunder that is coming with the rain that never happens in Southern California throws a bunch of contestants off. C’mon, People, the show must go on.

Reed is planning on singing a cappella, but Nigel Lythgoe lays down the law, saying he can’t. Is it just me, or is he quite random with his rules? Reed will have to sing with the band. But, he hasn’t practiced with them. He now has 30 minutes to prepare. He runs next door in the rain to work with Peisha McPhee, the vocal coach. In the middle of practice with Peisha, Reed asks to call his mom. Peisha doesn’t seem to understand how he could possibly want to do that, not realizing that it was different for her and daughter Katharine. Peisha was with her every step of the way; she never had to call her mom.

Shannon Magrane takes the stage singing What a Wonderful World. It’s good, but doesn’t compare with Creighton’s. Not to take anything away from her. It would just suck, though, to sing something and follow someone who was phenomenal. It is the best I’ve heard her though. She gets a standing O as Randy confirms she’s only 16. Jennifer admits to being surprised.

Reed takes a meeting with MIchael Orland. Reece is worried it’s still not right and wants to call his mom still. Once he finally does, he tells her he just wanted to talk to someone who knew and loved him. It gives him some inspiration. He gets behind the drums, making Michael Orland nervous, as the producer says, “May God be with us.”

Reed announces he has something “ain’t nobody got.” Randy notes it’s another Casey, and we know he means Abrams. Reed sings Georgia On My Mind accompanying himself on the drums. He manages to make this all look planned. Mom pulled him through! The judges love it, with Steven telling him it was extraordinary. Reed thinks he performed well and hopes it was well enough. Ryan loves his excitement.

Skylar Laine, 17, of Brandon, MS, started getting sick every ten minutes at 4 AM. She went to the hospital and they gave her some fluids. She wants to go out and just suck it up the best she can, saying it’s only a minute. She sings You Lie, and you would never guess she was getting fluids a few hours ago. J-Lo leans over to Steven and tells him Skylar reminds her of Reba. High praise. Steven tells her it was one of the best performances he’s seen all day, from top to bottom.

Rachelle Lamb, 26, in construction in Mountain View, MO, auditioned with her daughter in tow, and was onstage this morning singing with Steven and Randy in the jam sessions at the beginning of the day. She sings The House That Built Me, and screws up the lyrics, asking to start over. She gets it this time. She’d be making daughter Maddy proud.

New dad Adam Brock, 27, a creative arts director from Washington, PA, remarks it’s time for the show to have “some white chocolate up here.” He sings Georgia On My MInd, and is challenging Creighton for the title. Randy asks what the significance is of the hankie out of his back pocket. Adam explains it was his grandpa’s. He was his biggest fan and passed away during a run of Adam’s shows. His mom gave it to him, and he’s had it in his pocket every run of the audition process. He also notes Steven used it in the jam session to wipe his brow, so it’s doubly lucky for him now.

The contestants are waiting in separate rooms, waiting for the decision of the judges. They deliberate and come to a decision as everyone is split into four rooms. Room number one has Creighton, Jen, Erica, and Hallie. Umm. They’re safe. Have to be. Room 2 is Phillip, Adam, Skylar, and Shannon. Wait, they have to be safe too. Room 3 is Rachelle, Brittany Kerr, Jennifer Walsh, and Jairon Jackson. Hmm. Not safe. Room 4 holds Stephanie Rene, Baylie Brown, Brittany Kellogg, and Angle Zeiderman. Umm, not safe either.

The judges head to Room 1 first. Randy explains it’s where they lose a lot of people they love. and Steven echoes it being a rough day the day before, meaning group round. But they all make it through! Yeah, that was an obvious one. Jermaine Jones, Lauren Gray, and Joshua Ledet are in this room as well.

Room 3 is worried to hear the others celebrating. Rachelle is wondering if it was smart to sing with Steven in the jam session, as it strained her voice. Sarah Phillips has lost her confidence as well. Madison Shandley is getting more and more upset. She can’t handle the others being giddy. Rachelle belches, and it leads to an argument between her and Madison about not being serious enough.

Room 2 hears that they’re going through. Reed, Phillip, Shannon, Skylar, and Jessica Phillips are in this room, and all are obviously thrilled.

Back in Room 3, Rachelle and Brittany are still arguing. One guy can’t believe it’s all over a belch. The judges enter the room, and Randy tells them it’s the most talent they’ve seen in all the years of the show, and it’s the end of the road for them. Steven tells them about getting booed off the stage when he first started out, and questions how hard it would be to work on what they have and come back next year.

It’s quiet and tense in Room 4. They can hear the judges discussing who will deliver the news. HeeJun and Richie are both in this group. Randy wants to put then through their misery. They all make it to the next round. Baylie Brown, Gabi Carrubba, HeeJun, Angie, and Brittany Kellogg all get through. HeeJun is enjoying getting hugs from the ladies. Rooms 1, 2, and 4 celebrate together.

They’re all moving on to Las Vegas where they will perform one last time before the decision of who makes it to the live performances. Randy was on Live! With Kelly this week saying he thinks it’s a girl’s year to win it, and although they say it every year, this time he thinks it really is. I’m still seeing a guy’s year though. I think they’re stronger. I think they just say that hoping we’ll fall for it and start voting that way.

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