American Idol
Hollywood Season Seven

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Two! "Full"! Hours!

Two full hours, two full hours. They keep saying it and it keeps not sinking in. I get the "two hours" part but the "full" part seems almost heartbreakingly earnest. Speaking of: 164 hopefuls made it to Hollywood. 166, if you include you and me.

I live for this part, you know I do. It's the one part of this process that makes sense to me, and I love also the way that the little groups get so weird and frisky with each other, because it's the one part of the competition that's not competitive: if we all work together we'll all get through this. And none of them ever figure this very simple thing out, and start with the backbiting and drinking and going crazy immediately. It's like if you and your friend went to jail for a drunk and disorderly, and within fifteen minutes started making out like you were on Oz -- and then made bail like an hour later, and just kind of had to deal with that for the rest of your life. I love it.

Shockingly, this is the most talented group of contestants ever, so they're changing the rules in some strange way where nobody gets cut and everybody goes twice, so maybe this is what the two full hours is for and we'll just see the same things twice. See: Brooke White (Philadelphia), who doesn't watch R-rated movies. She tells us that her biggest obstacle is confidence, or the lack of having it, especially now that she's seen how talented everybody else is. They wheel out a big keyboard (Two! Full! Hours!) so she can accompany herself singing "Beautiful," a song I don't recognize about getting up in the AM with a smile on your face and love in your heart. Gross me out, a little bit. But she goes to town on the piano part and her hair is very wild and attractive. Simon compares her to Carly Simon and upgrades to Carole King, and all three judges love her. She's quite smiley. Apparently she's going through to the final day of Hollywood and doesn't have to freak out for awhile.

Lorena (Miami) is showy and "uncomfortable" per Simon like your drunk mom. Amy Flynn (Charleston) looks kind of hellish in her shiny fuchsia dress, with a crazy fish mouth and a stupid Mikalah Gordon act that fools nobody, especially not Simon. Joe R's boyfriend Leo (Omaha) sings the Robin Hood song and is still...confusing in some ways, not to mention how he's singing the Robin Hood song. His hair looks just about perfect, which makes the werewolf ears and frightful teeth really stand out a lot more. However, I can see why he's loveable, and I am on that train. Am I believing that everything he does, he does it for me? Not exactly. I am willing to concede that possibly he does most things for cookies, or for a hug from his social worker, but I remain unconvinced that I, personally, figure into his plans. Possibly everything he does, he does for Joe R. I can believe that because there is no limit to the ways that I personally would inconvenience myself on Joe's behalf, because I love him very much, and so Leo's devotion to him does not even flick my bullshit radar; nevertheless I am driven by the performance to maintain the belief that Leo remains intransigently so-so about me personally. Simon offers the position that everything Leo does, he does it to get on Simon's nerves. Leo runs offstage to cry, and we talk to dumb old Amy Flynn some more. Everything I do, I do it over Amy Flynn's head.

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American Idol

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