‘American Idol’ Begins ‘Hollywood Week': Hannah Prestridge + More — But Not ‘Garbage Man Doug’ — Advance
American Idol began its Season 18 "Hollywood Week" on Monday night (March 16), and while plenty of hopefuls made it through, one particularly beloved contestant did not: 27-year-old Doug Kiker, a garbage man from Mobile, Ala.
Kiker performed Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," part of a group of soul singers, after sharing how nervous he was and how much he missed his wife and young daughter. He was so nervous, in fact, that he began singing the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" at first!
Kiker was part of the night's final round of the newly instituted Genre Challenge, for which each singer had to pick a genre in which to compete. Paired up in groups by genre, the contestants each sang a bit, then waited to learn their fate and that of the rest of the performers in their group.
While Kiker did not make it through to the next portion of "Hollywood Week," judge Luke Bryan's favorite, 18-year-old Francisco Martin did advance, as part of a singer-songwriter group. Despite nerves, his rendition of James Bay's "Hold Back the River" led judge Katy Perry to declare him a Top 10 contestant.
"Spiritual cowboy" Dillon James, also part of the singer-songwriter group, advanced as well, thanks to a cover of Billy Joel's "Vienna." The 28-year-old is an actor who has been in recovery for addiction for more than two years.
Also advancing to the next portion of "Hollywood Week" are 27-year-old Nashville resident Lauren Mascitti, who is engaged to songwriter Shawn Camp; 24-year-old Texan Hannah Prestridge, who beat addiction and auditioned originally with her husband and country duo partner; and 27-year-old Grace Leer, a former American Juniors contestant who was moved to tears by Bryan's approval during her initial audition. Notably absent was Zack Dobbins, a 19-year-old West Virginia native.
American Idol is abandoning its usual "Hollywood Week" format during Season 18. For its second round of cuts, contestants will pair up with partners and work together to select, arrange and perform a song; while singers will have the freedom to choose their pairings, the format pits them against their partner. The third "Hollywood Week" round will remain the way it has been in years past, focusing on solo performances. This round will also bring a full band into the mix for each contestant's performance.
American Idol's "Hollywood Week" will continue on Sunday and Monday (March 22-23). The show airs on ABC at 8PM ET.
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