Episode Recap: Hollywood Week, Part One

Finally we've reached Hollywood week; the make it or break it time where 147 wannabes are whittled down to 36. Whose dreams will be shattered and who will make it through to another week?

Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? I wonder if the Idol wannabes feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman right now (not the hooker part, but the wide-eyed wonder of getting star treatment for a week). I hope they lap up every moment of this experience because for some, it may be a one-time deal.

Side note: I hope you all stayed away from a certain spoiler site that may have given away the top 36. Personally, I prefer to watch the actual episode so I can really feel all the pain and agony - or joy and bliss right along with the contestants.

As the episode begins, Simon decides to scare the crap out of the Idol wannabes saying that they only have one shot today, and it's the most important day of their lives. Contestants, feel free to change your pants now.

Ryan tells us that, for the first time ever, they have put the Hollywood-ers through an American Idol boot camp. There, the wannabes get made over by stylists and much more importantly, they got help from vocal coaches (it's about time they did that)! To really get the kids freaked - er, psyched - they bring out Barry Manilow on to "mentor" them. Really, he just gives them a big ol' pep talk, but still, that's probably the coolest thing the contestants have ever experienced.

Ryan then explains how the first part of the auditions works: Contestants will come out on stage in groups of eight, and each one will step forward and sing whatever they want - a capella. After everyone performs, they ask one group to step forward and the other to hang back. One of those groups will advance and the other will go home immediately. Ouch!

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