American Idol Episode Recap: "Hollywood Week, Round 1"

It's been a grueling (and often annoying) audition tour, but American Idol has finally made it to Hollywood week. So everything's going to be better, right? Guess again. The night's big positive, however, was Ellen DeGeneres, who made her debut at the judging table. How did she do, and which singers are still in the competition after the first round of hell week? Plus: How was Paula Abdul's presence felt on the show? Let's find out.

Let me begin by saying that I've been cynical since the moment DeGeneres announced that she had been picked to replace Paula Abdul. While I haven't seen enough of her to really make an assessment (thanks, editors!), I will say that she's not only cracking jokes, my major concern after her one-off judging gig on So You Think You Can Dance. "I do know what its like to stand on stage and try to please a bunch of people," Ellen says before Day 1 begins. "It's a hard thing to do."

So, let's examine those who pleased us tonight, and those who were even more annoying than Kara. I'll be breaking the groups down by who stayed in the competition, and who was sent home crying. (BTW, these selections are all sponsored by Vitamin Water. Did you notice the judges' new drinks? Goodbye huge red Coca-Cola cups!)

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