Don't cry out loud - Harry Connick Jr.'s opening words must have made the contestants quite anxious.
American Idol is just about to get good – this week finally ends the auditions round and the final 30 are revealed. First-time judge Harry Connick Jr. opened with a sobering message to the remaining constestants – don’t cry out loud. Connick told Idol hopefuls to stay calm, only he put it differently: "This is show business… suck it up," he told them.
Harry Connick Jr. began by giving contestants some harsh, but honest advice.
Then he and his fellow judges proceeded to whittle down the contestants to the final lineup, which includes the show’s very first openly gay participant in the outspoken MK Nobilette. Took them long enough. Anyway, here are some highlights from the night. Emily Piriz kicked things off behind the piano with "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, which earned her cheers from the audience, as well as judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. Jillian Jensen, who might be familiar from her unsuccessful X Factor run, made it through auditions as well. Tuba player Malaya Watson provided some much needed quirkiness and also made the cut, as did Jess Meuse, beating Jesse Roach in a tense sing-off.
The judges were impressed with the overall talent pool.
When it comes to the guys, Spencer Lloyd, the singer dubbed a "pretty guy" by Lopez, is an easy frontrunner based on his soulful take on "Say Something" by A Great Big World. While his original didn’t fly with the judges, Lloyd made the top 15 guys none the less. So did Sam Wolf, who is young, good-looking, plays guitar and is bound to become this season’s resident heartthrob. Father of four Maurice Townsend made an unusual choice with Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. Changing the key was a smart choice for Townsend and in the end, he sailed through a moving performance. Some other notable auditions were those of Dexter Roberts, Alex Preston, Casey Abrams and Emmanuel Zidor. For a full lineup of this year’s Idol wannabes, head over to the talent show’s official website.