‘American Idol XIII’ review: Casey Trasher, Savion Wright shine; Jess Meuse gets lost

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The logo -American Idol” is now here with Hollywood Week! That is good news, but mostly just because we are closer to the live shows. As a general rule, this is the part of the competition that drives us up the wall. We don’t really like the complicated backstories of hundreds of people, or trying to remember everyone and when / where they auditioned.

Thanks to this and trying to review in real time, we’re focusing mostly on the contestants who shined during the individual performances, and then a few little notes from the start of the dreaded group night.

Munfarid Zaidi – It’s the King of the Cradle again! The funny thing is that while we get that he is total comic relief at the moment, he is a good singer with a lot of charisma. He’s just got to figure out how to channel that better.

Casey Trasher – One of the better country singers that we have seen in the past year or two, mostly because he has such an emotion and a soul to his voice.

Ethan Thompson – A very nice, distinctive voice. There is still an issue of standing out here that needs to be worked on, but at least Ethan is making some moves in the right direction.

Emmanuel Zidor – Love the cool name, and also love that he seems to have a sense of what his sound is already.

Briana Oakley – This is the part of the competition where some of the returning contestants do have an advantage over the newbies, mostly because they have dealt with the stress of this competition before. Briana is great!

Dexter Roberts – He’s almost so country that it’s ridiculous, but we can’t help but like his personality … and his whole getting Keith Urban to play his guitar.

Kenzie Hall – We haven’t seen a ton of Kenzie in Hollywood Week, but we do still definitely like her.

Brandy Neelly – Another returning contestant, and another singer who has a chance at getting into the live rounds this year thanks to their experience.

Malaya Watson – She could go either way. The talent is there, but she is still a little bit green for this competition.

Savion Wright – Easily, the winner of the tearducts award. Most of these sad stories don’t really get to us, but this guy’s brother died only two and a half weeks before his performance. That is insane, to say the least. A stunning moment.

As for the group round, the big thing worth mentioning here is the word “chaos”. There was fighting over dancing, someone who really didn’t seem to care about their groups at all, and Jess Meuse running around lost and desperately hoping to find someone to work with after her first group fell apart. Also, why do people keep singing “I Want You Back,” since no one ever remembers the lyrics of it?

We’re never going to love Hollywood Week and all of the stress associated with it, mostly because it’s so much of a pressure-cooker that you can’t see anyone at their best. But, at least the show did the right thing tonight in trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. Grade: B-.

Who were your favorites for the first part of Hollywood Week? Share your thoughts below, and click here to read some more highlights from “American Idol” this season. You can also sign up to get some more TV news worth singing about via our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: Fox

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