We're starting off tonight with Harry airing one of his pet peeves to an auditorium full of contestants: people bitching about being sick before they sing. "This is show business… I don't care. Just suck it up." And the onscreen titles warn that with everybody being one performance away from the Top 30, it's "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Oooooh, Top 30!
After the credits, Ryan drops a couple of bombs. One is that the Top 15 guys and the Top 15 girls will be chosen this week, and the other is that the live shows start next week. Barely a month after the premiere? This season isn't wasting nearly as much time as it usually does.
In fact, we get rushed through a montage of the solo performances that have already taken place since the group round we saw last week. Some of them were sent home right away, but the rest will have to go -- one at a time -- through the harrowing ordeal of an elevator ride from the holding room to a nearly empty ballroom. There, the judges sit perched on director's chairs, across from another chair that will serve as the hot seat. Ryan polls the hopefuls on who wants to go first, but their responses are moot because the first person he calls up is Emily Piriz, 17. She's been pretty low-key from what we've seen of her so far, but now we see that yesterday she did a nice job on Grace Potter's "Stars" while playing keyboards… at least until the chorus, which got a little shaky. Still, the judges were impressed with her overall, including her look. Eventually she gets to clump to the hot seat on her too-high heels, where she answers Harry's query about her heritage (Cuban) before Jennifer starts to ease into the news that the guys don't always agree with her… but they did this time, so she's in the Top 15. As Emily returns to the elevator, Jennifer is glad to know there's a Latina in the mix. The name Piriz wasn't a clue?
Pretty-boy Spencer Lloyd Is the next to face the judges, and Jennifer says he started out as one of Hollywood Week's frontrunners. We flash back to his performance of "Say Something" back on Day 1 before fast-forwarding a bit to yesterday's solo round, where he did an original song that wasn't so great. It was like if Jason Mraz contributed a song to Free to Be… You and Me and only had twenty minutes to write it. Jennifer says they take everything into consideration, but their decision -- which Jennifer doesn't share until after the ads -- is that he's still in it. He will live to sandbag his competition another day.