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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Top 10 To Watch For In Hollywood

So as we head into what has been promised to be the wildest Hollywood Week ever (WOO HOO!) tonight, here are my Top 10 Ones to Watch.

Of course, it’s always important to remember that seeing someone during the auditions does not guarantee we will see them during Hollywood. And we’ll no doubt be seeing plenty of people in Hollywood we didn’t see in the audition rounds.

Here are the ones I will be scanning crowds for in order of how badly I want to see them…

10) (Tie) Phillip Phillips (“Superstition”/“Thriller”), 21, Leesburg, GA

We met Phillip in Savannah where he wowed me with his acoustic rendition of “Thriller” with his guitar.

Ashley Robles (“I Will Always Love You”), 26, San Diego

Ashley is the single mom that showed true guts by belting out the best parts of “Always” for the judges in San Diego.

9) Kyle Crews (“Angel of Mine”), 19, San Diego

I was sure when Kyle walked into the San Diego audition room and announced he was singing this Monica song that he was going to be terrible. But it was far from it.

8) Devan Jones (“The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”), 27, Aurora, CO

Devan totally wowed me with an R&B version of this song by The Script in Aspen. I love it when contestants pull out songs no one else would think of.

7) Lauren Gray (“One and Only”), 23, Hardy, AZ

Lauren wowed the judges in St. Louis with this Adele song—whether JLo wanted to hear it or not.

6) Ramiro Garcia (“Amazing Grace”), 28, Houston

I’m still trying to fathom how Houston auditioner Ramiro got to where he is being born without ears. It’s pretty inspirational. And his voice is amazing.

5) Ethan Jones (“I’ll

Be”), 22, Granite City, IL

Ethan is probably best remembered for bleeding through his audition in St. Louis. But I remember him for his beautiful rendition of “I’ll Be.” Ethan is also the contestant who told the story of his father in rehab that touched Steven.

4) Brittany Zika (“The Story of My Life”), 21, Orange County, CA

I am hoping for nothing but good things for Tripster the Hipster, who we met in Portland.

3) Reed Grimm (“Theme From Family Matters”), 26, Ellsworth, WI

I really want to see what this guy, who we met in Pittsburgh, does next. I think he could be the next Blake Lewis. And yes, we do need one of those.

2) Johnny Keyser (“Change Is Gonna Come”), 23, St. Louis

Those of you who have been doing this with me for a while know that I’m a sucker for young, good-looking guys. And if they can sing like St. Louis auditioner Johnny? Well, that just seals the deal for me. This was my favorite audition from the ones they screened for the media before the season and is still my favorite after seeing all the auditions. Johnny would be my number one, if not for one person…

1) Chase Likens (“Love Don’t Live Here”), 20, Point Pleasant

In all the years I’ve been doing this, there has never been a local contestant who got past Hollywood. I would LOVE for this to be the year. I’ve never heard Chase sing (other than the small blip we got during his audition), but I’ve seen him act and that was pretty impressive. Chase definitely got more camera time in Pittsburgh this year than he got during his audition last year. And I caught a glimpse of him in the Hollywood preview. But remember what I said at the beginning. More camera time may mean nothing. I’m hoping in this case, it does mean something.

So what do you guys think? Who did I leave off the list that you’ll be looking for?

Photos Credit: Michael Becker/FOX