It's "Solo Day" at "American Idol," which means those lucky contestants who made it through the group auditions still have one more hurdle to go. With the judges harsher than ever (here's lookin' at you, Nicki), tensions are running high and no one is safe. So who made it through? And who cracked under the pressure?
Paul Jolley is all nerves when he takes to the stage. Nearing tears, he stumbles through his introduction, confessing to the judges how anxious he is. He still manages to wail his tune out with confidence, but Nicki is not impressed with his show of emotions. She tells him that she's irritated with his lack of professionalism and defeated attitude, and Paul leaves the stage even more of a nervous wreck than before. Luckily. his talent saves him from the wrath of Minaj and he goes forward in the competition.
Devin Velez is feeling stress-free before his audition, and apparently with good reason. His rendition of "What a Wonderful Word" leaves all of the judges smiling and Keith tells him that he was "born to sing." Naturally, he makes it to the next round.
Lazaro Arbos and Curtis Finch Jr. both soar through their auditions with ease and the judges put them through without hesitation. Gurpreet Singh and Cortez Shaw also impress the judges with their unique performances and join them on the other side.
Matheus Fernandes introduces his song on an emotional note, dedicating "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson to all the people who brought him down in his past. His performance is passionate, but slightly disconnected and the judges don't love it. Nicki tells Matheus that he's been milking his height and looking for a pity party, when all the judges care about is his talent. While there may be some validity to her statement, it seems a bit overly harsh, and Matheus leaves the stage crushed. Unfortunately, it's the end of the road for Matheus and "Stronger" is his final performance.
Matheus isn't the only hopeful sent home. Nicholas Mathis, who auditioned for "Idol" in the hopes of giving his children a better life, is devastated when he is not passed through to the next round. Papa Peachez is also sent packing after his rendition of "You and I" leaves Nicki disappointed. She hates the song choice and tells him that "his flame is completely burnt out."
But it's not bad news for everyone. Nick Boddington impresses the judges with his amazing range and keyboard skills. Charlie Askew's "Somebody That I Used To Know" leaves Nicki obsessed, telling him "today you became an artist in my eyes". Unsurprisingly, both are sent through.
Micah Johnson ends the night with a smooth performance of "I Told You So" by Randy Travis. The judges love him, but they don't think he did enough with the song, making Micah the final elimination of the evening.
The contestants who have made it through rejoice over their success until Ryan Seacrest breaks the news to them: There is only room for 20 males and right now they have 28 ... 8 more will be sent home next week.
Tune in to see who's sent packing when "American Idol" airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.