‘American Idol’ Hollywood Week continues on Night 7 of Season 18 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

The second of three episodes of “American Idol” showcasing Hollywood Week airs on March 22. Over the course of the three episodes devoted to Hollywood Week (the others aired last Sunday and this Monday) the contestants sing in three rounds: lines of 10, groups, and solos. The judges will winnow the list down to just 40 who will sing in a showcase set to air on Sunday, March 29.

Those contenders will be culled down to just half that number and that Top 20 will be judged on both solo performances and celebrity duets over the course of three episodes. Once the live playoffs of “American Idol” season 18 begin, you will be able to predict the outcome of each episode in our predictions center.

Below, follow along with all the action on the Night 7 episode of “American Idol.”

8:00 p.m. — Hollywood week continues on Season 18 of “American Idol” and just when you think you know what’s going to happen, something happens that you could have never expected. Those that survived the genre challenge now think the dreaded Group Round is next, but the judges are about to throw them a curve ball. For the first time in history, the contestants are asked to join forces for some Hollywood duets. Both may make it through or cut at the same time. In some cases, one may advance while their partner is sent home. Let’s get started!

8:10 p.m. — Up first are would-be rivals who have decided to team up — Louis Knight and Francisco Martin. They’re singing “Break Even” and Louis kicks things off without a hitch. Francisco has problems with his confidence and keeps forgetting the lyrics. Although both sounded okay, Louis definitely shined brighter. Katy tells Francisco not to show defeat on stage if he makes a mistake. Lionel tells them that they’re born enough and should have confidence. After the judges deliberate, they decide both Louis and Francisco will advance to the next round.

8:15 p.m. — The duets continue with Franklin Boone and Jordan Moyes teaming up on “Use Somebody.” We only see a brief clip of them singing before Katy announces that only Franklin is moving forward and Jordan has been eliminated. In more clips we see Natalie Jane and Marcus Tinsley teaming up as well as Mollie Isaacs and Lauren Jean. We see a longer performance from Lauren Mascitti and Leon Majcen who nail an old-school country cover. Unfortunately, Leon was cut after this duet while Mascitti moves ahead. Next is Cameron Havens and Ren Patrick singing “Shallow.” Ren absolutely destroyed Cameron vocally, yet she was the one booted while Cameron moves on! For another country duo Hannah Prestridge and Grace Leer team up for a sassy performance where Grace rises to the occasion and moves on, but Hannah is sadly cut from the competition.

8:25 p.m.Jimmy Levy and Nick Merico team up for a heartfelt ballad where Nick appears to outshine him vocally, but the coaches enjoyed it enough to move both forward. Next, Isa Pena and Olivia Ximines give the judges chills with their diva duet and both move on after a standing ovation.

8:35 p.m. — The clips of duets are airing quickly and our next glimpse is the pairing of Michael Wingate and Demi Rae. No results just yet! We also see our first scuffle developing between Peyton Aladridge and Madison Paige. Madison couldn’t find Peyton in the lobby so she chose their song “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by herself. She was finally able to track him down when she discovered he was up in his room eating chicken wings that he found at a nearby store. After practicing a while, things seemed to improve but at the last second, Peyton decided he wanted to play his guitar for the performance even though they had gone through soundcheck with piano. To make things worse, Peyton forgot some of the lyrics on stage but Madison maintained focused and sang great. Following the performance, Peyton apologized to Madison and his family while begging the judges to give her another chance. After all the drama, the judges decide both will move on.

8:50 p.m. — Things pick up quickly with Jordan Jones and DeWayne Crocker, Jr. jamming out with a smooth duet that advances both of them following a standing ovation. Next we see an odd pairing of Zack Dobbins and Courtney Timmons who decide to sing “Higher Love” by Whitney Houston but then change direction with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and then “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. This pairing has been difficult because their voices are so different and they pulled an all-nighter figuring out their song choice. Zack has trouble remembering the song lyrics and appears completely disconnected from the performance. Courtney sounds okay but also looks like a zombie on stage and this duet is unraveling before our eyes. It’s a disaster. Lionel says as an entertainer you can never give up on stage even if you have to fake it. Both are cut from the competition.

9:15 p.m. — The next duet is getting a little steamy with Aliana Jester and YZThasinger getting flirtatious backstage, but Aliana is adamant nothing is going on and she has boyfriend back home. Regardless, the chemistry pays off and both advance to the next round. Next, Faith Bechnel and Jovin Webb form a Louisiana connection and perform a blistering rendition of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” They’ll both move on as well. Landen Starkman and Perrin York are the next duo to both move forward after showing the importance of onstage chemistry. Next up is Genavieve Linkowski and Travis Finlay — and this is an emotional time for Genavieve who lost her sister in a car accident a year ago. They sound beautiful singing “The Prayer,” inspiring another standing ovation from the judges and they sail to the next round.

9:30 p.m. — Duets continue with Jeb Vonderbrugge and Alyssa Fair on stage where unfortunately Alyssa is cut but Jeb moves forward. Up next a familiar duo, Kat Lopez and Alex Garrido sing. It was an easy choice for these two since they auditioned together but this couple gets separated when Kat moves forward but Alex is cut. Another love connection that started this journey together, Margie Mays and her boyfriend Jonny West, is the next duet. Jonny is having trouble dealing with the pressure but Margie has been through this before. Following their performance Katy suggests they give each other some space during this process to focus on their individual goals, but they’re both BARELY moving through.

9:45 p.m. — Next up are two powerhouses hoping to create magic. Makayla Phillips and Cyniah Elise struggled with song choice at first, but after Cyniah taught Makayla the lyrics to “The Prayer,” they were able to come together for a diva show. It was a standing ovation for these two and they’re easily into the next round. Other powerful voices to advance included duet partners Elyjuh Rene and Kimmy Gabriella as well as folk/rock duo Evan Kuriga and Dillon James. Lauren Spencer-Smith and Makayla Brownlee nailed their duet as well so they can prepare for the next round.

9:59 p.m. — One duet that should have been made in heaven was Robert Taylor and Tito Rey. These two hit it off instantly when they became roommates during Hollywood week and it was a no-brainer for them to conquer this round together. Unfortunately neither one of these two could hold a note for more than a millisecond and there is no connection to the lyrics at all. Vocal gymnastics in overdrive with zero emotion. I hated it. Lionel did too. Tito has been eliminated, but Robert will move forward. The last duet of the night will be Just Sam and Sheniel Maisonet. They had trouble coming up with the proper arrangement and Just Sam ended up breaking down and needs a break. After a pep talk from Sheniel, Just Sam is ready to hit the ground running, but her anxiety keeps creeping back in. Finally they take the stage and both rise to the occasion. The judges pass both through with flying colors, although admit Sam is the one they couldn’t take their eyes off of. That’s a wrap for Night 2 of Hollywood week!

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