“American Idol” Surprises with Kenz Hall, Austin Wolfe Cuts

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After enduring years of criticism for “pimping” certain contestants during the audition and Hollywood rounds, “American Idol” demonstrated a commitment to equity this year.

Most of the fifteen girls and fifteen guys (voters selected Ben Briley over Neco Starr for the final slot on the male side) who advanced to the semifinals portion of the competition received ample exposure, and very few came off as the producers’ “chosen ones.”

In a testament to the depth of that commitment, one of the few who did seem like a producer favorite and lock to make the finals did not even receive the chance to perform in Tuesday’s live semifinal.

Kenz Hall, the seventeen-year-old Utah native who seemed tailor made for the “Idol” stage, was one of the five female singers cut by the judges during Tuesday’s broadcast.

Like fellow contestants Austin Wolfe, Jillian Jensen, Andrina Brogden and Brandy Neelly (none of whom was unfamiliar to “Idol” viewers ahead of the episode), Hall was forced to sit on the sidelines while the ten other female contestants competed for a spot in the finals. Like those contestants, Hall will head home absent an opportunity to sing for America’s vote.

After performing Tuesday, the ten remaining women–Majesty Rose, Kristen O’Connor, Briana Oakley, Jena Irene, Bria Anai, Marrialle Sellars, Jessica Meuse, Emily Piriz, MK Nobilette and Malaya Watson–now place their dreams in the hands of the voters. Five will advance based on America’s vote; the others will be eligible for one of the three wildcard positions.

  • Koalabear

    I’m confused. Where was the equity in not choosing some of the best talent for the top 10?

    • Brian Cantor

      I completely agree with you in the sense that some of these contestants (Kenz, Austin and Andrina in particular) would have been great additions to the top ten.

      The point being made in the article, however, is that the show, thus far, has not gone overboard telling you who it wants to win (which has also added a layer of predictability to these past few rounds of results). Kenz Hall and Savion Wright seemed positioned as frontrunners during the auditions/early Hollywood rounds, and neither is remaining in the competition.

      • Koalabear

        I watched my recording again a few times and saw exactly why those contestants were chosen to leave, though I disagree with the format in which it was done. Idol made the mistake of not showing enough of their last performances. If they had made the point of showing why those five were chosen to leave, there might have been less outrage. In particular, after watching Kenz Hall perform Elton John’s song, I agree it was not a good performance for her. It was likely the correct decision by Idol but the wrong way to go about it.

  • Adam Devaney

    How can they tell a contestant “You’ve made it! your in the top 15!” have them practice there song with the mentors and such. then wait for the big show and tell them, well just kidding actually you didn’t make it at all, we really only wanted 10. not cool. . .

    • Ashley

      They did mention though that they were picking the 10 to perform based off of their rehearsal for the night…so some may have not been ready or messed up.

  • goldenoldy1

    Holy Cow! I can’t imagine those 5 girls would have done a worse job than some of the 10 we saw last night! So bad…