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‘American Idol’ Recap: Ladies Sing it Out in Hollywood

'American Idol' Judges
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

On tonight’s installment of ‘American Idol’ Season 12 (Feb. 13), the ladies gave it their all as Hollywood week continued. With 162 female contestants, there were far more girls than guys, meaning that the judges were forced to make some massive cuts. The episode was an undeniable roller coaster, chock full of drama, tension and embarrassing moments – and, of course, a few gems thrown in as well.

“I would love for it [the winner] to be a girl this year!” said ‘Idol’ judge Keith Urban. Read on to find out what happened in tonight’s exciting ep.

First, the contestants came out in lines and sang a capella before the judges. Country girls Rachel Hale and Janelle Arthur were clear standouts. “She’s so relatable, she has that thing…something I can’t explain,” Nicki Minaj commented to Urban during Hale’s performance. “She has that Taylor Swift sweetness that girls are gonna love.”

The memorable Kez Ban was battling a cold and her voice was shot, but the judges still sent her on, along with Briana Oakley and several others.

Then came the group rounds – and much like what the guys went through last week, the girls weren’t allowed to choose their own groups. For some, it was smooth sailing and for others, it was a true test of patience. Many strong personalities clashed and a staggering number of singers forgot the words to the songs they chose, despite the lyrics being written on their hands. “The girls are giving the phrase ‘talk to the hand’ a whole new meaning,” joked ‘Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest.

There were also a lot of repeat songs tonight: three teams performed Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know,’ while two others decided to cover the Dixie Chicks’ ‘Sin Wagon.’ A little more variety would have been nice, but what can you do?

The Swagettes, featuring Candice Glover, took the stage to sing Blu Cantrell’s ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style.’ Their delivery greatly impressed the judges, and all four contestants were sent on to the next round. Check out the video of their performance below.

Almost Famous – one of the groups who sang Gotye’s hit single – was a disappointment overall, although Daysia Hall was allowed to move on while her other teammates were sent home. Savannah Votion was extremely bitter about the judges’ final decision, claiming that she was the one who firmed up their harmonies and pulled the whole thing together.

Cristabel Clack and her group the Dramatics chose their name wisely. The girls gelled well at the beginning, but tension crept in over time and carried into their onstage performance. Amazingly enough, their shaky delivery of the Band Perry’s ‘If I Die Young’ earned a standing O from Minaj at the end. “You know, I enjoyed you guys messing up the words more than I enjoyed any other performance today,” she said. But Urban was quick to disagree, saying, “Wow, I had an almost complete opposite reaction to that song.” After much debate by the judges, all four of them were sent on to the next round, making it a surprising success.

You might remember Seretha Guinn, who had previously captured the judges’ hearts during her audition alongside her adorable three-year-old daughter, London. Her luck ran out tonight, though – everyone else in her group got the green light, but she was sent home.

The funky and ever-spirited Zoanette Johnson had a rough time during her group rehearsal, but she wound up moving on after her team the Pooh Snaps performed ‘Knock on Wood.’

The episode finished with a bang when the Misfits took the stage. Kez Ban stopped at nothing to convince her teammates to perform ‘California Dreamin,’ but the group ultimately went in a different direction – and that was probably for the best. Kez Ban, Angela Miller, Breanna Steer and Janelle Arthur wowed the panelists with their rendition of ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes and received a well-deserved standing ovation from Minaj. “Your voices…perfection. I loved your voices,” she praised. “And Janelle … you’re just a star to me … And Kez Ban, of course, you know, you’re a crazy psycho and I love that.” Needless to say, they all got a unanimous “yes!” from the judges and were ushered through to the next leg of the competition.

Be sure to tune in to ‘American Idol’ tomorrow night (Feb. 14) for the girls’ solo round!

Next: Get the Latest 'American Idol' News

Watch the Swagettes Perform ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style’ in Hollywood Week

Watch the Pooh Snaps Perform ‘Knock on Wood’ in Hollywood Week

Watch the Misfits Perform ‘Be My Baby’ in Hollywood Week

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