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5 Utahns survive Hollywood group round on 'American Idol'

Published: Friday, Feb. 7 2014 2:55 p.m. MST

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. judge "American Idol" contestants during Hollywood Week.

Fox

"American Idol" has narrowed its search down to 77 singers after this week's group round. The judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., sent home more than half of the 212 contestants during Hollywood Week, which is notorious for its stressful, late-night rehearsals.

Despite a massive number of eliminations, five Utahns will be moving on to the next round of the competition.

On Wednesday's episode, 52 contestants were asked to give one more audition immediately after getting off the plane before they could advance to the Hollywood rounds. The impromptu performances — a first in "Idol" history — eventually whittled the group down to 180 singers.

The competition shifted to Hollywood's famous Dolby Theater, where the remaining singers each gave individual performances before the judging panel, after which the group was trimmed to 104. Those who survived were asked to form small groups and prepare an ensemble number to present the next day.

After the dust had settled on the group round, these five Utah contestants found themselves moving on to the next round:

  • Austin Wolfe (Park City)
  • Jocelyn Baker (Salem)
  • Kenzie Hall (Draper)
  • Sabrina Haskett (Highland)
  • Tessa Norman (Lindon)

Hall's solo audition was featured on Wednesday night's show. She performed an acoustic version of "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, much to the approval of the judges.

"When I’m on stage and I have my guitar, all of the anxiety goes away, and that’s where I’m most confident and most comfortable," Hall told Fox 13 News in an interview last week.

Haskett has kept her fans updated through her Facebook fan page. "I was sooo lucky to work with the best group in Hollywood!!" she posted, along with a picture of her group, which included fellow Utah native Tessa Norman. "We had fun & all became close friends in 1 night!!"

Utah's Paisley Van Patten, Anna Kaelin, Emily Rottler and Kylee Adamson did not make the cut in Thursday night's episode and were eliminated from the competition.

Despite being sent home Thursday, the young musicians are maintaining a positive attitude about their time on the show. "I could go on for hours of how truly grateful I am for all the love and support," Van Patten posted on her social media pages. "It's been the coolest experience of my life!"

The five remaining Utah contestants will compete for a spot in the top 30 when Season 13 of "American Idol" continues next Wednesday and Thursday night on Fox.

Email: achristensen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: atownmania

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