Barely 20 minutes into Thursday’s live showing of Fox’s hit TV show, 18-year-old Hollie Cavanagh found out she’d made it through to next week.
Cavanagh, a 2011 McKinney Boyd graduate, was in the first group of girls to learn their fate on American Idol. Host Ryan Seacrest told the group that two of them had been voted through to the top 10 by viewers. The first two in her group were told they didn’t make it, so Hollie and Jessica, the remaining two, embraced.
There were 25 contestants — 12 girls, 13 boys — that survived a grueling number of months of tryouts to reach the live shows that started this week.
This week, voters determined the top five girls and top five boys that will advance to next week. The judges, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, were tasked with picking three of the ones who weren’t voted into the top 10 to give the show a final 13 contestants.
But Hollie didn’t have to wait in agony for the end of the two-hour program to see if the judges would save her. America made sure of that.
Hollie performed a Christina Aguilera song on Wednesday night and received praise from the judges.
“I told you last year that if you came back you could win this, and I still believe that,” Lopez said during Fox’s two-hour show. “You’re one of our strongest voices, one of our front-runners.”
Jackson said, “Hollie, you’ve been one of our favorites since we started the whole audition season.” Jackson echoed the other judges in saying, “It would have been nice to see you let go a little bit.” He also said she took on a difficult song by “trying to slay the biggest dragon” on the first night.
Tyler told Cavanagh, “You hit the notes so perfectly. … Just beautiful.”
Meanwhile, about 80 Cavanagh fans known as Hollie-pops gathered at The Pub in downtown McKinney to cheer on their hometown idol and watch her perform on the big screen. The TSB team, host of the event, provided each guest with with a Hollie-pop attached to instructions on how to vote.
For coverage of Wednesday’s event — including a photo gallery, click here.
And stay with TSB for Hollie Coverage — throughout American Idol!