There have never been more Latinos on American Idol! Of the 168 contestants who competed in last night’s “Group Day” episode, 10 were Latinos — and by the end of the night, when the field had been narrowed to 100, six Latinos made it through to the next round of Hollywood Week. Here’s how it went down:
It was the end of the road last night for several Latino contestants, including:
Tiffany Rios: The 21-year-old Puerto Rican contestant was eliminated last night after performing a painful duet with contestant Jessica Yantz. Tiffany was the star of last night’s episode for all the wrong reasons—she performed with only one person because no one wanted her to be a part of their group. At one point, she grabbed a microphone and announced that she was “tired of seeing people try to do what I know I can.”
Kevin Campos: A member of the all-Latino group, Spanglish, Kevin not only overslept and almost missed his group’s performance (he was woken up in his hotel room by an Idol camera crew at the last minute), but when he did make it to the stage, his vocals were as lethargic as his attitude.
Jorge Gabriel: It was obvious Steven Tyler wasn’t feeling contestant Jorge Gabriel when he called him “George” instead of his actual name: “Jorge.” Ouch!
Aaaron Gutierrez: In one of the more surprising eliminations of the night, Aaron Gutierrez was also sent home. He made it to Hollywood after singing a pitch-perfect duet with his brother Mark Gutierrez that won unanimous praise from the judges.
Who Made it Through:
Several Latinos made it through to the next round, including:
Monique de los Santos: Last night, we met contestant Monique de los Santos for the first time, and boy was she good! A power singer with a penchant for R & B, she’s got the big voice that makes Idol contestants go far in the competition, and kind of reminds us of Jasmine V.
Karen Rodriguez: The 21-year-old contestant from New York was one of the lucky few chosen from Myspace to audition for AI. Karen—who says she wants to be the first Latina American Idol winner—more than proved she deserved to be in Hollywood last night.
Mark Gutierrez: His brother Aaron didn’t make it through, but Mark Gutierrez from California is moving on to the next round!
Chris Medina: 26-year-old Chris Medina, whose fiancé suffered a traumatic brain injury just two months before they were to marry, impressed the judges once again last night, and was put through to the next round.
Julie Zorilla: The 20-year-old Los Angeles, California resident—whose parents fled Colombia to escape guerilla warfare—doesn’t have the biggest voice in the competition, but there’s no denying she’s got plenty of star quality! After J.Lo complimented her shoes during her L.A. audition, Zorilla wore a gorgeous dress for her group performance, complete with sophisticated pearls.
Jovanny Barretto: The 23-year-old Cuban contestant blew the judges away with a cover of Luis Miguel’s ballad, "Contigo en la Distancia,” during his solo audition, and even though he wasn’t great during last night’s group performance, the judges put him through based on past performance.
There’s no telling if any of these Latin contestants will make it in to the top 12, but with so many of us competing to become the next American Idol, we're loving our chances!