Ovations, heartbreaks and a curveball mark the start of Hollywood Week on 'American Idol'

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
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NEW YORK -- Round one of Hollywood Week ended with a standing ovation and a curveball.

The judges threw the curveball by announcing they would be pairing contestants for the Duets round (usually they pair-up on their own) on Monday night.

The standing ovation also came from the three judges as 21-year-old Willie Spence performed a jaw-dropping rendition of John Legend's "All of Me" for the Genre Challenge.

"I feel like God has given me a second chance to do what I do, and I'm so grateful to be here. I was born for this," he said.

The singer from Douglas, Georgia explained that he had moved back home from Hollywood after his mom suffered a stroke.

He advanced to the Duets round on Monday night on ABC.

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The singers were broken into 6 groups for the genre challenge - pop, rock, indie-folk, R&B, soul, and country.

New Jersey's Claudia Conway returned to the stage rocking a new hairdo and performing Bishop Briggs' "River" in the Pop genre to advance.

Conway, who brought along her famous dad to her audition, has her famous mom (Kellyanne Conway) by her side for Hollywood Week.

Grace Kinsler says she has struggled with self-confidence but did not show it on the Hollywood stage performing "10 seconds" by Jazmine Sullivan in the Soul genre to advance to the next round.

A rocky past year has inspired Chayce Beckham to pursue his dream.

"I hurt people that were close to me. A lot of ups and downs and a lot of hard times," he explained. "I've been trying to pull myself out of a place I didn't want to be in."

A bad accident proved to be the turning point.

Beckham performance of "Hard Times: in the Country genre lifted him to the next round.

Beane and Casey Bishop left it all on the stage during the Rock genre to advance to the Duets round.

Other singers advancing include Alyssa Ray, Ronda Felton, Laila Mach, Wyatt Pike, Xavier Washington and Althea Grace.

For others, Hollywood meant heartbreak. Among those not advancing, Vahhley, Cameron McGhar, D.J. Johnson, Erika Perry, Celeste Butler and Tryzdin.

Round two of Hollywood Week featuring the Duets airs Monday night on ABC!

You can see every performance on American Idol's YouTube channel and watch the full episodes anytime on Hulu.