Photo Credit: FOX
Well, America, we're almost there. To Hollywood week, that is. After seven cities and thousands of auditions, Fox's American Idol wraps up its national road trip tonight in the episode called "Road to Hollywood" (9 p.m. ET). As the inspiring highs and pitiful lows in each city are recapped, all the guest judges will once again be featured.
Some guest judges were terrific -- they mixed things up and brought fresh insights and fun to the table -- while others were wet blankets. Here's our take on their performances:
Victoria Beckham (Boston and Denver): Posh Spice was congenial and pleasant, which may be why she didn't get much screen time. She didn't even balk when one daffy contestant mistakenly called her "Paula" and corrected the error by calling her "David Beckham's wife."
Mary J. Blige (Atlanta): This R&B superstar took her judging role seriously. "You have to find some humility in order to do this, and stop trying to exalt yourself," she told one angry contestant, who wouldn't take no for an answer. But she had fun, too, laughing until she cried when General Larry Platt urged Americans to pull up their pants.
Shania Twain (Chicago): Professional and courteous, the country-pop icon was gracious even when the other judges outwardly snickered at Curly, the large, African-American man with the surprisingly squeaky voice. She left the insults to Simon Cowell, who asked if small animals gather outside Curly's house when he sings.
Kristin Chenoweth (Orlando): Known for her perky sweetness and killer singing voice, she was a natural fit. An instant BFF for Kara DioGuardi, the two flirted with the attractive guy contestants. "I think you're cute!" Chenoweth chirped at one of them. But she also had technical expertise. "What I really like is how pure of a sound you have," she told one hopeful. "It's seamless."
Neil Patrick Harris (Dallas): Confident, funny and not afraid to disagree with Cowell, the How I Met Your Mother star was a welcome addition to the table. Plus, he went to bat for the girl who failed to impress Cowell with her jazz song. "Thank God for Neil Patrick Harris!" she squealed after receiving her golden ticket. "I'm gonna have to go back and watch Doogie Howser again!"
Avril Lavigne (Los Angeles): Oh, boi, this one was a brat. Cowell was pleased when she showed up in a hoodie with devil horns: "I love the fact that we've officially got a devil on our show," he said. Sadly, Lavigne seemed to take the comment to heart. When a young pastor auditioned, she grilled him about his family responsibilities. "To become a pop star you have to travel, and you have to leave everything," she said. "But you have a good voice." Ultimately, she made the immature and unprofessional decision to hold his lifestyle (outside of singing) against him. "I'm sorry," she said, despite the other judges' yeses. "I have to say no."
Katy Perry (Los Angeles): The lovely pop star (and her cleavage) got lots of screen time, especially when she sniped at DioGuardi. The pair disagreed often, and the remarks they exchanged got personal. The cat fights were lively, but weren't the judges meant to focus on the contestants?
Joe Jonas (Dallas): The teen heartthrob was courteous and quiet. When he did speak, he usually said 'yes'. "That was awesome, man," he told one contestant. "Definitely you have star power, for sure." But his smile was lovely, and it was fun to see the young female contestants get extra nervous in front of him.
Who was your favorite guest judge? Chime in below!