'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 6: Francisco and Dillon overcome their demons in the first week of Hollywood
Francisco was battling nerves, while Dillon was exorcising demons from his past as both 'Idol' hopefuls gave their best shot during the Hollywood round
The latest season of 'American Idol' is now underway on the ABC network and already we're on to the Hollywood phase of the competition, where the stakes are higher and the pressure keeps mounting. Although both Francisco Martin and Dillon James look like their pop heartthrobs and born 'Idol' winners on the outside, inside the two young aspiring singers were a bubbling cauldron of emotions in Monday night's Episode 6, which aired on March 16.
Francisco was struggling with nerves from the very outset in Hollywood, in fact, we even saw him tackle a bad case of stage fright during his initial audition round in Oregon. Even after being reassured by the judges that he was a likely candidate for the finals, the cherubic Francisco had a hard time managing his racing heart but ended up doing more than enough to prove that he had a great voice and pleasing personality.
Also, when it was announced in the first Hollywood week that the contestants had to choose the genre that they wanted to be judged in, it seemed like a double-edged sword. Not only would the aspirants get to showcase their ability in the category that they felt most comfortable in, like singer-songwriter, pop or country, but now they had effectively pitted themselves against other talented contestants who might outshine them.
As it turned out, both Francisco Martin and Dillon James picked singer-songwriter, which meant that they were each other's competition.
Dillon James was having a tough time in Hollywood as well. Dillon had some great memories of Los Angeles from his acting days five years ago, where he played roles like the teen boyfriend or even had the occasional 'Lifetime' movie appearance (where he got to meet Dolly Parton). But not all was rosy in Dillon's world - he confessed that he had lost himself to drugs and alcohol addiction, and had a tough time finding his way in the unforgiving movie industry. Thankfully, he managed to get back on his horse and stay clean, and was now appearing on the 'American Idol' stage, hoping that his second tenure in Hollywood lasted a lot longer than his first time.
Needless to say, since both young men are such talented singers, they needn't have worried in the slightest. Francisco managed to nail his crystal-clear version of 'Hold Back The River' by James Bay, thanks to some great advice from Bobby Bones, the show's full-time mentor, who told him to embrace the nerves and perform in spite of their constant background presence.
Meanwhile, the newly sober Dillon James was celebrating two years of going clean from his addictions, and marked his return to Hollywood in grand style, with a superlative version of Billy Joel's 'Vienna', that had some audience members holding their hands over their hearts in awe.
On the strength of these performances, both Francisco and Dillon were shoo-ins for the next round in Hollywood according to the judges, and the grateful young men will be extremely pleased with their journeys thus far. Social media was also buzzing with talk of their ability - "Francisco is incredible!!!! One of my favorites" said one starry-eyed fan, while another exclaimed, "Francisco, wherever you are right now, I just want to say I LOVE you and your voice." Dillon too was getting plenty of love online, with one admirer saying, "Yaaasss Dillon James reppin’ Bakersfield. He’s soooo good." Another ardent follower was blown away by his voice, going "Ok Dillon James on American Idol tonight... I’m in love."
With the support of amazing fans like these, we can certainly expect Francisco and Dillon to scale new heights and blow the competition away in the next few Hollywood rounds!