'Idol' axes 43 hopefuls in 1st round in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Hollywood was just a layover for the 43 hopefuls cut Tuesday during the first round of Hollywood Week on "American Idol."

The 147 contestants plucked from nationwide auditions performed an a cappella song of their choosing on the Kodak Theatre stage with 104 singers advancing to the next step in the Fox singing competition.

Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell briefly sparred when hopeful Erika Wesley pleaded with the judges to give her a second chance. Abdul told Wesley she wanted her to advance, but the other three judges voted against her.

Cowell called Abdul out, noting that she had actually written down a "no" vote. Abdul claimed he could not read her handwriting.

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