HOLLYWOOD -- Hollywood Week is now underway on "American Idol" and it's ultra-competitive, pressure-filled and unapologetic with the judges forced to make a dramatic amount of cuts before the live shows begin in a few weeks.
"No matter what, we've got to get down to this many kids and it's not a pretty business," said Luke Bryan. "But I think the kids enjoy the ride. They enjoy the process. They enjoy getting in here and fighting it out."
The young singers who made it to Hollywood are now singing their hearts out to stay here. The big difference? They now can see and hear their competition.
"In this case, they're all coming armed," said Lionel Richie. "Let me tell you what happened this time. They sat in that audience and they saw everybody else, and everybody else raised their game to the next level. These kids are slaying it to the point where we are making heavy cuts now that would never come this early."
Judge Katy Perry calls Hollywood Week "survival of the fittest" since it is so physically and mentally exhausting.
"People are just fighting like never before," said she said. "They're fighting for all their family back home. They're fighting for their dream. They're fighting to change their life, their situation and it's just the most gnarly and beautiful and humanizing fight."
Isaac Brown, who grew up in Fresno and Inglewood, is one of the singers in that fight.
For him, "American Idol" is the American Dream, and he is just getting started!
"In five years, I want to be getting ready to do the Super Bowl. I want to have won a Grammy," said Brown.
American Idol airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT Sunday nights on ABC.