I already mentioned that I love Hollywood Week on American Idol. I also happen to love group night because if you ever want to see drama, that’s the night to tune in. There are always people who just don’t get along, there’s always one person who’s a massive diva, and there are always great surprises from groups with amazing harmonies.
The night started with 96 hopefuls, joining up to form groups of three to five singers. Ryan Seacrest explained they have to sing and come up with choreography. That took me by surprise, I know choreography has always kind of happened to a point in the past but have they ever been actually required to do it before now? I don’t recall it ever being a part of the process in the past.
Drama broke out quickly when two different groups – Destiny’s Wild and Neopolitan – ended up rehearsing Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” within earshot of each other. That had to be awkward, I don’t know why they couldn’t find somewhere, anywhere else to practice instead of on top of each other.
More tension broke out among the group The Dreamers when Mary Powers decided to take over as official leader of the team. The others certainly didn’t seem to appreciate her bossy approach.
Simon Cowell warned everyone not to forget the words – not remembering the lyrics of a song you had 12 hours to learn was going to earn people a one way ticket out of Hollywood, no exceptions. Most of the groups seemed to get along quite well, but tension mounted due to Simon’s cautionary note. Eventually people did indeed start to forget words or dance steps and fatigue and stress set in, and tempers flamed.
At one point Mary broke down crying when she saw Destiny’s Wild having so much fun. Shesaid, “That’s what I wanted. They miss a step and they don’t care, they don’t stop the whole %$#&ing production.” Unfortunately it didn’t seem to make her lighten up at all.
There was another type of drama going on as well, but not necessarily the bad kind – Michael Lynche, also known as “Big Mike” was in labor while he was rehearsing and was still pushing when he was waiting to go on. Finally he got the call, talked to her through the end, and his baby daughter was born – what a sweet moment, and I’m so glad he was able to at least be on the phone with her instead of onstage.
Luckily the excitement of a new baby didn’t distract him from his mission. Team Awesome took the stage and they did a great job; both Big Mike and Tim made it out of the four.
Neopolitan stood in the spotlight to perform “Bad Romance” a capella . I thought that Liz sounded a bit flat at the beginning but at the end Simon said it was clear they had all made a tremendous effort and sent them all – Liz, Thaddeus, and Jessica – through to the next round.
Meanwhile, Destiny’s Wild was seriously ticked in the audience, claiming that Neopolitan had essentially stolen their a capella idea because they overheard them talking about it. Todrick, Theri, Jareb, and Siobahn did their version and I think I actually liked it better even though Ellen said it was weird and surreal. Despite Ellen’s declaration, all four made it.
Things started to fall apart when Mighty Rangers took their turn. While Tori and Maddie did fine, both Mark and Kimberly forgot the words, and as Simon promised earlier, they were both sent packing. In a sad moment Mark begged for one more chance, saying it was his last chance to try out for the show. Simon told him not to beg and sent the tearful singer on his way.
The group Phoenix faced a sudden crisis when one of their members suddenly decided to walk away and quit. She claimed that she didn’t want to stand up there and embarrass herself; she was clearly feeling unprepared and suffered a lack of self-confidence. I wonder how soon she ended up regretting her decision. The remaining members were told not to panic and that it wouldn’t change their vocals, but the group never really pulled back together. Moorea forgot the lyrics and both she and Ben were sent home while Jeff and Jermaine (who rocked a great high note) made it through. Moorea tried to explain their struggles but Simon blew it off as “rubbish” and was not moved by her woe.
Two groups passed through with beautiful harmonies. Janell, Jermaine, and Casey sounded fantastic together, and Andrew, Katie, and J.B. sounded like they’d been singing together for years.
The final act of the night was The Dreamers where Mary was still angering her fellow members with her diva nature and bossy commands. However she still made it through along with Hope and Alex, while the remaining two hit the end of the road. Group night always shows personality really well and I’m not sure I care for Mary as much as I originally did. I know she was just trying to make sure she’d get through but there are nicer ways to do it.
That wrapped the night and next week we’ll see everyone’s final shot to impress the judges before finally moving on to the Top 24 and live voting. I can’t wait!
Image: Michael Becker / FOX.