It’s Hollywood Week on “American Idol,” which is always a fun part of the process. This time, however, it’s split up men and women. Keith Urban compares it to “The Hunger Games” and … he’s not wrong. Though it would really spice things up if they were given weapons.
It’s a long episode, here are some highlights:
- The “sudden death” portion is kept blissfully short, flying by in a series of quick clips and a few people advancing/getting rejected. We move right on to the group round.
- This year, the groups are pre-determined, which is interesting. We don’t know if it’s that, or the lack of girls that keeps it so drama-free, but the men seem to get along really well (sorry to betray the sisterhood, ladies).
- The Math-heads is a stand out group on “Somebody to Love” — tight harmonies, good solos. They all advance.
- Johnny Keyser, the guy of 1000 teeth, and his group absolutely biff “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.” It’s really, really bad. Inexplicably, three of them advance, including Keyser.
- Funny little Charlie Askew is paired with two African-American men who totally dwarf him, it’s like the cutest and most awkward Oreo cookie ever.
- There’s a great forgetting-the-words montage, which — seriously, guys. Every year. How hard is it? It culminates with B Side, a group that forgets their lyrics and is also all over the map with harmonies and choreography. Inexplicably, Nicki Minaj loves them. We’re with Randy on this one — booooooo. Then in a demonstration of complete insanity, they all advanced. Um, what?
- Group Last Minute does awful things to “Beautiful” by One Direction, which is a song we didn’t know could sound so bad.
- Mo’ Flow does “Some Kind of Wonderful” and Burnell Taylor, a judge favorite, flubs his words and has some pitch problems. But they pass him through anyway.
- Lazaro Arbos‘ group does the whitest version of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” ever — and since that song is by the Beach Boys, that is saying something. Nobody knows the words, the singing isn’t great, it’s pretty rough. But two of them advance.
- Probably the weirdest grouping of guys is Country Queen, which features two country guys and two, well, queens. Their words. They do “More Than Words” and they definitely need more than the words to advance because the words aren’t there. Sometimes neither is the pitch. Wow. What a trainwreck. How can these people work all night on a song and not know the freakin’ words?
- It should also stop surprising us when people have never HEARD of some of these songs, but it still is rather shocking sometimes.
- There’s a group of the youngest guys, DKSK, who seriously look like they are 13 years old. They do “The Longest Time” and it feels very junior high talent show. David is the strongest, though Kayden (the kid who is only going to live to age 35) is so adorable and earnest, how can you cut him? But the judges do, wow. That’s kind of surprising, considering some of the garbage they’ve let through from the groups.
- The last group is called Oz and features too many cooks in the kitchen. Frankie Ford dissolves into tears before they have to go on stage, so that’s a good start. Then their performance of “American Boy” is pretty shaky in parts, but three of them get through (not Frankie).
- As he leaves, Frankie kind of melts down.