Randy kicks off “American Idol’s” Hollywood week by trying to convince us this is the most talent they’ve ever seen. Hmm. Ryan tells us that double the number of contestants made it to Hollywood as usually do. Wow, so what is that … like 300? Turns out it’s 327, so we did pretty well at the jelly bean jar “Idol” game.
J.Lo and her jaunty ponytail swagger into the auditorium. She’s so cute. Her being on this show has really brought her up in my estimation. They kick things off with the line-up round, where 10 Idols come out, sing and are turned away or advanced on right on the spot. This, to me, has always been the scariest time of the competition. To come all that way and then be sent home 5 minutes in (more or less)? So disappointing, right?
Group 1 includes Brett Loewenstern, who gets a montage about his high school torture. But he totally rocks it on “Let It Be” and gets through, along with a girl named Symphony and maybe a couple others? It’s hard to tell.
Group 2 shows us Rachel Zevita, Thia Megia (“America’s Got Talent,” what what!) and Casey Abrams, who busts out some “Lullaby of Birdland,” which is an awesome song and very difficult, watch him sing all the parts here. (They may not have all been in the same group, but they are shown in a montage.) They all make it through.
Victoria Huggins, the “charming” Southern belle, is in Group 3, busting out some country that we think is “My Hallelujah Song” by Julianne Hough. Victoria does not advance. We are not crushed.
We now have a Sad Story duo in Paris Tassin and James Durbin. Not that we are unsympathetic, but they are packaged together to make us love them because they are sad. Luckily, they can both really sing, so we don’t feel bad about liking them. Paris does “My Heart Will Go On” and she flubs the key a bit, but her tone is nice and clear. James does “Oh Darling” and there is a misstep in his one big run, but also good.
This Group 4 also includes Lauren Alaina and Stormi Henley, who really can’t sing that well. She goes with “Stay” by Sugarland and Lauren goes with “Unchained Melody.” Lauren, yes. Stormi, no. She’s no Jennifer Nettles. Luckily, James, Lauren and Paris (along with one other girl) all make it through and Stormi does not. Eh, she’ll be fine. The world is not that hard when you look like Stormi.
Group 5 includes Chris Medina, the fellow whose fiancee was left mentally and physically disabled after a horrific car accident. Yikes, this guy makes my heart hurt. He sings “You and I Both” and it’s not our favorite we’ve heard from Chris, but we are pulling for him anyway. Then Chris makes it through, along with two others, it looks like.
Group 6 features Hollie Cavanagh, Jacee Badeaux and Robbie Rosen. Jacee busts out “God Bless the Broken Road” and I swear to god, I wasn’t looking and thought it was a girl. Now, that is not a slam on him. He is very good. But it’ll be really interesting to hear him sing once his voice drops. He’ll most likely be even better.
Robbie does “Moody’s Mood for Love” and the judges act like it was amazing, but we didn’t love it. Hollie’s call is “When I Look at You” and she is strong. All three advance, so good for them.
Accountant Steve Beghun is in Group 7 and does “Haven’t Met You Yet.” He is, unfortunately, sent home. Bummer, we liked him. Steve’s elimination leads into a montage of them sending home Sarah Sellers, Jacquelyn Dupree and Heidi Khzam.
Day 2 dawns with a montage of screw ups, yikes. Seriously, pull it together. Some of these people have to be jokes or plants, right? Or are these all the people from Los Angeles?
But then we have the real “Idol” power couple in exes Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks from Nashville, who are sharing rooms with the creepy “Idol” power couple Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink from Austin. Rob rightly looks like he is ready to throw himself out the hotel window.
Rob sings “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Chelsee does “I Could See All Around Me” and they both make it through. Now it’s the other couple’s turn. Nick sings “New Shoes” and Jacqueline sings “Bring It On Home to Me,” which is a horrible bastardization of a great song. Sorry, Jacqueline. But no. In line, they are holding hands like Al and Kristine DeLuca in “A Chorus Line.” Gross. When they are called to their lines, Ryan helpfully informs us that “Nick is in the front. And Jacqueline is in the back,” with all the dramatic intonation like he just announced the President was shot on a breaking news segment. Thanks, Ryan, ‘Cause we’re all exceedingly stupid.
Awesomely, Nick doesn’t make it and Jacqueline does. “We ripped that couple apart and kept the pieces for ourselves,” as Monica Geller would say. Heh heh. Bummer, we liked him a lot more than her. He then gets all gross, begging to be let through. Seriously dude, take a hike. That is so unprofessional and icky.
But that’s not all! As he makes his way out of the auditorium, he starts to sing again. Uh, if I were J.Lo I’d then renege on Jacqueline’s invite just to punish him. Grow up, fella. Life’s hard and
now you just look like a jackass on national TV.
The next group features Scott McCreery, the young buckaroo with the super deep voice. Gosh, we like him. He’s so cute and has such a great voice, girls are going to be climbing over each other to throw their panties at him. His encore of “Your Man” is well received. In fact, I can now hear my father singing it from the next room.
Scott’s group also includes Jackie Wilson, who tore up some Aretha in Nashville. She does an encore of “Until You Come Back to Me,” along with Jerome Bell reprising his “Let’s Get It On.” All three of them make it through, well done.
The penultimate group we see features Tiffany Rios, who gets up there with some major attitude. What else do we expect from the “jujubees on your oohoohbees” girl? She does “All I Could Do Was Cry” and it’s a little screamy.
Travis Orlando is also in the group and we are pulling much harder for this poor guy than that obnoxious girl. He sings “This Love” and it’s pretty weak,. Hmm. He then does not advance, but Tiffany does. Ugh.
The final group shows Clint Gamboa, Julie Zorrilla, Naima Adedapo, brothers Mark and Aaron Gutierrez, Molly Dewolf Swenson, Emily Anne Reed, Stefano Langone and Ashley Sullivan get through. The grand total is 168 people advancing to the
dreaded awesome Group Round.
Join us here next week, won’t you? The wailing and gnashing of teeth during the Group Round is probably our favorite part of the entire audition process.