Any [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]] contestants who survived yesterday’s first day of Hollywood week should avoid being complacent – the Groups round is where the auditionees have to band together and sing in groups (obviously) to show how well they can work together. It also gives us a glimpse of how their talent extends beyond simply singing – group work involves harmonising and some choreography work.
Of course, it isn’t that easy. You put a bunch of ambitious future popstars in a room together, and you’re gonna get conflicts! Mary Powers – the rock chick who gave us some Pink in her last audition – shows a bit too much attitude during the group round.
There is the obligatory bitchiness, half-dead singers still auditioning in the wee hours of the morning, grumpiness, tears and tantrums. But, reassuringly, many of the group auditions are very good.
Faith (MichelleDelamor , Charity Vance and Ashley Rodriguez) give the judges a sweet version of Irreplaceable by Beyonce. Ellen give them the good news – they’re all through!
Team Awesome (Michael Lynche, Seth Rollins, Tim Urban and Michael Castro) give a great, very together performance. Michael Lynche has just received news that his first child has just been born while he’s been waiting to audition! Seth and Michael get dumped, while ‘Big Mike’ and Tim Urban continue to the next stage.
Neopolitan – (Liz Rooney, Thaddeus Johnson, Jessica Cunningham and another girl) have been embroiled in a battle with another group, Destiny’s Wild. They’re both doing the same song, in exactly the same way. Destiny’s Wild are appalled when Simon praises Neopolitan’s arrangement – which they claim was their original idea! The entire group gets put through.
Destiny’s Wild – (Todrick Hall, Theri, Jareb Liewer and Siobhan Magnus) – There’s much backflipping from Todrick as Destiny’s Wild take to the stage. If Simon liked Neopolitan, he’s bound to love DW – four feisty, passionate singers who in my opinion raise the bar far beyond what Neopolitan did. Except for the out of tune ending. Thankfully, all four get another chance! They’re holding a grudge against the other group for copying their act…
The Mighty Rangers – (Tori Kelly, Maddie Penrose, Mark Labriola, Kimberly Kerbow, Danny Jones) – These guys do a rather disjointed version of Ne-Yo’s Closer which has high and low points. Only Tori Kelly and Maddie Penrose are given a chance to proceed, while Mark Labriola pleads for a second chance. [[Simon Cowell]] tells him “Don’t beg. It’s not cool.”
Phoenix – (Ben Honeycutt, Jeff Goldford, Moorea Masa and Jermaine Sellers) – they lost a member minutes before their audition, but still came out and gave an outstanding performance. I loved Jeff Honeycutt’s voice especially. Simon takes a grumpy moment with Moorea when she claims they had a hard time getting their act together. Jeff and Jermaine get through to the last day of Hollywood, while Ben and Moorea get sent home. I felt really bad for them both.
We get ‘treated’ to a bunch of groups making an unholy mess of Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escape. It’s so bad. So bad. But when one girl manages to get the verse right, it sounds amazing.
Middle C – (Janell Wheeler, Jermaine Purifoy and Casey James) – reprising Ne-Yo’s Closer. They do an outstanding job of the song, each having their own distinctive vocal style. Three Men and a Baby – (Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens, JB Ahfua and a third guy) do a magnificent version of Alicia Keys No One. They all get through to the next stage.
And now it’s time for five piece horror show, The Dreamers (Mary Powers, Hope Johnson, Margo May, Alex Lambert, another female singer). And Mary Powers has gone down in my estimation for her hostile, aggressive way of dealing with her bandmates. If this was truly one of the last auditions, then it was also one of the roughest routines on display tonight. You’d think with all that extra practise time, the group would have sounded slightly more polished. Regardless of that, Mary, Alex and Hope continue to the last day of Hollywood.
But would you believe – 96 people went through to the group round and only 25 auditionees got dropped. Considering that there’s only going to be a Top 24, the judges are going to have to massacre the contestants to get the numbers down. If that’s the case, next week’s going to be a bloodbath!