'American Idol' - 'Hollywood Round 2' Recap
by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 11th 2010 1:18AM
It's the end of Hollywood week, which means group performances! This is always a crazy point in the season, because it seems more like the Wild West than any other point of the show. People are singing songs they barely know, rehearsing until 4 in the morning, choreographing dance moves -- it's like 'Fame' the movie in miniature and on repeat. It's always interesting to see who cracks and who makes it through.
We start out with a mess of people finding groups and choosing songs. Is this how it always is? I seem to remember people being assigned groups, but maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. During rehearsals, there seems to be a lot of Lady Gaga, which automatically makes this a lot more interesting than years past. However, while this group day may be more interesting, it is not necessarily better, as poor song choices and nerves end up taking a lot of people down.
Right now, during rehearsals, there's a lot of time devoted to watching Mary Powers lose. It. This poor lady is having a time. Also having a time is Big Mike, or more accurately, Big Mike's wife, who is currently giving birth to their first child. It's so weird to imagine that he's trying to remember the words to 'Bad Romance' or whatever, while his daughter is being born -- except that's exactly what's happening.
Faith includes Charity Vance, Ashley Rodriguez and Michelle Delamore, and they're singing Beyonce's, 'To the Left.' They seem to do an admirable, if not terribly interesting job. Everyone seems to know the words and be on key, so that's a good start. It's definitely good enough, as all three make it through to the next round.
Next up is new dad Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, Seth Rollins, Tim Urban, and Michael Castro, who make up Team Awesome. They're singing The Temptations' 'Get Ready,' and while they all do well with their solo work, the harmonizing and dance moves seem to be a bit off. Big Mike and Tim Urban make it through, while Seth Rollins and Michael Castro do not. I'm sorry to see Rollins go, as he was another contestant who had an adorable kid.
Neapolitan is up next, and they're the first group singing Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance.' Since Gaga made an appearance on 'Idol' last season, it's not too surprising to hear her songs this season, but it's still pretty cool to see what these guys do with them. They start off strong, but it's quickly apparent that Liz Rooney is a weak link in the group. Thaddeus Johnson also seems a bit off. Jessica Cunningham helps a little bit, but since we don't even see the fourth person sing solo, that can't be good. However, they all make it through to the next round.
Destiny's Wild is following Neapolitan, and they're pissed. They're saying that they came up with the idea of doing "Bad Romance" a capella first, so seeing Neapolitan not only do what they had planned, but all of them getting through to the next round does not please them. Todrick Hall starts off with a back flip, which elicits quite a response from the judges' table (as it should -- that's crazy!). Theri, Jareb Liewer, and Siobhan Magnus round out the group, and they all take the song in their own direction, which I like. It's also apparent that they practiced a lot and worked on the choreography. Ellen calls their performance "weird," and it doesn't look good. However, they all make it through.
The Mighty Rangers stayed up late rehearsing, and at around 3:30AM, half of the group gave up and went to bed. Tori Kelly starts off, and she's pretty amazing. The choreography in the background is a little terrifying, as is Maddie Penrose's performance. I just don't like it when people in over-sized geek glasses try to be sexy. It weirds me. Mark Labriola also weirds me out a little bit, and I'm worried for his chances. His performance is simply lackluster, but still better than Kimberly Kerbow's, as she forgets the words to the song. In fact, Tori and Maddie are the only ones who make it through to the next round.
I understand that the pressure gets to people, but to walk out after getting this far, before you even perform is completely insane to me, but that's exactly what one member of Phoenix just did. Ben Honeycutt and Jeff Goldford start the group off in 'Carry on My Wayward Son,' and they're pretty good. However, the group harmonizing is way off. Moorea Masa not only doesn't sound great, but she forgets the words. Jermaine Sellers picks it up though, and finishes the group off. Although he's a little high-pitched, he's pretty good. However, they finish strong. Jeff and Jermaine make it through, but that's it for Phoenix.
Why anyone would choose Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape" as an audition song is beyond me, and in fact, it mostly ends up as a hot mess for all those who attempt it. However, Big Dreams is trying it. Matt Lawrence, who was in prison, takes the lead on this, and it's predictably ... not good. Super dramatic Amanda Schechtman doesn't fare much better. In fact, the entire thing is pretty terrible, and in the end, the entire group is heading home. Now that's a bad audition.
Janell Wheeler is part of the group, Middle C, and she's 110% better than anyone in the last group. Jermaine Purifory is also in her group, and does equally well. Even the background vocals are pretty great. Casey James rounds out the group and is fantastic, as well.
The group Three Men and a Baby includes Andrew Garcia, who had a fantastic performance yesterday. Katie Stevens and J.B. Ahfua are also pretty great, and everyone in both groups makes it through.
The Dreamers is the last group of the day, and it's the group that's had a really hard time. In fact, it looks as though Mary Powers may be micromanaging her way into a plane ticket home. She starts off with a really bad note, and you can tell she's rattled. Hope Johnson also isn't at the top of her game. However, Margo May is not only in the completely wrong key, but may be on a different planet. Alex Lambert sounds good, but he can't remember the words. The whole thing is pretty terrible. Despite all of that, Mary, Hope and Alex all make it through.
Of the 96 who started the day, 71 actually made it through to the last performance of Hollywood week, which is a pretty good average. The end of this week marks one week that we're closer to voting. I'm pretty excited. How about you?