TELEVISION: American Idol (Hollywood Week Part 2) 02.10.10


IT’S GROUP DAY!!!  This is where the real drama of Idol begins.  The singers must form groups, of their own choosing (including a name), and then perform for the judges.  Pick the wrong people for your group and you could be going home.  This is where I would include some dramatic life changing sound effect, but since this is print, pretend.

This recap will be a little different than the others because the show bounces back and forth between the contestants so quickly that many times, names aren’t used.  So bear with me as we move forward with Hollywood Week!

MORE AFTER THE BREAK.  SPOILER ALERT, if you are on the West Coast.

It’s Midnight and the groups are hard at work planning their performances.  There is plenty of chaos as groups fight for rehearsal space, work on their harmonies, fight among their own members and figure out how to beat the competition.

Some contestants have turned rehearsed and turned in for the night.  MICHAEL LYNCHE is among them.  His wife is still in labor in New York about to give birth to their first child.  He has plenty on his mind.  Other contestants rehearse through the night.  This is their one shot and they don’t want to blow it. 

One group, THE DREAMERS, comprised of most notably, rocker mom MARY POWERS, continues to fight.  There is little they can agree on and MARY struggles to control the group.

Another group, DESTINY’S WILD, rehearses it’s rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and really seems to have its act together.  Meanwhile, NEOPOLITAN, performing the same song, aren’t as smooth and it shows.

The next day, it’s do or die time.  The groups must perform for the judges.

After breakfast, it’s time for final rehearsals, but it’s clear that some contestants can’t remember their lyrics.  If you have watched Idol at any point, you know that is the quickest way to tick off Simon Cowell. 

As the contestants file in to perform for the judges, MICHAEL LYNCHE is pulled outside.  His wife is on the phone.  She is in the final stages of labor and he talks her through it as their baby girl is born.  He bows his head in tears.   You can grab a tissue right now if you want. 

Now, finally, time for the excitement. 

The first group, FAITH, performs Beyonce’s “Irresistable.”   This group contains ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ who I think is TOP 24 material.  Although I have to say that I could definitely resist that performance.  It sounded very karaoke to me, but all three girls make it through to the next round.

TEAM AWSOME is up.  Among the members, new dad MICHAEL LYNCHE and potential heartthrob TIM URBAN, SETH ROLLINS AND MICHAEL CASTRO performing “Get Ready” by The Temptations.  Again, I felt like it was an okay performance.  MICHAEL sounded good, I thought.  TIM sounded strained, but not bad.  SETH was okay and we never hear MICHAEL sing.  MICHAEL and TIM make the cut.  SETH and MICHAEL do not.

Up next is NEAPOLITAN.  They struggled in rehearsal with Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”  LIZ ROONEY, THADDEUS JOHNSON, JESSICA CUNNINGHAM, the fourth member is not identified.  However, neighboring group, DESTINY’S WILD, is not happy.  Not only are they doing the same song, they say NEAPOLITAN stole from them.  They rehearsed the song acapella and they say NEAPOLITAN watched them and stole the idea.  Hmmmm.  Bitter, party of four.   Simon says NEAPOLITAN is “very good.”  He says he can see their hard work.    All four members are greenlit for the next round.

DESTINY’S WILD takes the stage to perform the same song.   TODRICK HALL, THERI, JAREB LIEWER, SIOBHAN MAGNUS make up the group and their performance appears to be good on the surface, but then the judges chime in.  Ellen says, “That was weird” and says they are dressed like a Cirque Du Soleil performance.  Despite the fact, all four make it through to the next round.

We now see montages of three groups that are all put through to the next round.  And then, THE MIGHTY RANGERS, all members who auditioned in Denver, perform Neo’s “Closer.”  They had trouble last night during their rehearsals and this morning some had trouble remembering lyrics.  This is not a good sign.  TORI KELLY begins and sounds amazing.  MADDIE PENROSE follows and has some pitch problems.  MARK LABRIOLA and KIMBERLY KERBOW both forget their lyrics.  We don’t see DANNY JONES perform.  At that point, the judges stop them.    TORI and MADDIE make the cut.  The others do not, but MARK begs for another chance.  Simons says, “Mark, don’t beg.  It’s not cool.” 

THE PHOENIX is up next.  The group gets a last minute surprise and it’s not good.  Member KAT NESTLE quits the competition.  She says she doesn’t want to embarrass herself on stage.  Just this morning, the vocal coach told the whole group they had no idea what they were doing.  That clearly weighed on her mind.  Now they must perform without her.  The remaining members are BEN HONEYCUTT, JEFF GOLDFORD, MOOREA MASA, and JERMAIN SELLERS.   They perform “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas and when done, Kara says they appeared to struggle through the song.  MOOREA says they have been through a lot, but Simon calls it “rubbish.”  The group is then split.  BEN and MOOREA are cut.

We next see one group just murdering Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape.”  I mean it is butchered live on stage.  Ugh!

Next is BIG DREAMS which among the four members includes MATT LAWRENCE who has done jail time as a teen for taking a wrong turn in life.  It also includes AMANDA SCHECTMAN , the drama queen from the Boston auditions.  They too sing Stefani’s “Escape.”   WHY?  First, it’s an incredibly hard song to sing and secondly, as nice a voice as MATT had in auditions, this is not a song for him.  He had to know that.  Simon stops them mid-song and says, “It was horrific.  It was as bad as I have ever heard in my life.”   Bad song choice costs the group.  All of them are cut.

There are many other familiar faces who are also cut:  LEAH LORENTI from the Boston auditions, CARM TURNER who auditioned with her best friend in Atlanta.  KIMBERLY CARVER and DAVE PITTMAN from the Dallas auditions are also cut.

MIDDLE C is up next.  They sing Neo’s “Closer.”  JANELL WHEELER, JERMAINE PURIFOY, and CASEY JAMES make up the group and their voices harmonize beautifully!!! 

THREE MEN AND A BABY follow them with Alicia Keys’ “No One.”  They include ANDREW GARCIA, KATIE STEVENS, and JB AHFUA.  They too sound amazing.  Later, Kara says, “Katie, you could be the potential winner.”  I agree.  Keep an eye on her.

All of them make it to the next round.

The last group of the day is THE DREAMERS, MARY POWERS’ group which struggled from the get-go.  The members of the group say MARY is trying to take over and fear she will be their downfall.   They sing “Dreams” by Stevie Nicks.  In addition to MARY, the group includes HOPE JOHNSON, MARGO MAY (who during her performance Simon asks, “Can we switch her microphone off?”), ALEX LAMBERT.     Simon cuts them off and Kara says, “It’s like the dream died somewhere on that stage, guys.”  Randy says, “The backgrounds were painful, dude.”   Judgment time:  MARY, HOPE and ALEX make the cut.

In all, 71 make it to the next round.  Only 24 will survive next week on American Idol.  Until then, MENDHEIM OUT.

Updated: February 10, 2010 — 9:28 pm