Scott "Blind Dude" MacIntyre apparently danced during the Group Day portion of Hollywood Week, but the "American Idol" producers only showed us fleeting seconds of his moves during Wednesday (Feb. 4) night's episode. That, friends, is called not giving the audience what they want, especially after the online popularity of Ryan Seacrest and Scott's Blind High Five in the audition rounds.
Editing an episode like this is all about choices and the "American Idol" team decided that what the viewers really and truly wanted was more and more and more Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell. And who are we at HitFix to begrudge them? Three of our six leading search terms today were "Bikini Girl," "Katrina 'Bikini Girl' Darrell" and "Katrina Bikini Girl Darrell."
More on Bikini Girl and all of the less interesting "American Idol" contestants after the bump...
I guess I understand why the "American Idol" producers played up Bikini Girl's presence in this episode. The confident young lady with the vocal talent as big as her boobs (i.e. not all that big) was sent packing at the episode's end. Nooooooooooo! Yes. But she didn't leave quietly. She left like a thin-bodied, thin-voiced wrecking ball, not leaving a wide swath of devastation, but taking out nearly everybody in her immediate proximity.
Katrina was part of the appropriately named Team Diva, which managed to fulfill nearly a half-dozen Group Week cliches. They were that prototypical group with at least three-too-many Alpha Females, that prototypical group where one performer (Katrina, duh) leaves in the night to get sleep, that prototypical group that has to deal with near fragmentation as their performance nears, that prototypical group that manages to find a little swagger just in time to perform, that prototypical group that stinks out the house, leaving only the least objectionable member to survive.
In this case, that member was 16-year-old Jasmine Murray, who kept quiet through all of the kvetching the night before, who didn't throw any of her teammates under the bus when given the opportunity, who just went out there and sang like a miniature professional. She seems poised for a fairly long run this season.
Some people will write about Group Week and they'll blame Bikini Girl for sabotaging poor, innocent Rose Flack. To heck with that, say I. Rose was dreadful and she made it this far capitalizing only on pity and she had the nerve to mock Katrina on camera for making it this far only by being cute? Oh little pixie, neither of you made it to the Group Round based on talent and you were both done in by an absence of vocal skills, not by a lack of musical dedication.
That being said... Bikini Girl, we all feel bad about your scoliosis. You're truly a Judy Blume novel brought to life. But if you know you have physical problems that cause you pain, maybe you shouldn't be making precarious high heels a central part of your ensemble. You could just wear tennis shoes and let your talent speak for itself.
I just got that out with a straight face! GO ME!
The best thing about Bikini Girl's departure, other than the departure of Bikini Girl (and her rendition of the line "You know you've got me on my knees"), was that Kara DioGuardi got one last chance to extend her claws and get catty, calling Katrina some name that "Idol" had to bleep out and cover with an "Idol" insignia. Sure, we assume that Kara called her a b****, but part of me prefers the idea she may have called her the c-word...
So Bikini Girl caused her share of drama. Mission accomplished.
Most of the episode's other drama was caused by Tatiana Del Toro, a horrifying young lady with a laugh that could send evil spirits back down to Hell. Tatiana began without a team, was generously accepted into one team, defected to another team and destroyed that team's karma and then returned to torture her own team. Tatiana's laugh is bad, but her personality may be even worse. What was up with her "I wanna get through" singing after their performance? Or her "Thank you Jesus" prayer at the end, where she thanked everybody associated with the show, saying "You all make this a part of me." The sad thing is that I can't say that Tatiana doesn't have a good voice. She can blow.
And unlike Bikini Girl, as obnoxious as Tatiana may have been as a teammate, she didn't drag her group down with her, even though I'm a bit astounded that Muna Hiluf, who crushed their harmonies like Godzilla, advanced. That girl's gad.
Maybe Tatiana left all of her bad vibes with the inappropriately named Team Compromise, featuring Drama Queen Nathaniel, who can be reduced to tears by a dust mite, red-haired stereotype Nancy Wilson, who's as much 28 as Abe Vigoda is, and Kristen McNamara, who managed to look sane just by virtue of not being demonstrably insane. Team Compromise had an early morning meltdown -- Kirsten needing to rest and Nancy and Nathaniel needing to cry and wail at each other -- collectively turned on each other before their performance and then Simon accused the girls of undermining each other. Nathaniel and Kristen made it through, so Nancy threw a hissy, as if it were Kristen's fault that she forgot her lyrics.
The other Group Sing disaster was for Action Squad, the group featuring Emily Wynne-Hughes, whose audition had certain fans inexcusably exciting. She was bad on Tuesday's show and worse on Wednesday's show and it wasn't surprising to see her go. Also exiting from Action Squad was Ryan Pinkston, who disappointed me by not being the same Ryan Pinkston who co-starred on FOX's "Quintuplets" and the feature "College" (co-starring Kevin Covais). Surviving from Action Squad were the hyper-theatrical Alex Wagner-Trugman (who?) and Anne Marie Boskovich, who I really like.
Who else was good? Buddies Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers teamed up with two less memorable people on a good a cappella rendition of "Somebody to Love." I'm getting the feeling that Danny could be a favorite by the time America gets around to voting. Jamar's coasting a bit on Danny's coattails.
The judges were more enthusiastic than I was about Team White Chocolate. I didn't understand why India Morrison appeared to escape without singing a note. Nor how Justin Williams got a pass for being the weak link. Matt Giraud is Chris Richardson, but since Chris had a long "Idol" run, that shouldn't be taken as an insult.
Because I missed San Francisco, I never saw Adam Lambert before, but he's pretty impressive. I hear he co-starred in "Wicked," but I figure you could put that kid on Broadway in "Spring Awakening" (or wherever "Spring Awakening" happens to be showing) and people would be very happy.
It wasn't just Blind Boy we missed out on seeing. Michael "Clifford the Muppet's Brother" Castro appeared briefly looking stressed, but he didn't sing. Megan Corkrey had trouble finding a group, ended up with bikini model Casey Carlson and then we never saw them again. Norman Gentle looked like he was playing it straight in the background of one or two shots, but we never saw his actual performance (he survived). There ought to be a rule that you can't ignore Anoop Desai (who also seemed to make it through). And I also would have liked to see what David Osmond did so very wrong that he got sent home.
Oh and what was the story with the "American Idol" new math? Tuesday's episode ended with the claim that 43 people had been eliminated from the group of 147, right? Why, then, did we start this episode with 107 contestants and the claim that only 40 people were eliminated? This is the sort of thing that only bugs me...
All complaining aside, Group Day is a reliable source of "American Idol" drama and this year's didn't entirely disappoint.
Only one more week until we can start voting...
What'd you think of Wednesday's episode? Will you miss bikini girl?