When we left "American Idol," 16-year-old Symone Black had just performed "Sitting On The Dock of the Bay," bantered briefly with the judges and then toppled off the stage, much to the horror of all involved.
Of course, if you only set your DVR to record "American Idol" and didn't set it to record "Mobbed," you missed the swan-dive and you also missed the cliffhanger. Instead, you spent a full hour waiting for a contestant to pass out and you got... nothing.
But don't worry. I suspect that we're going to get a full replay as Thursday (Feb. 9) night's "American Idol" begins...
8:01 p.m. ET. "One casualty already"? Oh God! Did Symone die? Or does Ryan Seacrest have an annoying cavalier definition of "casualty"?
8:02 p.m. Uh-oh. There's Symone. She's getting light-headed.
8:02 p.m. Down goes Symone. Down goes Symone.
8:02 p.m. The other contestants circle up in prayer for Symone. But Symone doesn't need prayer. She needs... COKE! Thanks, Sponsor! Praise be to Coke!
8:04 p.m. "She's alright. Thank God," Steven says. And the contestants are shaken. Oh right. We never found out what happened to Lauren Mink and Jeremy Rosado. And some other people! Oh right. Ethan Jones. His dad was in rehab.
8:05 p.m. The results are in for the Group of Near-Death. Are least Symone, going out to get medical treatment, seems peppy and she's ready to pick it back up for Group Day. Lauren and Ethan are dunzo. Jeremy is moving on. "It's really bittersweet," Ethan says. Lauren's disappointed, but she feels lucky to be returning to her special needs kids.
8:06 p.m. 185 "Idol" hopefuls survived. So when Seacrest talked about how they absolutely, positively had to cut half the field? That was a lie.
8:08 p.m. So much intensity. So much fainting. So many "casualties."
8:11 p.m. The remaining "Idol" contestants are celebrating. But by tomorrow night, almost half of them will be dead. Or just eliminated. Because what's coming up next is... GROUP NIGHT.
8:12 p.m. Let the madness begin.
8:12 p.m. Ken Warwick warns them that they must be together in groups of 4 or 5 and that their groups must be mixtures of Day 1 and Day 2 contestants. This causes problems for contestants who already formed groups, because they didn't watch last year's show.
8:13 p.m. Dozens of contestants are left searching in vain.
8:14 p.m. Alicia Bernhart is this year's Little Orphan Annie. Also homeless is Amy Brumfield, who's lived in the woods in real life and now has the flu and no team.
8:15 p.m. Two loud people want people to sing "More Than a Feeling" with them. They're out of lucl.
8:15 p.m. Poor Little Orphan Amy. She's crying. She's weak. She worries she's going to pass out. She needs fresh air. I hope she doesn't die.
8:21 p.m. "The theater has erupted in CHAOS," Ryan says. Little Orphan Alicia finds a teammate in equally friendless Dustin. Heejun Han and Phillip Phillips are in a group together, which is awesome. They add some nerd in a black hat and they call themselves M.I.T. Or something.
8:22 p.m. Amy is still weakened, but she stumbles out and joins Alicia. They need one more person. "I'm used to people running from me, so it's not that big a deal," says Alicia, who's also a cop.
8:23 p.m. More functional groups are already rehearsing. Good for them.
8:23 p.m. Time is running out for Alicia and Amy and Dustin. If they don't fill out their group, they'll all be killed. Or something. Will Alicia join the "More Than a Feeling" duo? Not if she has her way. And they argue that "Joy to the World" sounds too much like a Christmas song to them. That's because they don't know what "Joy To The World" is. Alicia is suddenly losing Amy and Dustin to Team More Than a Feeling. And Alicia is all alone.
8:25 p.m. Poor Alicia. Soon, Ryan Seacrest will hunt her for sport.
8:30 p.m. Nobody's died yet.
8:30 p.m. Poor Alicia. She desperately needs somebody to sing "Joy To The World" with her. Nobody will. She worries that nobody wants to sing with her because she's a cop.
8:31 p.m. The Betties include some people I've never seen before, plus somebody named Brianna, who I don't like.
8:32 p.m. Alicia finds a team that accepts her for the cop she is.
8:32 p.m. Kyle Crews, Shannon Magrane and some girl who was in Pia Toscano's Group last year are working together. Brielle Von Hugel? Her stage mom is standing nearby making sure that her daughter is appropriately bossy. I hope Shannon crushes everybody. She can. She's a tall, powerful girl. Mad-Mackin' Frat Boy Kyle thinks he's coordinating everything, but Brielle's mom isn't impressed.
8:34 p.m. Symone Black Lives! She was dehydrated and she just needed to eat more and rest. Her stage dad wants Symone to get back to business. Will any Group let Symone play along? "I'm just a father that's helping his daughter achieve her dreams. They call them 'mentors.' I'm soon to be a famous mentor," Symone's dad says. A Group accepts Symone and they earn a hug from Symone's "mentor."
8:36 p.m. Make You Believers is the "More Than a Feeling" group. They're OK, but Amy's sicker than a dog and she could pass out at any moment. Everybody else hydrates. Uh-oh. Amy's like Gwyneth Paltrow in "Contagion." Everybody who touched her is dying, including Gabrielle.
8:37 p.m. Phillip Phillips is also sick. He's prone to kidney stones. And the dude in the cowboy hat has changed to a white cowboy hat, which is causing drama. And Cowboy Hat is trying to teach everybody else in his group to dance and do harmony. "I don't know how they do it in Cowboy Town, but this is not how we bring it down," Heejun complains.
8:44 p.m. Some groups are going to sleep. They blow kisses at the camera. And the virus spreads.
8:44 p.m. Alicia's group has also been hit with the "Outbreak" virus. Christian is dying somewhere. "It seems like the more I puke, the better I feel," Christian says, as "Idol" works out its "blurry-flu" camera techniques. Christian may be dying, but it's Alicia who can't figure out how to sing the song. DOWN GOES CHRISTIAN.
8:46 p.m. They're even calling Amy "Patient Zero." "I'm not letting the Devil play with me that way," says Outbreak Monkey, who swears that she has Jesus on her side.
8:47 p.m. Team M.I.T. has having a hard time, thanks to the ambitious Cowboy. Heejun is worried that his friends will laugh at him. In the case of Cowboy vs. Heejun, I'm ruling in favor of Heejun. "Now I have a very, very bad perspective towards cowboys, even Dallas Cowboys. Freakin' cowboys," Heejun says.
8:48 p.m. Holy Cow. We're not going to get a single performance tonight, are we?
8:49 p.m. The Betties are in trouble. Some girl is tired. She's losing her voice. She says this is because she doesn't sing well tired, but I suspect she has Ebola. They fight over how much sleep they need and how much sleep they're going to get. And members start breaking off on their own to go get sleep. One girl in yellow starts bawling about how she doesn't want to go home.
8:51 p.m. Wait. The Betties are doing all of that whining and it's only 2:35? And Banana Girl is named "Jennifer." She's calling a loved one and complaining.
8:54 p.m. While we were away, Legionnaires' Disease struck, killing 12.
8:55 p.m. Three "American Idol" contestants now have rickets.
8:55 p.m. Brianna Bell refuses to leave Banana Jennifer! It's a beautiful moment. Unfortunately, when they hug, tuberculosis is spread.
8:57 p.m. They've run out of time. The judges arrive. And NOBODY HAS PERFORMED A SONG TONIGHT!
8:58 p.m. Heejun has decided that his conflict with Cowboy is a West vs. East thing.
8:59 p.m. The first Group up is... The Betties. But something is wrong with them. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM?
8:59 p.m. Lupus.
9:00 p.m. Banana Jennifer opens her mouth and... that's it for our performance-free episode.
9:00 p.m. Next week on "American Idol" more death.
9:01 p.m. Will they find a cure in time? And how about the source of the infection? I suggest they investigate the town well.
What'd you think of tonight's highly infectious "American Idol"?
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