Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Hollywood Round, Part 3
I'll repeat this again for "American Idol" producers: I appreciate the need for occasional formula innovation, so you didn't do anything wrong by splitting Hollywood Week up into separate segments for Men and Women.
Just don't do it again, OK? Consider this a failure, but don't be bothered or disturbed. Dust yourself off and figure out an another twist for next year.
Because... I'm done with Hollywood. I did it last week. There were solos. There was Group Night and people whined and cried. And then there were more solos and the judges made their decisions. I took that journey. It wasn't entirely satisfying, because the men don't seem all that great this year and there were no women, but I went through that arc. Now I'm ready for what comes next. I'm not especially interested in deja vu sans man-parts.
But... Here we go!
8:01 p.m. ET. Get ready for great performances! And drama! "Hollywood Week begins... again," Seacrest teases before the credits, basically repeating exactly my point about why this is wrong, wrong, wrong. Thanks, Ryan.
8:02 p.m. The ladies are nervous. And excited. They need this. Blah blah. The judges have high expectations. "We're ready to slice and dice," Randy Jackson warns us.
8:03 p.m. Once again, we start with a cappella performances and swift eliminations, though Ryan warns us there will be "massive cuts" because there are more girls than guys.
8:04 p.m. Our first line includes Angela Miller, Victoria Acosta and Mariah Pulice, who is recovering from anorexia. Mariah does an only-OK version of "Gravity." Angela thinks this is a year for a girl to win, which becomes obnoxious when her mother follows her declaration by cheering "Girl Power" from the back. But Angela's really good, so I'm not going to blame her for her mother. You remember Victoria, because the judges weren't convinced when she sang in English, but got all racist and stereotypical when she wowed them in Spanish. She does fine with "Killing Me Softly." This is very important for Angela, Victoria and Mariah, but apparently not for anybody else from their line. Angela and Victoria are going through, but it's bad news for Mariah. I can't say that that was the wrong decision.
8:08 p.m. A bunch of other people go home, including Ashley Smith, Anne Defani and Sarah Restuccio. From that group, I'm only disappointed to see Sarah go, because I wanted her to rap again at some point.
8:15 p.m. Country diva showdown. Rachel Hale has a big smile and a big voice. Nicki Minaj thinks "Idol" viewers will relate to her. This is ridiculous. "Idol" voters don't "relate" to people anymore. They vote for cute white boys. I guess Lauren Alaina had some relatability, but she was the exception, not the rule. Janelle Arthur also has a big voice and a slight less big smile. I don't know why "Idol" is pretending they're going head-to-head and can't just both advance. They both advance, along with several less important people. "There's room for both Rachel and Janelle," Ryan says stupidly.
8:17 p.m. A bunch of other people advance. Their names and voices aren't important.
8:22 p.m. Time for another line. Candice Glover has a big R&B voice. Megan Miller is "used to struggle" Ryan tells us, because she was on crutches when she auditioned. She's a beauty queen singer, not an "Idol" singer. If you ask me. It's a tough decision and Nicki says this was the best line of the day. I wish we'd heard more than two performances from it, eh? And one of the performances was from Megan, who isn't advancing. Candice advances.
8:25 p.m. More "Yes" decisions for people who don't get to sing on-air. Seriously, "Idol." Stop telling me that this is the most talented group of women ever if you aren't going to show most of them. I'm just not going to believe you.
8:26 p.m. It's another line that we're told has "more talent than most," even though we only actually hear one of them. I vaguely remember that "Isabelle" from New York was formerly fat and that "Isabelle" isn't her real name. She oversings "Summertime" and advances.
8:27 p.m. I don't get what's happening with Kez Ban. She's getting a cold, but I vaguely remember liking her in her first audition. Tonight, voice cracking, she's horrible. Briana Oakley, who used to be bullied for being awesome, is preternaturally gifted for 16. "That's the girl I've been waiting to hear," Mariah says of Briana. Everybody from this group is advancing, including Kez Ban, which is silly.
8:30 p.m. A bunch of other people also advanced. And that's it for Day One, so let's get to Group Night. It appears that they put Kez Ban through 100 percent to cause Group Night drama. Goodie.
8:35 p.m. Group Night! Remember that twist from last week? Apparently the rumors from the guys already hit the girls, so it wasn't a surprise at all.
8:36 p.m. Yes. We know what they do on Group Night.
8:37 p.m. Janelle Arthur, Angel Miller, Kez Ban and somebody else are in a group. Kez Ban is insisting on doing "California Dreaming." Nobody else wants to, but she's insisting. She's a plant. She has to be. She's an improv comedian "Idol" used to create uninteresting tension. This is like "Joe Schmo," "Idol-style.
8:39 p.m. I'm too busy being annoyed by Kez Ban to remember the name of the people with "Isabelle."
8:39 p.m. Another group includes Brandy Neeley, Creen Harrison and Britney Kellog, who I remember from last year. They insist they're cohesive and won't have any drama, but as soon as they start rehearsing, the drama begins.
8:40 p.m. OK. Zonette is at least one person in the "Isabelle" group, which is called the "Pooh Snaps"? Or "Poo Snaps"? Zonette's unhappy because she's in a group with country singers.
8:41 p.m. Kez Ban's group is called The Misfits or The Miss-Fits. They found a different song that Kez Ban was willing to settle for, with "Be My Little Baby." Kez Ban can't really sing, but she's saying stupid things, so that's helpful. She's proposing group backrubs and spitting snot-rockets and telling people they suck in certain parts. Everbody wants to practice. Kez Ban wants dinner and she abandons the rest of the group. So the rest of the group decides that Kez Ban will do her own thing and they'll do harmonies and pray.
8:46 p.m. Is there a chance Kez Ban and Papa Peachez are played by the same actor?
8:48 p.m. On "Idol," it's the next morning, which means Group Night passed without any real drama at all. Good gravy. They should have put Kez Ban in every single group. Kez Ban, incidentally, is not a morning person, but "Idol" is waking everybody up early. What fun is that? I like it when people sleep in and other people freak out.
8:49 p.m. Randy is absent. Nobody will notice.
8:50 p.m. Our first group is... The Swagettes. They're led by Candice Glover, which is a pretty good start. Kamaria Ousley has funny yellow glasses and red pants and a great voice. Melinda Ademi's a bit breathy, but she's solid. And I have no real complaints about Denise Jackson either. And as a quartet, they can all do harmonies. Everybody from this group is advancing of course. It's just left for the three judges to confirm the inevitable. The judges pretend they're deliberating before sending them all to the next round.
8:57 p.m. Stop showing Kez Ban fake-barfing.
8:58 p.m. On to either Raisin' Cain or Raisin' Kane or something. They're a somewhat frantic country quartet. Brandy Hota is probably the surprise of the group, though I missed the three-part name of the hottie who soloed first. They're so good that they make Nicki comment with a Southern accent. I love Nicki Minaj's floating accents ever-so-much. "We are willing to make you cupcakes, give you ice cream and paint your little toe-nails," is how Nicki tells them they're advancing.
9:01 p.m. Up next? Almost Famous. They're doing "Somebody That I Used To Know" and they've added harmonies for no good reason. They're a motley crew, but will they come together musically? Savanna Votion oversings weirdly. Lizz Weiss is not to be confused with the creator of "Switched at Birth." Daysia Hall has a kinda hipster sass, but by the time we get to her, it's clear that this is a chaotic mess. "Whee!" Keith Urban yells at some random point. "How did you guys feel the blend was before all of you?" Mariah Carey asks pointedly. The only one advancing is Daysia and Mariah tells her that she only went on by the skin of her teeth. Savannah whines about her elimination. "I'm gonna make it to the top," Savannah insists, while ranting that she did all the harmonies and Daysia forgot her words and blah blah blah. "This will be the last time I ever come on the show," Savannah promises. Oh darn. Torture us.
9:09 p.m. The Dramatics are another group. They started off well, but by the end of the night, they had an odd woman out. Poor Janel is "jeopardizing her vocal health" by over-singing and over-rehearsing. She's sitting on the floor crying, so that may not be her only problem. In fact, she's getting a high quality "mentally unstable" edit. They have a very awkward group confessional in which everybody laughs at Janel. Kriss Mincey has a great name and a very good voice. Janel turns out not even to be a good singer and if the song has words, she doesn't know them. Cristabel Clack is the standout. And the fourth member of the group doesn't get a featured solo. "I enjoyed you guys messing up the words more than I've enjoyed anything else today," Nicki says. Then again, Nicki also thinks Janel is endearing because of how clueless and disconnected she was. Somehow, all four of them advance. I love Nicki Minaj, but I blame her for this.
9:16 p.m. Several other groups aren't as lucky. The women have been so horribly identified thoughout. Shubha Vedula, Sarina Joy Crowe and Aubrey Cleland all advance from bad groups. Well, OK.
9;17 p.m. On to Urban Hues or Urban Hews. Seretha Guinn gets a puff-piece edit, but I don't like her vocal. Tenna Torres is nasally and annoying. Kiara Lanier isn't in tune. Why are we sending any time with this group? "Is it finished?" Keith asks. "I hope so," Nicki responds. "What *was* that?" Nicki inquires. For some reason, Nicki thinks Tenna put everybody else to shame. Really? She mostly put "melody" to shame for me. Seretha is the only person sent home from the group. Oh. Seretha's daughter is still proud of her. Then again, Seretha's daughter didn't have to listen to her.
9:25 p.m. I really need to know if this is "Poo Snaps" or "Pooh Snaps." Or if I need a hyphen. Anyway, we're back to Zonette crying and complaining about not being a country singer in a group of country singers. "Love Me" says Zonette's necklace. As for their performance. Why was Zonette complaining? They're not singing a country song and they're not singing "Knock on Wood" in country style. Erin Christine is decent. Oh. It's "Zoanette." She's got a rather huge voice, even if she terrifies me. "Isabelle" is good. Nicki calls their performance "cool." Lauren, easily the only personality-free contestant in a group of high personalities, is a logical choice for elimination.
9:28 p.m. Who are Handsome Women? They had struggles. Liz Bills worries they're about to embarrass themselves and, before performance time, she's lost her group entirely. Or maybe they've ditched her. I can't tell. The other three Handsome Women think Liz thinks she's too cool for them. Shira Gavrielov remains incapable of singing in English, which "Idol" finds endearing. Alisha Dixon is like Kez Ban if Kez Ban could sing. Kinda. Liz is breathy and boring. Incidentally, "Somebody That I Used to Know" is a bad quartet song, "American Idol." Remember that for next year, too. Hilariously, Liz Bills is the only member of the group to advance. Shira sticks around to demand an explanation and another chance. "It just really wasn't great today," says the newly arrived Randy Jackson. Mariah tries to explain to Shira that this may not be her moment. Shira remains indignant.
9:37 p.m. So tired.
9:39 p.m. Some group decided initially they were going to do "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the urging of... somebody who was in the competition previously. So the next morning they decided to change their song at the last second. The vocal coaches don't think changing songs is a good idea and I've already shared my opinion on using "Somebody That I Used to Know." None of them know the lyrics. Kalli Therinae is the returning contestant and she's probably the best in a dreadful mess of a group. Even their parents are embarrassed. "Obviously, it was terrible," Randy says. Keith disagrees. Stephanie Schimel and Holly Miller advance. Stephanie was awful, so I don't know what happened there. "Why did they let me through?" Stephanie asks honestly.
9:43 p.m Yes. People forget lyrics. But in a "twist," many of the women have unsuccessfully written lyrics on their hands. "They suck," Nicki writes on her hand. I love Nicki.
9:44 p.m. The Dolly Chicks -- Or maybe the Dali Chicks? -- have a different strategy. At least one of them has the lyrics on her arm. Oh. This is the group with Britney Kellog, who thinks she's done everything for her group. Also, they lost a group member in the middle of the night. People start freaking out. "This is why they put the girls together," Britney notes. Tensions are high. Will they pull it together? Oh. It's "Britnee" or "Brittnee." Ugh. Brandy Neely tries extra hard and at least wakes Nicki up. The sleeping singer was Haley Davis and the arm-lyrics don't help. The evaluation devolves into who did or didn't sleep and why they did or didn't sleep. Nicki calls Haley's arm-lyrics "disrespectful." Ultimately, only one girl from this group is sent home and it's... Brandy Neely. That's what you get for trying, Brandy! She's very sweet and philosophical in elimination.
9:50 p.m. So basically this entire show has been building to whether or not Kez Ban kills everybody.
9:53 p.m. OK. Let's do it Misfits or Miss-Fits. Kez Ban is off to the side doing jumping jacks. Everybody else looks ready to kill her. She leads off the performance and... it's back to the semi-good Kez Ban. Breanna Steer is awful. Angela Miller is pretty good again. Janelle Arthur is also quite appealing again, though I feel like she's an exile from an old "Brady Bunch" repeat. The performance ends with Kez Ban falling to her knees and Nicki giving a standing ovation and calling it "perfection." Somehow, they're called the best group of the day and they all advance.
9:59 p.m. Yeah, that was a dull joke of an episode and I'm beginning to have genuine concerns about this season.