I don't understand "American Idol" naming.
Last night's episode was the start of Hollywood Week, but tonight's episode is technically titled "Hollywood Round, Week #1." How many weeks the Hollywood Round? And why am I adhering to the arbitrary "American Idol" naming system?
I don't know.
Tonight? Let's see how those Groups go.
8:00 p.m. ET. "American Idol" winners were challenged by Group Night. Other random people were also challenged. And this year's contestants were challenged.
8:01 p.m. Even groups that clicked last night are flopping now. Or something.
8:02 p.m. Let's do it! Three More Days is up first. David Oliver Willis and a couple people are don't remember are in this group. Serena Joi Crowe and Tony Foster Jr. are the other two. They've all done Hollywood Week before. I'll keep saying this: David Oliver Willis is terrific. It was idiocy that he didn't make the Top 12 last year. And Tony and Serena are both very good. We're starting with a successful group, just so that the other groups can see that it's possible.They're great as individuals and their harmonies at the end are tight. "Very very good start," Jennifer Lopez says, though she criticizes the choreography. Yawn. The judges confer and there's some criticizing, especially since they're planning on cutting half of the performers. David and Serena are going forward. Tony is going home. Tony asks why he was sent home. Harry says he spent 80 percent of his performance looking at his feet. Tony takes it like a pro. Good on him. Tony's an utter class act and the judges like him.
8:06 p.m. Dexter Roberts, Casey Thrasher and Ben Briley are Backstreet Cowboys. They're three good ol' boys, all wearing plaid. With only one night of preparing, they do a great country version of "I Want It That Way." Their harmonies are rather amazing for three solo artists who had never performed together before the night before. I still don't think there's room for more than one or two of them in the Finals, but they're all good enough to make it, probably. They're all advancing, of course.
8:14 p.m. We're back. Neco Starr and George Lovett are also in a very fine group. But apparently we're concentrating on ladies, including Paula Hunt and Andrina Brogden, plus M.K. Nobilette and Briana Oakley. I really feel like Briana is in a different tier from most of these people. She's basically Jordin Sparks right now. Several other people advance, including Kenzie Hall, who I think is also in that top tier.
8:17 p.m. Paired with Spencer Lloyd are Megan Miller and Alyssa Siebken. Spencer knew the song before. His partners did not. And Spencer is being hesitant to rehearse with them. Boo, Spencer. And the results are exactly what you'd expect. Spencer is cool and confident, while the two women, especially Megan, stumble. "If it was based on this performance, it'd probably be a wash," J-Lo says confusingly.
8:24 p.m. "It shows us a lot about how you know how to shine in the midst of all this uncertainty," Keith Urban says, explaining the group phase. Alyssa is going home and she's pissed. Megan is advancing and she thanks Jesus. Spencer is smug.
8:25 p.m. Farewell, Madison Walker. She's only 15. She'll survive. Farewell to Keith London and Austin Precario. And BYE STEPHANIE PETRANELLI, I'll miss you most of all. Farewell to Adam Roth. Tequila Wilson is voluntarily leaving the competition because her heart is in gospel. Does anybody want to tell her that the gospel Grammy this year was won by an "American Idol" veteran? Nah. Probably not.
8:27 p.m. Harry Connick Jr. leaves the judging panel. He comes back, but not before Keith can make a joke about how they filled his chair with Randy Jackson. ZING!
8:27 p.m. We're back to Matthew Hamel, who survived Hurricane Jessica Meuse last night, but ended up with C.J. Harris and Caleb Johnson. The group also includes Tyler Ahlgren, who forgets the lyrics, but vamps admirably. Caleb is definitely the group's standout and C.J. isn't bad either. Harry says that Caleb owned the performance. Harry says that Tyler and Matthew couldn't hang with Caleb and C.J. As a result, Tyler and Matthew are heading home. Matthew calls the decision "bullcrap." "I'm pretty sure I killed it," Matthew insists, incorrectly. Kid, you're 16. Leave with class. Move on.
8:31 p.m. I don't know those three people. I don't care if they advance. At least on the surface, their group performance seems decent, but hardly remarkable. We'll find out after the break.
8:35 p.m. The group Collision is advancing. OK. Whatever.
8:36 p.m. Everybody's having last-minute panics. Remember Sikenya, who wanted the day off because her throat hurt? Vaguely! Well, her drama is continuing. And the other members of Clarity would love some, um, clarity on Sikenya's situation. And Sikenya is feeling batter.
8:37 p.m. Clarity hits the stage, claiming that they've clicked, with Sikenya protesting that she's sick. Munfarid Zaidi stands up for her, passive aggressively. Sikenya Thompson sounds awful, but she fights through it, with J-Lo cheering her on. After the performance, which we only half-heard, the judges praise Sikenya for continuing. Allie Odom is deemed the weakest link and she's sent home.That means Sikenya advanced, which makes no sense at all. That was just bad editing.
8:40 p.m. Back on the stage, we get another group doing "Royals." John Fox is sent home. Savion Wright and a couple other people advance. Savion, already mourning is brother, is sad to see fellow Austin auditioner John go.
8:45 p.m. Back to the Dolby!
8:46 p.m. Well, now it's time for whiner Jessica Meuse to get her moment in the spotlight. Asked how her group is doing, Jessica does what she does best: whines. Nica Nashae is OK. Stephanie Hanvey has no sense of rhythm. Cara Watson is so-so. Jessica is brutal and the other girls come and assist her. And none of them know any of the lyrics to "Single Ladies." The judges are clapping like that wasn't dire. J-Lo loved seeing them come together. Stephanie is sent home. Stephanie's deluded momager still loves her. "She's a superstar all around," Stephanie's mother yells. Stephanie's pretty chill. Stephanie's mom says everybody gave up but her daughter. This is very awkward for the rest of the group. "You are so rude," Jessica whines. "Drama follows me everywhere," Jessica says, with wide-eyed innocence. "America's not gonna pick her," Stephanie's mother says correctly of Jessica. That whole group should have gone home. Then we wouldn't have had any of that drama.
8:54 p.m. We're nearly done with Group Night.
8:54 p.m. We're down to two groups. Up first is Love's Angels. We saw some of their drama last night with Terrica Curry, Carmen Delgina and Emmanuel Zidor. I'd say that Emmanuel is easily the best part of the group and Terrica easily the worst. But as a group, they're dreadful. Harry wanted a song with more singing than "Say My Name." At this point, I'm rooting for Emmanuel to advance, do a stunning performance of a Luther Vandross song and get sent home. Harry calls the performance terrible, but says that the only person with potential is Emmanuel. Yup. Terrica and Carmen are both going home.
8:56 p.m. We're closing with Loud & Fierce. Christina Collins, Olivia Diamond, Queen Bulls and Malaya Watson all bellow earnestly as individuals, but weakly as a group. Meh. "That was some good stuff in there," J-Lo says. They're all advancing.
Yeah. I didn't get a lot of the decisions that were made tonight, especially in the editing. But whatever. There are still 77 more contestants. They have one more solo and then final judgement.
Who stood out for you?
Everything: American Idol
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