This week, we finally get to dig into the guts of what American Idol, Hollywood hell week is about. Meltdowns? Check. Unexpected cuts? Check. Divas galore? Check. For the week, we’ll get group performances and solo performances in Hollywood, and groups again in Vegas. Toss in the holding rooms of doom and it is par-tay time.
- Why do they keep bringing back “Hit ‘Em Up Style” for group auditions? That wasn’t a good song as a solo and hearing men singing it hurts. Yes, we had to listen to poor Kyle Crews (highlighted as the “fraternity guy”) murdering this and he was cut.
- Wow. Once again, we are watching a generation that has learned to over sing brutalize simple songs. If you never heard wild cats on “More Than a Feeling,” you have now. And there is something to be said about tone. Just because you can hit notes on pitch and belt doesn’t mean I want to hear your nasal or whinny tone blasting. I’m not buying that album.
- The word missing from the night: teamwork. They stand up there, watching their fellow group mates blow words, and offer no help. Guess it is better to take the chance of the group going down and being the lone survivor than helping everyone make it through.
- M.I.T., which they say stands for Most International. Whatever. Randy says that they are “not perfect” with “pitch problems.” So then cut the evil cowboy Richie Law and Phillip Phillips who I just don’t get, and keep Heejun Han and Jairon Jackson. Nope. All make it through.
- Best Hollywood group (shown to us): Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, Nick Boddington, Reed Grimm and Jen Hirsh – Several of their voices alone irk my ear, but together they blend well. What do they see in Jen? I don’t see or hear it. Later, she over sings and they give her a standing ovation after her solo performance.
- For the Vegas groups, they will be singing music from the ‘50s on the set of Elvis Presley Viva Vegas stage in Aria. Why? How does singing music from that era showcase anything for contestants expected to be country, pop or R&B stars? I don’t want to listen to an evening of “Great Balls of Fire” and “Rockin Robin.” And I know I’ll be forced to hear some Elvis ditties tonight. I’m not an Elvis fan. I get it. Idol loves their themes. I’ll go mutter and grumble alone in a corner.
- Instructed to form groups of three to four and assigned a song from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Wait? Didn’t you just say, Randy, that it was songs from the ‘50s? Yeah. Me thinks Idol is confused. The game in Vegas is just as brutal as Hollywood – you sing and if you suck, it is the cuts.
- I’m so not a fan of Colton Dixon. Just not. Stop pimping him to me. And that skunk mohawk thing he has going on doesn’t work.
- Vocal coach Peggi Blu rocks. Love her and the brutal love and discipline she tosses down. This is reality folks. Not some romp in the hot tub and games. “There’s no crying in music. Now sing it again.” Bwahahaha. Say that, Peggi.
- I think Colton’s sister Schyler is getting cut Vegas round. Remember I called this with their first auditions. They fawned over him so much and he wasn’t auditioning (at first). Yep, she makes it past her group performing then after all the groups perform, she’s hacked in the next round of cuts.
- Not a Reed Grimm fan. The judges fashion him to be another Casey. I’m having flashbacks to Taylor Hicks in style, but Reed is a prima donna. The word smarmy comes to mind. Next.
- How are church soulster Jermaine Jones and country Richie Law left as a duet if the rules were to form groups of three to four? I’d cut both of them for the effort just so I don’t have to hear that low blend again. No, J-Lo, it was not perfect.
- I’m just going to state what we’ve always known about Idol even from when Simon was on. Well, especially when Simon was on. Appearance matters on Idol. Several of those still tooling around are there based on packaging versus talent. Bring over The Voice’s blind auditions—even for one round—and we’ve got ourselves a different crew in Vegas.
- Deandre Brackensick is on fire. I can see him chalking up all kinds of girls’ votes. He’s a blend of pretty with handsome. I remember him from last season and it is good to see him back. Jessica Sanchez, who sings in a group with him, is also a new fave
- Jury is still out for me on Lauren Gray. I want to like her, but she over sings to me.
- That last Vegas group rocked it on their arrangement and harmonies. It was made up of Creighton, Aaron, Nick and Jen again minus Reed. Creighton makes my skin crawl, but he blends nicely into a group. Nick is toast after it though.
- Johnny Keyser is gone with the cuts after all the groups performed. *waving goodbye to my eye candy*
What were your thoughts on the Hollywood groups round? Any new faves popping up for you?