Welcome to Hollywood Week! The audition rounds are over! The Hollywood Single Elimination Round is about to begin! Now, even though I've watched three hours of Idol in like, two days, I'll tell ya that I have no idea who is who and what is what. If The Lovely Steph Leann were here, she could help me remember, but she's in Pensacola, so we'll figure it out together, eh?
So, 327 Golden Tickets were given out, and are converging to Hollywood for the chance to chase their dreams. They cash in the Golden Ticket for a shot onstage, to be told "You are through... to the next round..." or "You are through... and are going home..."
J-Lo and Steven Tyler come into it all smiles, but Randy the Dawg knows better. "You get ONE shot. Bring it."
The come out in lines of 10, they will sing acapella and will get no feedback. They will then be told Yay or Nay. From New Orleans Auditions, Brett Lowenstern is a ball of nerves, but busts out "Let It Be". The rest of the line sings, then out of the first 10, three goes through. Seven go home.
And it begins.
Ten more walk out. And the Incredibly Annoying Victoria Huggins is up now. In her little video, she's talking about staying a while, and brought ELEVEN suitcases for the long haul. And the other girls are looking at her like she's an idiot. Judgment time comes. And she doesn't make it. Yeah, she's pretty annoying, but ya still kinda go "awwwww" when you see her tearing up while hugging her mom.
We see James Durbin (who, in real time, was seen on a show that was almost a week before this, but in tonight's blogging, I saw fifteen minutes ago) and we see Paris Tassin, who has the little girl with the hearing disability. Paris belts out Celine's Titanic, and James does "Oh Darlin". And here comes Stormi Weathers, or whatever her name is, and sings "Why Don't You Stay". And here is 15 year old Lauren from Georgia, singing, "Unchained Melody". James steps forward upon hearing his name called. Lauren steps forward. Paris steps forward. Those three continue on, while the back seven, including Stormi, are cut.
Funky Chris Medina, with the disabled girlfriend, probably the most dear and affecting Sob Story I've ever seen on Idol, is up now. Maybe I don't know if he should win. Maybe I don't want him to hit the final 24. I dunno. But I want to see him get past this round. Funky Chris Medina steps forward, after singing "You and I Both" from Jason Mraz... and he gets through. I'm sincerely glad. Sincerely.
Montage of nerve wrecked auditions, including lost lyrics, shaky hands, thumping heads, and Hollie Cavanaugh, Robbie Rosen and young JC Badeaux, who does "God Bless the Broken Road" (and gets cheers from the chicks in the audience). Robbie Rosen does something smooth and bluesy, and Hollie manages to get through her little tune too. All three get through.
Steve Baghun, the boring accountant, comes out in the next line of 10, doing Michael Buble. He doesn't make it, along with three more. We see more familiar faces that I barely recognize and won't even remember by midnight tonight that get cut and end up in tears.
One guy is telling us, "Its tough... (through tears)... its really tough... because I have nothing..." See, if you have nothing and are banking all of your life into a show that offers a very slim chance to give you any future, even if you make it to the second round of auditions, then you need a life plan. Just sayin'.
Just heard the words "Glee catches Beiber Fever". Wanna ensure I won't watch Glee this week? Use those words.
Montage of more forgotten lyrics, botched notes and "OMG... I cannot believe I missed that..." The contestants backstage get to watch the contestants onstage, and the pressure is mounting. We now get the chick and the guy who broke up and are auditioning together, and are bunking with Nick and Jackie, who was that lovey dovey couple from a few episodes ago. Rob, the ex, is singing, "I"m So Lonesome I Could Cry". Chelsee, the other ex, is singing something else, and I just noticed that they are in the line with the red headed Brett Lowenstern, the first guy in the first line who sang and got through. Look at y'all, Fox, doing some clever editing.
Nick, the boyfriend, is up now and from the previews, he won't make it, because he begs the judges for another shot. Jackie, the girlfriend is singing much, much better. And Nick steps forward with one other guy. Jackie stays in the back row, name not called. And Jackie makes it, Nick is cut. And like the previews, he begs to sing one more time. Randy the Dawg reiterates, "Like we said, One Shot. Sorry." And what does Nick do? He starts singing in the aisle. Jackie shakes her head and walks away. This is like a Lifetime Movie.
Smashcut to them backstage, both crying. I'm guessing that Nick is upset that Jackie is not more upset, and while she is upset that her boo ain't making it, she moves on. And there some joy in that, right?
From Milwaukee, 17 year old Scotty does the song he did in his original audition, this little country ditty that showed his deep voice. Jackie Wilson, the white country girl, not the 50s soul singer, also does some country, and both make it through.
So, here comes the chick with the stars on her boobies, in the last line for judging. Tiffany Something or Other says, "I am tired of seeing people trying to do what I know I can." The contestants in the audience all look around and look affronted, as they should. Were I the judges, I'd cut her fast. Travis Orlando, from Jersey, is the one who has lived in and out of shelters, and I kinda am rooting for him.
Cut to the judges deciding, J-Lo comments on "What she said makes her not likable".... Travis steps forward. And misses the cut. Tiffany makes the cut. We might have an enemy now.
Out of 327, 168 of them get another shot. And the next show? The Group Round.
HOLLYWOOD PART II
Its Group Round Time! This is one of my favorite parts of the entire Idol process, because this is where we see all the people who are complete strangers, save for the friendships they might have forged in, you know, the last day or two, try to jel and perform together... some will stand proud and emerge as favorites. Others will fall apart, clash and one bad contestant can ruin the dreams for several others in two minutes.
The 168 who made it are filed back into the auditorium, are told they must form groups, coordinate the routine and learn their song they chose together... all in one single night. Some contestants were already forming their own groups and had started working on routines to get ahead of the curve, only to be thrown a slick curveball of their own... all groups have to be a mixture of Day One and Day Two auditioners. Which means a scramble of groups who split up, calling out "We need a Day Two Boy!" and "Day One Girl? Anyone?!"
The drama continues as groups are swapping, stealing Day One and Day Two contestants from other groups Even one group ends up audition Day Two contestants to join their foursome of Day Ones... Tiffany gets on the mic to find a group, and no one wants to join them. Deep Voiced Scotty can't find anyone to join. And a group called The Sugar Mamas can't find a Day Two. And time is a'wasting.
Remember... they are all fresh off being told they made it. Its late, they are already clashing in groups, and some can't find anyone to join. The night is wearing on, and more time wastes. They all have to be ready the next day, the next morning in fact, to sing for the judges.
Dude, I love this stuff.
Tiffany and her partner can't find a third, and have to get the producers to let them slide on having just two in their group. I forget the name of the chick with her, and I like her, but I'm willing to see this chick fail to have this Tiffany chick bite the dust.
Groups like The Guaps, The Minors, The Hits and more all are desperate to find a place to practice, with some groups being in the mens bathroom, some going to the hallways and still others going to the parking garage.
Deep Voiced Scotty joined The Guaps, and it seems like his addition making it a fifth... and then they ousted 15 year old JC Badeaux, who was part of the original group. One guy made the decision, the girls kinda wanted to keep him, and JC is now scrambling while looking for a group, tears in his eyes. That was kinda harsh.
Jordon Dorsey, who was "auditioning" other people to join his group, looks like he's ready to leave that group. He joins up with Four Plus One, while the old group gets in sync without Jordon. 230 in the morning. Overdramatic Ashley tries to rejoin The Hits, but they have been already rehearsing without her.
Brett Lowenstern is a member of The Sugar Mamas are still down a member, and end up finding Day Two kid JC Badeaux... I'm happy this kid found a group. Its 3am and some groups turn in to get some sleep. At 420, other groups continue, like Three's Company, who include exes Rob and Chelsee and Nick-less girlfriend Jackie, and their group is on the verge of a meltdown.
The sun comes up, and the contestants rise after three hours, two hours, one single hour of sleep. And the groups are try to keep rehearsing into the morning. Thirty nine groups are going to do their thing for the judges, and the stage looks menacing. They wait silently in the theater, they are present... but are they ready? Let's find out.
Dude, I love this stuff.
Steven Tyler and J-Lo give them a pep talk, and Randy the Dawg, speaking from experience, yells out "Don't ever... forget the words!!"
Up now, three chicks that I couldn't pick out of a lineup or tell apart, are up first... and they sound fabulous singing "Grenade". That was a great way to start out the Group Auditions. The judges loved it, and looks like they are all going through. Pressure is off.
Four Plus One, which includes Jordon Dorsey, who abandoned his group 4-40, looks like they are up next. 4-40 is talking trash about Jordon and Four Plus One. Might be a gang war brewing. Four Plus One starts their song. Remember, the judges aren't seeing all the drama and who did what, and who's character shone and faltered in the previous night, all they see are the results. As one contestant put it, "The judges don't care if we lost a member and had to start all over, they just want to hear us be good." And all of Four Plus One makes it through.
Now, its 4-40, singing "Forget You" by Cee-Lo. Love this song. I just heard a lyric get mixed up, so that's not good. Lauren, who mixed up the lyric, steps forward, as does everyone else, and they all get through.
They keep showing the good songs and good performances, but you know the bad stuff is coming. And here comes Tiffany Rios and her partner, Jessica Yance, who had to get permission from the producers to just do a duet because they couldn't get anyone to join them. And it warms my heard to hear Tiffany Rios be completely off key during Beyonce's "Irreplaceable". Randy the Dawg even stops them from finishing because they were so awful. And they both get cut. YAY!!!!!
Members of the group Spanglish have to go retrieve one of their members who was still asleep, and leave the judges waiting. Its four Hispanic Americans, by the way. And they all sound terrible. Two of them make it, two of them don't, including the guy who overslept.
Centerstage brings out four chicks who invite Steven Tyler to come sit onstage in a chair. They bust out with "Some Kind of Wonderful", and bringing Steven Tyler onstage was a brilliant move--anyone else that tries it will be met with rejection I'm sure. They leave a room full of contestants wondering "Why didn't we think of that?" And only one of them make it through. Cue the song "Cryin" by Aerosmith.
Its 1145 in the morning, and The Nashville Stars take the stage. They all came from the Nashville auditions, as the five begin to sing. Some are shining through. Some are falling apart right in front of our eyes. One guy, Colton Dixon, makes it though. The other four are done.
More bad notes, more forgotten lines, more off key melodies, more bad dancing, more J-Lo hanging her head, more Randy the Dawg shaking his head, more Steven Tyler wincing.
Paris Tassin, with the disabled daughter, gets cut. More tears from more contestants, including Emily Anne Reed with the cool voice. And Aaron gets cut while his brother Mark advances. More breakdowns in the hallway after the news. Sad.
Dude, I love this stuff.
This Hits take the stage, with Overdramatic Ashley, and begin. Strangely enough, they are singing "Hit 'Em Up Style", and somehow it kinda works. Even Overdramatic Ashley gets it done, though she seems really out of place. Randy the Dawg says they are the best harmonized group so far, and they all go through.
|James Durbin (L) and Funky Chris Medina (R)|
The Moms get to the camera and criticize, then praise their own kids, The Minors, who come up next, also singing "Somebody to Love". And The Minors end up getting it done, and The Moms are quite happy that "they bay-bays did it right..." The judges give The Minors a standing ovation, and they all get through.
And honestly... yeah, they were really good. Really, really good. I wish The Moms would leave, but The Minors were really great.
Its 4p, and outside the theater, the remaining groups continue to practice. Three's Company isn't, however, as poor Rob is passed out on the sidewalk.
Back inside, one guy is singing off a little card in his hand, and Randy the Dawg mutters to J-Lo "He's gone". Another guy in the group looks all over the place while singing, while J-Lo yells, "Look here!" and Hollie Cavanaugh is just all over the place. But Hollie makes it, as does a guy named Corey.
The Night Owls come up, featuring Casey Abrams and Julie Zorrillo choose to sing without music, doing "Get Ready" by Smokey and the Miracles. Julie and Casey make it, the others don't. Here comes Ebony, Ivory and Emory, also singing "Get Ready", also singing acapella. This is the group that contains Naida Adepalodpla. And they all make it through. Steven Tyler says, "Every bit of it was beautiful."
Up next is Four None Blondes and That Guy, which might be the best name of the night. Notably, its the group that has Funky Chris Medina, and all practiced in the ladies room all night. Seeing Carson Higgins, a pasty white surfer dude sing "Forget You", with sass no less, was hilarious. And awesome. Out of the five... four of them make it, including Carson and Funky Chris Medina. The one who didn't make it, Devyn Rush, is upset and is just begging into the camera to get back in the room, and feels like "I don't deserve to go home." But... she is.
The day is waning, as its 6pm. More groups are cut, all featuring people that we've never seen and will forget in about five minutes. But here comes the group that took in JC Badaeux, after he was kicked out of his group in the middle of the night. Sugar Mama and the Babies come out, singing Duffy's "Mercy", a song that JC had never heard of just 12 hours prior. And JC forgets his words, and ends up singing the line "I dont wanna go home" right in the middle of the song."
Randy the Dawg asks what happens, and Sugar Mama and the Babies tells them how JC got kicked out. And in one of the best moments of the whole doggone show, everyone's name is called, including JC, and they all go through. JC starts tearing up on stage. The audience erupts in applause.
Dude, I love this stuff.
Now, its the group that kicked him out. Randy the Dawg drills them about kicking out JC, eliciting boos from the audience. Deep Voiced Scotty pipes up and says, "Its my fault for not standing up for him. He's the best kid in this competition." So the group starts, led by a guy we formerly liked, Clint from LBC, who was instrumental in kicking out JC. But, they all make it through. Deep Voiced Scotty made it, but is tearing up in the hall, saying, "This whole thing with JC... its a bad feeling...."
|Exes Rob and Chelsee. Rob went home, Chelsee stays,|
and though she says they will always be friends (all
chicks say that), Rob just walks off. Seems like it really
100 contestants are left. Tomorrow night, its solo night, and half the group will be shed.
Dude. I love this stuff.