Okay, let's be real here... I frikkin' love me some Hollywood Week on American Idol. I love watching the potential divas flame out, I love watching the dynamic between the individuals and groups, and especially love watching the Idols who piddle around, maybe even go to sleep instead of practice, get shot down when they blow their Hollywood Auditions.
More tears will be shed, more lives will be changed, more stakes will be raised, more drama will be unstoppable, more passion will be unbelievable, more talent will be... well, talented out.
THIS IS HOLLLLLLLYYYWOOOODDD WWWEEEEEEKKKK, yo.
So this year, 309 are headed to Southern California... yes, I wrote that right, its THREE HUNDRED AND NINE Idolites, or as Seacrusty tells us, "the nation's elite". Or something.
Now, its hard to discuss this first part of Hollywood Week, really, so I'll try and hit the highlights. We see our judges, Randy the Dawg, Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler and J to the Lo from the Block grace the stage for a goofy pep talk.
Contestants come out in groups of 10 and sing a song of their choosing, and the judges will give no reaction or feedback. Then, they immediately look at the group of 10, discuss each one right there, then give them the "you are through" or the "you are done"... or as J-Lo would say, "not this year, baby".
And I'll be honest with ya, I remember these faces, but I don't remember alot of these names--unless I can see them on the graphic.
Johnny Keyser is doing "Dreamin'" by Amos Lee, who I really like. And during the song, despite the no-feedback rule, we see the judges smiling and nodding and such. Up next is Heejun Han, who admits that the guy before him--Johnny--is a good looking dude, and he wonders himself, "Why am I even here? Everyone here is so tall and pretty... I have to figure out how to overcome the beauty!" Well said, sir.
Heejun does some music by The Bolt, singing "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", garnering some judges smiles and even some Woos! and Hoos! from the audience. It is kinda funny, though, you can pick up on his Asian accent slightly as he sings. Good thing he didn't try Shawn Mullin's "Lullaby". That one was for you, Hurricane Rhett!
Johnny and Heejun are the only ones in this group featured, so our cameras focus on them. Johnny and Heejun and some chick named Gabby make it through... the 7 behind them, the 7 that we will never ever see or hear from again, are sent home.
Elise Testosterone is shown, as is Baylie Brown... she made it this far already, it was the group round that killed her. Hallie Day is shown again, doing "You Make Me Feel (like a natural woman)", and doing it well. And the entire group of 10 gets sent through to the next round.
Seacrusty hows us some contestants backstage, discussing sweaty palms and shaky nerves and twitchy fidgets and such. Jen Hirsh is up, singing some obscure (and its obscure to me because I've never heard of it) some by Patti Griffin, called "Up to the Mountain". She belts it out strong, but then hits some crazy notes that make Randy the Dawg wince.
Her line performs, including Lauren Grey from St. Louis, who keeps singing, even though Randy the Dawg is waving for her to stop. Jen Hirsch and Lauren Grey made it.
And someone named Heather just butchered "Crazy on You" by Heart--my favorite Heart song, by the way--and we hear other tunes being slaughtered, including the usual pleading of "can I sing a little more? please? I started off bad, but can I start again...?"
Phil Phillips is back! Sounds like a disc jockey name. I used my real name when I was on the air, which is a rarity for many DJs, but it didn't matter, because no one believed it was my real name. "Your name is d$? No way. You are lying!" Phillip Phillips is doing "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", while Reed Grimm is scatting "I've Got a Golden Ticket" from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory... which, by the way, was great when I was a kid, but now is a little creepy and strange and makes me feel like I should have used some acid before watching it.
Travis Orlando is back after being cut last year, as we get a BACKSTORY RECAP ALERT!!! Truthfully, I kinda like this guy. He does need to find a job, though. Phillip Phillips and Reed Grimm get the okay, while Travis Orlando gets the "I'm sorry baby, not this year" from J to the Lo. Tearfully, he tells us that he goes back to "nothing", which is kinda sad...
Romerio Garcia goes home. So does mechanic Wolf Hamlin. Jenny Schick also is sent packing. Sixty-eight go home at Day One's close. And who cares how their names are spelled? They are gone.
At Day Two, the judges arrive, ready and raring. Inside the "holding room", everyone is freaking out. Adam Brock, who we have not seen in one single frame up until now, admits that he's been told, "There is a large black woman trapped inside of me." BACKSTORY ALERT!!! He is sad that he will be away from his daughter for a few days for the first time. Really? I mean, The Lovely Steph Leann is out of town for three days and she's fine. Seriously.
The Unseen Adam Brock is soul'ing up "Walking in Memphis" quite nicely. One of my favorite songs. And here comes Lil' Jim Carrey, that being Jane Carrey! She's doing a chick rendition of CCR's "Looking Out My Backdoor". Not sure this is legal, according to the laws of Rock n Roll--you know, the same laws that include "You Must Play ALL Verses of 'Lyin Eyes' and 'American Pie' or risk stiff FCC fines up to and/or including suspension of your radio license."
Adam Brock makes in, while Jane Carrey, doing a Scooter Girl'esque flash in the pan, goes home, as does a big Samoan looking sum'gun in the corner.
We see a montage of those accepting defeat and walking away with dignity, and more begging and pleading for one more shot... because THIS MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME!!!
So, 17 year old David Leathers, Jr, is a short little guy... kinda reminds me of the lead kid in Another Bad Creation. And when he talks, they've added subtitles. Is it a good thing when you speak English, yet you need subtitles? Oh, here's Shannon Magrane, who Creepy Uncle Steven earned the "Creepy" title by opening calling her "hot and happening"... in front of Daddy Magrane. Yowzers. She is taking on a hard song, "Fallen", while Little David Jr is singing Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me". I can't wait to hear The Lovely Steph Leann's take on his performance.
And following Little David Jr is Jessica Phillips, who's boo had the stroke--BACKSTORY RECAP ALERT! Seriously, though, I really liked her and liked her story, and hope she does well. She sings "All the Man That I Need"...
Oh, I do love me some Pre-Crack Whitney. No stinkin' joke. He fills me up! He gives me love! More love than I've evaaaa seeen! He's all I gots! He's all I gots in this world! But he's all the man... all the man that I neeeeeed!!! Dig it.
So, out of that group, Little David Jr, Shannon Magrane and Jessica all make it to the next round. More auditions including Erika Van Pelt, the DJ chick, and New Yorker Creighton Fraker. And here's Aaron Marcellus, the music teacher from Atlanta. Okay, who doesn't think "Marcellis Wallace" from "Pulp Fiction" when they hear the name Marcellis? All these sail on to the next round.
Savannah auditioner Lauren Mink is the chick who works with adults with disabilities, and she breaks out more Heart with "Alone". After Carrie Underwood did this, it should be retired from rotation. Jeremy Rosado, being nicknamed "Dirty" by Randy the Dawg, works as a front desk clerk at a Infection Disease Clinic. Wait, what? It gives me pause knowing that, because for whatever reason, his tongue is yellow.
And here's Symone Black, 16, trying out "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay". This song makes me think of the old Root Beer commercial for Hines (or is it Hires?)... sitting on the dock of the bay, drinking Hines. And then...
...SHE FALLS OFF THE STAGE!!!
Someone yells "get the medic!!!!"
What the... I mean... what?
Shouldn't she have sung "Fallen"?
(was totally watching the next episode and was going to blog it and post it tonight altogether, when I get a call from one mother in law, Mama Ruthless... with The Lovely Steph Leann out of town and me getting up at 355am for work, Campbell is staying with the grandparents... however, they are missing some medicine. So I'm out the door, headed to deliver some medicine, and will recap Group Week tomorrow. I know you can't wait...)