'American Idol': Wrapping Up Hollywood Week and More Cuts
After a boring Thursday night episode last week of groups bickering from creative differences to fighting fatigue we got to hear them perform at long last on Wednesday. As usual every season some group members forgot the lyrics while others gave outstanding performances. When that was over they had one more round to contend with, solo performances with music, to complete the Hollywood Week or better known as Hell Week.
- Last Week's Forgettable Groups Episode
- Group Performances At Last!
- Solo Musical Performances and Closing of Hollywood Week
Last Week's Forgettable Groups Episode
The main reason I did not write a review piece for last Thursday's episode of “American Idol” there was no singing involved, just a bunch of drama queens and kings bickering and getting sick. All it took was one member to have the flu. One by one some of the contestants were also coming down with it. It wasn’t very entertaining seeing and hearing them get sick. When the groups got together they created names such as MIT and The Betties.
One contestant was in desperate need of belonging with a group. No one wanted her supposedly, because she is a police officer. During the Savannah auditions Amy Brumfield, the one who lives in a tent back in the woods, had a bad case of the flu. Whether others caught it from her or everyone got it at once there were a lot of sick people being shown. I’ve never seen anything like that on Hollywood Week in seasons past.
A male group called MIT featured Phillip Phillips, Heejun Han and a bossy know-it-all cowboy by the name of Richie Law. This ranch hand needs to go back to the range. Heejun was none too happy about taking orders from a cowpoke. Another group with all females, The Betties, had a leader who was upset her members were leaving to get some needed rest. She did not care if anyone was tired. The entire episode last week was about sick people, the female cop looking for a group and the groups MIT and The Betties. Talk about a true borefest on Idol.
Group Performances At Last!
Finally, we got to hear these groups perform Wednesday night. The Betties were up first and they were absolutely atrocious. Only two made it from the group including their dictator leader. Another group who were by far the worst of all consisted of the female police officer. They called themselves “Those Girls and That Guy.” It was like watching one of those really bad auditions we saw weeks ago. No one from this group went on to the next round. Amy Brumfield and her The Make You Believers kept forgetting the lyrics, including Amy. Only one group member went through, while the others it was the end of the line for them.
On the flipside there were some memorable performances, though I had seen a lot better from other seasons. My favorites were Group Sauce who consisted of Reed Grimm, Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, Jen Hirsh and Nick Boddington. They literally stole the spotlight from everyone else. Hirsh and Fraker had incredible solo parts that almost blew the roof off the auditorium.
Hollywood 5 consisted of David Leathers Jr., Ariel Sprague, Eben Franckewitz, Gabi Carrubba and Jeremy Rosado, who is from the Tampa Bay area. Franckewitz may look like Justin Bieber, yet his voice is far superior from that bubblegum pop artist. During the group performance another contestant passed out onstage, thankfully she was alright afterwards. Symone Black, the one who fell off the stage last week, was able to get up. It was a relief she was able to perform in the group rounds, but did not make the cut.
Solo Musical Performances and Closing of Hollywood Week
Last, but certainly not least, the last round of Hollywood Week or often times referred to as Hell Week by the contestants. The ones who made it past the group performances had to perform a solo with the Idol band. The judges do not give a critique afterwards. Instead, when everyone has performed they are sent into designated rooms. One of the rooms will have those who do not make it and the other three moves on in the competition.
Once again there were some good performances, though in seasons past a few truly stood out. Reed Grimm chose to do his a cappella yet the producers of the show finally told him, 30 minutes before he was to perform, he had to change it. He met with the Idol vocal coach, Peisha McPhee, who is the mother of Katherine McPhee from season 5 and the hit TV show “Smash.” Grimm was trying to be distracting while McPhee was strict in getting him on track since time was of the essence.
When it was showtime Grimm performed on drums while singing to “Georgia on My Mind.” This was certainly the most memorable performance of the night. Jen Hirsch sang the same song in a jazz style that was refreshing to hear. I hope she makes it to the Top 12. A total of 70 contestants who have made it thus far will go on to the newly designated Vegas rounds. This should be interesting as they have to perform as groups in costume and makeup. What happens in Vegas will get them closer to the Top 24 semifinals.
American Idol Official Site, AmericanIdol.com
Brian Mansfield, “‘American Idol’: The groups work it out,” USAToday.com
Carla Patton, “‘American Idol’ recaps: Hollywood Takes its Final Casualties,” BuddyTV.com