~February 4, 2009~

It's the dreaded "Group Day" of American Idol where the claws come out and the drama is put into overdrive. Contestants either sink or swim after forming their groups at 9:30 at night and needing to have a finished, polished performance by the next morning. Nothing like good ol' homegrown stress topped off with sleep deprivation to test the kids. Who would shine? Who would snarl? Who would snooze?

If everyone could be like the first group...
The first group swept in like a breath of fresh air: India Morrison, Matt Giraud, Kris Allen and Justin Williams' tight performance made even Simon smile. They sang The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" with India beginning and ending the song rapping. Paula was up on her feet with both she and Kara clapping along. It was a fantastic start. The group had really good vocals and harmonies and it was extremely entertaining. You could almost feel the collective turning of peoples' stomachs as they realized they were nowhere near the caliber of this group.

"Drama" is Tatiana del Toro's middle name (and first... and last). She joined a group, stayed with them until 1:00 in the morning, only to get frustrated and tearfully ask another group if she could join them. After causing dissension within the second group on whether she could join, she changed her mind and went back to the first group. The hatchet was buried in the morning though and, miraculously, all four made it through. With the universe again revolving around her, Tatiana gave a thank you speech to the camera. The other girls were simply relieved to get to the next round in spite all that had happened. Tatiana, if your teammates are comparing you to satan, perhaps an attitude adjustment is in order.
Tatiana quote that will give you hives: "If you can look this hot on 2 hours sleep, you're good."

The "Other" Group
Tatiana's toxicity spread to "Team Compromise" as she briefly tried to join them. From allowing Tatiana in for a few minutes, to disagreements between the two girls (one was sick and wanted to rest her voice, the other wanted to practice), every spare minute was taken up with disputes or silent treatment. When the first girl was ready to practice again, the other was doing her own thing. The guy felt stuck in the middle and overly-stressed from trying to make it all work. Their name probably came from what they hoped for in their relationships with each other, but it better reflected what their performance ended-up being. Two made it through. The one who didn't make it felt like the other girl dragged her down. I'm not convinced that was the case. It just was a big, tension-filled mess and I am surprised anyone survived.

Bikini Babe Finally Bites the Dust
Katrina was on the appropriately named "Team Diva" and the group did not mesh. Add to it Katrina leaving the group early when the rest were still wanting to rehearse. Next morning at roll call, she could not be found. Teammates checked on her and found her in her bed where she said she didn't feel well. Then lo and behold, she re-joins the group right before the performances begins and says, "You gotta teach me what I missed. " The other three got up and left her without saying a word. Blonde dreadhead Rose Flack was in this group and she predicted that they would be that group who gets up there and is a train wreck. She was right. Katrina had plenty of excuses for the poor performance, including her being tired from wearing heels all day. For once, Simon put it as it is: "You wanted to go to bed because you're in high heels all day and didn't give these girls enough time to rehearse. Who's to blame?".
Final word: The babe's bubble burst when she found out she actually had to work and her looks were not going to allow her to skate through. Thank God her chapter is over!

Hey, want a job?
Best friends Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers along with Taylor Vaifanua and a fourth person were in the "Rainbow Coalition" group. They took on the double whammy of singing Queen's "Somebody to Love Me" (an incredibly difficult song) and then singing it a cappella. They were hot, they were polished and they had great harmonies.
Bottom line: This group could go out and record. Right now.

Sadly, the dream ends for these
There were some I was really sorry to see go.

  • David Osmond - guy with the father who's the oldest of the performing Osmonds, they didn't show his group performance so I have no idea how he did. But I really liked him from his auditions and his first day during Hollywood Week.
  • Rose Flack - the sweet, blond dreadheaded girl did not make it. She was in Katrina's "Diva" group and that did not help her chances. But, based on the group performance, it was right for her not to go through.

And the beat goes on
And some I am glad... and/or surprised... that they're still around.

  • There was no feature on comedian Nick Mitchell a.k.a. Norm Gentle. But he made it through. It looked like he was serious and persona-less for this round because he sang in normal clothes. I would have liked to hear his audition.
  • Jasmine Murray, the lone survivor of "Team Diva" made it through. Her amazing vocals could not be tarnished by the lack of cohesion or preparation on the part of her teammates.

32 people got the axe during this brutal round of Hollywood Week.

Coming next Tuesday: the final round of H-Week. Who will measure up? Who will be mired in the moat of mediocrity? Only time will tell.