Break out your hazmat suits and surgical masks, folks, because the germs in the air tonight are infectious! It's the third round of Hollywood week and everyone is positively miserable (myself more than anyone, probably). Singing competition? What singing competition? For the past day or so, the contestants have been super busy -- puking their lives away, fainting, fighting, crying, and just generally being a sad, sad, group of individuals. So, let's get started!
The first group of ladies, our primary specimen suffering from the barfing/clashing/type-A personality plague, did not fare well with Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style" — in fact, the judges and fellow contestants were visibly cringing. In an American Idol miracle, Jennifer Malsch and Cari Quoyeser get sent through. But things are not looking good...
Until we meet a group that is calling themselves Groovesauce! Their rendition of "Hold On! I'm Comin'" was a cohesive, well-harmonized and upbeat performance and the judges were feeling it. All group members - Jen Hirsh, Aaron Marcellus, Reed Grimm, Nick Boddington, and Creighton Fraker — are all sent through to the next round.
Now here's something I don't understand. A second group selects that same Blu Cantrell song? How is this even possible! Not only is it a terrible song for an audition — it's a terrible song in general. In spite of this, four members move on including stand-outs Joshua Ledet and Shannon Magrane.
You know it's bad when Randy says "this whole group is a bit of a mess." Half of the members have spent the past few days puking (no surprise there), which must have somehow resulted in short-term memory loss... because no one can remember the words! Mathenee Treco is the only member to survive, and sadly, Amy Brumfield (the tent girl), is forced to return to her tent.
At this point, things are getting completely out of hand. One group after another becomes inflicted with "verbal amnesia" as Ryan Seacrest calls it. It's bad enough that the judges need to sit through this crap, but now we're being forced to as well? I've had it. One more group of word-forgetters and I'm boycotting. Get a grip, people!
More groups, more misery, more pukers. The judges are yawning, the contestants are yawning. Is it over yet?
These people are literally dropping like flies. Imani Handy passes out from exhaustion and looks like she's on death's door but somehow gets up to perform with her group, Area 451. At the end of the song, however, she passes out once again, and panic ensues. But not for Johnny Keyser, who used to be my favorite, and has now been relocated to my sh** list. The kid keeps singing even though Imani is sprawled out on the ground, surrounded by medics and such. Is he serious? It takes Randy waving his arms in the air and yelling "Stop! Stop!" for the guy to actually stop. And then, because life isn't fair, Johnny is the only one to move on to the next round. I will just say this: it's a really good thing he's pretty and talented.
A group called Hollywood Five that consists of Ariel Sprague, Eben Franckewitz, Gabi Carrubba, David Leathers Jr. and Jeremy Rosado, sings Duffy's "Mercy" and all get sent through to the next round. Also with the full sweep tonight: M.I.T. (Most International Team) featuring Heejun Han, Jairon Jackson, Phillip Phillips and that cocky little cowboy Richie Law who's not even very good.
Seacrest promises us, via voiceover, that the second hour will feature some of the most fantastic performances we've ever seen. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Because after that torturous and depressing excuse for a first hour, I'm not sure how much more of this I can bear.
In solo performances, Joshua Ledet nails Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts," Colton Dixon (the guy who stole his sister's thunder) does a better-than-average version of Daughtry's "What About Now," and Phillip Phillips showcases his sexy, raspy voice in his performance of "Wicked Game."
Jen Hirsh — one of my personal front-runners — gave everyone chills with "Georgia On My Mind." She's incredibly talented (the judges gave her a standing O) yet exudes an unassuming, quiet confidence. Creighton Fraker does a breathtakingly powerful "What a Wonderful World." I would be shocked if all of these performers don't make it through. So far, Seacrest has not led us astray.
Shannon Magrane gives Fraker's "What a Wonderful World" a run for its money. This girl is the most poised, mature-beyond-her-years 16-year-old I've ever seen on this show.
Disaster strikes when Reed Grimm is told 30 minutes before his performance that he can't sing acapella. Not exactly sure how that one slipped through the cracks, but alas, he does what anyone would do with 15 minutes to prepare a new song: calls his mom. Like Jen Hirsh before him, Reed ends up singing "Georgia On My Mind," and it was good... but truly nothing compared to Jen's.
We've officially been puke-free for almost a half hour, but then Skyler Laine comes in and ruins everything. With the help of 3 liters of fluid, she musters up the strength and energy to rock out a country song that Steven loved. Continuing the country spirit with "The House That Built Me" is Rachelle Lamb, who is just OK.
In the name of changing things up a bit, the hanky-carrying Adam Brock sings "Georgia On My Mind." And once again, it wasn't nearly as good as Jen's.
Tonight, they'll do that American Idol thing where contestants are split into four rooms, and some rooms are sent packing while the others stay. Among those sent through tonight: Jermaine Jones, Lauren Gray, Adam Brock, Joshua Ledet, Bailey Brown, Gabi Carrubba, and Heejun Han. Tomorrow night, we'll be in Vegas!
Did you feel sick watching everyone puke tonight? Did the second hour make up for the tragic first? Whose "Georgia" did you like the best? Let us know in the comments!
Break out your hazmat suits and surgical masks, folks, because the germs in the air tonight are infectious! It's the third round of Hollywood week and everyone is positively miserable (myself more than anyone, probably).