Group sing night is always a delight from a viewers’ standpoint. You get a wide expanse of singers along with reality-show-branded “drama.”
Tonight was no exception. Of the 168 people who started the night, only 120 came out the other end. And at least 56 of the contestants were named during the two hours. That’s a lot to sift through!
In between, clashes were highlighted and egos smahed. We also got deeper impressions of some folks. The most hated person from round one, Tiffany Rios, got her comeuppance. Sweet, deep bass country singer Scott McCreery and really young-looking (and sounding) Jacee Badeaux get tons of airtime with both winning more fans with their empathetic reactions to the stressful proceedings. Jordan Dorsey came off as arrogant. Chris Medina didn’t sound quite as good as I remembered from his original audition. James Durbin, Adam Lambert redux, has the loudest voice for sure.
And the state of Georgia was represented by name by a man who read his lyrics… off his arm. What is this? High school biology?
Interestingly, we have now seen virtually all the singers who made the top 40, based on the Joe’s Place spoiler list.
Here’s the recap:
Many of the folks who got through the first round began planning ahead for the “group round” by getting together and prepping songs early. The first day folks, in fact, had a serious advantage from that vantage point.
The “Idol” producers tried to minimize that advantage by forcing day one folks to work with day two folks in groups. Naturally, that twist threw many a plan out the window and people began seeking other partners.
Tiffany Rios has trouble finding anybody to work with her. What made her toxic? “I’m tired of seeing people doing what I know I can,” she said during the first round. Jordan Dorsey auditions people and says no to several. Tiffany finally finds Jessica Yuntz but nobody else wants to work with them. Scotty McCreery keeps fishing for a group, too.
After the break, Scotty finally latches onto Clint Gamboa’s group, which also includes 15-year-old Jacee Badeaux. Clint is dubious about having five people. Ashley Sullivan, the tearful gal, is then featured. Producers allow Tiffany and Jessica to work as a duo, though trio is the supposed minimum.
The 39 groups have trouble finding space to sing where there is some peace and quiet. Some groups use bathrooms. Five minors hang out together, with their stage moms giving them direction. James Durbin is annoyed by the stage moms. “You’ve got to be your own artist and not have people telling you what to do,” he gripes.
Ex-couple Rob Bolin and Jacqueline Danford, plus Chelsee Oaks (minus Nick Fink) are still around. Ugh. And they are now “Three’s Company.” We find out Rob can’t dance. (And soon enough, we learn he can’t remember lyrics, too.) Ashley Sullivan can’t take the pressure and quits. “The cameras and everything is just too much,” she said. She is having a panic attack.
Jacee tried to work with the group led by Clint. It doesn’t work. “I’m a stickler for people holding their note,” Clint said. They booted him. Or really, Clint did. Poor kid. He looks for a new group.
We return to Jordan Dorsey. He thinks of leaving his group. Lauren Turner is peeved. “I’m playing the field,” he said. He joins a new group.
At 2:30 a.m., Ashley decides to stay but will her group want her back? They do.
Jacee joins Brett’s group although he is not familiar with Duffy’s “Mercy.” Brett’s group needed a day two person. He actualy seems okay about it.
Rob gives lame excuses about not being prepared. Everyone goes to sleep.
8:40 p.m. It’s time to start. We get the judges’ speeches. “Don’t ever forget the words,” Randy said. (Isn’t that right, Rob?)
We see some folks we’ve never seen before. Pia Toscano from Howard Beach, N.Y. starts the day off with a little Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.” While she doesn’t have the strongest voice, it has some texture and nuance. We might see her again. Alessandra Guercio from Brooklyn and Brielle Von Hugel from Staten Island are pretty good, too. They all go through. Impressive considering they effectively had the shortest amount of time to prep.
Jordan Dorsey’s new group has a mini-rivalry with the group he left. Lauren Turner is cracking. Jordan and Robbie Rosen get some airtime (while the other three get cut.) All go through. Adrian Michael in Lauren’s group is strong. Turner? She does just fine, in fact, better than fine. All four of them go through, too.
Tiffany Rios and Jessica Yantz do Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.” Randy stops them mid-song because honestly, it is ridiculously over the top and offkey at points. “It was really bad,” Randy said. “I can’t believe that!” Tiffany said. Both are canned. Nobody is going to miss Tiffany.
Spanglish is running late because one of their members is missing. Steven Tyler goofs around on the drums. Jovany Barreto, Kevin Campos, Jorge Gabriel and Karen Rodriguez work “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. Steven then gets confused about who they’re putting through. Jovany and Karen made it. The other two didn’t.
A quartet featuring Lauren Alaina then gave Steven Tyler a serenade on stage. It was fun. But Lauren was the only one who made it through. (She had already dueted with Tyler once during her original audition.)
Country boy Matt Dillard botches “Just the Way You Are” after the break. He chokes. Colton Dixon is the only one who makes it in with that group.
Then it’s the hall of shame. Shannon Livewell is completely off key. Briana Tyson forget the words. Janelle Arthur mumbles her way through her song. Alyson Jados is all over the place. Caitlin Koch is no Rihanna. Paris Tassin, who had the sweet daughter, disappointed J. Lo. “It was excruciating for us to see that,” Steven said. Emily Anne Reed is out, too. We don’t even here from again. Sally Jatos, Adrianne Beasley, Courtney Penwick, Janelle Arthur, and Aaron Guiterrez (whose brother Mark is in) don’t make it either.
Keeira Lyn Ford starts strong with a great Blu Cantrell song. Ashley Sullivan, who just had a panic attack the night before, was a little pitchy but made it through. Ashthon Jones and some fourth gal who isn’t named also do well and everyone makes it through.
The Deep V’s featuring James Durbin start strong with Durbin, though again, he lets it rip, for better or worse. Emma Henry sounds weak. Danny Pate, Caleb Johnson and John Jordan? Not so much. “A bad glee audition,” Lopez said. Caleb and James make it through.
The stage moms are arrogant. But their kids pull off Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” The five: Keonna Evans, Jalen Harris, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Felix Ramsey, Deandrea Brackensick. The stage moms even sing the chorus callbacks. And the judges give them a well-deserved standing ovation. Only one of the five will make it to the top 40.
“That was as good as it gets,” Steven Tyler said. “I was bathing in those vocals.”
9:30 p.m. Rob is sleeping. Jacqueline and Chelsee are mocking him. Our lone Georgia representative identified tonight did not make us proud: Steven Clawson of Thomasville is seen reading the lyrics of “Grenade” off his arm! “Cheater!” J. Lo said and laughs. “Goner,” Randy said. Corey Lovy forgets words, too. Hollie Cavanagh, the student, wasn’t very clean but at least she remembered the words. Both Corey and Hollie make it through. Confused, Corey thinks he didn’t make it through but has to be talked off the stage.
Casey Abrams, Dan Noguchi, Lara Johnston, Julie Zorrilla and Melissa Lucas go a capella. The harmonies aren’t all that clean. But individuals aren’t bad. Julie and Casey make it through. Lara, the Doobie Brothers daughter, is cut.
Da’Quela Pyane, Matthew Nuss, Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk are the four of the six who are identifeid. Jacob does a surpirse gospel edge to “People Get Ready” at the end. “A new star emerges with Jacob Lusk,” Ryan said.
Next group: Carson Higgins, Caleb Hawley, Devyn Rush, Chris Medina are named out of the five. Carson gets the most airtime. Devyn: “It was a little out of control,” Randy said. Carson was “entertaining.” Caleb, Carson and Chris make it. Devyn doesn’t.
Some jokes from Steven Tyler e.g. to “John Wayne - it’s like you rode your white horse right into the Apollo theater.”
And then we’re back to Jacee Badeaux, trying to remember the words to an unfamiliar song. Denise Jackson starts great. Stevie Cain isn’t bad. Natalie Hanson, ditto. Brett Loewenstern is one awkward dancer. He sounds fine. Jacee Bedeaux starts making up lyrics but is amusing. Everyone gets in. He starts crying. “You’ve got some fans, dude,” Randy said.
Then the group that booted Jacee comes up. Clint tries to explain why he was booted. Then Scott McCreery steps up to defend him. “I love y’all but Jacee is the best kid in the competition,” Scott said. Awww… Then they blow it out of the water. Clint is impressive but now Team Jacee fans are going to hate his guts. Is he bad boy Clint?
We hear Scott and he’s really good. Monique De Los Santos, Frances Coontz and Clint are all solid good as well. Heck, Clint sounds better than he did during the initial auditions. All four make it to the next round.
Scotty feels really guilty about the Jacee situation.
9:54 p.m.: We return to the ex-couple and Chelsee. Rob is still having issues with, well, everything. It’s not looking good. Chelsee is okay. Jacqueline Dunford is out of control with her vocals. Rob Bolin sings that he’s so tired and misses the lyrics 100%. Rob is out for sure. Surprisingly, Chelsee and Jacqueline get a pass through.
Man, that was an exhausting run through of a recap!