Hollywood Nights: Lack of insane people – judges not included – made American Idol Group Night a little less fun
I feel robbed.
Group Night is the highlight of Hollywood Week and while we all hate the bullshit drama that gets shown during auditions of years past, we LOVE the bullshit drama that is shown during Group Night.
I love the group that’s struggling because nobody slept.
I love the one contestant (almost always a black female pop singer or white hipster chick) who quits/gets kicked out of her group in the middle of the night and desperately searches for a new group.
I love the overbearing stage mom who pushes her child’s group in one direction that always seems to favor her own kid and not the group (according to my sources, producers didn’t show the one who did).
I love the yelling and screaming and tears and destruction.
And I didn’t get it. It left me feeling incomplete.
The episode didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. We all knew Alexis Grabville or whatever her last name was wasn’t going to die from her anxiety attack and, for the record, if you pass out like that during rehearsals, you’re cut on the spot.
What we didn’t know was Sal Valentinetti (or however it’s spelled), the nicest guy in the history of American Idol, the same guy who had Alexis CrazyPants (assuming that’s her last name) join his group – named “Sal’s Gals,” which was a horrible name; should have been “30 Cents” or “Sal’s Pocket Change” because it was Sal and three dimes – was going to get booted while Alexis, who looked sicker singing than she did when she was passing out, was going to be safe.
If Sal wasn’t Sal, he should have asked the judges if they’d pay for dinner and drinks that night, and when one said “What? Why do you ask?” Sal could have replied “because I like to be fed when I get fucked.” Instead, he asked J-Lo out one more time – which caused some idiot to tweet he thinks it’s uncomfortable for the contestants to openly hit on J-Lo – because if you’re going to go down, you might as well go down swinging. Gonna miss Sal for his charm, his voice and his enormous balls.
(And super PS: What was the deal with Jax seductively removing her toque – $10 says she Googles that word the second she reads this – mid performance? Taking clothes off is a move straight out of my karaoke playbook, except I’m usually drunk and faaaaaaaat. If she didn’t look so good in leather and sound so angelic when she sang, I’d call her out a little harder on this one. We’ll chalk it up to pressure, unless that’s the new cool thing to do. If that’s the case, I’m on board)
(And super double PS: Kelley Kime deserved the spot over Alexis because she’s the MILF of the century)
Sal wasn’t the only one who got screwed (read below for the group recaps) but the point remains the same – why did a contestant who seemed to have the goods get booted? An explanation would be terrific because from everything we’ve seen from Sal, he deserved to get through.
There’s really no improving the system at this point and as much as I’d love to see them do away with Group Night, there’s nothing you can replace it with that will be nearly as entertaining.
I just think going forward, they need to increase the probability of drama. Draw names out of a hat and that’s a group, then assign songs at random. It would be HILARIOUS to see people lose their minds, but it would serve a purpose – it would separate the contenders who can deal with drama and pressure (Sal) and weed out the people who can’t (Alexis).
And let’s make it a 2-hour show because I can’t see half of it, wait a week and get the rest. I lose my blood lust.
Onto the recaps
The Emily Brooke Group
-Calling them that because Emily Brooke is the star. It’s pretty clear producers are letting us know a lot about her because she’s headed to the Top 24.
-But I’m supposed to believe a teenager out in Hollywood who’s been eating and hanging out at the same places as the rest of the case is the only one who gets “food poisoning.” Bold strategy on her part to go out partying before she gets super famous instead of getting famous, then going nuts on the Hollywood club scene. Really a genius move if you think about it.
-When I saw Keri Lynn Roche I was immediately transported to last year when I was absolutely furious she didn’t make the cut and we didn’t really find out why.
-If you sing a song from Pitch Perfect, there is no way I’m not going to like it.
–Cody Fry’s voice made me melt and then came in Rayvon Owen, who needs to stop wearing that silly ass hat (prize to whoever gets the reference). His ability to sing smooth music is very Yacht Rock-esque, but it’s more impressive that he does it without looking like he’s taking a dump and if you watch Idol enough, you know the guys who force the soft, dolcet tones usually look like they’ve crapped their pants while singing. (I take all this back if Rayvon actually crapped his pants; if that’s the case, I respect the hell out of the move)
-Then the falsetto after Piper Jones soulfully crushes her verse? Good god Rayvon. You’d better stop before every woman watching the show gets pregnant via those vocals.
-Of course, then Cody smoothly finishes off the song and I swear to god it made me question if I made the right choice marrying my wife and not Cody Fry.
–Adanna Duru was an over-dramatic train wreck and didn’t deserve to get through. Cindy Maslov was better, but not good. Denise Natoli sounded like she was dumping and Camille Peruto sounded like she hated her choice to join with these three chicks.
-This was the most talented foursome by a mile. Savion Wright is a monster from last year, Daniel Seavey is the teenage whiz kid who teens will love, Qaasim gives producers a chance to show they aren’t inherently racist and Trevor Douglas is the cute nerd.
-All that said, I’d put the over/under on ladies they’ve seen without their clothes on at 9.5 and if you take Savion out of the equation it’s 1.5. Of course, by the time this aired they’ve all probably hit triple digits. I can’t imagine an easier way to see boobs than dropping a “Hey girl, I was on American Idol” every day in school.
-Is there any way these four aren’t in the Top 12 guys? I mean, they all fit a role for the producers, they all have talent and they all seem like genuinely nice human beings.
-No doubt in my mind Savion picked that song. Dude was all over last season’s shows. He’s a super fan. He saw Alex Preston put out one of the truly great performances with “Story of My Life” and knew how good his group could do with that song. With his knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Idol’s past, Savion is a fucking dangerous contestant – and not just because he looks like he could be an MMA fighter.
Alexis Gomez/Loren Lott/Quentin Alexander
-I’m gonna go ahead and guess these three are either in the Top 24 or will be one of the final ones cut. I’m literally basing that on the quick “oh, here they are singing” edit. That means the producers want us to know who they are and the rest of the group were either a) terrible or b) terrible in the final solo round.
-This is where I should mention the song playing in the montage – “Bang Bang” – is on non-stop at my house because of my 3-year old daughter. Or at least that’s what I’m telling everyone.
-I love Hollywood Anderson. He looks like the dude from South Beach Tow, he wants to hook up with cute white chicks and he just wants to sing, man.
–Laurel looks like the kind of chick who slings back PBR and gets in a lot of fights. A lot of them.
-I was shocked Amber Kelechi didn’t move on. Thought she fit the mold producers look for and I really enjoyed her voice. However, I could see her not getting a long with other contestants. Why? Because her mother looks like she wags her finger with the best of them.
-There wasn’t a name, but Kory Wheeler + Super Pop Song sung like a barbershop quartet = Hipster Central.
-This WAS my favorite performance of the night to this point. Lovey James is crayyyyyzeeeeeeee good.
-Kory was terrific and there’s no secret as to how he his those falsetto notes – when you wear pants that tight, it just happens.
–Jess Lamb is so good. So good we didn’t need to see who the fourth member of the group was.
-I thought Jess Lamb was kicked off the first time I watched because I was drunk, so I was pumped when I saw her get through. I don’t think she’ll make it Top 24 solely because she’s 29 and doesn’t look like a super model. Her voice is Top 24 good, so I’m in her corner.
-I hated Kory getting booted. I didn’t think he’d fare well in group and he shocked the shit out of me. Surprised the judges didn’t want him to get in the final solo round, but my guess is they booted him here because there were some other guys with guitars they wanted to make it to the Top 24.
-I’m a professional bullshit artist and I 100 percent believe Rocky is full of it. The “It was people in the streets that saw me singing because I never gave up my guitar that sponsored me to come here” is the CLASSIC oversell. Glad to see him go.
-And just to beat everyone to it:
Sarina Joi’s group
–Heatherele Spires was strong, but pop music doesn’t sound like her thing. I’m guessing by the knee-high sparkly boots she’s a country gal.
–Erika David has a huge edge and that’s having two first names. But her vocal was rather meh. It wasn’t bad, but we heard much better get booted.
-My first problem with Sarina-Joi Crowe is 66.67 percent of her name is spelled wrong and I could make the argument that her parents got the whole thing wrong based on Serena Williams. But that’s my only problem. Her voice is dope. Thought her second verse was a little “hey, look I me, I can sing over-dramatic,” but that first solo session was insanity.
–Adrianna Simon looked like a stripper trying to sing, or at least what I think a stripper trying to sing looks like. Watch again and you’ll understand. Willing to be Harry and Urban told J-Lo she was getting through.
Mark Andrew’s group
-Good fuck they were good.
–Mark Andrew better be top 24. Everything he sings makes me want to leave my kids and marry him and take care of his kids.
–Katherine Winston does your classic “I’m pushing out a rather large dump” face when she sings, but the noise coming out of her mouth is most definitely not poo-poo. She’s a quiet contender and seems so versatile you forget about her until oops, she reached the final four.
–Alex and Andrew were both good. Alex getting in wasn’t a surprise – he’s got that weird british tinge to his voice – but Andrea not being included was a little bit of a shock.
Maddie Walker’s Group
-I don’t know who the dude was, but if I saw a guy that looked like that with three girls that young, I’d assume kidnapping. It’s called shaving your face and ironing your shirt, bro.
–Maddie Walker is the captain of the JBAS this year. Definitely a first-ballot hall of famer. My wife is gonna lose her shit when she sees the dye job and I have a feeling I’ll have to explain to friends where the inspiration for her summer hairstyle came from and why it’s not super creepy.
The Violet Vixens
-First off, Joey Cook should never ever ever ever take off her hipster hat. And I hate how they said “the pressure” was why she was forgetting the lyrics. Couldn’t it have just been she didn’t know them?
-Secondly, no shock Unpregnant Juno showed up late. She DGAF.
As for the group, this was my favorite performance of the night. Between song selection, bumbles and voice, it was a genuine and perfect experience. We got a chance to see that Joey isn’t capable of singing more than just quirky tunes and if she forgets lyrics, she can just scat over them and everyone will smile and laugh because thanks to Zooey Deschanel, hipster chicks are cute and no one cares.
-If Shannon Berthiaume (aka Unpregnant Juno) doesn’t make Top 24 it’s a shame. She doesn’t look like, say, a Maddie Walker, but her voice is sooooo strong. It’s got bite and that will carry her.
-If I’m being completely honest, Naomi Tatsuoka doesn’t make the Top 24. She’s good, but not Top 24 good based on this performance. I really want to see more because I want her to be there because I think her range is better than most contestants. I think because of her “artsy” appearance, she’s going to get passed over in favor of your straight-out-of-a-catalog contestant. It’s too bad, because this show needs some variety. I don’t want a pop princess who only does ballads; I want someone like Naomi who I’m pretty sure could handle Queen, Queen Latifah, Queensryche or Dancing Queen if asked.
Excited for the solo performances tonight. Should be able to bang out the recap and then make my Top 24 picks and I swear I haven’t looked for any spoilers. I’ll be live tweeting tonight – @DudesReviewIdol