Hollywood Week is coming to a close on “American Idol” — and this time around, we had a rather clever mixture of group week mixed with some last-chance performances prior to some of the biggest cuts the show has made so far.
Group Round – The Strong and the Fallen
We didn’t see all of the groups — and some of the ones we did were really just an uneven mess of bad vocals and dropped lyrics. (Unfortunately, none of these moments were as hilarious as Scotty McCreery mumbling “nuts of wonder” on stage.) The good news? We had yet another brilliant performance by Heejun Han both on-stage and off, and he is quickly becoming the Rocky Balboa of this show. No one thought he would be this great, and we can’t help but cheer for him every step of the way. He’s quirky, an underdog, and different from what we’ve seen before.
Here are some of the groups that the show was kind enough to showcase.
The Bettys – This group fought for the vast majority of the time that they were preparing for their performance, and it showed. No one was exactly spectacular here — and as a matter of fact, they were all terrible. We’re honestly surprised to see two people even advancing.
Groove (or Group?) Sauce – This was actually a pretty stellar group, and it featured the likes of Reed Grimm, Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker, and Jen Hirsch. It’s ultimately amazing just how much group dynamics ultimately matter in this competition, but this was one of the best group performances we have ever seen on this show.
679: Brielle von Hugle is the focus of this “stage mom” group, which by and large struck us rather annoying. Frat boy Kyle Crews was a bit of a letdown from his original audition, but what about Joshua Ledet? We loved his voice. Everyone other than Kyle ended up staying … but did anyone else love the two-faced words from Brielle’s mom after the reaction, who wanted to suddenly act like Kyle was great?
Make-You-Believers – We don’t remember most of the people in this group, but at the same time that may be for the best. We had “Patient Zero” Amy Brumfield (which is the most unfortunate nickname ever) ended up forgetting the words, almost all the vocals were off — and we were surprised to even see one person advance. (It wasn’t Amy.)
Those Girls and That Guy – The angry cop’s group promised quite a bit of fun for this performance after spending the last episode literally screaming for people for her group … but this was about as fun as a visit to the dentist. Nobody was particularly good, and everyone was sent home.
Hollywood Five – Remember Eben Franckenwitz? The kid who thinks he looks like Justin Bieber (even though he really doesn’t) is back! He was actually part of a group that was pretty stellar, as it also included David Leathers and Jeremy Rosado. All in all, the second-best performance we have seen, and they all made it through.
Area 451 – Johnny Keyser was the most-talented singer of this entire group, but there was something that happened here that made the guy immediately unlikable — that he kept singing even after his fellow singer Imani Handy fainted in one of the scariest moments we have seen. Yet, Johnny is the one who ended up advancing.
M.I.T. – The group was named “Most International Team,” but really it should have been “Most Irritable Team.” Heejun Han’s hilariously-dismissive behavior of Richie Law made Thursday’s show worth watching, and his vocals here ended up being a highlight here as well. While we’ve loved Phillip Phillips at times here, Heejun was really the only person who shined, but they all made it through based on the strength of their past performances. (We’re still laughing about Heejun’s “apology” to Richie after the good news was handed down.)
The final performances … now with fewer mistakes!
Before we even get into the actual performances, we have to say that there were some sensational moments in here — ones we expect to be talking about for some time, which is more than we can say for Group Round.
Joshua Ledet -Joshua’s voice did not get many opportunities to shine before now … but we were definitely missing out.
Colton Dixon – Where’s Colton’s sister? As great as he is, we’re still puzzled about the whole package story never playing out.
Phillip Phillips -We’re actually wondering what has happened here with Phillip. His audition was great, but we really haven’t been impressed with anything he has done since.
Jen Hirsch – Not only was her “Georgia on My Mind” one of the best Hollywood Week performances of the night, but this may go down as one of the best performances we have ever heard at this stage. Can we vote for her now? We’re already starting to fear she (with little screen time) will become the new Pia Toscano.
Creighton Fraker – We’re still not much of a fan of Creighton’s “I need nosespray” voice, but the guy can totally sing.
Reed Grimm – Someone needed to tell Reed the rules before this started! The guy had thirty minutes to rehearse with the band after learning that he had to use them — and somehow this led to him having a meltdown, calling his mom in a fetal position, and then ended up playing the drums while he performed. Randy Jackson dubbed him “another Casey” — we just dub him odd.
Shannon Magrane – Shannon gave a strong performance, but we have to ask — do we need another Haley Reinhart in this competition?
Skylar Laine – She may be the most aggressive country singer we have seen on this show in some time — and based on the spirit alone, we want to see more of her.
Adam Brock – We are a little annoyed by his “do you want some White Chocolate?” shtick, we do love his voice. He looks a little like Danny Gokey, but has a rather different voice.
The results came in at the end of the episode — and while we can’t point out every name highlighted by the judges, we did at least recognize a few big names getting some good news:
-Lauren Gray (otherwise known as the standout from St. Louis)
-Jessica Phillips (who we didn’t see this week)
-Baylie Brown (of season 6)
Next week, we are off to Vegas — and somewhere, Heejun is saying a prayer to not be stuck with a cowboy again.