Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AI Season 11- Hollywood Group Night, 02-15-12

So, I probably won't remember or recognize anyone from the few episodes I saw before leaving for SoCal, but this show never changes, so what do you wanna bet that it'll be business as usual: drama, tears, angst, and not nearly enough singing. This season's addition to the mix seems to be collapsing and vomiting. Oh boy.

It's 7:00 am, and already people are complaining. Or more likely, they're still complaining from the night before. 42 groups are set to perform. By 8:45am, tension has risen to the point where people are using bananas as microphones.

JLo is wearing a white Barbie dress. Steven is dressed like himself, if just a tad more masculinely than usual. Randy has some sort of weird black denim jacket with a whole lot of fooforaw on it (including a huge FFA badge).

First group up is Betty and the Boops, 5 girls who obviously hate each other. They prepare by puking into garbage sacks. I don't recognize their song, but there's lots of leg and very little else. It's painful, but two of the girls (Jennifer and Carrie) make it through.

The Brew Socks... or maybe Groom Socks... oh wait, I'll bet they're Group Socks (edited to add later: Groove Sauce... sheesh...) are next. Reed Grimm, Nick Boddington, Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus and Jen Hirsch have everyone on their feet. They have good harmonies and passable choreography. Someone has a surprising bass. They get a Standing O and all go through.

6-7-9 (that's their group name, though it could be their ages. Or their grades in school) are young, and all seem to have pushy parents. Brielle from last year has an absolutely horrible mother. Brielle ain't so sweet herself. Of the group, Amber, Brielle, Joshua, and Shannon go through. Only Kyle gets sent home. Brielle's mom gives him the phoniest warm sendoff I've seen on this show.

The Make You Believers are ill, and members regularly collapse. Jacquie looks wobbly, with no lip color and rolling eyes. Dustin forgets his words, and Amy Brunfield (who lives in a tent) sounds terrible. Mathenee oversings horribly. Jacquie sounded the best but overall, it was a trainwreck, and only Mathenee makes it through.

We're now treated to a whole lot of lyrical screwups, some handled well, others not so much. And some terrible voices. I don't recognize any of the singers.

There is an exceptionally mouthy and pushy cop in Those Girls and That Boy. They seem to know the words, and their harmonies are okay, but no one stands out, and none of them go through. Alisha, the cop, uses the stage to beg for a bodyguard job. She doesn't get that one either.

Area 451 has a Collapsee in a red coat. I don't know if she's sick, or if she's just tired and unable to deal with the stress. We'll find out later, I guess.

Hollywood 5 is all young, and there are more parents. Ariel (wow! She's great), Eben (the Beiber-alike), Gabi (good), David (I'm pretty sure I disliked him in his original audition), and Jeremy (who?) all go through. This group is the best so far.

Area 451 is back, struggling to get by with 3 members, since Red Coat is still on the floor. But she pulls it together to go onstage, where she collapses once again. All of the kids are shook, and all sound awful, and only one of them (not Red Coat) makes it.

The expectant father, the one I thought should have stayed home and kept his job, is cut.

And as always, we saved The Dramaiest For Last. MIT (or MITT- maybe they're a Romney Tribute Group) is experiencing major tension. The kid in the cowboy hat (Richie) is a budding asshole. Heejun Han is not nice about it. Onstage, Heejun sounds weak, Jairon Jackson is slightly better, Richie has the worst falsetto ever, and Phillip Phillips alliterates his way to mediocrity. But they all go through, and Heejun gives Richie a really unconvincing apology for his (seemingly correct) assessment of Richie's personality.

Next Day: Solo Performances and The Rooms of Doom.

JLo is wearing a baggy teal dress. Steven is still dressed like himself. Randy is wearing a quilted leather jacket. They indulge in a bit of a jam before getting down to the business of hearing the remaining 98 kids sing one of 4 songs with the band, but without any judge feedback.

Joshua Ledet is afraid to fly, and he either has a scar on an eyebrow, or he shaved a gap in one (isn't that particular affectation Way Over?). He's okay but not my type, and he sings Jar of Hearts, which is the worst song in the universe (yes, even worse than The Ballad of the Green Berets. TBotGB panders shamelessly, but JoH thinks it's art).

Colton Dixon has stupid hair and is at the keyboard. Where is his sister?

Phillip Phillips is all plaid shirt, guitar, and gravel.

Jen Hirsch sings Georgia (the song Casey Abrams used to win my heart last year) and knocks it right out of the stadium.. She's great! She gets a Standing O from the audience, and also the judges (so much for no feedback).

Creighton Fraker is way too wavery on Wonderful World, but he's the type that this show loves.

Ryan is amazed that it's raining and thundering. The kids seem to be thrown for a loop by the weather, though very few of them are actually from SoCal, so the rumbling should not rattle them so much.

Reed Grimm was going to perform a capella, but he found out 30 minutes before going onstage that he would not be allowed to sing without accompaniment. Seems like he should have known this well in advance, but Michael Orland and the music coach do what they can to help Reed prepare on such short notice. Reed, however, is far more interested in talking, and then in calling his Mama, and then crying.

Shannon Magrane oversings. Plus she wears satin shorts and a sparkly top. I think she's trying way too hard, but she also gets a Standing O.

More Reed drama on the phone with Reed Mama. At the very last second, he decides to play the drums while singing, and I'll be dipped if he doesn't pull it off. He leaves the stage and gives Ryan a hug. A really long hug, that Ryan does not resist.

15 year old Skylar Laine spent the night before in the hospital, but she's back to perform. She's from Boston but she's singing country. She certainly has that Wobble Head Thing down. She gets better as the song progresses, but her voice is thin and has no depth.

Rachelle Lamb (who has a cute daughter) messes up her lyrics and starts over. I like her voice better than Skylar's but it's still not to my taste.

Last up is Adam Brock, who is a new father. Adam is nerdy in glasses and a beard and a crew neck sweater. He's also exactly up my alley (I do have a type). I have a feeling that Adam is this year's Casey Abrams.

While the judges choose who stays at least one more day, and who goes, the kids give interviews. No one is confident, and there are many shrugs and tears, and a fair bit of rationalization.

They're divided into 4 rooms. Rooms 1, 2, and 3 have kids we've seen tonight (some of them quite good). Room 4 seems filled with people I don't recognize.

The kids in Room 1 have never watched this show before, or they would know by the Judges' hangdog looks that they were in.

In Room 3, they hear the cheers from Room 1, and they start to flake out. One Drama Queen in particular, tearfully objects to levity and burping.

Meanwhile, Room 2 also gets the nod.

Back in Room 3, Randy trots out his *More Talent This Year Than Ever* line, and Steven gives them a pep talk, and then sends Room 3 home. Room 3 is visibly un-pepped.

Oh wait, I do recognize a couple of faces in Room 4, which also goes through.

Do we find out the Top 24 tomorrow night in Vegas? I don't know because the DVR switched to another channel just before the show was over. I'll find out tomorrow, I guess.

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