Wednesday, February 6, 2013
AI Season 12- Hollywood Week- The Boys
I watched the opening credits very carefully tonight- the part where they show all of the previous winners? No Taylor Hicks. Imagine that.
Anyway, we're finally up to the Hollywood Rounds. Things are going to zip past pretty quickly, and even though it's a two-hour show (sigh), I will probably not catch all of the names, and I will likely not get many descriptions of outfits, and I may even miss some important groups. It's a sure thing that some of tonight's singers will be totally new to us, because that's the way this show rolls. But, for whatever it's worth, This is where American Idol really starts.
Randy is wearing a black leather vest (or, more accurately, a sleeveless jacket) over a dark shirt. Keith is wearing a black leather jacket over a gray tee. Mariah is in a low-cut, blue sheath. Nicki is in long blonde hair and a tight, mustard knit dress. Both ladies are sporting bodacious bootys.
Tonight it's just the guys, the girls compete next week. The boys think it's a mighty big stage. They're going to come out in groups of ten. Each one will sing a solo, and the judges will decide immediately who stays and who goes on to the Group Round.
Day 1 Instant Elimation
Mikah Johnson, whose speech impediment is the result of a botched tonsillectomy, is still good. Good enough for Keith to give him a Standing O. Then we see three bad singers. But Mikah, Peter, Matheny (who seems familiar), Nate Tao (the young man with deaf parents), Gabe (the baker) and Gurpreet the Turbinator all make it through.
Carl Skinner, is still odd and hyper, but I still like him. He's followed by some bad singers. Unfortunately Carl is sent home, along with the firefighter, and the singing Doctor Cal Peters.
Cortez Shaw is new to us. He sings Whitney just like Whitney, which leads to Mariah liking him and Nicki disrespectfully disagreeing. But he's going through.
Gospel singer Curtis Finch and subway singer Frankie Ford both still impress the judges.
The judges got the memo not to finish stutterer Lazaro's sentences, though you can see Mariah literally biting her lips to keep from doing so. He still sounds good. So do Trevor Blackney, Bryant someone, and Charles Allen.
Keith enjoys Brian Rittenberry (with the wife who recovered from cancer), but it's not enough to keep him in the competition.
Fully one half of the guys are sent home on Day 1.
Day 2- Groups
Some of the guys who have actually seen the show, begin forming groups as soon as they get the nod to continue, hoping for a leg up on the next day's grueling performances. Most years, that would be a wise choice, but not this year. The producers foil the tricky ones by announcing pre-arranged groups. Some of the guys are happy, many are not. And at least one very very very gay fellow (and I feel confident in saying that since he's wearing high heels, a fringey shortie top, heavy eyeliner, shoulder length rhinestone earrings, and glitter) is fabulously sceptical.
Poor Lazaro did not grow up in the US, so he is almost completely unfamiliar with the twenty songs each group is given to choose from. His group-mates sort of pretend to sympathize, but they treat him shabbily, as though an inability to speak smoothly also implies an inability to think smoothly. I am now actively rooting against them.
It's very hard to keep up with the names that Ryan rattles off. during these clips. Please assume that there is a lot of angst, conflict, tension, and unhappiness as the teams are announced. Also assume that there isn't a whole lot of happy harmonizing. As always, I'm amazed at how few of these musically inclined kids know any songs beyond what is currently played on the radio. Don't they know that the producers are old?
The kids rehearse all night, and suffice it to say that for many, it did not go well.
On performance day, Randy is wearing that quilted brown leather jacket again (given some of the things Randy chooses to wear, I'm more than happy that this one is getting a rerun). Keith is in a gray tee. Mariah is in a strapless red dress. I hope she has some extra strength double-sided tape to hold it up. Nicki is in a quilted black leather hoodie jacket. She keeps the hood up throughout.
Again, I missed many of the group names, and some of the performers' first or last names (or both)- sorry.
Matteus (the short guy), Nick, Mathenee, and Gabe sing Queen's Somebody to Love, and they're great. The judges are delighted, and I so am I. All four go through.
Normal Hills consists of Johnny Keyser (who I dislike every bit as much tonight, as I did in his audition), Kareem, and two other guys. I'm happy to say that Johnny forgot some of the lyrics and was off-key. As was Kareem. This whole performance was a mess, but the two guys whose names I didn't catch, move on.
Goofy Charles Askew, Curtis Fisher (who proves himself to be a jerk of the first order by cheerfully offering to drive an ill Charles to the airport because he, Curtis, is in it to win it), and another nameless large fellow, sing. I don't like Curtis any more, but he has a great voice and he blows the judges away. I still like Charles, whose voice is much bigger than he is. All three go through.
The Four Tones, Micah Johnson, Vincent, Marvin, and David, sing Hold On well enough to all get the nod.
Zach, Nate, Cortez, and Elijah sing Some Kind of Wonderful with some wonderful harmony. The judges send them through.
The next group messed up every single lyric, which would have been the Kiss of Death if Simon Cowell was still around. But two of them, Paul Jolley (I still like that cadence- Paul Jolley Paul Jolley Paul Jolley) and Will, go through.
B-Side consists of Mark, Peter, Gurpreet, and Chris, one of whom wears a very large and bulky red bow-like thing with long scarf-like ends... on his head...They mess up the lyrics, misunderstand the concept of harmony, and then fall apart. But they work the crowd and that sways Nicki, and all four of them move on. Again, this would never have happened under the Cowell Reign of Terror.
Jason, Dan, Jessie, and some other kid sing a One Direction Song. It's bad bad bad bad, and all four pay the price.
Ryan (not Seacrest), has a notion. He convinces Devan, Devin, and Adrian to sing their song a Capella They harmonize fairly nicely, though Ryan is sent home. He whines about it.
Mo-Flow sings Some Kind of Wonderful. Burnell, who earlier impressed the judges mightily, falls apart, singing completely off-key. He goes home, along with Tony. But Darien and Marco move on.
Super 55 is the Lazaro's group. We see assorted clips of Josh, Christian, and Scott belittling and condescending to, and in general, being asshats to Lazaro. Each one of them takes the time to tell the camera that Lazaro is holding them back because he'd never heard of The Beach Boys. Lazaro sings with nary a stutter, as usual, and sounds fine. The others seem to mess up the words and tune, for all that they were so incredibly familiar with it. Josh and Scott are sent home, and Josh is even nastier to Lazaro, taking all the credit for Lazaro's success. Good riddance Josh.
We've been seeing clips of Country Queen all evening. The group consists of Lee and Trevar, who are both good ol' country boys, and Joel (in a Sonny Bono fur vest) and JDA (evidently pronounced: Jay-da), the aforementioned glitter boy. Tonight JDA is wearing stilettos, tight silver pants, full makeup, and lots of sparkle. It's safe to say that these four found no common ground. Their group performance is pretty much a disaster, and Trevar and Lee are sent home. It's a good thing that JDA has a nice voice and stage presence, because there is no way that this show would be able to resist keeping him around. He makes things interesting, I'll grant him that.
The youngest of the auditioners, DKSK (David, Kayden, Sanni, Kevin) are up next. David made it almost to the Top 24 last year, Sanni has an excess amount of confidence, Kevin is a blank, and Kayden has cystic fibrosis. I thought it was wrong to send Kayden to Hollywood,- he hasn't the energy to keep up, and his voice is even weaker than I remembered. The judges do the right thing this time and send him home, along with Kevin.
Handsome Ricky (who is still very very handsome, but not such a great singer), and Clifton (whose parents had never heard him sing before his audition), both go home. No mention is made of lying soldier Matt Farmer. We won't miss him.
The last group of the night is OZ, consisting of Frankie Ford, Papa Peachez, Adam, and Charles. Frankie's only singing experience has been on subways and street corners. He has no formal training in music at all. He doesn't even have any informal training. Frankie is totally outgunned by the others, who are all better singers. Frankie resorts to drama and tears and declarations and wailing. Though I did not like Papa Peachez in his audition, he wins me over with his marvelous eye-rolling reactions to Frankie. The rest of the group finally persuades Frankie to go on stage, where he has a total meltdown, forgetting the words, melody, and maybe even the English language. It's a complete and total trainwreck. Frankie, of course, is sent home. He does not take the news well.
So, 43 of the male auditioners will move on to tomorrow night's Solo Rounds. Of them, 20 will continue. It should be interesting.