With 108 contestants left, things are heating up during Hollywood Week as tonight’s batch of ‘American Idol’ hopefuls try to survive group rounds! The drama is real as the impromptu band members abandon each other left and right.
The group rounds on American Idol are legendary, for good reason! In the Jan. 28 episode of the 15th and final season, judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. are merciless as they make the 108 remaining contestants stay up all night to compete in this next challenge. “I’m gonna miss Idol,” JLo laments during this ep. So are we!
After splitting into small groups, the contestants spend all night in their hotel rooms practicing their songs and choreography with coaches. As if it isn’t hard enough to cobble together a perfectly harmonious singing group, some contestants leave their groups entirely, stranding the remaining members! Not cool…but group night is meant to push everyone to their limits, and it’s a great way to weed out the weakest links.
When it’s time to perform for the judges, Jordan Sasser‘s group — called “Blue Eyes”– feels confident. They totally crush “Treasure” by Bruno Mars, and earn a steady round of applause. JLo is just happy that it wasn’t a disaster, like group rounds can be! They even get a “good work” from Harry and a “really good” from Keith. All four of them make it through! Team Blue Eyes can rest easy.
Team “Milk And Cookies” already has their own secret handshake, and they do a great job with One Direction‘s “Drag Me Down”, though it isn’t perfect — their voices sound a little tired at times. However, Harry loves that they took risks (probably with their runs, though he didn’t specify), and they all get to go forward!
“Ooh x 2” does an awesome rendition of Alex Clare‘s “Too Close”. “When you sang as a group, it was like you were an actual vocal group,” Keith tells them after, while Jeneve Mitchell‘s group does a perfectly pining version of “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Both groups make it through!
Last night, Trent Harmon found out he had mono shortly before performing, and today, he has to perform without a group because he’s contagious — it’s the first time there’s been a group of 1 in Idol history. He does a cover of “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit, and let me tell you, he performed better with mono than most people do on a good day! Obviously, he gets through to the next round.
Of course, not everyone works well together. Team “Singing Out Loud” (led by Michelle Marie) uses five hours to agree on a song, and their group is full of tension as they fight over what to sing. They eventually decide on “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood and it’s an amazing team effort, but Lindsay Carrier is eliminated for keeping her parts too tame, and unfortunately her Idol road is over. Then, more mass cuts are made, including audition favorite Jaci Butler (of the green hair). Cameron Richard and Ashley Lilinoe are also sent home for a lack of energy. Sorry, guys!
Team “Chicken Noodle Soup” also gives “Treasure” a spin, and they do a strong job as a group — they all make it through! Rival group “Envy”, led by Sonika Vaid, doesn’t do so well during rehearsal, and they’re a little bitter that one of their members left to join “Chicken Noodle Soup” because she didn’t like their song choice, but they kill their performance of “Problem” by Ariana Grande and they all make it through! Then, sassy contestant Joy Dove — the judges love her attitude — and her group “Smooth Soul” positively dominate “Domino” by Jessie J, though Daniel Farmer is eliminated.
It’s getting down to the wire now, and the judges start making some serious cuts. “The Good Vibes” do a harmonious cover of Rixton‘s “Me and My Broken Heart”, but Harry thinks they looked too sad and complacent. Almost the entire group gets eliminated!
Next, one group does a cool, jazzy cover of “Too Close” that gets a standing ovation from Keith! Manny Tores, Malie Delgado and Christian Eason all get to go to the next round. Finally, Tonie Starr, La’Porsha Renae and Marlena Johnson did an absolutely fabulous cover of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. “I felt like I was watching Dreamgirls or something,” JLo tells them, thrilled. All three of them make it, too!
HollywoodLifers, who was your favorite group that made it through? Tell us how you feel about the cuts!