Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hollywood Week: Part 1

Welcome back. Here we go! Audition rounds are done, and it's time to weed out the semi-decent from the very good. There was a surprisingly good amount of contestants during the audition process so should be an interesting few weeks until we get to the Live rounds. There were a few pretty bad contestants that somehow made it through so we will see if they continue to stay lucky or if their luck has run out. We will keep it short during the first part of auditions and get more in depth as we go. So enjoy and let's get to it:

Guys Week
We learn off the bat that this week is "Guys Hollywood Week", it's guy versus guy. Ladies are next week. So there goes my hope that they would take the best singers into the Live rounds rather than just the exact amount of guys and girls. I always feel there is always one gender that has contestants that get unjustly cut because the other gender needs to be equal. Just doesn't seem right. But there's always something off about that.

Acapella 10
The first step is having a line of 10 guys sing acapella, then we learn right away if they move on or are sent home. I'll take note of ones that move on and any surprises. 

Notable Contestants Moving On: Micah Johnson. Nate Tao, Gabe Brown, Gurpreet "The Turbinator" Singh Sarin, Cortez Shaw, Curtis Finch, Jr, Frankie Ford, Lazaros Abros, Charles Allen

Notable Contestants Going Home:  Karl Skinner, Dustin Watts, Dr. Calvin Peters, Brian Rittenberry

*Obviously more notable people went through but these are the notable ones they showed.

Group Round Formation
Next up is Group Rounds. There have been some crazy moments in the past, but this year there are no ladies, so we will see if anything changes. The twist of this round is the producers will decide who is in what group. I wonder why they changed it since there is usually enough drama to carry them through. But the possibility of added drama is too enticing for the producers to not try.

Random Findings: We see Lazaro's team have a hard time with communication. We see Curtis Finch's team not wanting to agree on a song. Johnny Keyser's group is having a tough time jiving together. Gupreet's team seems to be getting along. Part of Papa Peachez's group wants to change the song they have been practicing and others don't.

My Opinion: Eh...This part never made sense to me because this isn't a group competition, and although it looks better if the group is cohesive, the judges can choose individuals from the group that they want to continue. It's not an all or nothing kind of thing. So this whole thing is kind of ridiculous, but it's part of the process and part of the show. 

Group Round Performances
- Group 1= Matheus Fernandes, Nick Boddington,Gabe Brown and Mathenee Treco
Who's Moving On? All of em.
Who's Going Home? None of em
Opinion? Gabe and Nick were pretty good. Mathenee and Matheus need some work. Not as enthused as the judges on these 4 at the present moment.

-Group 2= Johnny Keyser, Kareem Clark, and 2 Uncredited Guys
Who's Moving On? Johnny and the 2 Uncredited Guys
Who's Going Home? Kareem
Opinion? The thinking here is that we only saw Johnny and Kareem so the other 2 must've been pretty bad but given that Johnny and Kareem were brutal and didn't know the lyrics the others must be atrocious YET the 2 unnamed guys made it through. Don't understand.

-Group 3=Curtis Finch Jr, Charlie Askew, 1 Uncredited Guy
Who's Moving On? All of Em
Who's Going Home? None of Em
Opinion? Curtis wasn't really very appealing when Charlie wasn't feeling well. He was pleased that he could outshine his group mate and maybe send him packing. Not a good look for Curtis even if his voice is high quality. Curtis thinks that this is his show and because the judges are going nuts for him his ego is going crazy. You can see it already.Gotta be humble, even at this point.

-Group 4= Micah Johnson, Vincent Powell, Marvin Calderon, David Willis
Who's Moving On? All of Em
Who's Going Home? None of Em
Opinion? None really. We only saw them for about 1 second each.

Group 5=Zach Birnbaum, Nate Tao, Cortez Shaw, Elijah Liu
Who's Moving On? All of Em
Who's Going Home? None of Em
Opinion? Not too shabby. Cortez was better than he was earlier. It seems they can sing. So that's good.

-Group 6= Paul Jolley, Will White, 2 Uncredited Guys
Who's Moving On? Paul Jolley, Will White
Who's Going Home? 2 Uncredited Guys
Opinion? All 4 guys forgot the lyrics, so I guess the 2 guys that were sent through only got through based on their initial audition round. I guess.

-Group 7= Mark, Peter, Gupreet, Chris.
Who's Moving On? All of Em
Who's Going Home? None of Em
Opinion? No lyrics, no problem. I guess remembering lyrics isn't really necessary because they remembered a few seconds of their lyrics then it went into the trash. Yet they all made it. So there really is no rhyme or reason for anything. I just don't want to hear the judges say that they not knowing lyrics is the nail in the coffin because obviously it is not.

-Group 8=Jason Jones, Dan Wood, Jessie Lawrence, 1 Uncredited Guy
Who's Moving On? None of Em
Who's Going Home? All of Em
Opinion? It was a disaster. That's about it.

-Group 9= Ryan Connor Smith, Devan Jones, Devin Velez, 1 Guy just named Adrian
Who's Moving On? Devan, Devin, Adrian
Who's Going Home? Ryan
Opinion? They decided to take a risk and go without the band. Keith doesn't get why they decided to go acapella. The guy who decided that they should go acapella is the guy who went home. Sucks for him.

-Group 10=Tony Foster Jr, Mario Jose, Burnell Taylor, Darien Moses
Who's Moving On? Tony, Burnell
Who's Going Home? Mario, Darien
Opinion? Not much. They didn't really thrill me. None of them did.

-Group 11= Josh Stephens, Scott Fleenor, Christian Lopez, Lazaro Arbos
Who's Moving On? Lazaro, Christian
Who's Going Home? Josh, Scott
Opinion? Lazaro mentions that when it's tough to communicate people think he isn't smart. So the guys in his group try to almost 'dumb' down the performance for him. Patience probably would have worked too, but it's tough in this high stress situation. So it's a tough dilemma. Lyrics didn't work for them at points either. Josh is a little pissed that he tried to help Lazaro and now Lazaro gets through and not him.

-Group 12=Lee Pritchard, JDA, Joel Wayman, Trevor Blakney
Who's Moving On? JDA, Joel
Who's Going Home? Trevor, Lee
Opinion? This group consists of guys who consider themselves "Queens" and guys who are full on country, so it's an interesting blend for sure. They had a tough time blending together and Trevor especially had a tough time with lyrics. The twist of putting these guys together obviously worked against the country guys because they were too thrown off by the song choice and their group members. So Producers=1 Trevor and Lee=0.

-Group 13= David Leathers, Kevin Quinn, Kayden Stephenson, Sanni M'Mairura
Who's Moving On? David, Sanni
Who's Going Home? Kayden, Kevin
Opinion? I remember David Leathers. He almost made it to the Live Rounds last year. I liked him. Kayden, the boy that we learned has Cystic Fibrosis, still had the weaker voice, but Sanni and Kevin weren't so fantastic either. The judges took into account the voice, not the story on Kayden, so I give them credit and I am pulling for Kayden and his health.

Other Notable Exits: Griffin Peterson and Clifton Duffin

-Group 14= Papa Peachez, Adam Sanders, Frankie Ford, Charles Allen
Who's Moving On? Papa, Adam, Charles
Who's Going Home?  Frankie
Opinion? This group had a ton of issues. They didn't gel, they had people crying right before they hit the stage. Frankie had no idea of his lyrics. Charles really shone with his voice. Papa and Adam were alright, a little affected, but alright. Frankie screwed himself up, he put too much pressure on himself and then it got to him. Papa got a warning from Nicki that he has to step it up.

Final Thoughts
*"It's close enough"--Keith Urban. I like Keith but this comment pissed me off and it was pretty much followed by the rest of the judges when talking about lyrics and remembering them. Listen, I know learning a new song is tough, especially overnight, and especially when you are around people you don't know, but close enough is not good enough for me. Gotta know the lyrics. Allowing an entire group to get through when they were completely off and then you just laugh it off is lazy. It sets a bad precedent and the trend continued throughout the night.

*Nobody truly wowed me tonight if I am being completely honest. I thought there were some good performances but no one that just killed it and was completely amazing. I hope tomorrow we can really get a better grasp of some of these guys because so far it's been pretty unmemorable. I had some high hopes for Curtis but his comments let me down tonight, if you aren't humble now then what's gonna happen if/when he goes further in this competition?

Tomorrow we see the final solo performances for the guys in Hollywood. We got a few surprises tonight, a couple disappointments and some unnecessary drama, which is about right for American Idol. Come back tomorrow for more of the same. So until then, see ya!

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