Wednesday, February 16, 2011

'American Idol 10' - Personalities clash, frustrations run deep

James Durbin takes the lead during his group's performance
Last week, we watched as the 327 golden ticket recipients competed in a "sudden death" sing-off. The field, which was totally bloated due to the judges' seeming inability to say no, was chopped in half. Many dreams were crushed, and this week, the survivors will participate in the always dramatic group competition. This round is always a hoot, with lots of egos colliding and people hogging as much camera time as possible.

At the same time tonight's show is airing, the infamous "green mile" or "chairs" episode is taking place in real-time, winnowing down to this year's Top 20. I'll be looking for spoilers on this and will post separately if I find anything.

Ryan opens the show telling us that tonight, personalities clash, frustrations run deep, and it all explodes on stage. We are promised that our favorites will blow us away! Alrighty then.

We pick up right after the first rounds wrap. Some contestants tried to get tricky, forming groups right after their days' auditions were over. But surprise, surprise, Nigel tells the assembled masses that each group must include people from both Day 1 and Day 2. Brett Loewenstern is seen looking desperately for someone from Day 2. He manages to put something together.

Tiffany "Stars on my Boobs" Rios is not having a lot of luck finding a group. I wonder if her comment about how she was going to do what other people only tried to do has anything to do with it? She tries to convince Scotty "Deep Voice" McCreery, but he's not having any parts of this skank. In fact, he thinks she's crazy. Tiffany takes drastic measures and steals a member of Brett's group (Jessica Yantz). Ah, the intrigue. Brett's group tries to convince Scotty to join them, but he's not interested.  You'd better take what you can get there Scotty.

This mess continues for five minutes or so. Some groups are already rehearsing, but Scotty is still groupless. Tiffany and Jessica Yantz can't find anyone interested in singing with them.  And on and on it goes.

After the break, Scotty finds a group that also includes Jacee Badeaux, but Clint Gamboa (disco glasses dude) isn't sure this is going to work. Crazy, crying Ashlely Sullivan is cool, calm and collected, but Ryan seems to understand that she'll soon be losing it. Because no one wants anything to do with Tiffany, she and Jessica are given permission to perform as a duet.

People are practicing all over the place, even in the bathrooms. Chris Medina seems to need some space. Then we see a group of 15- and 16-year olds (Keona Evans, Jalen Harris, Sarni-jOi Crowe, Deandre Brackensack) whose mothers are all on hand to offer unsolicited advice. Meanwhile, James "Aspergers/Tourette syndrome" Durbin is not happy about the moms. Will he bring the drama? Of course he will.

Ex-couple Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks are working together, but Rob tells us they are not on speaking terms. Ger over it. They are also working with the surviving member of the "American Idol Couple" - Jacqueline Whatever-her-name-is (Dunford). Rob is totally out of his element. He's toast anyway.

Meanwhile, Crazy Ashley is looking more and more deranged by the minute. Oh no... it looks like she's going to quit. We go to break with teasers about how we're going to hear the best performances ever.

I have to keep remembering to save my work here because, quite honestly, if I lose this entry, I'll have to bash my head through the wall.

Back from the break and it's already midnight. Ashley talks to producer Patrick Lynn. She is a complete, freakin' mess. Just go already, Ashley. You're not going to make it anyway. Meanwhile, the group Scotty joined isn't working out - so much so that they kick out poor little Jacee. At 1:00 a.m.? Really? How rude. Poor Jacee runs off to Mommy and Daddy who tell him it wasn't meant to be.

Jordan Dorsey is questioning his group's song choice. What a prima donna he is. He's thinking about ditching his group, leaving them completely in the lurch. And he does. What a cretin.

It's 2:30 a.m. and Ashley has decided to stay. Phew. Her group has been rehearsing without her, but take her back. All's well in Crazyville. Meanwhile, Brett's group is still looking for another Day 2 member. If they can't find anyone, they'll have to break apart. But alas, Brett saves the day and pulls in Jacee. Yay Brett. What a good kid you are.

It's now 3 a.m. and people are leaving to get some sleep. But Rob, Chelsee and Jacqueline are still rehearsing. Rob says he can't dance, he doesn't perform with people, and is "incredibly insecure." Yup, that about covers it.

The competition starts at 8:30 a.m. and some of these people are operating on one hour of sleep. The judges address the huddled masses. Tyler tells them he's addicted to adrenalin. Randy says, "Don't ever forget the words." They will be cutting people individually.

The first group of girls (Pia Toscano, Alessandro Gueco, Brielle Von Hugel) do a great job on Bruno Mars' "Grenade." Nice harmonies. And they all make it through. Jordan Dorsey and Robbie Rosen's group sing "Want You Back." Not bad and they all make it through as well.

The next group takes on Ce Lo Green's "Forget You." They all make the cut. So far, we haven't seen anyone's dreams get crushed.

It's Tiffany's turn. She and Jessica start out sitting on the stage. Tiffany is wearing leopard print shorts. She totally sucks. They both totally suck. Randy asks them to explain their duet status. They're out. Tiffany begs. Jessica tries to shut her up, but she will not be stopped. Farewell Tiffany.

Auditions are underway, but Kevin Campos is missing. He apparently overslept. What a doofus. His group (Jovanny Barreto, Jorge Gabriele, Karen Rodriquez) goes to fetch him while Steven Tyler plays drums to entertain the crowd. The group sings and for the most part, they are off-key and disjointed. Steven delivers the verdict. He says he needs some coffee. He blows it, though, giving false hope. In the end, Jovanny and Karen make it, Kevin and Jorge do not.

Before the next group performs, we watch as one girl pulls a noodle through her nose and out of her mouth. They take the stage, inviting Steven up to sit in a chair so they can sing "Some Kind of Wonderful" to him. He joins in, of course. He really can't help himself. Lauren Alaina is the only one who makes it, though. No big surprise there. Forgive me please for not knowing who the hell the rest of the girls in this group are.

The Nashville Stars feature Colton Dixon and Matt Dillard. Colton forgets the words as does Matt. Awful. But Colton's in anyway. Matt wonders what went wrong. You sucked Matt, that's what was wrong. He wants to go home and go to bed. So go already.

The next group is horrible. Briana Tyson forgets the words. Alyson Jados looks like a man. Caitlin Koch is horrible. Then along comes Paris Tassin (disabled child mom). She sucks too and is outta-here. One less sob story to compete for attention.

Other journeys end. People cry. Emily Ann Reed (house burned down) and others are cut as well. Aaron Gutierrez gets cut while his brother makes it through. More tears. More dragged out drama.

The rest of the crowd is nervous. Randy tells the next group that it's been a rough day, and it's been very up and down. He wants each of them to shine. "Don't disappoint us," he says. This is Crazy Ashley's group. Ashton Jones gets some camera time. They aren't half bad. Randy says they were the best harmonized group so far and they all make it through. Ryan's commentary during all this is really beginning to get on my nerves.

The kiddies continue to work along with their mothers. Nasty James Durbin isn't happy. His group (Emma Henry, Danny Pate, Caleb Johnson, John Jordan) is up first. They're singing "Somebody to Love." James totally hogs the entire song. They all suck. Jennifer says it was like a "bad Glee audition." But Caleb and James make it anyway.

The kiddies, who are singing the same song as James' group, are up next. They nail it. Serously. The moms cheer. They all make it through and the moms rush them onstage.

The lead singer of the next group has the lyrics written on his hand. The group blows. Jennifer says they're going to judge them on what they've done before. Corey Levoy and Hollie "Crying Buckets" Cavanaugh go through.

Casey Abrams and Julie Zirilla's group is next. Steven likes Julie's dress. They are performing without music. Did you know Casey and Julie dated in high school? Didn't think so. Nice, cuz they're the only two going though.

The next group, which includes Naima Adedapo, tries the same song a capella as well. Jacob Lusk kills it at the end. Steven thinks it showed style and creativity. They all make it through.

Everyone in Chris Medina's group except Devyn Rush makes it through. She wants a do-over. She doesn't get it.

It's 6 p.m. and group day continues. Steven pops some interesting words of wisdom. People stink up the stage.

Denise Jackson, Stevie Cain, Natalie Hanson, Brett Loewenstern, and Jacee Badeaux perform "Mercy." The judges ask Jacee about how he got kicked out and Brett humbly explains. Have you gotten that I like Brett? And yes, he can sing too. They all get through and Jacee falls apart. He's just so young. So very young.

They position the group that kicked out Jacee next (Clint Gamboa, Scott McCreery, Monique De Los Santos, Frances Coontz). They all make it through, although the judges make Clint squirm a bit.

Last up (thank God) is Chelsee, Rob, and Jacqueline. Chelsee is okay, Jacqueline sucks, and Rob bluffs his way through the whole thing. The girls get through. Rob does not. Awful.

Thursday we're back to solo performances and hopefully only one hour. The field will be narrowed down from 100 to 60.

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