Last night was a whirlwind for American Idol. There was drama, talent, and people who couldn’t handle the pressure. Judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr weren’t taking the competition lightly either. It was tough, hard, and sometimes painful but that’s the business, and if you can’t handle it, you should probably go home.
Every group has a standout. That’s how it was for Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, and that seems to be how it is on American Idol as well. If you don’t stand out during the group portion of Hollywood Week, there’s a huge possibility that you will be sent home. There are several hurdles one must have to go through to during Hollywood week, but none are more traumatic than the group round.
It’s an interesting round. It’s not a round that will see if you can develop the next big group but it’s a round that shows the judges who the leader is and who the followers are. It’s a blood sport, and it teaches those in competition how brutal the business can be, and how on point you have to be on stage. Even if you mess up or forget the lyrics, you have to recover and allow the show to go on. There are no time for games, and it was obvious who could handle it, and who couldn’t.
Groups kept losing members left and right. Shelbie Z walked away from her group, and the team had to find a third member while facing elimination. Poh Scott had left the competition all together. According to her father, she couldn’t handle the pressure of the competition. It’s an experience that isn’t for everyone. Other groups had better luck, knocking out their songs and routines just in time to get enough sleep for their performance.
Even before the show gets into the performances, groups are already falling apart. Dalton Rapottoni and his group lose a member immediately, and La’Porsha Renae is bold and joins a group that is in need of a member. There are always powerhouses in the competition, and they are the ones who stand out the most. In this case, Jordan Sasser, and Kory Wheeler are the standouts in the first group. The two other members Kelsie Watts, and Jenna Renae fall to the wayside but they manage to make it through as well their other team members.
Avalon Young’s group, who sang ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love’ by Usher also made it through. Jeneve Rose Mitchell and team members singing Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’ impressed the judges with their ability to connect the lyrics, and displayed true artistry.
Chynna Sherrod and Terrian’s group sang ‘Rather Be,’ which caused Lopez to get emotional stating later that she was going to miss Idol. We’re with you, Jennifer. Idol is going to missed. We still can’t believe that this is the farewell season.
Trent Harmon, who found out on day one of Hollywood Week that he had mono was up next. The producers had told him that he either had to perform alone or go home. Harmon decided to stick it out and perform as a group of one in front of the intimidating judges panel. He also sang ‘Rather Be’ and powered through in the best way he knew how. Even when he’s sick, Harmon reflects true talent, and the judges saw that and sent him through.
The next group, which included Elvie Shane and Jessica Cabral sang ‘Too Close.’ Shane didn’t advance as his performance was weak. Ashley Lillinoe was also sent home, but her fellow group member Mackenzie Bourg and Kayla Mickelson and Juno advanced to the next round.
More contenders suffered drama, especially the group N.V after Anatalia Villaranda felt the song they had chosen was outside of her range. The group wouldn’t compromise and ended up leaving Villaranda to find another group. Luckily she found a group with Rapattoni and Levels who were looking for a third member. They ended up going out strong as they all made it through to the next round.
N.V was up next. They were struggling to nail their performance in rehearsal, and there was only time to find out if their performance was going to be enough for the judges. They sang ‘Problem’ by Ariana Grande. Their vocals were strong, but not all of them had the performance skills. Urban said it looked like Nazarbekian had never been on stage before. Although they struggled, the judges decided to give them a second chance and let them all through to the next round.
One of the best performances of the night were the ones who lost La’Porsha during the process, but they still managed to kill it. Malie Delgado, Manny Torres and Christian Eason recovered beautifully from their loss of La’Porsha. The judges loved their performance of ‘Too Close’ and Urban said it was one of the best performances they’ve seen all day. They all advanced to the next round.
Hollywood Week continues next week at 8 ET on FOX with more solo performances. What do you think of the contestants so far?
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara