Group performances, group performances! Ryan Seacrest tells us that “not everyone will survive” this one. Is he serious? Does he mean someone will actually die? Lord, I hope not. Just say what you mean, Ryan! Anyway, I love the group performances because it is the one time in the entire season that terrible group performances will be judged accordingly. After this week, everyone will be forced to say that group performances like “The Top 10 Sing Hits from Rascal Flatts!” are great. They won’t be great, though.

So the night before the group performances was full of crying and puking (so much puking!), but now it’s time to hear what they’ve come up with. Will the cowboy get his way over Heejun Han? Will Jessica of The Betties just burst into tears again because she’s so tired?

The Betties perform and it sounds like the soundtrack to some creepy nightmarescape. It is all kinds of bad. My favorite, thus-far nameless, character, Blonde Flat Top, did not approve. Jennifer and Carrie move forward. Jennifer stayed up all night and Carrie went to bed. Consider this a lesson NOT learned. One of the girls, probably one who went to bed, got sick in the bathroom with the Idol Flu. Disgusting.

byebyebetties.jpgGroove Sauce is the next group up. Ugh, “Groove Sauce.” It includes snazzy jazzy skatman Reed Grimm and crinkly Justin Timberlake, Creighton Fraker. I love Aaron Marcellus, though! Groove Sauce did well across the board. Their legs were flying everywhere, but the notes were solid. Everyone doodleeoopbeebodoos through.

squeeboopbedoo.jpgThe group “6, 7, 9” (it was probably 6seven9 or something, but whatever), is that group with Brielle and her awful mother. Remember? She was in that group with Pia. Kyle Crews is also in this group, and he was not great. But neither was Brielle Von Hugel, to be fair. Joshua Ledet kind of killed it, whoever he is. Shannon Magrane, tall baseball player’s daughter, is also in sixsevennine. Shannon, Brielle, Amber, and Joshua (EVERYONE BUT KYLE) are through. Kyle is out, much to Brielle’s mom’s delight. He blames the key of the song, like a chump.

The Make-You-Believers have Amy “tent girl” Brumfield and the worst group name yet. The girl who said “all I caught was a good attitude” fell down, sick. She told the medics/producers that she was “so dizzy, so dizzy.” Amy Brumfield brought her tent-livin’ witchcraft with her to Hollywood and it’s not OK. Dustin Cundiff lost his words and did a bad job. Amy also forgot her words, because she can only remember so many incantations. That tall guy named Mathenee did alright, but this song was crap. Jacquie managed to not fall down during the performance, but the whole thing was bad. Jacquie knew she was out when she was lumped with the other two people who forgot the words. Mathenee moves on, Amy, Dustin, and Jacquie are done.

The next group to perform does so poorly that one girl just goes “pshaw” with her hand and walked away from the spotlight. Just the right intro for this season’s “I forgot the lyrics in the performance” montage. Some of them made up their own lyrics, which worked for Jacee Badeaux last year. Tripster the Hipster made up some words, but she was adorable doing it.

That terrible ringletted cop, Alisha, is up next with her group. That guy who was puking looks awful. Does he always look like that? Anyway, the name of the group is “Those Girls and That Guy,” which is cute enough. Christian managed not to puke on stage, and Alisha kept her back to the judges almost the entire time. She didn’t manage to keep anyone’s attention, and it was funny when they spliced in shots of people yawning. They all got cut, and that was the end of that. Alisha offered the judges personal security, which they respectfully declined.

We see Area 51 rehearsing and we already know that that girl is going down. What you didn’t know is that she passed out before they even went on stage. Seriously, quarantine that hotel. Ryan called it “exhaustion” but I’m pretty sure it’s not that.

Hollywood Five, a little kids group, including Eben Franckewitz and David Leathers Jr., sings “Mercy” and their parents approve. Aww, Eben is so good, though! What is Jeremy Rosado doing in that group with all those children? They must have needed a Day 2 person. They all move through and I have already decided that Eben is my little favorite.

Back to Area 51, where the goings-on are strange. Imani wants to join/ruin her group, but she falls down AGAIN. WTF, Imani. This dream is not worth dying for. Like, seriously. Bryce Garcia forgets the words and acts all chumpy about it. You can kind of tell that this Johnny Keyser character is kind of a douche, right? He was being a bossy butthead in the rehearsals, and then took credit for catching Imani the first time she passed out. Oh, and then when she passed out on stage, he tried to keep singing. No, man, even Seacrest wouldn’t do that.

seacrestoutonstage.jpgSeriously, she fell, and he stood up and kept singing. What a dick. Everyone but that dick got cut, so I hope little Eben Franckewitz takes Johnny Keyser DOWN.

Symone, who fell off stage last week, got cut, along with that guy who quit his job and left his girlfriend who was six months pregnant to audition in Hollywood.

MIT, the group with the biggest drama, is up last. It’s three guys we like, and this cowboy. He is the absolute worst, and has practically wiped out every single thing Scotty McCreery established in the name of the good Southern boy. His name is Richie, and he is such a freaking jag. He stayed behind in the confessional to talk crap about the rest of his group and say things that he wanted to put on camera. Like, I really hate that guy.

Heejun starts it off, followed by Jairon Jackson. It sounded good until the cowboy came in and made it funky. Phillip Phillips made his John Mayer faces and made it a little better. It wasn’t the best performance, but we’re hoping this will all be blamed on the Cowboy. All four guys are through, based on previous performances. We’ll have to wait and see if Cowboy will tank in the solo rounds. That necklace is terrible.

Richiesterriblenecklace.jpgThen Heejun was hilarious again. He apologized to Richie, and told him to “check out American Idol Season 11, you will see I talk lots of craps about Richie.” He apologized to Richie and his parents, and if Heejun doesn’t make the Top 10 at this point, I will throw a fit.

Heejunapology.jpgHeejunapology2.jpgNow that the group performances have concluded, it’s time for solo performances with the Idol band. Jennifer arrives and Steven, Randy, and some contestants are already jamming on stage. That yell-y guy with the baby went back and forth with Steven a bit, before Nigel Lythgoe ushered Steven and Randy away from the stage with authority.

First up is a guy we barely know yet, Joshua Ledet. Oh my god, he’s singing “Jar of Hearts” in the style of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” I love it. Great voice, really nice control on those runs. I almost cried, and so did Joshua. The judges gave it a standing ovation. If I was in the room with him at the end of the day, I’d feel pretty good.

JoshuaLedet.jpgColton Dixon has “a great feeling about this year,” because I guess he shoved his sister back into his shadow where she belongs. He does his best Gavin Degraw impression, but you can tell the judges like it. He’s not my favorite, but I know some of you love this guy so I’ll reserve final judgment. I think I saw that hair on a drag queen, though.

Coltondraghair.jpgA terrible hairstyle.

Phillip Phillips pumped his leg and eeked and growled his way through a song, then Jen Hirsh sounded really confident and sultry singing “Georgia (On My Mind).” I think we are supposed to like her, but I feel like we don’t really know her personality yet. And this is when you’re supposed to show off your personality, un-censored. Even Cowboy Richie knows that.

Creighton Fraker sings “What a Wonderful World,” and to his credit, he has been memorable enough for me to not need to wait for his title card to know his name or how to spell it. He is growing on me, just like his hair is slowly growing into a mullet. The trendy kind, I’m sure.

It’s a great day at solo day, and no one is falling down or throwing up yet. They must have eliminated all the sick people and locked them up somewhere.

Jairon Jackson didn’t do well in his solo, and the producers are requiring Reed Grimm to sing a song with the band. Take that, Reed, you can’t just skat your way through life. Reed also obviously has ADHD that no person or medication has kept in check. Vocal Coach Peisha McPhee is NOT HAVING IT.

Shannon Magrane also sings “What a Wonderful World,” and I think the judges like her but I’m not entirely convinced. She got better but the beginning was weak, and it seems like she is doing an impression of Jennifer Hudson instead of singing from a more truthful place. “What the hell was that?” Jennifer asks Randy, surprised by the 16-year old’s tribute to the queen of tributes.

Reed Grimm, who I’m starting to think might have some mild form of autism possibly, or Tourette’s for real, calls his mom because things aren’t feeling right. He’s not sure about “this whole thing” but he might be sure about exactly how many matches just fell on the floor in that restaurant. He tells the band that he’s more comfortable playing the drums. The band leader seems annoyed, and admits he is nervous. Does Reed even play the drums? Is this allowed? Augh, I do not like this kid.

nervousbandleader.jpgReed sings “Georgia on My Mind,” and Randy compares him to Casey, as the rest of us already did weeks ago. Much to my delight, and the band leader’s I’m sure, Reed knew how to play the drums and didn’t just bang on them like Animal from The Muppets. Well, until the end. The judges like him, but I worry that Reed always needs to have three or four things going on, and something in his hands, to sing well.

womanwoman.jpgWO-MAN! WO-MAN!

I have forgotten a lot of these people already, but not the girl whose boyfriend had a stroke, and not Skylar Lane. She got the sickness and went to the hospital on a stretcher the night before. What the hell. Is this the dawn of those Super Germs we were hearing about when we started getting warned against Purell? This is the result of that .1% it didn’t catch!

Skylar does a great job, and Steven tells her it was one of the best performances of the day so far. Very Reba, who I love forever. FANCY.

Rachelle Lamb is up next. She has that cute little girl with the baby glasses, I am reminded by previews. I think I prefer Skylar to Rachelle, but I’m not forced to choose yet. She’s got a great voice for country.

Last but not least is Adam Brock. He calls himself White Chocolate, and I wish he would give that up. All of it, actually. I don’t care for him. He’s Taylor Hicks inside the body of Danny Gokey and the v-neck sweater of Your Grandpa. I also wish there was a limit on how many people could sing “Georgia,” because I feel like it’s an easy song for people to pick up and do really well and soulfully. The judges love him, though, so we’ll be seeing more of you, Adam!

AdamBrocksoul.jpgNow all they can do is wait. This one guy we’ve never seen before says he doesn’t think he’ll be going through, and I’m with him. We didn’t get to see performances from Heejun Han or Eben Franckewitz, the two people I’ve decided to open my heart to, so I hope they were great. I hope they’re in the room with Joshua Ledet!

The judges examine mugshots of all the singers, and decide who is good looking enough to continue on in front of the cameras. The singers are split into four rooms. In room 1, Jenna Hirsh, Creighton Fraker, Jenna Van Pelt, and Hallie Day are in Room 1. So they’re in! Adam Brock is also in this room, with Joshua Ledet. So easy.  This room is full of stars, it’s got David Leathers Jr., that big tall guy Jermaine Jones, Aaron Marcellus, Colton Dixon, Lauren Gray and Johnny Keyser. Randy tries to fake them out but SURPRISE! Randy is a terrible actor. They rejoice, and J. Lo moves her fabulous sweater coat into the next room.

Madison Shandley (whoever that is!) knows that Room 1 was “the room to be in.” Yeah, she’s right. I hope this room is out, because that girl is really annoying, especially after she demanded that Rachelle have some respect and not burp. F*** off, Madison. OH NO, BLONDE FLAT TOP IS IN THAT ROOM! 

Phillip Phillips, Eben Franckewitz, Shannon Magrane, and Skylar Lane move through in Room 2, along with Reed Grimm, and Jessica Phillips. Good for them.

Meanwhile, in Room 3, the leftovers are getting restless for their final moments of fame. Whoa, did you see that girl who looked almost exactly like Carrie Underwood? Oh, it was Brittany Kerr. Sadly, overshadowed by that guy in the Cosby sweater, Blonde Flat Top went through all of Hollywood week without being photographed. I tried to grab you, BFT, I hope you come back next year.

Halie Brown, Brittany Kellogg, and Angie Zeiderman are in Room 4, and I don’t feel optimistic for them, either. The judges put together a big production before they go into the room, hoping that the room can hear them. Richie the Cowboy is in this room, but so is Heejun! Terrible! But Room 4 moves on. Thank God. Gabi Carruba, Angie Zeiderman, and Heejun Han are in!

Next, the remaining contestants move to Las Vegas, where they will continue to perform and throw up and fall down. Oh, and “the Vocal Coach from Hell” is back, asking someone if they’re on Ritalin and telling a girl “there’s no crying in music,” which is simply untrue.

(images courtesy of FOX)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).