american-idol

Just like last week the girls began by singing a capella in lines of ten. Starting off group one was Angela Miller, 18, from Massachusetts. She said that she thought, “it’s definitely a year for a girl to win.” She sang Jessie J’s “Who You Are,” and did a lot of riffs like she was trying to sound like Mariah. Then Victoria Acosta, 20, the recovering anorexic from Texas, sang “Killing Me Softly,” and not all that well. Finally, Mariah Pulice,19, from Illinois, sang Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity.” Before going on, she said, “If I make it through, I’m proving something to myself.” I thought her performance was lovely, and it was a great song choice.

When the first ten were called back out, Angela and Victoria were among those who were who made it on to the next round. Mariah, unfortunately, was sent home. She remained positive, saying, “There’s a plan for everything, and this just wasn’t it.” Other girls who got cut early on were goofy Ashley Smith, newlywed Anne, and Sarah, who wowed she judges with her rendition of “Super Bass” in New York.

Another group pitted two country girls against each other. Rachel Hale, 21, from Arkansas, was called “the happiest person ever” by Randy, and put all of the judges in a good mood at her first audition. She sang Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Nothing But the Water,” and her performance made Keith yell out, “Yeah!” when she was done. Then Janelle Arthur, 23, from Tennessee, came out on stage and told the judges, “I’m the next American Idol because I’m a dreamer y’all!” She sang Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” When they took the stage with the rest of the ten, Mariah told everyone that it was a tough decision, but both of them made it through. Afterwards, Janelle said “I’m just so blown away!”

Next, Candice Glover, 23, from South Carolina, sang a few bars of Christina Aguilera’s “Impossible,” while seemingly channeling the singer. Randy whooped, and we flashed back to Nicki at Candice’s North Carolina audition, where she told the girl, “I want to skin you and wear you,” which I guess is a compliment coming from her. Then it was Megan Miller, 22, from Louisiana’s turn, who came to her Baton Rouge audition on crutches after having been in an accident just a few days prior. The judges were impressed by her resilience and refusal to be a victim. She sang David Guetta ft. Sia’s “Titanium” and I thought she and Candice were fairly evenly matched. But she didn’t make it to the next round, and Candice did.

Isabelle, 22, from Georgia lacked confidence in her original audition, but not this time. She sang “Summertime,” by the Indigo Girls, and Nicki said “Oh em gee,” while Randy simply yelled out “Yeah yeah!” She got through, of course. However, Kez Ban, 27, of North Carolina, didn’t do quite as well. She was a part of the last group, and expressed to the cameras that “I don’t necessarily think I fit in anywhere,” after feeling the judgmental eyes of some of the other girls. She was also coming down with something, and despite it showing in her voice a bit, made it through, along with Briana Oakley, 16, from California, and the rest of the girls in the final group. A total of 76 girls made it to the group round at the end of day one.

At 8:30 that night, the girls learned that the rumors they’d heard from the boys were true: They would not be picking their own groups. Put together were Janelle, Kez Ban, Angela, and Brianna Steer, 18, from Florida. They called their group “The Misfits,” and began to struggle immediately when Kez Ban refused to do any of the 20 songs on the list but “California Dreamin’.” She continued to cause more problems, but more on that later.

Also having a tough time were Isabelle; Erin Christine, 26, from Connecticut; Lauren Bettes, 20, from Texas; and Zoanette Johnson, 20. Zoanette didn’t like the song and started crying and not participating with the vocal coach. Fairing slightly better were Brandy Neely, Kree Harrison, Haley Davis, and Britnee Kellogg, who loved each other right off the bat. However, Britnee ended up taking charge because she’s an American Idol veteran and knew the ropes, and she felt that the responsibilities weren’t dolled out evenly.

The Misfits were the last group to pick a song, and Kez Ban compromised a little, managing to find another one she could tolerate. But her group members had trouble working with her, especially when she ran off to go find food, and never came back. The rest of them stayed up and continued rehearsing before they went to bed, and when they woke up for breakfast, Kez Ban was again missing. She almost missed the bus from the hotel!

First to sing that morning were the Swagettes: Kamaria Ousley, Denise Jackson, Candice, and Melinda Ademi. They sang “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell with attitude, style, and fun. Melinda had a strange, low voice, and Denise was probably the worst of the quartet. Keith said, “Wow, that was a great song choice, you just put it together.” All four made it to the solo round, so it was a good start to the morning.

Next up was Raisin’ Cain: Morgan Leigh Boberg, Lauren Mink, Brandy Hotard and one other. They all wore cowboy boots and sang “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” I don’t know if they were all initially country singers, but they sounded the part, and I was impressed. Nicki attempted a southern accent and said, “Southern belles, I think that was a mighty fine job.” Again, all four made it to the final Hollywood round.

Almost Famous was made up of Savannah Votion, Liz Weiss, Daysia Hall and J’Leigh Chavin. They sang Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and they definitely struggled with the words a bit, especially Liz. The problem, they had told the cameras earlier, was that there weren’t any harmonies in the song, so they had to create their own. They all wore leopard print, and called themselves “sisters” and “a team.” Mariah asked them how they felt the blend was, and thanked them for their performance, but only Daysia made it through. Savannah cried and was a bit bitter towards her teammate, and J’Leigh said she felt that she had saved Daysia when she forgot words.

The Dramatics (Kriss Miley, Janel Stiney, Cristabel, and one other) lived up to their name when they took the stage to sing “Bed of Roses.” They had started off well as a group, but Janel had a hard time connecting with the other girls, and they resented it. The judges giggled at the girls’ frequent mistakes during their song, but Nicki said, “I enjoyed you guys messing up the words more than I’ve enjoyed any performance today.” Keith disagreed with this, and questioned Janel, who confessed that she felt like she “didn’t fit in” with the others. Despite all of this, all four of them made it through.

Urban Hue consisted of Kiara Lanier, Jet Hermosa, Tenna Torres, and Seretha Guinn. Their version of “American Boy” was mediocre at best, and Nicki said, “That was so painful. What was that?” She was especially disappointed in Seretha, who she didn’t feel any star power from anymore. Nicki felt that Tenna was the best, but the song was a bad choice. However, the other judges must have felt differently, because Seretha was the only one who didn’t make it on, surprisingly.

Randy returned in time for the Pooh Snaps (Zoanette’s group). They sang “Knock on Wood” while wearing all black, and strutted around the stage with soul and diva attitudes. Zoanette had turned around her poor outlook and made the best of things, and Nicki said, “Overall, it was cool.” Lauren  Bettes was the only one from the group who was sent home.

Handsome Women (Courtney Calle, Shira Gavrielov, Liz Bills, Alisha Dixon) chose to sing “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and none of them were particularly impressive. They had struggled with the song all night, and Liz especially had caused problems causing her teammates to turn against her in interviews. It didn’t help when she was the only one to make it to the next round, and Shira even came back out to ask the judges for an explanation as to why she didn’t make it as well.

Apparently Gotye was a popular choice, because the group made up of Stephanie Schimel, Alex Delaney, Kalli Therinae, and Holly Miller chose it as well- at the very last minute! They had worked on “Total Eclipse of the Heart” all night, but never felt that it was working well so in the morning before their performance, they switched to “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Despite this, and writing the lyrics on their hands they still managed to forget the words, and Randy said “Obviously it was terrible.” Keith didn’t like that word choice, and Holly and Stephanie made it through.

More girls wrote lyrics on their hands including the girls of Dolly Chicks (Brandy, Haley, Kree, and Britnee). Haley chose to go to bed early (she told the judges it was a stomach virus, but that didn’t seem like it was the case from the footage we saw) and her group kept going, causing a lot of attention. They also chose the country song “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” and Nicki objected to Haley’s lyrics-covered arms, calling it “ridiculous” and “disrespectful.” But Haley still got through, as did Kree and Britnee. Brandy didn’t, but maintained a very positive attitude as she left.

The last group of the night was Kez Ban’s group, The Misfits. They sang “Be My Baby” and Kez Ban’s voice didn’t sound up to par, while she messed up some words and made the judges laugh by being goofy. However, Nicki said to all of them “Your voices were perfection,” especially Janelle. All of them got through unanimously, rounding out a total of 47 girls heading on to the next round.

Next up are the solo rounds, and the end of Hollywood Week!