American Idol Group Rounds Recap: There Is No 'C' or 'R' or 'A' or 'Z' or 'Y' in Team [Updated]

american-idol-group-rounds-recapTearful meltdowns. Blind rage. Physical collapse. These are the hallmarks of American Idol‘s Hollywood Week Group Rounds.

But every member of the Idoloonie Nation knows that amidst the badly botched lyrics, the “is something sprained?” choreography and the violent assaults on harmony, there’s a far more important ritual that occurs when wannabe Kelly Clarksons come together. Sometimes, right in front of our eyes, a star emerges.

Think back to Kris Allen and Matt Giraud’s Season 8 cover of “I Want You Back.” Or Candice Glover serving classic face, voice and attitude on Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops) in Season 12. Or even Frenchie Davis and Kimberley Locke’s legendary Season 2 “Band of Gold.”

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Yes, sure, it’s the rancor and disappointment that the show’s producers like to highlight, but — as it always is with Idol — it’s the powerhouse singing that sticks in the memory like a stubborn tumeric stain on an off-white dishtowel.

PHOTOS | American Idol: 21 Best Auditions of Season 13

And so, while an overinvested stage mom, a flu-addled girl with a speaking voice like Fantasia Barrino and a semi-talented chick railing against the judges’ agenda got the bulk of the screentime during tonight’s one-hour installment, I’m gonna choose to instead focus this recap on five contestants whose stellar group performances signaled genuine Top 10 potential:

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5. Nica Nashae | Not only did the booming-voiced diva sweetly help teammate Jessica Meuse with her lyrics, but she deftly handled Beyoncé’s rapid “Single Ladies” wordplay and showcased a rich, distinctive tone in the process. Yes I liked it and I wanna throw some votes at it.

4. Paula Hunt | The Air Force singer’s unforgettable audition — a slow, deeply felt Etta James cover — couldn’t have been more different than her sassy, funked-up cover of The Band Perry’s “Done.” That’s the kind of genre-spanning versatility that can transform a terrific vocalist into a serious Idol contender.

3. David Oliver Willis and Sarina Joi Crowe | The night’s opening performance featured these two Hollywood Week vets (along with fellow returning contestant Tony Crowe) tackling “Too Close” with so much feeling and charisma that it obliterated any memories of Alex Clare’s original. That twist of a capella harmony at the end provided an additional upgrade — as did the judges taking a moment to explain to Tony why he was the one who didn’t advance to the next round. Class and maturity during Hollywood week? Now I’ve seen it all!

2. Briana Oakley | How many times have you gone back and replayed the Season 12 Hollywood Week evictee’s muscular, playful riffing on “Royals”? (I’ve got her wicked high note on “I’ll ruuuuuuuuuule” on repeat loop in my brain as I write this sentence. And it ruuuuuuuuules.)

1. Jena Asciutto | I don’t really care about the tale of Sikenya Thompson and her flu-induced, hotel-room hibernation. What matters is Jena’s tone — rich and heartburn-inducing as expensive paté — and the unique cadence she brought to “Too Close.” (Errrbody loves “Too Close,” eh?) Sure, I wish we’d heard more than 11 seconds of Jena’s singing, but it was enough to catapult her to the upper echelon of my Season 13 list.

A few additional observations…

* I’m liking the tougher, more direct J.Lo. But then again, we’re still in the edited portion of the season, so forgive me if I don’t start a slow clap till she’s proven herself into the live rounds.

* I’m also liking Per Blankens’ heavier focus on music and positivity. But that said, I’d have liked maybe 25% more actual singing in this installment. (I’m not crazy, am I?)

* Yeah, it was painful when Megan Miller blanked on the lyrics to “Best I Ever Had,” but that final run of glory notes dug her right out that hole, while Alyssa Siebkin’s defeated facial expressions and slouched body language assured her six-feet-under fate. Group member Spencer Lloyd, meanwhile, didn’t really stand out vocally, did he? [Bonus points to Megan for admitting on camera: “Thank you, Jesus. I didn’t deserve that.”]

* Oh, Tiquila! [Sniffle.] I’ll look for you on the Gospel charts!

* I wonder if Keith London got cut for freaking out the judges with a rendition of “I Kissed a Girl” (the Jill Sobule jam, not the Katy Perry one, obvs). Either way, wouldn’t it have been nice to get 30 seconds of footage to justify his exit?

* Not sad to see the sound healer get the boot.

* I know John Fox was an early fave from the auditions, but his cover of “Royals” had less flow than a stagnant goldfish bowl.

* I truly hope that if Jessica Meuse makes the voting rounds, that she’s judged solely on the strength of her performances — and not on the rantings and complaints of Stephanie Hanvey’s mom.

* If Harry Connick Jr. thinks “Say My Name” isn’t a good vocal showcase, then clealry he didn’t watch Alex & Sierra’s rendition on Season 3 of The X Factor. (Blasphemous, right?)

With that, let me turn things over to you.

What did you think of Night 2 of Season 13 Hollywood Week? Which singers stood out for you? Which moments made you cringe? And have you already got a favorite heading into the Live Rounds? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. karenb says:

    Slezak you’re the best recapped ever. You read my mind with White Chocolate! Great minds!

  2. As upset as I am that Tiquila(who quit) and John Fox(wrongfully eliminated) are gone I think Jena, Paula, Savion and Briana Oakley sounded great. I wish we would get to hear more from them and a few others. I don’t feel we got a great grasp of the singers in the past 2 episodes despite seeing a ton of contestants. Idol packed a lot into the past 2 episodes but I feel with so many contestants initally we ended up seeing way more people that ultimatley didn’t and/or won’t go very far, rather than focusing a bit more. I’m all for a wide open competition but a little more of the good and a little less of the not so great would have helped.

    • Kaba says:

      Personally I’d rather this season not waste any time that isn’t necessary to waste. I’d rather 1 episode of an entire round packed with massive amounts of talent than 2 episodes of 1 round dedicated to talent and personality. At the end of the day half the people they may end up focusing on might be the people who get cut so why dedicate time to the people who aren’t going to be around? Or if they do…why waste time dedicating time to people who aren’t going to last when you can focus on the top 31…but then it’d be even more of a dead give away who made it.

      • analythinker says:

        If they do that, not only it’s a give away, but won’t “we all” be like “Ugh, they’re pimping X and Y and Z, give others camera time already!”?

        • Ben says:

          You wouldn’t feel like that if they pimped all top 31. But it would be a giveaway. And anyway, I’m fine with having favourites in Hollywood Round (Candice Glover, eg) who come back in later years and make it. I actually enjoy the feeling of ‘I remember that person from last year, I hope they make it’, its an additional kind of rooting for someone.

        • Fern Porras says:

          My granddaughter, Melanie, seemed to have been erased from the competition when she exited with her Golden Ticket at the Detroit auditions. Except for a blurry millisecond glimpse of her on the bus as they arrived at the hangar, there is no other evidence she even walked through the hangar door., No sign of her in still photos, crowd scans, contestant interactions,etc., She was eliminated on the first hangar night, but, you would never have known it by watching the show. There has not even been so much as a mention of her on the show since Detroit, although she has gotten a lot of very nice reviews from media all over the country, and great feedback from people who have contacted her. Her friends, family and fans are all scratching their heads over it. How does a popular contestant disappear completely from American Idol without anyone making a single comment about it?

          • brianrocket13 says:

            Hi Fern, your granddaughter didn’t get eliminated in the hangar. They showed her in the theater the next day. Even Melanie says it was the second round on her Twitter account and shows pictures of her and the other contestants on the stage in the theater. I’m sure you are very proud of her. I too do not understand what happened to her. American Idol goes to her house and does a wonderful story on her and her dad and the judges loved her. She is very talented and beautiful and will be a success anyway. There have been only a couple of American Idol winners that have done well afterwards.

    • deedee says:

      I’m upset about Tequila, too. She was one of the only contestants who stood out to me. Everybody is such a blur, really. This season is running smoothly and all that, but it’s a little colder, more remote, more … serious. The Idol c.r.a.z.y. has always been such a fun (and infuriating) part of watching the show. Now it’s starting to feel like just another singing competition. *sigh* I not connecting to the new style yet.

      • marie says:

        I for one don’t miss the “Idol c.r.a.z.y,” as you aptly put it, at all. I’m seriously loving most of the choices the new producers are making so far. That said, I’m with Michael; I would definitely have preferred to hear more singing. I felt this episode, more than Tuesday’s, was rather rushed.
        Sorry you’re not feeling it yet, deedee.

        • deedee says:

          Yeah, not feeling it yet, marie. Maybe once the individual contestants start to distinguish themselves from each other, I’ll start to connect … and maybe even start to appreciate the new, more *mature* Idol that Per Blankens is bringing us! One good thing: I really like the judges. Love Harry’s blunt honesty. We’ve been missing that sort of thing for years.

  3. Kaba says:

    MK Nobilette = <3 her. Love her.
    Poor Jess Meuse. Practically being handed the "whiny b*tch" trophy this season. I want to hope that this won't impede on her chances if she makes it to the top 30, but then I'd be lying to myself.
    She'll need to have a knockout final performance for people to want to take her seriously again.
    Nonetheless. I'm just looking out for MK Nobilette, Briana Oakley, Jillian Jensen, and Kenzie :)

    • Ginger Snap says:

      I think you have excellent perception.

    • Becky says:

      I am not worried about the pink hair Muesse. Her talent will shine through. And someone was worried she wouldn’t show emotion.
      I do think the groups should be able to fire a group member. Fantasia jr would let them know if she was well enough to participate. Give me a break. I would of let her go and made it a threesome.
      The backstreet cowboys and CJ are great country singers. I think those 4 will be around for some time.

    • Eurydice says:

      Oh, I think Jess redeemed herself with how she dealt with Stephanie’s crazy mother, quietly and logically, and when that didn’t work, just walking away.

      • Mary says:

        I give her a lot of credit because I probably would of floored her. I guess it was good TV but I felt sorry for the daughter with a Mother like that.

      • zaza says:

        Omg, that mom was soooo awful! When she was in the aisle dancing along to the group number, I just wanted to smack her! It’s not your moment lady.

  4. Ginger Snap says:

    5. Nica Nashae
    4. Paula Hunt
    3. David Oliver Willis and Sarina Joi Crowe
    2. Briana Oakley
    1. Jena Asciutto

    I see disappointment ahead for our dear recapper.

    • Ginger Snap says:

      And interesting that Michael is heavy on the girls again. You’ve only seen one guy you like?

      • zaza says:

        I feel like they’ve shown us more girls than guys. I hope they’re not trying to force a girl-win again.

      • Owen says:

        Yeah, Slezak is always girl happy on Idol. Can’t think of a season (maybe Elliott’s season?) where his number one fave wasn’t a woman (as the season counts down he’s been forced to champion a man after the last woman standing is eliminated). Its why Slezak is the worst of the Idol recappers.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          If you think “Slezak is the worst of the Idol recappers,” then why are you here?

        • sybl says:

          Season 8? Big Kris Allen fan as far as I could tell.
          Slezak is the best of the Idol recappers, and its not close. What makes someone a good recapper is not necessarily that he agrees with you, or me or anyone. He knows the show inside and out, he includes just the right doses of humor, passion and snark, and he doesn’t mind telling you what he prefers, so there’s no hidden agenda. I don’t agree with every opinion he has–in fact its probably about 50-50 anymore, but that doesn’t lessen the fun and thoughts provoked by reading his commentary.

    • Kaba says:

      Unfortunately I agree…but then again I ruined all of Hollywood for myself -___-

    • Becky says:

      I see a lot of disappointment too!

    • Forwardad says:

      Stop stop stop

      You obviously know spoilers. Michael doesn’t read or comment on spoilers. Move on to a site that discusses spoilers. We don’t want subtle or not so subtle hints.

      • Kaba says:

        It’s hardly enough of a hint drop to allude to anything. And as long as they don’t name names. It’s hardly a big deal.

        • S. says:

          Oh please, for starters Michael listed names and these posters are referring back to that so they ARE naming names. Saying you foresee disappointment for Michael too because you spoiled it for yourself indicates people that are getting listed aren’t in the final group we’re aware of. That’s a spoiler. You’re hinted ‘don’t get invested in these particular people.’ It’s rude. Don’t even try to justify it.

          • Kaba says:

            You’re the one assuming I’m talking about every last person listed.
            I very well could just be talking about one.
            But I guess you’ve spoiled it for yourself. You’re one huge sleuth because totally, none of the people listed go any further. Yup, definitely.

        • Linda Foltz says:

          WHY IN THE WORLD would you be so mean-spirited as to spoil things for those of us who choose to enjoy the show as it unfolds?? I could look things up if I want to, but I choose not to!!! I hope MICHAEL SLEZAK bans you both from this site for life! You’re NOT nice people, Kaba and Ginger Snap!! SHAME ON YOU BOTH!!

          • Kaba says:

            “You are NOT nice people”…

          • Ginger Snap says:

            MIchael is a pretty astute recapper. Don’t for a second believe that he hasn’t read the spoilers, too. He likes to stir the pot.

            About 2 to 3 weeks from now, it’s guaranteed that he will complain about someone getting cut. Because you will jump in and complain, too. It’s his job to keep you worked up and posting about 300 to 400 times over a decision that was made weeks ago.

            There’s the Idol/X Factor way of introducing talent and there’s The Voice. I know which way I prefer. Can’t wait for the Olympics to be done so we can get on with it.

        • Ben says:

          Yeah, its a big deal. I read the spoilers, but this site is a safe site, where people just don’t name them. And that’s a good thing. Learn your spoiler etiquette. I also have to say, its not the first article where someone has talked about Michael being ‘disappointed’ – as though he doesn’t know that he is not God and doesn’t happen to hold the one objective view of who is good and must be put through.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Unless you are writing about something that has ALREADY BEEN BROADCAST, it’s a spoiler, folks. Pure and simple. Please don’t come on here if you haven’t watched the program and complain about spoilers; however, if it hasn’t been broadcast, don’t write about it. If you list 100 names and write, “one of these contestants doesn’t make it through”, it’s STILL a spoiler! Let alone six names for crying out loud.

  5. mal43 says:

    What about Adam Lambert in his group round singing Some Kind of Wonderful–can’t get much more star quality than that!

  6. Sam says:

    Briana Oakley has a great voice, and she definitely showed it off in her round. I thought the dark haired girl on Emmanual’s team was the strongest of the three. The first group was fantastic and I felt bad for Tony. That set the tone for me. I wish we had seen Kenzie, Brandy and Sam. Also did we see Majesty or the girl who opened the entire season who was also not shown last night. So much for the pimping theory!

  7. LeahKittyS says:

    I’ll agree with you on Jena and Briana (and I’ll give a shout-out to MK Nobilette, who is hugging Briana in the picture above, for sounding great). I also liked Emmanuel (only survivor of his group), Malaya (who was in the last group of the night), Andrina (she’s back!), George Lovett (who’s still making a mark) and, believe it or not, the Backstreet Cowboys. And I didn’t think Spencer was as mean as everyone says he was towards his group members. Even if he was a little harsh, it’s a solo competition in the end. Next week we’ll hear the best Hollywood solos, and then it’s the big reveal! Where is the time going?

    Also, props to Harry Connick Jr. for giving the first eliminated guy an explanation as to why they cut him. That’s something he can actually use going forward. So thank you.

    • S. says:

      Spencer’s a douche. Even the “I’m blessed” remark made me read some passive aggressiveness into his behavior. Attributing what happened to God, is he? He didn’t rehearse with those girls because he was setting them up. Didn’t work with Megan. I bet she won’t forget. Btw, Michael, I don’t think she was talking about judges’ agendas. She meant Spencer’s and she was referring to the song choice and practice.

      • CapitalW says:

        My sentiments exactly. That’s a worship leader for ya. He looks like he’s ready to switch to a modelling/hollywood career anytime soon. If he wants to go the Colton/Angie way career-wise he’s gonna have to be less obviously douchey. Not to mention he has yet to show his great vocal chops if any at this point. Ugh. Hate the guy. Bring on the hate. Apparently he’s one of the most followed contestants this season. Eye-rolling in 3,2,1…

        On the flipside, Slezak finally gives an Ethan Thompson shoutout last night and his awesome group (they showed a snippet last night) gets 0 airtime. I wish we see his last solo next week.

      • Becky says:

        I agree that spencer is a douche but the girls should of left the group, and left him standing. Or choose a song they all knew the words too. And he is hiding behind his faith. When fantasia jr said she was sick her teammates stood up for her. When Jess didnt know the words to single ladies…I am guessing in slapout beyonce is not played as much as say Alan Jackson: nica saved Jess and the performance. And the mom is mad because in reality she felt she did all the work and her daughter did bot make it. And the girls were old enough to get rid of her. They were just being polite because of Stephanie. Harry should not have opened his mouth. Jess did what she should of done. Walked away.

        • S. says:

          Yeah I’d have told him ‘rehearse with us or you’re out.’ It’s unprofessional. In fact, if those two girls didn’t know the words to the song, that alone should’ve been reason not to pick it. You don’t pick something two people out of 3 don’t know. Whatever happened to majority rules? He’s bossy and passive aggressive. Megan and Alyssa should’ve stood up to him, and I’m not a fan that they were followers to that extent. If he didn’t like it, let him quit. He can’t make a group do anything. Congrats Spencer on getting this season’s villain edit. You totally deserved it. Honorable mention to Stephanie’s mom.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      Spencer kind of seems like a less tone-deaf Austin Mahone, so I’m not really loving him too much.

    • Mary says:

      You are right it is a solo competition, but this portion was GROUP night. In my book that means you work together. Sorry no justification. Some worship leader he can’t even help his team out. For me it shows his arrogance so unless he really knocks me off my chair with his singing, which so far I don’t think he is that good, I won’t be rooting for him.

  8. Kaba says:

    Am I the only tired of Emmanuel?
    He’s so…vocally extra..ALL of the time. It’s tiresome.

  9. Lindsey says:

    I swear they showed Sam Woolf’s group on the “Coming Up Next” segment, but then I never saw them later in the episode! Anyone know what happened there and whether he made it or not? It looked like they were going to have some drama coming up, so I got worried that he was going to blow it!

    • Ginger Snap says:

      I do know the answer, but I would never want to spoil it for others.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I’m sure he made it. It’s Sam Woolf. You don’t just cut Sam Woolf. That’s like just cutting Majesty Rose; you can’t do it with a right mind. They probably just didn’t want to show America how awkwardly he dances without his guitar.
      Speaking of Majesty, I was bummed that we never saw her group. But maybe they don’t want to push her too hard and risk her suffering backlash. Good idea.

      • J. May says:

        It bodes well actually that we didn’t see Majesty’s group. It likely means they didn’t cause any drama. You know another group that didn’t cause any drama? Season 9’s group of Crystal Bowersox, Lee Dewyze, Aaron Kelly…and someone else.

    • Kaba says:

      It should be enough to at least tell you that he indeed did go through to the next round. Along with Jillian..who we have hardly seen since her barely shown audition

      • Forwardad says:

        Grow up. Stop giving spoilers. Does it make you feel important ? Go away.

        • Kaba says:

          Exactly what about explaining who DID get through to the next round (at least) is a spoiler?

          • Tusk says:

            A spoiler is saying who did AND who didn’t get through. It’s just being polite to those who want to enjoy the show as they are watching it. Why do you think articles pre warn readers that spoilers are involved? aka it matters to some not to know until they see it.

            So instead of explaining that your idea of what a spoiler is, just be respectful of those who don’t want to know. Discuss spoilers in articles that are clearly marked to include spoilers, it’s that simple :P

          • Sara says:

            To Tusk,
            This is a recap of an episode that already aired. If people haven’t seen the episode yet, why are they commenting on the message board already and yet hoping they won’t get spoiled? Kaba answered the original poster’s question. I really don’t see what the issue is here. I really don’t understand people who go to recaps and then complain about having the episode spoiled for them before they have seen it.

          • LB says:

            To Sara,
            I believe Kaba answered the original poster’s question based on having advance knowledge of the final 31 contestants. The information revealed in Kaba’s answer was not provided in the episode already aired, unless perhaps the two contestants in question were visible in the mass of contestants previewed for next week. However, based on the wording of Kaba’s post (and other posts on this comment board), Kaba is clearly basing his/her answer on spoilers. Not cool…

          • Kaba says:

            Sam and Jillian (almost immediately) confirmed they’re not out of the competition yet after the episode. It’s not a spoiler.

          • LB says:

            In the future, maybe it would be better if you just tell people how to find the information on their own, instead of outright revealing it. For example, if Sam and Jillian tweeted their statuses, you could have simply told people to check Twitter for the info. That way everyone will be happy. If it wasn’t aired on the show, it technically is a spoiler (regardless of how minor you think the reveal is).

          • Kaba says:

            I can recognize that.
            Quite frankly I’m only aware of about 3 of the top 31 (thanks to my curiosity once I heard that Jillian allegedly auditioned, I googled to find out more) the rest I’m unsure and am just taking the show in stride and following my favorites/interests on twitter atm. Hence why I knew about Sam and Jillian.
            But goodness, people in here ought to relax. I’d never directly hint as to who is and isn’t in the top 31. The most I’d do is say some useless cryptic crap.

          • Tusk says:

            “. I’d never directly hint as to who is and isn’t in the top 31.
            Comment by Kaba – February 7, 2014 12:47 PM PST ”

            Kaba, in your own words, you contradict yourself….

            Sam and Jillian (almost immediately) confirmed they’re not out of the competition yet after the episode. It’s not a spoiler.
            Comment by Kaba – February 7, 2014 08:35 AM PST ”

            Where in the episode was it revealed? If not? then it’s a spoiler…. and it’s not even a ‘hint’ you posted it outright :P

  10. Kaba says:

    Regarding the Spencer stuff.
    See…I don’t have a hard time excusing his actions. It’s hollywood week. Everyone is already high strung so sure…it’d be nice if everyone could be accommodating for one another. Unfortunately the environment they’re in means that they’re more than likely sleep deprived, excruciatingly over-worked, tired, vocally shot, etc.
    We shouldn’t expect people to be “nice” every step of the way. The reality is that they’re all probably nice people in general, but those conditions do NOT require an level of niceness. And this is a music career they’re all shooting for as well…so that just makes it so much more insane considering that’s a hard career to achieve technically.

    • Eurydice says:

      I had a hard time just figuring out what was going on, because it seemed to me that it wasn’t just Spencer who didn’t want to rehearse, if that was even the real problem. They all met with the vocal coach and they all knew what they had to do. Just suck it up , learn the lyrics and do a kickass solo. Like the judges said, it’s about making the best of things and standing out.

  11. analythinker says:

    I’m wondering about the “we choose” the Top 30 rule. If the spoiler’s list is full/already decided, where will they fit in OUR pick?

    • marie says:

      Brilliant! :D

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I wondered about that. Is there actually a Top 31?

    • I don’t think we get to pick all of the Top 30, just vote for the person who fills the 30th spot. Now how exactly that will work, I’m not sure. I suspect that the judges will pick 29 who are definitely in the Top 30, then allow America to vote among 2 or more candidates to fill the 30th spot with the winner announced either before or at the beginning of the live voting shows, with that person then performing with the rest of the Top 30 while the losing person/people go home without further performances (I’ve seen a certain number thrown around various message boards suggesting how many candidates voters will get to choose from, but for the sake of avoiding spoilers I won’t comment further about it.) Unless we are given a few options to choose from, I gotta say I find the hyping of the America’s Choice vote a little bit of a letdown.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      How that works is, there are two contestants (not saying any names) the judges can’t decide between. So when the other 29 are revealed, America will be able to vote on which of the two will make it. Whoever gets more votes will perform with the other 29 the following week.

      • analythinker says:

        Yeah, I know about the viewers deciding the last person to round out the Top 30 (bad wording on my post), my point was about the spoiler list. There has to be one name off, right, since we haven’t decided yet?

  12. Teeny Bikini says:

    I am just glad the stage mother from hell is gone.

  13. Dave says:

    Well, Spencer just ruined his IDOL chances completely. And don’t give me the whole “editing wasn’t on his side” stuff because you can’t edit what isn’t there. They showed what they had and simply put- Spencer was rude and a douche to his team. Picking a song he knew well, not practicing, and being a jerk.

    He was the one male so far that had the combo of good looks plus passable vocals that would have done him well if he makes the live shows. Now, he has NO shot at the audience rooting for him. I know he lost me as a fan.

    • Jake says:

      I guess I don’t understand why the other two couldn’t practice without him, there is no excuse for any of them to not know the words for their solo part.

      • Dave says:

        Even if they did memorize the words, a group needs to practice together to get the flow right and look good together. If Spencer just wants to sit on the side because he has the song down, that’s an obvious “I don’t care and I’m in it just for me” attitude. Maybe the producers made sure we saw how douchey he was so that he doesn’t become the male contestant who coasts on looks and stays weeks and weeks while good people go home.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Exactly, Jake. If I were forced into a group I would absolutely pick a song I already knew. If those girls were professional enough they could have made do without Spencer. You don’t go on American Idol to help someone else win; you go on to take your own chance at winning. It’s not like Lazaro blowing off Burnell and Devin during “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” in the live rounds last year. That was Top 8, and the cast was tightly bonded like a family, so what Lazaro did was pretty harsh. But we’re still early in the competition; it’s not worth getting attached to anyone at this point. Right now it’s every man and woman for himself/herself.

        • 'A' is Alive says:

          They were supposed to be working as a group and getting their parts together. Getting the flow.. How can you do that with one of the members not wanting to collaborate?

        • Mary says:

          Totally disagree. Your justifying him not working together in a Group song, but saying it is wrong when Lazaro did it. In the real world, not just music, you have to work with other people. I guess he never learn to play with others in the sand box. I have no problem him picking a song he knew, the girls could of override that, but no excuse for not working with the group. If nothing else you have to look cohesive, which obviously they didn’t.

    • MC says:

      There are going to be people who don’t play nice or are determined to undermine others. There are some mean, selfish and juvenile people on the internet. There are going to be some people who have those qualities on reality shows like AI. I think the judges and producers try to bump off anyone who is “difficult,” but sometimes (just like in real life) we have to suffer the company of fools.

  14. danin says:

    The Cowboys maybe individually are good, but that group song sucked. I too feel the prod’s are being skimpy w/airtime of singing. I guess as in the past they’ll give us more in Vegas.

    • marie says:

      I don’t think the show is going to Vegas this season. The preview of next week’s episode showed the same theater as tonight’s show, and the voiceover alluded to next week’s show as being “one last chance before the voting rounds.”

      • kate'shomesick says:

        And?…They are going to have solo-rounds in Hollywood…the reveal…and then a 50/50 voting/judging- thing in Vegas…or not?

  15. Jim Welker says:

    Haven’t seen episode yet (on west coast) but my #1 audition of all auditions before Hollywood was Briana Oakley! I am gonna still say she will win this thing! I don’t want to spoil the show by reading comments till later! Hope she moved on! My second choice, Melanie Porras was eliminated without us hearing a word from her yesterday (what’s with that)! She was very talented!

  16. Jake says:

    John fox was robbed, why would he get cut because he didn’t look comfortable?

    • S. says:

      We didn’t see everything. He seemed fine to me, but who knows what the judges saw. He was on the screen for a few seconds. There’s more than we’re getting.

  17. Doug Dallas says:

    Spencer was painted in a very self serving light. Not sure it matched his church leader story at all. The thing is there are a hundred of him out there in churches. Can he write like Colton? That is the ticket for a kid like him. I think Casey the dad is looking and phrasing songs like a star. I am not getting any superstar on the girls.

    • Dave says:

      Regarding Spencer, I think the show made sure to include anything and everything about Spencer’s group situation so he doesn’t gain any pre-live show fans. I don’t read spoilers this could all be moot if he doesn’t make it into the top 30 but if he does, the producers are going to work super hard to make sure he isn’t this season’s Lazaro Arbos.

  18. Kimbo says:

    So I guess I’m in the minority of people who don’t see Spencer in some new douchey light now?
    Pardon me for not expecting someone to be all hand hold-sy and “kumbaya” through the one week that everyone dubs as hell week.
    Quite frankly, the reality of the situation is: There may have been plenty of other folk who got through that had douche moments, but Spencer’s was the one they chose to key in on.
    I see a level of transparency with this season…every trick they’re trying to employ to keep the top 30 a mystery (or whatever number it is according to this “people decide the top 30” crud) seems to backfire imo.
    The amount of camera time singers like Malaya, Spencer, Briana, and Marielle (well..earlier though) had only tell me one thing. Especially considering they’ve never been portrayed in a weak light. I would even dare throw Jess Meuse into that mix and Emmanuel or whatever his name is.
    There are few names I remember but the ones I do have strictly been people who aren’t exactly weak performers, but have also had camera time. I’ll conjure up my top 30 prediction later.

  19. Angie_Overrated says:

    Not sure why people keep choosing Beyonce EVER!!! I’m a singer and darn confident in my own abilities, and I wouldn’t touch her music with a ten foot pole. The way she spits the lyrics out rapid fire is so damn hard, and all these kids sound like poop when they try.

    • Kaba says:

      I’m patiently waiting for Emmanuel to bust out “Drunk In Love”.
      It’s bound to happen -____-

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Ah, I just looked up who Emmanuel is. I think I agree with you. Talented dude, but no. Not for me.

        • Kaba says:

          Lol whoops, just sent links to his performances so far minus the group. I’m still incredibly upset with how he sang “And I am Telling You”.
          Him and Bria Anai (glitter lipstick girl) are like matches made in heaven.

  20. Angie_Overrated says:

    Am I wrong to love Malaya and Paula Hunt? I can’t tell if I’m on base with this one, but they sound awesome based on what we’ve heard thus far. I think?

    I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I love the frumpy dog herder, but he has the same name as my favorite serial killer, so…

  21. Timmah says:

    I may be the only one, but I liked the girl who looked like Chloe O’Brien — can’t recall her name. She had an interesting texture to her voice, even though I recognize she botched her group round.

  22. darcy's evil twin says:

    I couldn’t believe Jessica Muese didn’t know the lyrics to “Single Ladies”! Seriously? My eight year old niece knows the lyrics to that song. My 15 year old nephew knows the lyrics to that song. Even I know the lyrics to that song and I’m older than dirt.
    I really, really enjoyed Savion Wright. I enjoyed his audition and his performance tonight. That said, I thought tonight’s performances were rushed and we saw too much of the Stage Mother From Hell, Spencer, and Sick Girl. i would love to hear more of the groups and more than 10 seconds of singing from each contestant. I think the Group episode deserves two hours. Haven’t we seen more of the groups in previous years? I seem to recall even hearing entire songs (or close to entire songs).
    I enjoyed the Backstreet Cowboys but I don’t think they were as fabulous as everyone else thinks they were. It was an interesting song choice, though, much like the girls (including Paula Hunt) that chose The Band Perry’s “Done”.
    The group with David Oliver Willis was quite good.
    Thank goodness Stephanie the Cheerleader was sent packing. That awful rendition of “Whipping Post” should have been her ticket on the next thing moving out of town.

    • Timmah says:

      Single Ladies is one of the worst songs ever written so I respect Jessica for not knowing it.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Timmah, you get a Made Me Laugh. :-) Jessica must have been living in a cave to not know this song.
        It’s like “Call Me Maybe”. Truly awful but catchy – I know every word.

        • darcy the slutty twin says:

          That is shameful, sister! Knowing the lyrics to Call Me Maybe?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Guilty as charged, sister. Guilty as charged. When you hear a song 2,472 times in a three month period osmosis takes over.

          • Tahoe Mike says:

            Better than knowing the words to Copacabana.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            For the record, I know the words to “Single Ladies,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Copacabana.” And I am not ashamed at all.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            “The hottest spot north of Havana”. LOL, LeahKittyS
            Hey everyone, don’t be hatin’ on Barry Manilow.
            I always think about the Grammy Awards about 127 years ago when Rick James was in the audience, feigning a big yawn and acting bored every time Barry Manilow’s name came up.
            Barry Manilow – still performing.
            Rick James – dead.

      • Fern Porras says:

        You’re right. If you aren’t a fan of Beyonce, and never listen to her songs, chances are you’re not going to know the lyrics to one of her songs. It makes sense.

    • mike hollingworth says:

      hey d……speaking of old dirt, I am still troubled by your rather frank yet cruel admission of tossing out all your hubby’s plaid shirts back in the 70’s, so on a night when he feels that the only worthwhile act left for him this year/decade is to re-arrange his sock drawer have him go to you-tube and pull up Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” and try and count the exact number of plaid shirts in this vidi. Nostalgia porn! Being a 66 year old Canadian you might think that I would be a genius at this! However, my last attempt resulted in a count of 467. Substance abuse. So, I need his help for a more accurate count!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        LOL mike. You’re hilarious. I didn’t toss them out, if it makes you feel better. We “recycled” them and gave them to younger kids that appreciated the vintage plaid shirts. They were all in excellent condition. He still has a couple of flannel plaid shirts. And no offense, but I never cared for Neil Young. But he’s better than Justin Bieber!

    • I can honestly say that I don’t know the lyrics to that song, other than the chorus. Of course, that’s because I don’t believe I’ve ever listened to the whole song all the way through, and the parts I’ve heard, I didn’t really understand all of the words being sung. Heck, the first time I heard of the song was when it was covered during the first season of Glee. The reason for this: I don’t listen to music radio much, and when I do listen to the radio I prefer country. I bring this up only to show that it is possible for someone not to know the lyrics to Single Ladies. I assumed that the music Jessica performs and prefers is NOT Top 40 pop or R&B (although I could be wrong) and therefore her lack of knowledge of the song didn’t surprise me at all.

      Now how much musical knowledge someone going on American Idol should have, well … that’s a different question that reasonable people may not agree on.

      • Becky says:

        She is from Slapout. One radio station shared with the paper and the tv station. They don’t play R&B. biggest breaking news is Jess goes to Hollywood and that has been playing since her audition. The next biggest news is they got their third stop light in town. The Mayor is so proud of it, he had his family Christmas pictures taken with it. Jess has hers sitting on the fire mantle of the home she shares with friends from high school.
        That is the town she grew up in.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Kevin – my comments about Jessica not knowing the song were not intended to be critical of her, her knowlege of pop culture/pop music, or the type of music she prefers. My comment was more like, “How could anyone avoid hearing the Single Ladies song”? Musicians usually hear music from all genres, either by intent or by accident. My husband also listens to country (and talk radio) but he is familiar with the song. He got some video sent to him of a baby dancing to Single Ladies. Does he know the words? No, but he could probably learn them since he’s familiar with the song – and he’d slam down a couple of beers before he tries to spit out those lyrics. I got the idea Jessica had never even heard “Single Ladies”.
        I realize she is from a tiny town (Slapout – I’m sure I have been there) but it is close enough to pick up stations out of Montgomery. And there’s always satellite radio and videos on TV.

        • James says:

          She said on a post she wrote on one of AI’s group videos that she’s not very familiar with a lot of songs from Top 40 thus she doesn’t have prior knowledge of Single Ladies (or at least her solo part) but she still gave props to the group who adopted her late into the game as well as Stephanie’s mom from hell who she said was really caring for all four of them until she snapped after her girl was sent packing.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          Dear DET, I live in a larger city sort of diagonally northwest of Alabama (Seattle), but I don’t know if I’ve heard “Single Ladies.” My car radio station is tuned to a classical music station and at work I listen to either classical or jazz. I just googled it.. What utterly worthless cr**. If I’ve heard it while shopping, I would have tuned it out.

          Small town or not, I’m not surprised that J-Meuse might not know it.

  23. Jim Welker says:

    Well, just finished watching the episode! From the minute Briana Oakley opened her mouth way back in her first audition, I picked her to win it all! After hearing her tonight, I think more than ever I’m right! BUT…..the best singer in the finals usually is runner-up, so I suspect that will be her fate! It was ironic tonight that that pushy mother’s daughter is the only singer in that group that was cut….poetic justice! To bad the one female contestant just left Idol because she wanted to do gospel! She had a nice voice and personality! That was a strange moment for sure!

  24. darcy's evil twin says:

    Caleb Johnson still reminds me of Meatloaf!

  25. Dave says:

    I have a feeling once the live (voting) shows begin, we are going to have to suffer through countless standing ovations (JLO loves that) and a whole lot of over-singing by many, many people. There seems to be two types of singers this season- the ones you could barely here who take a song and make it sleepy and the ones who scream at you.

    • Kaba says:

      That’s the death course we’re headed if Emmanuel makes it anywhere near the live rounds…goodness I’m legitimately afraid

  26. danin says:

    Emmanuel is this year’s Jacob Lusk.And sorry Malaya doesn’t do it for me so far.

  27. JASON says:

    SLEEPY HOLLOW is on FOX, not NBC!

  28. BTW , Michael your not crazy this episode was very light in the singing , but then again , maybe the judges are putting a lot less weight on groups then they did in the past ,

  29. Tusk says:

    Call me a sucker for a good under dog, I hope Jessica Meuse throws it back at the producers for that portrayal and slays her performances ;)

  30. Jim Welker says:

    I think the groups show tonight was missing Melanie Porras! She was eliminated without us hearing a word out of her mouth! Such a standout as Melanie, and we don’t even know what happened! Pretty fishy to me! I can see a singer being cut that way who was so-so, but a standout, it’s wrong! We had contestants tonight that stank and we saw a lot of their auditions yesterday!

  31. Jim Welker says:

    We may be looking at a Briana, Paula final down the road!

  32. Shroom says:

    I’ve only watched the Hollywood week rounds from Season 4 onwards, but I don’t think anyone who ever got the evil/drama queen edit from Group rounds has ever made it to the Top 5 or even the Top 10. Of the Top 2, I don’t think any were even featured in these back room shenanigans except for Scotty (Baby lock them doors) and Phillip (Heejun vs annyoing cowboy) who both got caught up in dramas, but neither of them were creating the drama. So it does look like either America doesn’t warm up to them or of course, more often than not, the drama was their way to get noticed because they didn’t have the talent to back it up.

    • Justin says:

      James Durbin had that whole douchey edit with the stage Moms and he made it all the way to 4th.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        I thought the stage moms were the douchey ones then. And if I’m not mistaken, the moms of Deandre Brackensick and Sarina Joi Crowe were among those awful stage moms.

  33. MR13 says:

    What about Majesty? Did she make it through?

  34. marie says:

    How delightful that we heard mostly contemporary songs in the group round?

  35. Linda Foltz says:

    I so wish they had left out the horrible stage mom and given us more group singing. Showing her just disgusted me. This year, during the city auditions, I was encouraged to see more focus on good singing, but tonight’s show seemed to be more of a throwback to more drama. Too bad. It was a wasted opportunity.

    And Michael Slezak, or site administrator — PLEASE ban Ginger Snap and Saba from participating, and screen comments to make sure that people who want to include spoilers can’t. It ruins it for all of us who want the fun of not knowing in advance.

  36. Linda Foltz says:

    Oops … that’s KABA, not Saba. She/he should be banned from commenting since they can’t be respectful of us.

  37. Reneeg says:

    I am sorry, but I am a John J Fox fan and he was awesome! He has been solid for all three performances and then they don’t let him through for a bogus reason! This show has some serious integrity issues. They had people that had completely botched it and they still went through and one of those botched it for the second time and still went through… i.e. Spencer I am feeling completely irritated! :/

    • Mary says:

      This year there are a lot of good singers so I think most of us will be saying what the heck at a few eliminations. It is hard to judge because we only saw snippets, maybe if we witness more we could see that he was out of his element. You need more than a good voice to stand out.

  38. darcy the slutty twin says:

    Austin Precario was a member of the intensity group on the first season of X-factor, with Ellona Santiago. I knew he looked familiar.

  39. Mary says:

    Some good standouts last night. I rather they kept John Fox instead of Spencer. I know it was edited but this is the group round not solo and refusing to practice was so wrong. He is not even that good. No group compares to White Chocolate on that song. I am curious who the judges will pick for the top 30.

  40. TJ says:

    Considering how hard the producers pushed Marrialle Sellers before the show started and during the auditions, you’d think we would get to actually hear her sing during Hollywood Week. And, I want to know what happened to Tessa Kate and Paisley van Patten!

  41. Shawn says:

    Hey Michael I think Jessica Meuse (if she makes the live shows, trying not to look at the spoilers) will be judged based on the strength of her performances. I know they were trying to give her the “bitch” edit but I think it backfired as I feel the stage mom was totally out of line. The one that should be worried is Spencer. Yes he knew the song that his group was doing pretty well, and yes it is a competition to a be a solo artist but this was the group round. The idea is not only to make sure you make it to the next round but to make sure the rest of your group does as well. Spencer’s fellow group members didn’t know the song that they were doing, where he knew it he should have stepped up and helped them learn it, should have practiced it with them. He’s the one with something to worry about once the live shows start( that’s if he makes the live shows) if he doesn’t do something to make up for what he did to his partners in the group then he will have a fate that is similar to Clint Jun Gamboa’s back in season 10.

    • Tusk says:

      I’m hoping she kills it in live performances too, this season of little drama only emphasized the “Stage Mom” portion of the show. SM was targeting Ms Meuse’ yet some say it is she who is being judged to be “dramatic” :P

      Stage Mom ruined her moment of triumph after what she endured w/ her former group, then messing up the lyrics. Instead of celebrating with her group, she was attacked :/

      I will caution that she should avoid teary edits from now on…Jillian Jensen’s crying visage (as well as her look alike mom’s) on XFactor, for whatever reason, left an indelible impression, I can’t shake

  42. Deb says:

    Hey Michael – Keith London freaked out the judges by singing “If I Was a Boy” not ” I Kissed a Girl” then the judges asked him to sing a different song and he picked ” same love”.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Deb, I meant for the Group Rounds, which we didn’t see. Was just making a joke while wondering why the heck they cut him. Bummed that they did either way.

  43. His name is Tony FOSTER. He’s only made it to Hollywood six times, and you’re only an American Idol expert and stuff… so I can understand how you could mess that up.

  44. waterbug says:

    I have a feeling we will see a lot of those folks next week that did not have the spotlight in the group phase. For example the black Miley look a-like. Well I’m patient, bring it on.

  45. kate'shomesick says:

    What happened to Ryan Nesbitt…did he drop out…? Paysley van Patten? And I remember that I really liked DaJontae Lenear…I hate that there is no possibility to hear EVERYTHING- at least online

  46. takatomon says:

    After this episode, I never ever, ever, ever, EVER want to hear that “Too Close” song, it felt like last year was that gotye song and now this year it’s Alex Clare. There’s just HAS to be some overly sung song that gets featured on Hollywood week.

    Overall, I thought this was a relatively weaker episode than Wednesday as I didn’t think a lot of the groups were actually very good. Particularly Loud & Fierce, I was surprised as hell that all of them went through, especially when two of them broke on their voices and just looked REALLY amateurish.

    I look forward to next week and see what the remaining 70 something contestants can do.

  47. Steve F. says:

    All I have to say is, THANK GOD STEPHANIE HANVEY DIDN’T GO THROUGH. Sweet looking kid, but I really didn’t want to be submitted to the stage mom from hell if she went through to the top 30. Somehow, I found myself rooting for Jessica Meuse through all that.

    Loved the Backstreet Cowboys (even if one of the guys repeated the first line of the song)!

    And, what was up with all the Destiny’s Child and Lorde last night? Not that I didn’t mind, seeing how previous group nights ran “Oops Hit ‘Em Up Style” into the ground over the years…

    • Timmah says:

      I liked that Lorde song the first 500 times I heard it, but now they really need to retire it from these singing shows.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        :-) I agree. I was also disappointed in the groups that chose “Royals”, as that’s a song that should have at least provided opportunities for some really nice harmonies.

  48. joey says:

    Based on what I’ve seen so far the contestants can be judged as either full-fledged artists or wannabes or karoake singers.

    Here are my list of Artists:

    Alex Preston
    Majesty Rose
    Sam Woolf
    Malaya Watson
    Kenzie Hall
    Casey Thrasher
    Caleb Johnson
    Briana Oakley
    Ben Briley

    There may be a couple more I’ve missed. But these really move me. They got something.

  49. Alan Dvorkis says:

    I wish they would take more time, maybe 2 full shows and show complete versions of the groups. We all have people we root for from the auditions. At least give the audience a chance to listen to them again, and possibly better understand why they are cut or move on. Besides many of the group performances from the past were amazing. Groove Sauces Hold on Im Coming still resonates.

  50. LeahKittyS says:

    A message to the people complaining about spoilers:
    Yes, it’s not nice to post spoilers in this forum. But there’s a difference between a spoiler and a prediction. If someone says “You’re gonna be disappointed based on your favorites,” that could just mean “I think this person didn’t do a good job and won’t make it past next week.” That’s not a spoiler; that’s an opinion. And this comment section is for opinions. Unless someone specifically says a name, or says exactly how many contestants will or will not make it, it’s not a spoiler. Don’t be so quick to judge.

    • Tusk says:

      If you track the posts of those who insist on talking about spoilers, info not aired on the show, you would see that it is all connected, their “opinion” is already rooted in their spoiler posts. Saying someone makes it through in advance, when the episode has not even been aired for a day IS a spoiler, let alone info who makes it through in advance of the reveal IS a spoiler. Not everyone who enjoys this show tweets, so revealing that before the show IS a spoiler. Its tantamount to tell someone what they got for Xmas a week before.
      It’s just courtesy.
      if it wasn’t a deal would articles warn of spoilers in their title?
      Do what you want, obviously people don’t want to have the drama and anticipation”spoiled” for them, have the courtesy of withholding what you must reveal at the time it’s being revealed, or talk about it in Spoiler articles…but why insist on doing something that obviously ruins it for others?

      The above people did not just give their opinion, they gave opinion on spoiler info.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Okay, fine. But I have been accused of posting “spoilers” in the past, when all I’ve done was express my opinion and make predictions based on performances. Someone complained when I posted a number on this site once, so I stopped posting numbers here. If someone asks “Is this person going to make it” and I say “No,” it’s because I didn’t like them. I don’t know what other people intend when they post, but I am trying to be respectful of my fellow viewers. The only time I posted a real spoiler on here was back in Season 11.

        • Tusk says:

          Let’s put it this way:

          “you’re getting a red bike for Xmas”

          “I thought Mom should have got you a blue bike for this Xmas.
          -an opinion, but still a spoiler.

          Maybe what you post about your experience was a misunderstanding, why then lump yourself with those who ARE posting spoilers? Saying someone tweeted they made it in advance of the reveal IS a spoiler. Idoldorums has threads to discuss spoilers and would not allow these posts either. Why defend it?

    • Tusk says:

      Leah, you post at mjs too, she is much more active at moderation, you KNOW she would quash these spoiler posts, so why defend them here? You know better

    • Ginger Snap says:

      How successful everyone here has made Michael’s recap!. He’s got over 185 responses and maybe 30% of the reponses are about SPOILERS. LOL!
      Certainly, by tomorrow, this recap will show up over in that right column on TVLine about the most talked about articles.
      Love it.
      They only do 4 Hollywood Week episodes. Conveniently, that carries us through The Olympics, which is the only real competition Idol has, since every other major show is going into hiatus or reruns. It will be The Olympics with 19 million viewers next Wednesday and Thursday vs. Idol with 13 million viewers.
      I’m pretty patient. I’m not going to be doped into watching 2 equally boring events.