Day three of Hollywood week, and there were a few stunning surprises, with most of them coming from the Brittenum twins. It’s also Group Audition day, which always leads to at least a few laughs. Ninety remain, and by the end of the following day, only thirty-four will be left.
The fights are already beginning, as Brenna Gathers is upset about her group’s choreography. She believes Nick Whitten is too tall for what he is being asked to do with his arm, and thinks he’ll look like a member of the Village People. She stalks off, leaving Nick and Marcy Smith to go it alone.
Terrell Brittenum is in a group with Anthony Hansen, Jose “Sway” Penala, and Elliott Yemin, and is upset because Sway and Elliott were supposed to go back to their rooms, take a warm shower, and get another two hours of practice in. Yet instead, Sway and Elliott decide to go to bed. Terrell calls both of them, telling them he’ll rat them out to Simon tomorrow for not going along with his practice schedule, and choosing to sleep instead. It’s easy for him to say; he’ll be getting plenty of sleep in jail pretty soon. Terrell makes a promise to Anthony that if he just lets him talk the next day in the auditions, he’ll be sure both of them get through.
The next morning Terrell is angry again at Elliott, because he chooses to eat breakfast and talk to to Brenna. After breakfast, Brenna finds Nick and Marcy, and says she received the memo late that they were practicing. She then refers to them as coal to her diamonds, and says, “Baby, bling, bling, and shine on.” Huh? Meanwhile with all his little ducks in a row, Terrell chooses to now pick a fight with his brother, Derrell.
At 10:00 AM, the first group on stage is Paris Bennett, Stephanie Scott, and Hannah Freeman. Stephanie and Hannah don’t sound good at all on Emotion, and even Paris, who is usually superb, sounds too low or something. Simon calls it fairly pitiful for all three, and says there was no buzz or chemistry. Hannah will be going home, but Paris makes it, as does Stephanie. As she leaves, Simon calls Stephanie a lucky girl, saying she should be thanking the other two for helping her get through.
Terrell’s group takes the stage singing It’s In His Kiss. Terrell forgets part of the words, and it’s Elliott that sounds the best. Before the judges can even say anything, Terrell starts bitching about the sleepers in the group. Elliott says, “he’s trashing us, and he’s pissing me off.” Randy informs Terrell of the shocking fact that Elliott was actually the best one. Terrell backpedals, and says he just feels they could have done better if the other two wouldn’t have cut out on them. Simon points out that he was a great backup singer, but once he came forward to sing the lead, he was terrible.
Anthony, the one Terrell made promises to of getting him through, doesn’t make it, but the rest do. As the surviving three talk to the cameras, Terrell now blames Anthony for the problems of the group, calling him “tone deaf.” Elliott just sits and shakes his head, and Sway looks very uncomfortable.
The four young crooners are up next – Kevin Corvais, Josh Jordan, David Radford, and William Makar. They sound amazing on Fly Me To The Moon. The judges agree, and in a surprise move, let all four through.
Tyra Juliette Schwarzy doesn’t like the way things are going with her group, “Epiphany.” She moves on and joins up with the “Try Hards.” She then tires of the Try Hards, thinking they don’t know what they are doing, and wants back in with Epiphany. They aren’t willing to let her back in initially, saying they finally found a cohesiveness after she left, and they’ll be onstage in thirty minutes. Nevertheless they allow her back in. Sounds like someone here doesn’t work well with others.
Derrell Brittenum’s group is up, and they sing I Can’t Help Myself. When Derrell is told he is moving on, Derrell jumps in and says he is disappointed. He would like to thank them for the opportunity, but his spirit is broken. He does not want to crap on his talent. He and his brother did American Idol because they were told it wasn’t the place for them. They will now go home and finish the album they have been working on. Confusion sets in, as it’s hard to understand why after all the boasting that has been done, he decides to quit, after both he and his brother make it to the next round.
Outside in the hallway, Derrell says, “Nobody will do that to you. I don’t give a #*$& who they are!” Talking to Terrell, it turns out he thought for some reason that they had cut Terrell, who tells him he shouldn’t have done that, and he should now go and apologize. Well, this is a first. Someone quits after being told they made it, and now has to go grovel for another opportunity.
Onstage, Mandis Hundley, Brooke Barrettsmith, Sarah Enouen, and an unknown third girl sing Band of Gold. All three named get through, but nothing is said of who the fourth person is, and if she makes it. It will have to remain one of life’s greatest mysteries.
Shots are shown of several people having their lyrics written on their arms. Great cheat sheet, but how are you going to read that while you sing without looking totally odd? Clips are shown of several different people messing up the lyrics to I Can’t Help Myself. Highlights include the following: Sugarpie Honeybun, Don’t have myself, Beat my bare behind, Love you and all my time, and When I Tongue a Blame. Simon is incredulous, calling the song the easiest lyrics in the world.
Tyra’s second group, the “Try Hards”, audition without her. Two of the girls, Leah Barrettsmith and Meredith Bandas, are shown. Paula just says, “Yikes!” Simon calls them absolutely terrible, and says they need to get out of their comfort zone, as it is not about being nice. All three are sent packing.
Terrell and Derrell are brought back onstage by Ryan Seacrest. Derrell explains the situation and says he would not want to resign. Simon asks the crowd what they think, and it’s a mixture of yesses and nos. The brothers believe they exemplify being a true American Idol. Simon tells them he is fed up with their hissy attitude, and says to resign publicly in front of the others, he thinks they are all totally sick to death of them. He tells them he will decide with Paula and Randy and let them know in thirty minutes.
Tyra and her original group of Celeste Scalone, Shantai Kinnik Sky and Nicole Turk finally take the stage, and sing I Can’t Help Myself. They do fairly well, and no one would guess that Tyra has been group jumping. All four of them get through, and since none of the other group got through, whatever Tyra did paid off.
Brenna, Nick and Marcy are onstage, and sing, It’s In His Kiss. Marcy messes up the words, and then tries to explain, saying it was a difficult group to be in. When asked why by Paula, she explains they had some difficult personality issues. Brenna says that would be her, and refers to herself as the Simon of the group. Paula says she loves that Brenna admitted to that. Brenna further explains, saying American Idol is singular and not plural, and nobody likes Donald Trump, Simon Cowell or Martha Stewart either. Simon lets Nick through, saying he realizes he has just been through the worst twenty-four hours of his life. Nick says, “God bless you.” The two girls are let through as well, and when asked to kiss and make up, Brenna fake licks Marcy’s face.
Derrell and Terrell’s thirty minutes are up, and they are brought back in again by Ryan to face the three judges. Derrell apologizes again, and they are both allowed to stay. I honestly don’t get that one. They’re good, but not THAT good.
The Singing Cowboys are up after we cringed listening to them practice. This group consists of Garrett “the turkey singer” Johnson, Matthew Buckstein, and Michael Evans. The clip that introduces them refers to this as “Brokenote Mountain.” They sing Doo Wah Diddy Diddy and woah, they are bad. Matthew wonders why after the song they aren’t interested in his “hip thrusts”, and suggests maybe later. Simon thinks they’ll look back in a few months and wonder why they blew the opportunity of a lifetime trying to be bad comedians. He says it sounded like three ghastly workmates getting drunk and attempting to entertain everyone else. Makes you wonder about the people he works with, doesn’t it? All three are let go.
Outside, Michael cries, and says he is angry. He thought they worked well together. Matthew admits to the troubles, and says Garrett has been like a little brother and an inspiration to them with the spirit he has at eighteen years old. Garrett apologizes for letting them down, to which Matthew says did the best he could. He advises Garrett to go back to the ranch and come back next year. Garrett says you can’t keep a good cowboy down, and says it’s all cool. He knew he wasn’t ready.
At 6:30 AM the next day the remaining singers ready themselves for a day of singing solo and a capella for the judges to make the second to last final cuts. The contestants have ninety-five songs to choose from, and they will receive no feedback on their performances. Brenna is shown in her hotel room saying she does not want to go back to answering phones, and in very appropriate timing, her phone rings, and she yells out for someone to get that. We aren’t privy to hearing them sing, but after, as the judges are shown pouring over their choices, Simon says, “On one hand I think what the hell is he doing here, and on the other I can’t wait to hear what he’ll do next.” Taylor Hicks’ face is shown just after this, and we know he must mean him. Simon also thinks they should categorize by “Yes, no and weird.”
We don’t find out exactly who makes it to the next cut, and who doesn’t, but everyone is separated into four rooms. The first room is cut, and the remaining three make it. From what we can see, Gina Glocksn, Tyra and Nicole don’t make it. Sway, Chris Daughtry, Terrell, Derrell, Taylor, Paris, Elliott, Kelly Pickler, Brett “Ace” Young, and three of the four crooners make it. Derrell and Terrell are separated, and can’t find each other initially to see if they both made it.
Tomorrow is final cutdown to the final twenty-four. It looks to be the same as last year, with everyone facing the judges privately one-on-three to find out if they have made it or not. I sure hope Taylor makes it. He is so different, and so unique. Most of our favorites are still there, so there is much hope for a good season.
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