Tonight is the night of Hollywood where we get to hear some performances, see a lot of drama, and see them broken up into groups and see some unhappy groups go home, but some really happy ones move on. Then tomorrow, the final 24 will get the news that they’re in. Finally next week, we’ll get to the performance rounds. So far we have a lot of promising people, and we’re bound to hear a few voices tonight that were previously unheard.
The contestants started about 6:50 AM on this final day, making sure everything was set, practicing and going over lyrics and the tunes. By the afternoon, the remaining 71 had all sung for their final time in Hollywood with a band behind them this time. The judges now start deliberating, playing with the Polaroids, marking them yeses and noes. They break them down into good news and bad news piles eventually, and split everyone into three different rooms.
Room one holds Casey James, Tim Urban, Tyler Grady, Andrew Garcia, and Todrick Hall. This has to be a group that makes it. In Room two are Keia Johnson, Mary Powers, Lloyd Thomas, Hope Johnson, and Christian Spear. Before Group round, I would have said it was a definite with Mary Powers in the group, but right now I’m not sure.
In Room three are Shelby Dressel, Haeley Vaughn, and Maddie Penrose. She’s unsure how her last performance was, and judging by this group, I’m not sure either. Also in the group are Jessica Furney and Angela Martin who had a good performance today with American Boy. After her performance, Kara said she liked her, and for Angela she felt good to be able to do this and knew it would be okay. Yet now, in the waiting room, she isn’t so confident.
Casey struggled on group day, but Jermaine Purifoy helped him with his dance moves, and he moved on. They took risks with their performances today. Casey sang Bubbly and Jermaine sang Brickhouse. He’s not sure why more people don’t like that song. I don’t know either, as it was my ringtone on my phone for awhile. Casey sounds good on Bubbly. I think it’s a risk that will pay off. He’s not super-excited about what he just did, but knows it’s just a piece of the puzzle. Jermaine had fun and wants to do it again.
Intersetingly none of the rooms have happy people. They’re all totally tense. Jermaine Sellers sang Man in the Mirror today and did MJ proud, I think. Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi look thrilled. Yet then he notes that in rehearsal he cut the last part out, so turns around and tells the band that wasn’t right. Bad move. The judges liked what he did; he didn’t need to say a thing. They never would have known it was a mistake. Yet now he’s made himself look like he has control issues.
Siobhan Magnus is worried about the first day in Hollywood when Ellen told her to lighten up and not be so old. She let loose today, singing Living For the City. It was great. Crystal Bowersox was a one-man band playing guitar, harmonica, and singing If It Makes You Happy. Wow is all I can say.
Alex Lambert struggled to play the ukulele on day one to accompany himself to some Jason Mraz. Yet he was better on Group Night alongside Mary Powers. Despite all this, he chooses to redo Jason Mraz. Also doing Mraz is Michael Lynche, but it sounds much different from the big guy and with a guitar instead of a uke. Todrick also sang it, this time without accompaniment. Interesting that all three sounded like completely different songs, as they were all styled so differently. And let me note here if I see Kara jam in her chair one more time I’m going to lose it.
Thaddeus Johnson’s mom has stuck with him every step of the way, and she’s still there. He says he has to have his momma there cheering him on. Today he also sang Man In the Mirror, but the band started playing Bubbly. He tells Simon Cowell he is a bubbly person, though. He handled the band’s mistake much better than Jermaine. And once the song gets going, he didn’t miss any of it. It didn’t take him out of his game at all. And no one is cheering louder than his mama.
Charity Vance is in room two and sang Gravity. It sounds good, but was a little boring. Tasha Layton impressed the judges on day one of Hollywood but has her doubts now. Mary Powers feels like she’s done enough to reach the top 24. She did well on group one, but didn’t have an easy time on the Group Round. She wasn’t intimidated by the judges and feels she’s pretty intimidating herself. She sang some Katy Perry today, which I think is a bad choice. Her daughter cheered “Yea Mommy” from the audience.