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American Idol, Feb. 9 – Idol Bug Plagues Contestants

Hollywood week continues tonight, but first we’ll have to put up with the drama that Nigel Lythgoe left for us last night. A 16-year-old girl fell off the stage and looked to be critically injured at first glance. Obviously she made it out okay, or we would have heard about it before, so it was really shameful for Nigel to use this as cliffhanger material to get us to tune in tonight. Newsflash, Nigel. I would have tuned in anyway, but this made me second-guess that decision.

We pick up from that moment that Symone Black, 16, of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, fell off the stage. She regains consciousness, and the other contestants circle around her and join together in prayer. Nigel is with her immediately, and Randy Jackson joins the group. Steven Tyler looks down in concern, and Jennifer Lopez says Symone’s voice was one of the prettiest she heard all day. A medic asks Symone when she ate last, and she replies lunch. J-Lo joins the group surrounding Symone who is being handfed a Sprite. She leaves on her own accord, with her father. They’re on their way to the hospital to ge her checked out.

Lauren Mink, 25, a program director for adults with disabilities from Winchester, KY, is still waiting her fate, as is Jeremy Rosado, 19, a front desk clerk at a an infectious disease doctor’s office, and a germophobe, from Valrico, FL. Also in this group is Ethan Jones, 22, a musician from Pontoon Beach, IL. His dad is his fellow bandmate who is now in rehab.

Symone survives the cut in absentia, and on the way to the hospital, explains she was getting ready to answer Randy’s question when she just passed out. Lauren and Ethan are going home, while Jeremy makes it through, as does Nikko Starr. Ethan wishes he could stay, as the people are great there, but the people at home are the ones he loves. Lauren knows she is lucky to have such an awesome place and people to go back to.

There are 185 contestants moving on to group round. They will form into groups, choose a song, and create choreography surrounding a complete performance. They start out at 8:30 PM as they hear the rules from executive producer Ken Warwick. The group has to be a mixture of day one and day two contestants. Some were already working in groups, and will now have to start over. It’s only fair, though, as otherwise day one people have a definite advantage.

Alicia Burnhart, a cop, can’t find a group and it’s pissing her off. She shouts out to the crowd looking for a group that wants to do Joy to the World or Stuck Like Glue with her. Amy Brumfield, 24, of Gailinburg, TN, lives in a tent in the woods, and can’t find a place to roost tonight either. She’s also been feeling sick all day, and is afraid she has the flu. Jackie Sara and Matheny Trico from day one jump on the stage looking for group two people to join them singing More Than a Feeling. Other groups are already starting their work.

Amy is still struggling to find a group and is feeling very weak on top of it. She’s having a hard time being inside and wants air, saying she’s “stuffocating.” Alicia finds a groupmate in Dustin Cundave, who is also alone. They need two more people. She gets on the stage and asks for more people.

Richie Law from day two is still looking for groups. All the groups doing the song he wants have five people in them, so he realizes he needs to be more versatile and start looking for other groups. HeeJun Han, Phillip Phillips, and Jayron Jackson, day one people, are looking for a day two person. HeeJun calls them MIT, Most International Team. Phillip approaches Richie, and they discuss singing Broken Strings.

Amy finally connects up with Alicia who asks if she’s okay. She tells her she’s sick and has had a fever all day. They need one more person for their group. They approach Brianna Bell and tell her they’re doing Joy to the World. She launches into the Christmas Carol. Oops, wrong one. On hearing it’s Jeremiah the bullfrog, she turns on her heels quickly. Alicia is used to people running from her. Brianna seems to be auditioning groups much the way Scotty McCreery did last year. Well, it did work for him. Jackie and Matheny approach Alicia’s group about becoming a quintet. They argue about song choices. They start deciding on a song without Alicia, who is not happy about that.

Alicia is without a group … again. She will only do Joy to the World or Stuck Like Glue, though, she that’s what happens when you’re so limiting. She assumes, though, that the reason she can’t find a group is because she’s a cop. Brianna has found a group called The Bettys with Jen, Cherie, Sharie, and Gabrielle. Alicia finally forms a group

Brielle von Hugel was in a group with Pia Toscano last season and is now back again, this time with Shannon Magrane and Kyle Crews. She runs the groups, being she’s the only one who’s done this before. Brielle’s mom watches her, calling her bossy and a control freak. Kyle refers to her as a creative manager. He thinks he’s supervising the whole thing to make sure it goes according to plan. Brielle’s mom doesn’t agree with his supervision.

Symone is back, saying the doctors determined she was dehydrated and needs to drink more water, eat more, and rest. Her dad gets impatient and says she just needs to drink more. She gets told by an Idol muckety muck that she needs to find a group. She’s worried no one will want her to join this late, but does find a group to let her in.

Amy is still struggling, saying she feels kind of weak. Matheny is determined to not get sick, so he’s staying hydrated. Jackie calls getting sick “not an option.” Something must be going around, as Amy isn’t the only one feeling sick. Ryan Seacrest notes that everyone Amy came into contact with is “dropping like flies.” She’s seen in line the day before with everyone holding hands. She was holding Gabriella’s hand, and Gabriella is barfing in a plastic garbage bag, but still trying to stick this thing out tonight.

Phillip, of the group MIT, has had four kidney stones the past few months, and he had to go back to his room this night feeling sick, but comes back when he starts to feel better. But Richie, who was added to his group, is worried about becoming dry and boring. He’s the only one who has had musical theory classes from the group and is trying to make different harmonies and dance moves. Heejun says it’s not working out, and he’s worried he’ll go home tomorrow.

At midnight, some groups are already heading to bed. The group Alicia finally ended up in has a member, Christian, who is sick. He had to go back to his room for awhile. He says the more he pukes the better he feels. He comes back, and Alicia is struggling to learn the song, while he still isn’t feeling 100%, feeling shaky. Amy, meanwhile, is determined to play hardball with the flu bug.

HeeJun of MIT doesn’t know why they can’t keep this thing simple. They need four different harmonies, four different dance steps, and four different facial expressions. He thinks all his friends are going to laugh at him “because of this cowboy kid (Richie).” Cowboy Richie admits they’re all on the verge of killing each other, but believes it’s the price of playing nice with the other kids. HeeJun is getting a very bad perspective of cowboys, even Dallas Cowboys. “Freakin’ cowboys.” Richie says, “We’re going to do this my way, and that’s it.” He goes off to bed, and HeeJun is figuring he just needs to let him “do his thang.”

The Bettys are still fighting it out in the wee hours of the morning. They’re not getting along very well either. It’s not even clear what they’re arguing about, but they all start leaving, one by one, and Gabrielle the puker isn’t even the first one to leave. Eventually, Jennifer is all alone, crying on her cell phone. Brianna then comes back to her in tears, and they work together through their tears to try and figure it out, saying if the others dont’ know the choreography, that’s their fault. Jennifer also helps Brianna with her lyrics. They finally go to bed at 5:11 AM.

First thing in the morning, some are already working on their performances, and the judges start arriving. Steven thinks sleep deprivation brings the best out of everyone. Then again, he hasn’t watched their performances yet. Heejun doesn’t have a lot of hope for his group, MIT.

Up first are The Bettys, but we won’t get to see it until next Wednesday. We’ll see more medical drama then, too, as people continue to collapse. We won’t know until then if it’s related to this flu bug that seems centered around Amy. But certainly, it seems it could be related as well to whatever happened to Symone. Maybe it wasn’t just dehydration. Either way, it still shouldn’t have been a cliffhanger the way it was, whether it was tied to whatever happened tonight, and what will happen next week. And now, we’re stuck waiting nearly a week to find out what happens with the rest of it.

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