American Idol 11×09- The Groups Unite….Sort Of

Last Thursday night’s Idol was one that many people have been waiting an entire year for- the Hollywood group round. This night never ceases to bring tons of drama, lots of heartbreak, and a few success stories. While many people (myself included sometimes) wonder why this night is important or necessary, I cannot deny the entertainment factor of group night. There are always those groups who form quickly, pick out a great song, make great harmonies and versions of these songs that the judges will see over and over, and get an adequate amount of sleep without killing one another. However, the real entertainment of the night comes when contestants rise from obscurity to cause drama and float from group to group, never content with song choice, choreography, group dynamic, or any number of issues they find with each group. These contestants inevitably end up yelling nonstop, flipping off the cameras, and storming off to bed for an hour or two worth of sleep.This year was no different.

The night started off with a recap and continuation of the Symone Black falling off of the stage scandal. Now, many people never actually saw the initial fall because of DVRs shutting off before the episode was over. The poor girl really did take a very long tumble from the stage to the floor. I didn’t realize how big the drop was, and it certainly looked like she hit her head. The crew, judges, and medics rushed to help Symone, quickly reviving her and giving her water. They asked many questions about her blood sugar or if she was diabetic, creating lots of drama for the show of course, and then sending her off to the hospital with her father.

While this was a very scary moment, I do think the producers played it up too much. Personally, if I were this girl, I would be sort of embarrassed at how long they drug out this whole scenario. I mean, it went into nearly half the episode. Symone was put through to group rounds pretty automatically, although I feel she would have been anyway because she is very talented. However, we cannot forget about the rest of her group.

The judges had to quickly get back to deliberating after Symone was sent to the hospital because there was a lot of Hollywood left to conquer. This is definitely one of the biggest heartbreaks of the season for me, as Ethan Jones and Lauren Mink were both sent home. This truly shocked me. I mean, yes, Lauren did definitely have that slip up with the key change which most certainly showed some immaturity, but I loved her personality and I wish so badly that she could have stayed around a bit longer. As for Ethan, my heart went out to him. If you don’t remember, he is the contestant from St. Louis whose father was in a band with him before falling into alcoholism and checking himself into rehab. I love Ethan’s story, as well as his strong voice. I understand that every contestant has a story and a dream to go along with their voice, but this is one I was really hoping could pan out.

After that first round, there are now 185 people going into the group round. This means that there are now 185 chances for a train wreck to happen on the Hollywood stage.

The first twist of the night came when the producers explained how groups were to be formed. Each group must consist of contestants from both day 1 and day 2 of the first round. To many of the contestants misfortune, this meant scrambling to put groups together in a different order because so many had already formed groups on their own day after being sent through to group day. This is when the problems really began.

In this moment, we have finally found our true group night witch. It happens every year- one contestant, more than the rest, shows their true identity as an evil sorcerer or sorceress and casts spells of horror on every group in which they try to be a member. This year it was a contestant I typically refer to as “cop girl” because I just don’t have time to bother with her real name among all of the drama she was causing. Her real name is Alisha, but cop girl is a better name and obviously what she wants to be known as, for she was telling every single person that she was a cop and they should put her in their group. Alisha simply could not find a group because she apparently thinks she is already a superstar who can call the shots, not a lowly Hollywood contestant on American Idol.

Amy Brumfield, who you’ll remember as “I live in a tent, in the woods” girl, was also having a tough time finding a group. In fact, she was having a hard time doing anything at all because this poor girl was so sick she could barely stand and walk. I can only imagine what this trip has been like for her. She has gone from tent in the woods to Hollywood Week on American Idol. Her body probably just can’t take the stress of what is going on right now.

Amy and Cop girl joined up pretty quickly, much to the delight of the creative Idol team I’m sure, and set out to find a group. There looked to be a bit of promise for a moment, but after the group decided they didn’t want to sing the song Alisha wanted to sing, she flipped out and ended up leaving the group. This girl needs to get with the program or her time in Hollywood is going to be under arrest.

Finally, after going around to so many groups and asking if they were the right day and picked the right song, Cop girl found a group. However, she has wasted so much valuable time that it will be interesting to see how her group goes in the upcoming round.

Hollywood contestant from last year Brielle was in full commander mode of her group. You probably don’t remember Brielle from last year (I sure didn’t), but she was in a group with the beautiful Pia Toscano. Side note: I will always believe that Pia left the competition way too early, and I need her album to come out because she has the voice of a superstar. Ok, now at first I thought “This is great! Brielle is leading her group without being completely bossy. She is seasoned and this is going to be a great thing for his group.” Those thoughts left my mind very quickly, as it became clear quickly just how much of a control freak Brielle truly would be in this group. She seems to have come straight from a rejected casting call for Jersey Shore, and I can absolutely see Snookie being her and her mom’s Idol. I can’t think of a more prime example of a stage mom than Brielle’s mom, who stood off to the side giving the cameras a running commentary of how wonderful her daughter was, and how the rest of the group was holding her back right now.

This group was making me very sad because my favorite fratty contestant, Kyle Crews, is in this group. He is just really nice and trying to take direction while not being a complete pushover, and I’m getting worried that with Brielle at the helm, this group could be a quickly sinking ship.

After all of this time, Symone Black has finally returned from the hospital. It turns out that she was badly dehydrated and needs more food and rest. I don’t really understand how someone can go on a show like American Idol and get dehydrated. Yes, I understand it has to be one of the more stressful situations in life, but as a singer, water is extremely important at all times. I simply think it would be obvious to always have water on hand. I do completely understand her passing out from exhaustion and no food, though, as I cannot imagine having any appetite when something so large as American Idol is on the line.

With her trip to the hospital, Symone is now left to catch up with everyone else, including finding a group to join. While she had before mentioned that her dad is a total stage dad, we weren’t really shown anything until this moment, in which I became convinced that this man is obsessed with his daughter being famous. After going to a few groups explaining her situation, a very nice group of girls welcomed Symone into their group with open arms. I really think this group could be good for her, for these girls are all about the same age and all have a similar singing style while not having the exact same sound. However, her dad was trying to sell Symone so much, frankly coming across pretty creepy in my opinion. He keeps claiming he is “just a mentor”, but isn’t that what every stage mom and stage dad has said in the history of stage moms and stage dads?

Amy’s (tent girl) group has been having a really hard time getting their group sounding good together because each of them have a sound completely unique of everyone else in the group. On top of that, Amy will absolutely not stop complaining and moping around about being sick. I feel bad for her because it never feels good to perform or work when feeling under the weather, but this moment is so much bigger than just her. Frankly, I have never been her biggest fan anyway and don’t think she has what it takes to make an impact on this competition, so she needs to pull it together or I can see her going home very quickly.

Something really bad is happening on this night- everyone is getting sick. Not just a little bit, either. Multiple people are puking consistently, and Phillip Phillips is feeling very ill because he has had four kidney stones in the past month. To be honest, this part was pretty gross because we were just seeing people puke up their guts into trash cans. It was very gross, and it was spreading very quickly. I can only imagine the terror of this situation. These people are competing to become the next music superstar, while fighting to stay well or at least keep down the vomit while they rehearse their group numbers.

The night begins to come to a close, but not before we were introduced to the group known as “MIT”, which featured Phillip Phillips and Heejun Han, two of my favorites so far this season. They had some cowboy I’ve never seen on this season, but who definitely thinks he has it all figured out because he used to take “music theory” classes. Congratulations, bro, but this is a time to be a good group member, not a time to be a pretentious control freak. Fortunatley, we had some great moments with Heejun and the cameras in his frustration with his group.

“Phillip had a kidney stone and cowboy had a…brain stone or something.” A brain stone. I love it! If you aren’t watching American Idol yet, start tuning in just to see Heejun because I don’t foresee his thoughts becoming any less hilarious as the competition progressing; in fact, as his talk with the camera went on, he just kept getting funnier. “Now I have a very bad perspective toward cowboys. Even Dallas Cowboys.” I for sure laughed out loud at this because Heejun is truly hilarious, not simply playing a character or hamming it up for the cameras. Having said all of that, I really hope the cowboy (whose name I don’t even know), doesn’t ruin everything for this group because I want Phillip and Heejun to both shine in this competition.

The night has come and gone, and it is now time for the groups to perform for the judges. Some groups are feeling very confident, having worked out their songs very quickly and getting plenty of rest, while others are still scrambling to work out the final details and going on only an hour or two of sleep. The first group to perform was The Betties, and it seems like they are going to have a rough start. However, in true Idol fashion, we are going to have to wait until the next episode to see these groups perform.

This was a pretty great episode of group night on Idol. I do wish we could have seen some perform, but this way that crafty team over at FOX has got all of us holding on for at least one more episode because now that we know how crazy all of these contestants and groups are, we of course to see if they take flight or dive bomb for the judges.

We’ll see what happens on the next American Idol!


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