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After Alexis Granville’s anxiety attack that capped off last week’s American Idol, the judges decide to give Sal’s Gals a short break to recover when Hollywood Week resumes tonight. Once Granville is given the green light by a medic, she joins her team on stage for their performance of Train’s “Drive By.” Sal Valentinetti doesn’t end up advancing, and only two of his “gals” make it through: Granville and Jax Cole.
Contestants Cody Fry, Rayvon Owen, Piper Jones, and Kellyeann Rodgers share a bond that goes way back before Hollywood Week. The four attended Belmont University together, and their closeness shows in their airtight performance of former Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” The gang skips awkward choreography, keeping it simple by singing at four standing mics and bringing a softness to the song instead of going for the powerhouse pop vocals of Clarkson’s studio version. All these strong choices work together to ensure they all move on in the competition.
But not every group has much natural chemistry. Vital Signs, made up of Adanna Duru, Cindy Maslov, Denise Natoli, and Camille Peruto, struggle to find their groove early on in the group process. Their song choice “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5 doesn’t play to the strengths of everyone in the group, and as a result, only Duru and Maslov advance.
Team No Sleep also wavers when their team captain Hollywood Anderson, as their team name suggests, doesn’t get any sleep and ends up too exhausted to really take charge. Laurel Taylor Taunton takes over, and her assertive leadership style doesn’t seem to click with the rest of the group. No Sleep sings “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and their haphazard performance means only Hollywood Anderson and Monica continue on to the solo round. Taunton and Amber Kelechi are sent home.
Heatherle Spires, Erika David, Sarina-Joi Crowe, and Adrianna Simon perform a much more innovative and cohesive rendition of “Grenade,” but Spires, who tried to leave her group at the last minute, doesn’t continue on with the rest of her teammates.
Trevor Douglas, Qaasim Middleton, Daniel Seavey, and Savion Wright all have better luck—even if they can’t quite get their team name right. After blurting out a garbled mess of letters, they finally settle on L.K.Y.C.O, meaning Ladies Keep Your Clothes On. No one really gets it, but their performance of One Direction’s “Story Of My Life” is a clear success, and after a bit of a fake out from Jennifer Lopez, the judges let all four through to the next round.
Alexis Gomez, Loren Lott, Quentin Alexander, and Tanya Mackenna all stand out in their respective groups and continue on to the solo round without their teammates. Jess Lamb and Lovey James also shine in their group’s performance of “All About That Bass.” But it’s the end of the road for blind contestant Garrett Miles.
The last group of the evening, the Violet Vixens, led by Naomi Tatsuoka, face obstacles early on in the day when Shannon Berthiaume’s alarm doesn’t go off and she misses the bus. During their performance of Queen’s “Somebody To Love,” Joey Cook forgets her lyrics but makes a flawless recovery that wins the judges’ hearts. In the words of Harry Connick Jr., “the show must go on,” a philosophy perfectly embodied by Cook’s clever ad libs. All of the Violet Vixens are through to the next round.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear a lot of feedback from the judges due to how much footage of the groups rehearsing and performing is packed into the episode, but it seems fitting that the most frantic part of Hollywood Week is captured in such a breathless way. And it doesn’t look like Idol will be slowing down any time soon. “We don’t get a day off?” Loren Lott asks the camera after finding out she survived the hellish group round. Nope, there’s no rest for the weary, as the already restless contestants have to lose more sleep by preparing for the start of solo round, where American Idol will pick up tomorrow night.
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