Thursday, February 5

AI8 - Hollywood, Round 2: Groups (2/4/09)

Full recap tomorrow- lots to write! Of course I wish we'd seen 5 times more singing and a fifth of the drama, but the singing we did see? (Much of it, anyway-) Awesomeness!!

Here's a brief run-down of who's in, who's out, and who(m) I didn't see...

Through to the next round:
India Morrison, Justin Williams (new), Kris Allen, Matt Giraud, Jorge Nunez, Nick/Norman, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Ann Marie Boskovich, Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers, Taylor Vaifanua, Jeremy Michael Sarver, Adam Lambert, Matt Breitzke, Jesse Langseth (a girl, new), Jasmine Murray, Muna Hiluf (new), Tatiana Del Toro, Nate/Nathaniel Marshall, Kristin McNamara (new), Scott McIntyre, Von Smith, Arianna Afsar, Ryan Johnson, Jackie Tohn, Michael Castro, Kai Kalama, Cody Sheldon. And Anoop Desai was shown in the preview so I assume he's through as well.

Out: Julissa Veloz, Ryan Pinkston (new), Emily Wynne-Hughes, Lauren Barnes (new), Rose Flack, Katrina Darrell, Austin Sisneros, David Osmond, Deanna Brown, Nancy Wilson (new).

Advanced to groups but don't know after that: Frankie Jordan, J.B. Ahfua, Lil Rounds, Joanna Pacitti (pretty sure I saw her tonight but not certain), Alexis Grace, Megan Corkrey, Stephen Fowler

Haven't seen what happened to at all in Hollywood:
Stevie Wright, Brianna Quijada, T.K. Hash, Ashley Anderson, Casey Carlson, Leneshe Young, Asa Barnes, Monique Torres, Ashley Hollister, Joshua Ulloa, John Twiford, Allison Iraheta, Raquel Houghton, Felicia Barton, Shera Lawrence, Jarrett Burns, Melinda Camille, Kenny Hoffpauer (maybe in groups?), Kendall Beard

Hopefully everyone who's been featured so far is listed in one of these 4 groups! (I'll update later after checking some other sources.) And I'm not using any spoiler knowledge, just what I've seen on tv so far. I'm really excited about the potential finalists this year!!!

Ok, Recap!

It's 9 pm on "Day 2" of Round 1 in Hollywood. Contestants start to choose groups; a few are shown having a hard time, specifically Tatiana (gee, I wonder why) and Megan C. By 11:15 many groups are practicing w/the band (there are a limited # of songs, so many groups can practice together).

They focus on 3 groups that have D.R.A.M.A. The 1st is "The Divas" which includes Rose, Lauren Barnes, Jasmine, and Katrina. At 4 am Katrina leaves to go to bed even though the group hadn't finished practicing (apparently 7 hours wasn't enough). In the morning they go to fetch her and she says she needs more than 2 hours of sleep, so they go on without her assuming she has dropped out. She does finally show up though.

The 2nd is "Team Compromise," comprised of Nathaniel/Nate, Nancy Wilson (new), and Kristin McNamara. Kristin wants to take a break (around 2:30 am I think) and Nancy comes over and starts yelling at her about how everyone else is still working and not taking breaks and she needs to get back to work. Whereas really, if Nancy had actually let Kristin be alone and *have* 10 minutes of (relative) quiet, she might have come back refreshed & ready to go. Hounding her, not surprisingly, had just the opposite effect. Nate of course tries to mediate & then is upset that they're not practicing as well.

We don't get a name for the other group other than "Tatiana's group," which contains Muna Hiluf and 2 unnamed girls. At one point Tatiana jumps ship and wants to join Team Compromise, adding to their Drama (Kristin said yes, the others weren't so sure). After a bit of rehearsal Tatiana doesn't think this group is any better than her other one (i.e. they're not giving her total control) so she jumps back!

On to the singing!

First we hear Simon telling everyone how important lyrics are - so important, in fact, that if you forget your words today, you are automatically cut. Ouch! (Bucky certainly would have been cut if they'd done that his season, and probably quite a few other finalists!)

1st up is "White Chocolate": India Morrison (one of the sisters), Justin Williams (new: 26, AZ, teacher), Kris Allen (we saw him briefly in Louisville doing "A Song for You"), and Matt Giraud (Dueling pianist). They sing "I Want You Back" and start and end with India rapping while the guys beatboxed & such. They were all good; to me Kris stood out as excellent. They all made it through and set a very high standard for everyone else!

A group is shown with Austin (class pres.), J.B. Ahfua (16-year old from 1st audition ep), and a girl named Shelby. We don't hear them sing and later are told that Austin was cut, but we don't know about the others.

Another group contains Jorge, Julissa, Nick ("Norman" but serious this time), and a blond girl I don't recognize. They sing "Get Ready" but we don't hear much. Both girls are cut, both guys advance.

"Action Squad" is next: Alex (closet singer), Ann Marie (got 2nd audition chance), Emily (pink-haired rocker), and Ryan Pinkston (new guy). They have "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow." Emily forgets her words! She & Ryan are cut; Alex & Ann Marie are through.

"Rainbow Coalition": BFF's Danny and Jamar plus Taylor (tall Samoan 16-yr old) and another girl. They sing "Somebody to Love" a cappella and rock it! Very, very good. All advance.

Several good singers are then highlighted in a medley of "Some Kind of Wonderful." The first is Jeremy Michael Sarver (oil rig guy) & the 2 other guys in his group are not shown. Next is Adam Lambert (musical theater guy, sang BoRap for audition & I loooooove him!), the only one shown singing of his group with Joanna (girl w/past record deal) and 2 others. Last are Matt Breitzke (married welder) and Jesse Langseth (new: 25, MN, and Johnny Lang's little sis), who are both awesome (we don't see the 3rd group member). Adam's group closes out the medley; they're all back in one group singing but he's having a blast and really showing his skillz while the others are kind-of backing him up. I know some think he was too annoyingly over-the-top (a la Von), but I thought it fit in this context. This whole medley was very, very... well, wonderful! ;-) I'm assuming everyone highlighted made it through.

"The Divas" are shown next; they have Duffy's "Mercy." Lauren is decent, Katrina & Rose both just ok... and Jasmine is Awesome!! Vocally incredible, and socially seems to have totally stayed out of the Drama stewed by Katrina & Rose. So much more maturity at 16 than many of the contestants 10 years her senior. Jasmine is the only one to advance.

Cut, but not shown singing: Austin, David Osmond, and Deanna Brown (grabbed someone else's family in 1st audition ep because she didn't have anyone w/her).

2 groups left. First up is Tatiana's, and we see way too much drama. They sing "I Want You Back" and Muna (new: 16, NV) is good, Tatiana's vocal was decent, and we didn't hear the other two. All of them advance and afterward Tatiana goes on and on thanking Jesus, her group members, and any and everyone involved in any way in the show. And on. and on....

"Team [they didn't] Compromise" is last and they sing "Mercy." Nate is very stressed beforehand and leads the group in prayer. He starts out singing and is overly dramatic with his choreo (not too surprising; some of the judge laugh but goodheartedly I think). Nancy flubs her words but her voice isn't that great either. Kristin (new tonight: 22, CA), however, can sing! I can't wait to hear more of her - and when she's had a bit more sleep and much less stress. They finished and Simon commented, "You really don't like each other, do you?" Heh. Nancy was cut and didn't even let Kristin touch her, though Nate went & consoled her afterward and Nancy did admit that she was at least partially to fault for letting things "get to" her. Nate & Kristin advanced.

In total "about 75" made it through to the next round. They showed a few others and I caught Scott (blind guy), Von, Joanna, Arianna (16-yr old "Adopt a Grandfriend" founder), Michael Castro, Ryan Johnson, Jackie, Kai, and Cody (horror movie boy). Anoop is also shown in the preview for next week so apparently he made it though we never saw his group. Next week we get longer solos (with instruments!) and the announcement of the Top 36!!!

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