Group Night in Hollywood -- Ryan opened the show with "the worst is yet to come." I love the drama, welcome to group night!
It's 11:00PM, and although most of the contestants are ready for bed, they've been instructed that it's time to form groups and stay up all night to learn a song and choreograph a performance. As groups formed, unformed, and then joined back together again, the drama was at an all-time high. Here is what happened during Group Night...
The first group performance was given by the group known as "Faith," which included Michelle Delamor, Charity Vance, and Ashley Rodriguez. They sang Beyonce's "Irreplacable," with their falsetto voices. Despite making Charity step forward, the judges sent all three through.
"Team Awesome" included Seth Rollins, Michael Castro, Tim Urban, and Michael Lynche. They practiced well together last night and were the first in bed. Meanwhile, Michael Lynche stayed up on the phone with his wife as she was in labor. The next morning, right before Team Awesome took the stage, Michael Lynche became the proud papa to a baby girl. As if that wasn't draining enough, it was now time for him to sing "Get Ready" by The Temptations. What makes this team "awesome" is the size differences -- Seth and Big Mike are huge dudes, and they're standing with Tim and Michael Castro, who look teeny tiny next to them. The judges sent Big Mike and Tim through, and Michael Castro and Seth Rollins home. Good thing Mike was sent through because we got to see a picture of his adorable little baby, who looks like a Glo Worm.
We witnessed drama unfold between two groups: Destiny's Wild and Neopolitan. Destiny's Wild consists of Todrick Hall, Siobhan Magnus, Theiry Harden, and Jareb Liewer and they chose to sing "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. Liz Rooney, Paige Miles, Thaddeus Johnson, and Jessica Cunningham made up Neopolitan, which was probably named after the colors of Liz's long locks, and they also picked "Bad Romance." This is an intelligent song choice since it is imperative that the contestants remember the lyrics or they'll be sent home, and the song has made up lyrics such as "Raw Raw Ooh La La." The drama all started when Destiny's Wild rehearsed their well choreographed routine very loudly where Neopolitan was sitting. Neopolitan tried to out-sing them, and it just turned into one big, loud passive aggressive mess. When Destiny's Wild met with the vocal coaches, Neopolitan sat in on their lesson and "stole" their arrangement. It came time to perform for the judges and of course Neopolitan went first, but they had strong vocals and Simon said it was very good in its own way, before sending all four members through. Destiny's Wild was not happy, and when it was their turn, vocals seemed to take a back seat to crazy choreography, including a back flip from Todrick. Ellen called the performance weird and said they were dressed for a Cirque du Soleil act, which is kind of how their performance came across. However, they're all sticking around. Maybe one day soon we'll see Theiry's eyes, which are currently covered by purple and fuchsia tie-dyed bangs.
After the "Bad Romance" groups we saw a string of successes from "Shades of Color," "Contemptations," and "Lucky 7's." All three groups are through. The "Mighty Rangers" were off to a good start when they instantly formed their group over the common bond of auditioning in Denver. Despite their ability to work well together, their performance was a bit of a disaster. Singing Ne-Yo's "Closer," Tori Kelly and Maddie Penrose kicked off the performance without any hiccups, but Mark Labriola and Kimberly Kerbow forgot the words. The judges cut them off and Kimberly apologized. Mark, Kimberly, and Danny Jones were sent home, and Mark begged the judges for another chance because this is the last time that he's eligible to audition. Hopefully for Mark they'll do a Jack Black biopic one day, and he may get his shot at stardom.
Moorea Masa, Jeff Goldford, Kat Nestel, Jermaine Sellers, and Ben Honeycutt joined together in the group "The Phoenix." As a member of the successful group "Coalition" with Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers, and Taylor Vaifanua last year, Moorea took her group into their old private closet and attempted to lead the group, a tough task for a 17 year old! She tried to have them sing the harmonies, but the group wasn't feeling it. Vocal coach Debra Byrd tried to pull this group together, but at the last second, Kat Nestel decided to walk away from the competition for fear of embarrassing herself. When the now foursome took the stage to perform "Carry On My Wayward Son," Moorea ended up forgetting the words. Jeff and Jermaine moved on to the next round due to solid performances, but Moorea and Ben Honeycutt were following Kat home.
Do you remember that show Say What? Karaoke? It was a show where contestants had to spin a wheel and sing whatever devilishly quick song came up. Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape" belongs on that wheel of doom, yet three groups sang it for the judges. Randy Jackson imitated the way the contestants mumbled the words and Ellen said they sing it the way she does, only enunciating the "refrigerator" lyric. Finally, Jessica Furney stepped up to the mike and nailed the lyrics. Although two other groups struggled with the song, the song didn't fit anyone in the group "Big Dreams," and the entire group (Matt Lawrence, Amanda Shechtman, Bryce Larsen, and Allen Burton) was sent home. Dramatic Amanda cried so much that her entire face was smeared with mascara.
One stand-out group was "Middle C," the "C" being Casey James between two J's - Janelle Wheeler and Jermaine Purifoy. Despite Casey's inability to tackle choreography, the group mastered the vocals and lyrics of Ne-Yo's "Closer" and were moving on to the final solo round. Three Men and a Baby, the men being Andrew Garcia, JB Ahfua, and Sean Michael Butler, and baby Katie Stevens, rocked a very difficult song -- "No One" by Alicia Keys. It was no surprise that this group made it through to the last round.
So that was group night. The most dramatic part for me was trying to keep all the drama in order!