Goodbye, Hollywood. Hello, Las Vegas.
Wednesday's two-hour "American Idol" episode ended this season's Hollywood phase. We saw the dramatic group performances -- complete with fainting -- as well as individual performances that likely gave some viewers a new favorite singer.
Joshua Ledet hooked me immediately. He obviously advanced to Vegas. Check this out:
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Thursday's show will feature performances in Las Vegas. Here's a full recap of Wednesday's episode.
Group round! Where did we leave off? The Bettys are the first ones on stage. This group had some tension about staying up late versus going to sleep. One contestant was barfing while practicing. Hmm. The performance of "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)" reminds me of a junior high talent show.
Cari Quoyeser and Jennifer Malsch advance, while the others get booted. Cherie Tucker has an especially tough time handling the elimination. No, I did NOT need to hear her hurling in the bathroom.
The musicians from Groove Sauce have much better luck. This group includes many familiar faces, including Reed Grimm, Aaron Marcellus, Jen Hirsh and Creighton Fraker. They perform a nice rendition of "Hold On, I'm Comin.'" Everybody advances.
Here's 6-7-9, a group that features Shannon Magrane (former baseball player's daughter) and nerdy frat guy Kyle Crews. Also in the group? Brielle Von Hugel, who advanced to the group round last year and sang with Pia Toscano.
On the last episode, Brielle's mom thought Kyle was the weakest link in the group. I hate to say it...but she was right. He sounds a bit off on their performance of "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)" He's the only group member eliminated. Aww. Phoniness alert: Brielle's mom is really nice to him post-rejection.
Make You Believers includes Tent Girl, who has passed her illness around during Hollywood week. But Tent Girl is the least of their problems. Shortly before taking the stage, group member Jacquie Cera apparently faints. She's still able to perform "More Than a Feeling" with the group, but it's a total hot mess. Most group members forget the lyrics. They all get eliminated, except Mathenee Treco. See you later, Tent Girl.
Those Girls and That Guy got stuck with aggressive cop Alisha Bernhardt...plus, Christian Lopez, who's been sick. Their take on "Stuck Like Glue" is underwhelming at best. They all get eliminated.
The musicians from Hollywood 5 do much better. The group, which sings "Mercy," is heavy on young singers...and their cheering parents. It includes Ariel Sprague, Eben Franckewitz, Gabi Carrubba, David Leathers Jr. and Jeremy Rosado. They all advance to the next round.
Serious problems for Area 451. Group member Imani Handy faints shortly before they take the stage. She recovers in time to perform...but collapses while singing. I love how fellow group member Johnny Keyser keeps singing amid the casualty. Either way, he's the only group member who advances. I hate that guy.
M.I.T. is the group that centers on a feud between Heejun Han and Cowboy (Richie Lawson). Georgia's Phillip Phillips is in the group, too. Despite the conflict, the entire group advances.
Seacrest points out some other noteworthy advancing contestants: Erika Van Pelt, Hallie Day, Elise Testone and Adam Brock.
With that chaos out of the way...we're back to solo performances. Some 98 singers remain in the game...and they can use an instrument at this point in the competition. They'll get results at the end of the day. Among the standout solo performances:
Joshua Ledet: WOW. Where did this guy come from? His version of "Jar of Hearts" is SPECTACULAR.
The producers are obviously psyched about Colton Dixon and Phillip Phillips, but I'm still a little lukewarm on both singers.
It seems like Jen Hirsh has gotten a lot of air time in Hollywood. She can clearly sing, as illustrated by her rendition of "Georgia on My Mind." But if she advances, I wonder if she'll connect with viewers.
I have similar concerns about Creighton Fraker. His version of "What a Wonderful World" is pretty, but also kind of extreme. Is he too over-the-top for the "Idol" audience? I think he deserves a shot. Shannon Magrane does a nice version of the same song.
Reed Grimm learns at the last minute that he can't sing a cappella. Um, really?!? Now, he's wondering if he should even be on "Idol." So he calls his mom. He ends up playing the drums while singing "Georgia on My Mind." I use the term "playing" very loosely. I don't know what to say about Reed. He's good...sometimes...but his personality is kind of odd.
Teenage country singer Skylar Laine was apparently sick during Hollywood week. I don't notice. Her rendition of "You Lie" by The Band Perry is AWESOME. Definitely one of my favorites of the night.
Fellow country singer Rachelle Lamb, a single mom, isn't as impressive. Her rendition of "The House That Built Me" is just average.
Sorry...I just don't get Adam Brock. But I'm sure many people loved his performance of "Georgia on My Mind." Side note: Is anyone else tired of that song?
Time to divide the singers into rooms and make some cuts!
Room No. 1 advances, which is good news for singers like Creighton Fraker, Hallie Day, Colton Dixon, David Leathers Jr., Erika Van Pelt, Johnny Keyser, Lauren Gray, Adam Brock, Jen Hirsh and Joshua Ledet.
Room No. 2 also advances. The room includes singers like Phillip Phillips, Eben Franckewitz, Skylar Laine, Shannon Magrane, Reed Grimm and Jessica Phillips.
Room No. 3 is eliminated. The room includes a bunch of random people, Rachelle Lamb and NBA dancer Brittany Kerr.
Room No. 4 advances, which means we'll see more from singers like Baylie Brown, Heejun Han, Angie Zeiderman and Gabi Carrubba.
And...we're done! Next stop: Las Vegas. See you Thursday!