Don't forget your lyrics and don't publicly admit you're tired.
Those were two lessons we learned when "American Idol" started its Hollywood round Wednesday. Only the male singers will perform this week. We'll see the women next week.
Wednesday's show included two phases of competition: a "sudden death" a cappella round, plus the highly anticipated group round. We got our fair share of egos, meltdowns and an alarming abundance of botched lyrics.
There weren't any shocking eliminations. Many early favorites advanced -- chiefly, Lazaro Arbos, the guy whose severe stutter disappears when he sings. Gurpreet Singh Sarin, the guy known as "The Turbanator," also advanced.
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Thursday's episode airs 8 p.m. on Fox and will include solo performances from the remaining singers in Hollywood. Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show.
Things kick off with the sudden death a cappella round.
The first group includes Micah Johnson from Morrow, Ga., the guy who developed a speech impediment after having his tonsils removed. He sails through to the next round. Quickly, the show showcases a few more advancing contestants: Nate Tao, the guy with deaf parents; Gabe Brown, a baker; and Gurpreet Singh Sarin, the guy known as "The Turbanator."
Other contestants aren't as lucky. I'm looking at you, quirky guy Karl Skinner. And you, firefighter Dustin Watts.
Cortez Shaw divides the panel with his shaky rendition of "I Will Always Love You." Nicki isn't a fan, but he still advances.
We get some rapid-fire footage of advancing singers. Among the highlights? Lazaro Arbos, the guy whose severe stutter disappears when he sings. Also, Bryant Tadeo makes the mistake of saying he's tired. Nicki gives him a good old fake-out by telling him he'll have lots of time to rest when he goes home. He's safe, but she's serious, warning him to never again say he's tired.
Rough news for Bryan Rittenberry, the Jasper, Ga., guy whose wife battled cancer. He gets eliminated.
With that, it's time for the group round! This year comes with a special twist. Producers will decide the members of each group. As usual, contestants must sing and choreograph a routine to their song.
Lazaro Arbos has some communication issues with his group. Also, he doesn't know a lot of songs. We get some quick footage of the groups rehearsing. You know the drill: egos, no sleep, outdated songs. The groups will perform for the judges while accompanied by the "Idol" band. If they advance, they'll perform in the solo round. If they don't advance, they'll go home.
First up, it's the Mattheads, a group that includes Matheus Fernandes from the first season of "The Glee Project." Other members include Nick Boddington from last season and the baker Gabe Brown. The group also includes Mathenee Treco, who doesn't get as much attention as the other guys.
Nonetheless, they all advance after performing a pretty nice rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love."
In a less entertaining group effort, Johnny Keyser from last season advances after forgetting the lyrics to "Reach Out I'll Be There." He claims he never heard the song prior to "Idol." Really?!?
Remember Charlie Askew, the socially awkward teenager? He's in a group with two R&B singers, including choir director Curtis Finch Jr. I'm not Curtis' biggest fan, mainly because Curtis demonstrates a serious lack of sympathy when Charlie gets sick. But he recovers, and they perform a nice rendition of "The Lazy Song." They all advance, but I could do without Curtis. He's a showoff.
We see a bunch of successful contestants, including Georgia's Micah Johnson. But we also see the inevitable montage of bad singers messing up the lyrics.
But hey...even The Turbanator forgets lyrics sometimes! He advances after botching "Payphone" by Maroon 5. Hey, Turbanator, most Maroon 5 songs are bad enough on their own. No special touches necessary. I'll forgive you this time, but consider our relationship rocky.
With that, the judges vow to raise the bar a bit. Yeah, right. At least they're smart enough to recognize a particularly disastrous rendition of a One Direction song. The group doesn't include any noteworthy contestants. Understandably. They are all awful. "The song's by One Direction, but it was like four directions," Keith says. They all go home.
Oh, great. Another performance of "Payphone." This one is a cappella. Keith isn't too happy about the risk, but three of the four singers advance.
Seriously, who names a group Mo Flow? These guys. Tony Foster Jr., Mario Jose, Burnell Taylor and Darien Moses perform a pretty nice rendition of "Some Kind of Wonderful." Tony and Burnell advance...I think.
Finally, here's Lazaro Arbos, performing a Beach Boys song with his group. The four-member group had a tough time working together, mainly because some of the guys claim they spent too much time helping Lazaro. In the end, Lazaro and one other guy advance. One of the rejected dudes isn't too happy. "I feel like I helped out this person that ended up taking the spot that I wanted," Mr. Bittercakes says.
Now, it's the most intriguing group of the night: Country Queen, a group that encompasses two ends of the spectrum. There's an Army sargeant (Trevor Blakney) and another guy wearing heels and glitter (JDA). They have an especially difficult time remembering the lyrics to "More Than Words." Trevor gets eliminated, but other group members (including JDA) advance.
Sad news: Kayden Stephenson, the teen with cystic fibrosis, gets eliminated after his group performance of "The Longest Time." David Leathers Jr., a returning contestant in his group, advances.
Looks like we'll close the night with a group that faced some serious tension. Big surprise: It includes Papa Peachez. But he's not the biggest problem. Apparently, that honor goes to Frankie Ford, a subway singer who seemingly has absolutely zero knowledge of music. He has a serious meltdown right before taking the stage. He entirely forgets the lyrics to "American Boy." Papa Peachez is just mediocre. The other two members, Adam Sanders and Charles Allen, are more promising. Frankie goes home. Papa Peachez, Adam Sanders and Charles Allen advance.
Frankie has another meltdown after being eliminated. Peace out, dude.
With that, we're done. Thursday's show features solo performances.