'American Idol's' Hollywood Week a 'Sweet Escape' for Alex Lambert and 70 others

american-idol-hollywood-week-group-night-320.jpgHollywood Week sees "American Idol" lose 25 contestants to the dreaded Group Day.

Oh, happy day! Group Day! I am so ready for the crazy drama of the groups. Since this episode is all over the place, the recap is not chronological. It's divided up by group.

Mary Powers, Alex Lambert, Margo May, Hope Johnson and Erin Hundley form the Dreamers. Hope and Erin really insert themselves into the group without being asked, then disappear for awhile. Eventually they get started but they keep fighting and Mary is being really pushy and bossy, even with the vocal coach. Mary eventually yells at Alex, calling him the weakest link.

When they finally perform as the last group of the day, after Group Nazi Mary's reign of tyranny, their "Dreams" is rough. Mary does alright, Hope is weak and thin, Margo is ... my God, how did that girl get a Golden Ticket, we don't see Erin and Alex Lambert sways like he's some kind of savant and he's counting prime numbers in his head. Mary, Hope and Alex make it through and Erin and Margo are cut. 

Maddie Penrose, Danny Jones, Mark Labriola, Tori Kelly and Kim Kerbow are the Mighty Rangers. Maddie and Kim want to rehearse late into the night and the other three want to go to bed. When they perform "Closer," Tori and Maddie are good, but Mark and Kim totally blow the words. We aren't shown Danny, but he gets cut along with Kim and Mark. Wow, Danny Jones looks like Michael Jackson (not in a good way). Mark begs for another chance, which is kind-of gross. I get that you're sad, but you blew an amazing chance. People would die to get how far you got and you need to suck it up.

Jermaine Sellers, Ben Honeycutt, Jeff Goldford, Cat Nessle and Moorea Masa (the girl from Danny Gokey's group last year) are the Phoenix group. Moorea is trying to push for more harmonies, but the group isn't having it. Man, I'd listen to her. Her group was tight last year. They eventually get yelled at by the vocal coach for not being prepared.

Their meltdown comes the next day when they are ready to perform and Cat Nessle quits on the spot. Geez, girl. They perform "Carry On Wayward Son" and everybody flubs the words, which always mystifies me. You've had time to learn the words, plus it's a well-known song! Jermaine also lets loose with a squeal that the audience cheers for, but I didn't think sounded that nice. Simon doesn't want to hear about their "struggles" and neither do I. Ben and Moorea are cut. To her credit, Moorea immediately hugs her group members who made it. I love to see good sportsmanship like that. 

Neapolitan is made up of Paige Miles, Thaddeus Johnson, Jessica Cunningham and Liz Rooney. They're doing "Bad Romance." Also doing that song is Destiny's Wild, which includes Siobhan Magnus, Jareb Liewer, Theri and Todrick Hall. The two groups are in a bit of a "Bad Romance" rivalry. They should rumble, "West Side Story" style. When Neapolitan performs, Jessica stands out for me, both vocally and because of her very orange skin -- lay off the tanning bed, Jess. The judges love it and put them all through.  

Destiny's Wild doesn't like that Neapolitan "stole" their idea of doing the song acapella. Hmmm. I'm pretty sure the idea of doing a song acapella pre-dates "American Idol" by several hundreds of years. Let's not get our panties in a twist, DW. When they perform, they blow Neapolitan away, so I don't know what they were so upset about it. The judges love it (though Ellen calls it "weird," which I think is a bit rich considering it's a Lady Gaga song) and put them all through.

Mike Lynche, Michael Castro, Tim Urban and Seth Rollins are Team Awesome and they are the first group done for the night. Mike goes off to talk to his wife (who is in labor). Right before performing the next day, Mike gets to listen on the phone while she gives birth to their daughter. That's very cool. They do "Get Ready" and it's rough. Not terrible, but not great. Only Big Mike and Tim Urban make it through.

Faith is made up of Ashley Rodriguez, Michelle Delamor and Charity Vance with "Irreplaceable" and it's very good. They should all go through and they do! Good.

There's a montage of "Sweet Escape," which is a difficult song lyrically, but everybody gets up and flubs the words. And not just minor flubs -- we're talking gibberish. Why would you pick such a rhythmically and lyrically difficult song? It's like picking a more musical "It's the End of the World As We Know It." 

Big Dreams is made up of Matt Lawrence, Amanda Shectman and two other dudes and they flub "Sweet Escape" both lyrically and musically so they are all sent home. Bummer about Matt, but I didn't think Amanda wasn't anything to write home about. She also won't stop crying. [ eye roll]

Other people sent home are Leah Laurenti, Carmen Turner, Kimberly Carver and Dave Pittman. I only get broken up over Leah Laurenti and by "broken up" I mean, "give a passing thought to."

Middle C with Janell Wheeler, Jermaine Purifory and Casey James does "Closer" and really nails it. I am particularly blown away by Casey James in Hollywood (in comparison to his initial audition, which I didn't love).

Three Men and a Baby with Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens, J.B. Ahfua and one other dude (who is that?) do "No One" and it's great. All of Middle C and Three Men and a Baby get through.

More people who made it: John Park, Haeley Vaughn, Angela Martin, Tasha Layton, Tyler Grady, Katelyn Epperly, Lloyd Thomas, Keia Johnson and Christian Spear.

We find out that only 25 people were cut. Um, what? You put them through all the group shenanigans and only cut 25 people? That sucks.

What did you guys think? Really broken up about anybody in particular who got cut?

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Photo credit: FOX