Thursday, February 11, 2010

American Idol 9: Pilot Episode of 'Everyone Hates Mary'

Every Idol season, I look forward to the "group day" part of Hollywood week. But, aside from Season 7: Year of the Aussie Hottie when they inexplicably cut it, this year's group day was the most disappointing one in the show's history.

I guess they tried to spice things up with a few front-burner stories: Big Mike Lynche talking his wife through labor over the phone, the pointless rivalry between Destiny's Wild and Neopolitan (yes, idiots really chose these as team names), and Mary Powers going mad with power. But compared to past Hollywood week theatrics of memorable contestants like Nathaniel Marshall, Homeless Josiah and, my favorite, Tatiana del Toro, this gang is about as interesting as listening to Danny Gokey read The Giant Book of Fishing Stories.

And the team names...good God. There's a pub trivia night I go to sometimes where the host always renames the worst-named team "The Douchebags." I don't think he would have been able to pick out just one group of douchebags at the Kodak Theatre last night.

However, if you asked The Dreamers, they would've all agreed that self-appointed team leader Mary Powers was the greatest douche of all. Her constant raspy bitching and moaning got under everyone's skin, including musical director Michael Orland, who nearly gave her two snaps in a circle upside her multi-colored head.

As he does every year, Simon threatened everyone with elimination if they forgot the words. And, as he does every year, he only half meant it.

Up first was Faith, consisting of Michelle Delamor, Charity Vance and Ashley Rodriguez. They did an inoffensive version of "Irreplaceable," with Ashley standing out the most and Charity sucking something awful. But the judges offered up some charity by putting all three girls through.

Team Awesome (seriously) — new dad Michael Lynche, old dad Seth Rollins, Michael "Not Jason" Castro and Tim "Not Keith" Urban — just barely got through "Get Ready," and only Big Mike and Tim made it through to the next round. Bye again, Not Jason! Please don't come back next year.

Then it was time for the Neopolitan/Destiny's Wild "Battle of the Bad Romances." Neopolitan (Liz Rooney, Paige Miles, Jessica Cunningham and Thaddeus Johnson) were up first and did a pretty decent job of turning such a recognizable dance hit into an a cappella number.

Destiny's Wild (Todrick Hall, Theri, Jareb Liewer and Siobhan Magnus) fumed on the sidelines, claiming that Neopolitan stole all of their ideas. So, they did the only thing they could to prove that they were the true innovators — some pointless backflips and really horrible singing. Especially from Jareb. The sounds coming from his face hole were truly terrifying. And my ears really could have done without the alleged "harmonies" at the end.

The judges liked Neopolitan better than Destiny's Wild (as they should have), but everyone on both teams lived to sing another day.

A montage of a bunch of other people making it through ran, and Angela "The Unluckiest Girl in the World" Martin was among them.

The Mighty Rangers — Tori Kelly, Maddie Penrose, Mark Labriola, Kimberly Kerbrow and Danny Jones — did a rather un-mighty version of Ne-Yo's "Closer." Tori and Maddie started things off strong and earned tickets to the next round. But the other three, who didn't want to devote too much time to rehearsing the night before, predictably all blew their lyrics. Simon stayed true to his word and cut them. Mark cried like a little baby, which unsurprisingly got him nowhere. Except for the receiving end of constant ridicule from his friends at home.

The Phoenix, not to be confused with Jean Grey, Stefano DiMera or French indie darlings Phoenix, blew it after team member Kat Nestel bailed on the competition. Moorea Masa, who spent most of the previous night talking about the highlight of her sad life (being in Smuggie's group last year), and Ben Honeycutt forgot the words, while Jeffrey Goldford and Jermaine Sellers forgot how to sing on key and with their inside voices. Apparently, the latter is a lesser offense as only Jeffrey and Jermaine made it through.

A montage of a bunch of teams screwing up Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape" ran. One team managed to get it right. No idea who they were.

Everyone in Big Dreams needed to be eliminated for picking such a dumb name. And after butchering "Sweet Escape" worse than anyone, they were.

Middle C – Janelle Wheeler, Jermaine Purifory and Casey James – did a good version of "Closer," and all made it through. Unlike the last time I saw him, this time I actually was impressed by Casey James. Maybe it was because he didn't take his shirt off like a damn cheeseball.

Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens and J.B. Ahfua, who called themselves Three Men and a Baby despite only having two men, no baby and no Guttenburg, all made it through. And apparently, Kara has already started printing "Katie Stevens: Your 2010 American Idol" tee-shirts.

The Dreamers' version of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" (natch) was something out of Stevie Nicks' nightmares, although Mary "Token Bitch" Powers and Hope Johnson sounded okay in their solo parts. The harmonies were nonexistent. Margo May brayed like a donkey sucking helium, Erin Hundley did absolutely nothing that warrants mentioning, and Alex "Not Adam" Lambert messed up the words. The judges decided to suspend the "forget the lyrics, you're done" rule for Alex, giving him a pass to the next round, along with Mary and Hope.

At the end of group day, the field of contestants was cut down to 71, which is quite a dent in the 181 who went to Hollywood. 71 still feels like too many, though. There were a lot of terrible singers who were given stays of execution.

You know, I still haven't decided which of those awful team names was the worst. I keep coming back to The Dreamers though, just because it's so cliché. It's also funny how lazy and uninspired they were to kinda name themselves after the song they were singing. I know a certain Phil Collins song has been done to death on AI, but last night is one instance in which I would have been happy to hear the theme from Against All Odds, if for no other reason to hear Mary introduce her group as the Take A Look At Me Nows.

You've probably heard by now that the Top 24 list was mysteriously leaked to the Interwebs recently. I've somehow managed to avert my eyes from all spoilers, so if any of you have that info, just keep it under your hats and play along with me next week like you're surprised by who makes it to the finals.


Cora said...

Michael Castro is just making me feel uncomfortable at this point. It's beyond sad.

Mathdude said...

I hereby dub Andrew Garcia your next American Idol.

Bond said...

Even if I saw the 24 names I am not sure I would recognize who they are...

red said...

There's a team when I go to Pub Trivia who call themselves "Team Awesome." They always come in second to us. It's quite satisfying.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

That Mary was a bitch, and it seems weird how they decide who to kick off. The heavy Black guy with the Autistic kid was an incredible performer, and they let some horrible-singing kid through in his group because he was young, white, and pretty.

Kristi Mantoni said...

But I SOOOOO want to tell you!!!!! I have a horrible time keeping secrets (as do many people who's family members made the top 24). Oh well! I guess it can keep.

Bond said...

Oh and I gave you a little shout today

GothicBttrfly said...

Even if I read who the top 24 were, I have no clue who the hell they are. This seasons auditions is much to painful to watch. thank God we have you to do it (seriously, thank you) and report the good stuff.

bloody awful poetry said...

So that guy WAS Michael Castro then. I almost did not want to believe it. This year's batch seems ridiculously dull though. I only watch so I'll know what you're talking about in your recaps. And you are a saint for still agreeing to do them =)

Mmmbop said...

Great recap. Oh. My. God. That Mary girl would have been two seconds away from being beotch slapped up side the head if I was there. Hopefully she won't make it too far. It's kind of too early in the game to pick a fave, there were, I thought, some of THE best yet, out of any AI season, during this week's Hollywood week.

LOL to your comment, red.


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