Hollywood Week rolls on as last night's viewers were treated to the group performances, one more step towards selecting the final 12 for season five of American Idol. 99 people remained in the Orpheum Theatre and eventually they were divided into groups of three or four. They returned to their hotel at 2am, following an exhausting day of rehersals. Just as in previous years, some used the nervous energy to keep practicing while others needed to sleep and regroup mentally.
During the first ten minutes of the show I was wishing to God that someone would put a muzzle on Terrell Brittenum. He doesn't just have a comment for every single little thing that transpires, he has a lengthy lecture to give. Now give the man a reason to stress out, like the fact that two members of his group chose sleep over continuing to rehearse through the night and well, the result is hellish. I finally found a GOOD use for the closed captioning option on my remote!
Looking in on competitors during the breakfast before group performances is always a trip. Some are tense but confident while others don't feel ready at all. Tears, bad blood, and f-bombs abound. There are always a few that are clearly not getting along. Brenna Gethers was one of those. As she later put it while pointing to the big sign on the stage behind her, "It says American Idol not American Idols — there's no 'S' on the end." and really, no one could argue the validity of her point.
The first group up consisted of Paris Bennett, Stephanie Scott, and Hanna Freeman singing the old classic, "Emotion". When they finished no one was really thrilled and Simon Cowell summed it up with, "Wasn't great.". Two out of the three have proven themselves and both Paris and Stephanie advanced.
Terrell Brittenum, Anthony Hansen, Elliott Yamin, and Jose "Sway" Penala were up next with a Motownish version of "In Her Kiss". They held up pretty well and just as the judges were about to speak — you guessed it! Terrell asked to speak first and then proceeded to slam his group for not pulling together and practicing more. Am I nuts here or is this the last thing you should do in front of the people who are about to decide your fate? In spite of that huge misstep, all but Anthony moved on to the next phase. I was stunned that Simon Cowell didn't bounce Terrell at that point.