Hollywood Week: Part 1
people received the ticket to their dreams. But now it's
a matter of hanging onto it at any and all cost. Call it
the Callbacks. Call it the Bootcamp. Call it Hell Week.
Anyway you call it, it's HOLLYWOOD BABY.
Valley Performance Arts Center - Northridge
And if you think you know
the Hollywood Round.. think again.
There are three parts - the
line sing, the group sing, and the solo sing. The difference this year,
the PRODUCERS choose the groups you sing in. Each group will choose a
song from a group of 20. In the solo sing, you will perform a cappella
unless it is second nature for you to use an instrument. And in the end,
only 20 guys and 20 girls will make the cut.
And all through the
proceedings, the men and the women will perform and be judged
separately. The ladies will perform next week. The men will perform
DAY 1: The Men's Line Sing
This day will separate the
men from the boys.
Micah Johnston (24; Morrow,
GA; Navy) kicks us off with "Bennie and the Jets". You remember him as
the guy whose nerves were nicked from a tonsillectomy. That starts a run
of... well, runs. Micah... is IN. So is Peter, Mathenee, and Devin. And
Nate Tao (24, Reston, VA; ASL teacher), Gabe Brown (22, Marion, IA;
baker), and Gurpreet Singh Sarin (22; North Potomac, MD; student). What
about Karl Skinner (26; Joplin MO; pizza chef), blasted off that Coke
and the "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"? What about the rest of his line? What
about... no. Firefighter Dustin Watts and singing doctor Calvin Peters
are also discharged.
Finally before lunch, Cortez
Shaw (22; Dallas; sales rep) takes on a dangerous song... Whitney
Houston, "I Will Always Love You". He says he grew up with nothing. He
may yet leave with nothing. Mariah liked it. Nicki didn't. Randy didn't.
... but he gets one more shot. Curtis Finch (24; St. Louis, choir
director) joins him. Frankie Ford (25; Brooklyn; busker) joins BOTH of
them. Lazaro Arbos (21; Naples, FL; ice cream scoop) tries "Angels" by
Robbie Williams. Nicki loves it instantly. So does the rest of the
panel. They put him through. Trevor Blakney (24; Corinth, MS; Army
sergeant), Bryant Tadeo (23; Hilo, HI; sales associate), and Charles
Allen (22; Saginaw, MI; server) all join him... well... Trevor and
Charles do. Bryant... is tired. Sleep well knowing you'll be singing
another day. FAKE OUT!
Last line of the day has
Brian Rittenberry (28; Jasper, GA; bookkeeper) singing "Back at One" by
Brian McKnight. But I'm afraid it's back at one for Brian. Half of the
guys join him.
The other half must prepare
for the toughest 24 hours of their lives.
DAY 2: The Men's Group Sing
Drama. Lots of it. Who mans
up, and who ships out? Many of them have decided to form groups the
first moment they found out they've been making it. BUT, as you know,
there's a twist... This year, the decision is being made by Ken Warwick
& Nigel Lythgoe. The excrement has been rendered factual. And the
differences are starting to bubble to the surfaces. Meanwhile, the
groups are working with the team of vocal coaches. And whoever doesn't
have a coach, is in the bathroom or wherever they are practicing.
And then people start dying.
At 4 in the morning, frustrations start to set in. Country Queen - made
up of two hipsters and two country crooners - call it a night after
failing to find common ground.
Morning comes and so do the
final products. Each group will be performing with Ray Chew and the
American Idol band, but they'll be judged individually.
First up, the Mathheads
(Nick Boddington, Mathenee Treco, Matheus Fernandes, Gabe Brown) with
"Somebody to Love" by Queen. They have a great blend... Matheus...
Nick... Mathenee... and Gabe... are all going through.
Normal Hills (Johnny Keyser,
Kareem Clark, et al.) continue with "Reach Out (I'll Be There)"... even
as Johnny doesn't know the lyrics. I think he just blew it. For
everybody. Kareem... is out. Johnny is in. JUST BARELY.
Charlie Askew, Curtis Finch,
and a third started out well, but when Charlie fell ill... It was a
fight to get on stage with a partly poppy, partly churchy "The Lazy
Song" by Bruno Mars. That was creative. They're all through.
The Four Tones (Micah
Johnston, Vincent Powell, Marvin Calderon, David Willis) sing "Hold On,
I'm Coming". All four Tones are through. Young Love (Zach Birnbaum, Nate
Tao, Cortez Shaw, Elijah Liu) sing "Some Kind of Wonderful"... and
The Tailors thought they
were easy with "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson.
Obviously... not. Paul Jolley and Will White live to sing another day.
B-Side ... same issue with "Payphone" by Maroon 5. This personified the
train wreck. Mark... Peter... Gurpreet... and Chris... are through?! As
in the next round, through? SERIOUSLY?
Time for more slaughtering.
Last Minute (Jason Jones, Dan Wood, Jessie Lawrence, and a fourth) are
doing One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful"... and it's already.
Actually to call it a massacre would be an insult to massacres. They're
ALL going home.
Next, the only group - Ryan
Connor Smith, Devin Velez, Devon Jones, and Adrian - to do their
performance a cappella of "Payphone". They could've used the band. They
really could've. Devo/in and Adrian... are all in. Ironically, Ryan's
Group Day continues with
MoFlo (Burnell Taylor, Darien Moses, Tony Foster Jr., Mario Jose) is
learning a new song, and learning that learning said song is hard. It's
"Some Kind of Wonderful". It's some kind of not terrible. They've got
easy confidence, but the pitch was shaky. Darien and Mario... are going
Super 55 (Lazaro Arbos, Josh
Stephens, Scott Fleenor, Christian Lopez) perform "Wouldn't It Be Nice",
a song that Lazaro doesn't know beforehand. They spent too much
time teaching Lazaro the song and not enough time on the blend. Josh...
Scott... both leaving us today.
It's been a long day, and
it's going to get longer... next is Country Queen (country crooners Lee
Pritchard & Trevor Blakney and non-country crooners JDA & Joel Wayman)
singing "More Than Words" by Extreme. They have one thing in common...
they don't know the words. Trevor is outta here. Josh, JDA, and Joel on
the other hand... are. And honestly, Trevor takes the news hard.
Next, the youngest group,
DKSK, including returning contestant David Leathers and the youngest in
the contest Kayden Stephenson. With Sanni M'Mairura and another, they'll
sing "For the Longest Time" by Billy Joel. David... and Sanni... are in.
Kayden, better luck next time. Joining him: Griffin Peterson and Clifton
7:30pm. We're nearing the
end of the group sing with Oz (Frankie Ford, Papa Peachez, Charles
Allen, Adam Sanders) left to perform. From go, they had a musical
imbalance. Can they finally bring it together with "American Boy" by
Estelle. And yeah, Frankie completely blows it. He steps forward... Papa
Peachez... Frankie... is going home. Papa Peachez is through. And that
will do it for the guys tonight. Tomorrow, they will all take the stage
one more time to sing for their lives.