A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Hollywood Week 1 - Episode 2
by The Trades Staff
Published: February 10, 2005
And then there were three...groups of three, that is. Hollywood week continues with the group competitions. I'm Chad Maddux and I'll be walking you through this episode.
The performers were placed into groups not of their own choosing. The groups then drew numbers to determine their performance order. They had only five songs to choose from. Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn Crum didn't get a chance to meet her group before being called away. Her mother, who has multiple sclerosis, was having trouble breathing and was being taken to the hospital by ambulance. Jaclyn rode with her. More details on them later.
Matthew Meyers, Danny Steward, and Scott Savol were teamed up and Scott was having trouble fitting in. Matthew wasn't too pleased with Scott. In fact, he was ready to "pimp-slap" him. Scott decided he didn't want to be eliminated because of a bad group so he separated.
Janay Castine, Gina McFadden, and Natalie Weiss were part of a group that was, apparently, a bit more than a simple trio. Gina's dad and Janay's mom were "helping" out and getting on Natalie's nerves. Natalie was getting on Janay's nerves because Natalie wanted to work on the moves instead of the song.
Rachel Leslie, Carrie Zaruba, and Elizabeth Pha were tripled up. Elizabeth, who choked last time and forgot her lyrics, had trouble remembering her new lyrics. Rachel and Carrie got really upset with her and left her alone to learn the lyrics. The next morning, Elizabeth failed to show up on time which further annoyed Rachel and Carrie.
Jaclyn returned to the hotel after learning that her mother will be fine with a simple case of food poisoning. It was too late to do much so her group will rehearse in the morning.
Kurtis Parks, John Zisa, and Jamie Paul Koehler decided to go straight to bed and not rehearse at all. They drew a high number and would perform late. They began rehearsing just a few hours before they were due to perform and appeared to take it as one big joke. As they rehearsed, it was finally time for the performances to start.
First to perform was the trio of Constantine Maroulis, the womanly William Blake, and Dezmond Meeks. They started off with a poorly-timed routine but their singing wasn't too bad. They all remembered the words but there was nothing extraordinary about the performance. The judges did not like the choreography but did like Contantine and Dezmond. William was sent home.
Next up was the troubled trio of Rachel Leslie, Carrie Zaruba, and Elizabeth Pha. Rachel started off and sang very well. Carrie stepped up second but didn't blow me away. She has a decent voice but doesn't sing like a star. Finally, Elizabeth was up and immediately forgot her words. (Forgeting your lyrics once is understandable. Forgetting them twice after having all night to learn them is ridiculous.) She "sang" a medley of "whoas" and "oooo." Randy didn't think any of the performers "owned" the song and Paula reminded Elizabeth that she forgot the lyrics last time. She blamed it on lack of sleep for both instances. Simon was curious how many hours of sleep it requires to remember, "Baby, baby, where did our love go?" Elizabeth could only say that she's really good. Rachel was safe, of course. Carrie got "one more chance." Elizabeth was finished.
We check in with Kurtis, John, and Jamie. It's still a big joke with lots of laughs. I smell trouble brewing.
Mario Vazquez, twin Jamar Jefferson, and Anwar Robinson were the next group to perform. Mario was really great. He has an excellent voice and performed well. Jamar was up second and was a bit over the top. He was jumping and jerking all over the stage. His twin will be up later. Anwar finished the performance and also did well. The judges seemed to really enjoy the performance and all three made it through.
Another quick check of Kurtis, John, and Jamie reveals no improvement. Apparently, no one told them that this is real.
Janay Castine, Gina McFadden, and Natalie Weiss sang to the postman. Janay started off very well and set the bar high for the other two girls. Gina's performance was not bad but was unimpressive, at best. Natalie was worse. Again, her performance wasn't bad but it was just boring. Simon saw no sparkle in the group's performance. Janay made it unanimously. Gina won the split decision but Natalie did not.
Before the break, a quick parade of casualities were told to go home. None were identified and I didn't recognize any of them. After the break, Ryan, who is lurking from the balcony, reminded us that the judges were looking for individuals that were willing to stand out and take a chance.
The problematic trio of Matthew Meyers (with his lucky teddy bear), Danny Steward, and Scott Savol stepped on stage. Matthew started off well but faltered when he forgot the lyrics. Danny has a very strong voice and definitely has a lot of potential in this competition. Scott was not as strong as he was in his first audition but still performed well. The group ended with what was, by far, the best ending of the night; they sang in perfect a cappella harmony. I would have put all three performers through but the judges sent Matthew home.
Aaron Kelly, Timothy Sauer, and the other twin, Lamar Jefferson, were up. Things went badly from the beginning. The opening choreography was atrocious. It reminded me of old men trying to be "hip" and shake their booties. The timing was off and they just looked dumb. Aaron started off with a deep voice that reminded me of Saturday Night Live's Merv the Perv. Timothy sounded better but is a terrible performer. I hated twins Lamar and Jamar when they first auditioned and I hate them both again. They both have these ridiculous jerking movements that make them appear to be strung out like Courtney Love on a Friday night. Lamar's performance was considerably worse than Jamar's. The entire performance was just abysmal. Simon remarked that he doesn't "know why [he] flew back from London to be here." He added a few more justified adjectives noting that Lamar "looked like a fool" (and how correct he is). The fun wasn't over yet. The judges entered into an argument when Paula's solo "yes" wasn't enough to save one performer. Paula claimed that Randy changed his "yes" because Simon told him to change it. She then called an executive producer to their platform. Simon and Paula began a yelling match but, in the end, the executive producer confirmed there was not much to argue about: two-against-one is still two-against-one. Timothy won a split decision and will be around tomorrow. Aaron and Lamar were both told, simply, "It's goodbye." The performer in question was never identified.
The health-plagued group of Jaclyn Crum, Rashida Johnson, and Faith Gatewood sang well despite their problems. Jaclyn's mother, you remember, was rushed to the hospital and Rashida still has a terrible cold. Faith tried to excuse the performance but Paula said no excuse was needed. All three girls will return.
Another montage of bad performances and forgotten lyrics included the only identified performer, Nicholas Kolbosky. Nicholas changed the lyrics to include that he loves himself.
They finally got it together and have some confidence, according to them. Kurtis Parks, John Zisa, and Jamie Paul Koehler conclude this episode. Kurtis and John did fairly well. John forgot his lyrics but sang most of his part. Jamie was very, very bad. He barely remembered any of the lyrics. The group did not own up to their error. Instead, they claimed that they took a bad risk with the choice of song. Amazingly, the judges bought it and all three got another chance. This was the most disgraceful charade by any group. Jamie cried over it. They did not deserve another chance and should NEVER have been given it. I hope all three are eliminated.
Next week, the performers return to individual performances.