american idol hollywood group day 'American Idol' Group Day: Jacee Badeaux, tears and a Steven Tyler lap danceAfter eliminating roughly half of the 327 contestants the first two days of Hollywood Week, “American Idol” is back with the dreaded Group Day, which is one of our favorite parts of the entire show. There are always so many tears and meltdowns, but there are also some amazing performances that come out of it — remember Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers group from two years ago? I still remember how good they were.

Also – I realize how stupid it is to make solo artists perform in groups, but I don’t care. Group Day is awesome.

Since there were two days of first-round eliminations, a bunch of day one kids had already formed groups and were thinking they were ahead of the game. But then producer Ken Warwick drops the bomb that the groups have to include a mixture of both days’ contestants, because that’s only fair for the day two kids. Also – mwahahahaha!

A lot of stuff happens in this two-hour show, so here are some highlights from the first hour:

  • Nobody wants to pair up with Jersey Tiff and her jujubees on her oohoohbees. She finally finds one girl with green streaks in her hair, so this should be good.
  • Country bass Scott McCreery takes forever to find a group, but finally is adopted by Clint Jun Gamboa and Jacee Badeaux’s group.
  • Jordan Dorsey is a total snot about everything, being a real diva about who can and cannot be in his group.
  • Jersey Tiff and Streaks have to break the rules and do a duet because no one will sing with them. Awesome.
  • There is a group of 15/16 year-olds (named the “Minors,” hee) who have their moms there. The moms are bieng mostly adorable and not too “Toddlers and Tiars,” which is good.
  • James Durbin, the Glambert wannabe, is a whiny baby about the moms being around and helping. Dude, concentrate on your own stuff. You have such little time as it is, stop worrying about another group.
  • The Nashville Power Couple Chelsee and Robb takes in the now-divorced Austin Power Couple girl Jacqueline, remember how her boyfriend Nick made a huge fool of himself last week and had to go home? But Rob and Chelsee aren’t getting along and Rob can’t dance, so this is a huge mess.
  • Ashley Sullivan, the girl who only got through because of crying and begging, is primed for a meltdown and looks like she’s in meth withdrawal, so that’s fun. She says she’s done and leaves her group, only to return hours later. Don’t take her back, group! Don’t do it! Ugh, they do it.
  • Scott McCreery’s adopted group isn’t meshing, so they kick out 15-year-old Jacee. Um — wow. Heartless.
  • Back with Diva Jordan Dorsey, he is freaking out about the song choice. Blech, I hope he goes home. He’s a jerk. He leaves his group and finds another one.
  • Meanwhile, Brett Loewenstern’s group is going to have to disband because they don’t have a day two person. Cue Jacee Badeaux. Aw, he’s a hero. I hope that works out for him.
  • Finally it is performance day.

After some advice from the judges, the first group is a Jersey trio of Pia Toscano, Alessandra Guercio and Brielle Von Hugel on “Grenade.” It’s very good, but Pia is the best frontwoman. They are all through.

The next group is Jordan Dorsey‘s new group, 4 plus 1 made up of Jordan, Robbie Rosen and a few others on “I Want You Back.” It wasn’t very good to my ears, honestly. But they all make it through. Hmm.

4:40 is up next, the group Jordan abandoned in his all his Diva glory. They are Adrian Michael, Lauren Turner and two others named Erica and Shane on “Forget You.” It sounded better to me than 4 plus 1, but either way, all of them advance too.

Up now is Jersey Tiff and Streaks (Tiffany Rios and Jessica Yantz), dueting on “Irreplaceable.” Even J.Lo is terrified of this pair and their duet is awful. Both Tiff and Streaks are out, thank goodness. Streaks is classy about it, Tiffany wants to protest, but she reins it in before she gets too ugly.

The group Spanglish is missing member Kevin Campos. When production tells him he’s late, he barely reacts. Is he high? While they wait for Kevin to show up, Steven gives an impromptu drum performance. Why wouldn’t they just go to the next group?

Spanglish with Jovany Barreto, Kevin, Jorge Gabriel and Karen Rodriguez do “Just the Way You Are.” I thought Jovany and Karen could advance, but not Kevin or Jorge. And I’m right, Jovany and Karen advance. Steven Tyler totally effs up the news, though, and it’s both funny and uncomfortable.

An all-girls group brings Steven Tyler up on stage to give lap dances to sing to. Randy’s jealousy is thinly veiled. And it turns out the lapdance thing was pretty close. The group is Lauren Alaina and some other girls and they sing “Some Kind of Wonderful,” with Steven joining in at the end. It’s gimmicky, but also kinda cute. It cracks J.Lo up. Lauren is the only one who makes it through, though.

A group of Nashville singers with Colton Dixon and Matt Dillard (why wasn’t Scotty McCreery with them?) sings “Just the Way You Are” and it’s a total mess. Really bad. Now I’m glad Scotty was not with them. Colton is the only one who advances.

Matt’s meltdown leads into a montage of mess, with Shannon Livewell spazzing out, Briana Tyson forgetting her lyrics, Janelle Arthur flubbing it, Alyson Jados trying some runs that don’t work and Caitlin Koch bouncing around like a deranged dancer from an 80s movie. She then begs for her life, which is ugly. Don’t do that. I hope Janelle Arthur made it inspite of the lyrics flub, she was really good.

Paris Tassin and her group is up next and Paris is terrible. Wow. She was such a favorite after her sad story, but that was NOT good. She is sent home. Wow. I like that the judges are not letting the sad stories thorugh automatically, though. That’s fair. She didn’t make it.

Paris being eliminated leads into the elimination montage that includes Emily Anne Reed (no!), Aly Jados, Adrienne Beasley (no!), Courtney Penry, Janelle Arthur (no!) and Aaron Gutierrez (but not his brother Mark).

The next group is Ashley Sullivan‘s group on “Hit ’em Up Style” and it’s good. The harmonies are tight and it was polished. The group includes Keeira Lyn Ford, Ashley, Asthon Jones and some blonde girl who is not named. They all make it through. Watching J.Lo groove along with them is adorable.

Whiny baby James Durbin and his group of Emma Henry, Danny Pate, Caleb Johnson and John Jordan perform “Somebody to Love” and it’s terrible. Sorry, but one big note does not a good performance make and that was pretty rough. Caleb and James are the only two who stay. Eh, I can take or leave James, but I’m bummed to see weird little Emma go home.

The stage moms aren’t mean about it, but they are honest — that gorup wasn’t that good.

Now the Minors with Keonna Evans, Jalen Harris, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Felix Ramsey and Deandre Brackensick are up with “Somebody to Love.” They do very, very well. It’s a little “Toddlers and Tiaras” scary because they are so young and it’s a little stage-y, but it’s also very, very good. Keonna was my personal fave out of the group, she’s got a great voice and is super pretty.

The next group has Steven Clawson, who has his words on his hand (J.Lo exclaims, “Cheater!”), Corey Levoy, who flubs his words too and tries to hide it by pulling the mic away, Hollie Cavanagh, who loses
the melody, and a couple others people. Corey and Hollie make it through, along with some unnamed girl.

A group going a capella has Julie Zorrilla, Casey Abrams, Dan Noguchi, Lara Johnston and Melissa Lucas on “Get Ready (Cause Here I Come).” I would probably only advance Julie, Casey and Lara, but we’ll see. And I’m right about Casey and Julie.

The next a capella group has Da’quela Payne, Matthew Nuss, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk and some blonde girl, also on “Get Ready” and it’s very good. They all make it through.

Carson Higgins and his non-blondes Caleb Hawley, Devyn Rush, Erin Kelly and Chris Medina on “Forget You” and it’s pretty good, especially weird Carson. The judges didn’t love it, but they send Carson, Erin, Chris and Caleb through. She very politely says, “Thank you so much” and cries. Awww.

There is a Steven Tyler making jokes montage and then we get the Jacee Badeaux, Brett Loewenstern group on “Mercy.” Poor Jacee doesn’t know this song, but he tries his best. Denise Jackson, Stevie Cain and Natalie Hanson are also in the group. Jacee is so visibly nervous it makes me want to squeeze him and then he forgets the words. As the judges deliberate, his group explains that Jacee got kicked out of his old group. Jacee’s a total man about it. Then Denise, Natalie, Brett, Stevie and Jacee all make it. He starts crying and I start crying and it’s like when Melissa kissed Angus. There are seriously a million reasons why Jacee is not ready for the “Idol” machine, but he’s so damn cute I just want to give him stuffed animals and read Harry Potter to him and stuff. He’s going to do very well if he advances to the American public voting, especially after this sort-of bullying thing that happened on Group Day.

Speaking of bullies, up next is the group that kicked him out. Clint Jun Gamboa tries to scramble, while Scott McCreery apologizes for not sticking up for Jacee. They sing “Get Ready” and Scott’s bass voice is really interesting on the song. Monique de los Santos also kills it, while Frances Coontz and Clint are not as strong, for me. Then they all make it through. Hmph. Scotty is completely broken up about what happened with Jacee and cries.

The last group is the Power Couple trio on “Forget You.” Chelsee Oaks kicks it off and it’s OK, but nothing special. Jacqueline Dunford is terrible. Then Rob Bolin seems totally lost and makes up words, but he’s too old for it to be cute like Jacee. Ugh. As far as I’m concerned, send them all home. But the ladies make it. Hmph. They frame it as Chelsee and Rob “breaking up” for the last time. Gross.   

I love Group Day, but this two hours seemed about as long as the entire 24-hour Group Day. Next week — the Rooms of Dooooom!

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."