When last we left “American Idol,” they'd cut a bunch of people from Hollywood Week, albeit nobody we'd been made to care about in the slightest.
And as last Thursday's episode ended, Alexis Granville was clinging to life. Or, at the very least, Alexis Granville was having a panic attack.
What comes next?
Follow along with my recap of Wednesday's (February 11) episode…
8:00 p.m. ET. “It's always a very telling day,” J-Lo says, sitting up in the balcony with the other judges.
8:02 p.m. But back to Alexis Granville and the subsequent time-out. Recovered from her anxiety attack, Alexis made it back on the stage with Sal's Gal. Sal Valentinetti won some good faith with his kindness to Alexis and he does his Rat Pack thing. Alexis warbles uncertainly. Jax mewls and growls soulfully. There were several other people in that group we didn't hear solo. Boo. Harry Connick Jr. says that tough cuts are coming. Alexis and Jax are the only two people from the group advancing. We lost Sal and we also lost Kelly Kime. That's just plain silly, Harry. “Is this real?” a confused Alexis says. Sal insists he's happy for Alexis. Jax is ready to move on. And Kelly insists this is just a roadblock.
8:06 p.m. Also feeling ill? Emily Brooke. She has food poisoning. This is inconvenient for the other three members of her group, none of whom have been particularly featured thus far. “If you throw up, it's good TV I guess,” says one of Emily's groupmate Riley Bria. Riley and Emily are easily the least annoying members of a particularly annoying group. All four of them advance and Emily lives to barf another day.
8:08 p.m. Feeling much better are the four college buddies of Boulevard. This group includes perpetually elongating Cody Fry, Hat-loving Rayvon Owen, sharply wailing Piper Jones and another girl who wasn't important enough to have a named solo. Harry calls it his favorite performance of the day. They're all advancing.
8:14 p.m. Cheerleader Tiffany Stringer is being awful as we return from commercial. Her whole team is going home. Some douchebag is complaining that he's not a group, he's a solo artist. Bye, douchebag. Meanwhile, the judges are debating how they would handle Group Day. Harry would play mind games, he says.
8:15 p.m. The girls of Vital Signs have been competitive in a way that Harry would theoretically approve of. They're not in it for the group, they're in it for themselves. Adanna Duru yells first. Cindy Maslov mumbles and yells next. Denise Natoli has curly hair. Camille something is the fourth group member and she yells as well. Cindy and Adanna are advancing. I'd have sent them all home. They were wretched.
8:18 p.m. None of these names are as interesting as Ryan Seacrest thinks. LKYCO — “Ladies Keep Your Clothes On (Please) — features Trevor Douglas, Qaasim Middleton, Daniel Seavey and Savion Wright. That's a ton of starpower for one quartet. They're not great as a group, really. But I've liked all four of them enough previously that I'm not going to worry about the strange, discordant performance that Keith calls “adorable.” I wonder if Qaasim and Jax “broke up” since we saw them last, since both of them have performed tonight without getting cutaways to the other. Of course they're all advancing.
8:25 p.m. A montage of sleeping people dreaming of the judges. No. Stop.
8:26 p.m. Team No Sleep features Hollywood Anderson, who spent the previous night being a playboy rather than preparing. They'd felt that Hollywood was the team leader, but Laurel Taunton feels that Hollywood has abdicated his crown and that she's well-suited for filling this power vacuum. “I wasn't trying to be hard, but I'm not going to make a fool of myself,” Laurel says.
8:28 p.m. Remember Alexis Gomez? She died in last week's cliffhanger. She survived. And she survived Group Day. Remember hammy actress-pretending-to-be-a-singer Lauren Lott? She's through. And remember Quentin Alexander with his nose-ring? He is also advancing. Lauren is disappointed that they don't have a day off before the next round.
8:29 p.m. Will things go wrong for Hollywood Anderson and Team No Sleep? He's fine. Lauren is fine. Amber Kelechi is fine. Note that this group also included five people — Two of them don't identified solos — without the drama we saw with our other five-person team. Hollywood and somebody named Monica are advancing. The other three are not. Oh well. Laurel blames the group for not wanting it as much as she did. Amber is more philosophical.
8:35 p.m. I vaguely recognize some people in the next group. Doing a fine barber-josh version of “All About the Bass” are Jess Lamb, Lovey James, Cory Wheeler and somebody whose name I missed. Their version of the song is fun. Cory and Carla are heading home. Lovey and Jess are advancing.
8:37 p.m. Our next group is full of annoying disagreements. Homeless Rocky Peter has a lot riding on this. Some twit in the group has less riding on it, but Tanya Mackenna is the only other identified member of the group. The only person advancing is Tanya, who didn't seem all that memorable to me. Rocky is worried about what comes next.
8:40 p.m. A whole group is sent packing. We don't know any of them. Cindy Jo is in her last year. She's sad.
8:41 p.m. Ruh-roh. A group is splintering before our eyes. Heatherle Spires wants to abandon Soul Connection and she goes behind their backs to bail. She cries to anybody who will listen.
8:46 p.m. Ha. Poor Heather. She ran out of time and she's stuck with Soul Connection. Heatherle isn't bad. Erika David is fine. Sarina-Joi Crowe is clearly the class of the group. And Adrianna Simon's voice keeps cracking unpleasantly. Boy, Sarina-Joi is just rocking this. The only one not to advance from Soul Connection is Heatherle. That's not entirely fair, since Adrianna shouldn't have advanced either.
8:49 p.m. Almost too old Mark Andrew, Vanessa Andrea, Katherine Winston and Alex Shier are our next group. Only Mark seems to have any connection with the Joe Cocker arrangement of “Little Help From My Friends.” Only Vanessa is going home. There's a lot of survivor's remorse as a bunch of groups are split up.
8:51 p.m. Thin-voiced Jackie Nese and slightly better Maddie Walker are in the next group. Maddie advances. Jackie does not.
8:51 p.m. Commercial time and then we'll see whose near-death experience will be a cliffhanger for the night.
8:55 p.m. Meet Garrett's Girls. They're led by Blind Cowboy Garrett Miles, who gets to sit on a stool while women sing and bop around him. Sadly, not a single one of Garrett's girls is identified. Sorry girls. And sorry, Garrett. They're all going home.
8:57 p.m. That's a lot of midriff J-Lo is showing as she beats on Harry as the day approaches its end.
8:57 p.m. Our last group is captained by Naomi Tatsuoka and features lyric-starved Joey Cook. In the spotlight, Joey forgets the words, but she skats and improvises humorously. It's contagious, because Shannon Berthiaume also botches the lyrics, her second offense of Hollywood Week. Shannon's got such a great voice that she carries it off decently. There's a fourth member of the group, but she doesn't count. They're all advancing.
That's all, folks. Anybody out there surprised by any of tonight's results? Is anybody developing any favorites?