Day three, kids. Get ready for more dismissals, more tears, more anxiety attacks, and yes, more Group Night.
The judges explain, while sitting in a box in the empty theater like a trio of absolute freaks, that Group Night is telling because it shows them how the contestants handle stress. Thanks, guys. If anyone actually needed this explainer, I’m sincerely worried.
Remember when Alexis passed out last week before she was supposed to perform with Sal’s Gals? We’re back to Alexis this episode, and she’s been cleared by the medics and looks oddly cheerful. Let’s see how they do.
I really want to dislike Sal, the world’s oldest looking 19-year-old, but damn, I find him to be so entertaining. As for Sal’s Gals, they’re not doing so hot. The group sings Train’s “Drive By,” and the performance is flat. I’m chalking it up to a weird song choice and a weird arrangement. Sadly, my buddy Sal gets sent home, along with two of his gals including Katie Kime, while anxiety-ridden Alexis and Jax move on. Sal could not be more gracious about this development. Wait, do I love Sal?
The following group includes baby Keith Urban look-alike Riley Bria and 15-year-old Emily Brooke. The other gentleman in their group is beat-boxing as the others sing “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Emily is apparently sick and has been vomiting, so everyone is nervous about this performance. I’m going to be honest with you guys: I did not enjoy this performance at all. So imagine my surprise when all four of them go through! This is why I’m not a judge.
Next up is a group I’m very excited about: Cody Fry, love of my life Rayvon Owen, Piper Jones, and a girl whose name I honestly don’t know, and for that I apologize. Anyhow, they sing a pared down version of “Since U Been Gone,” and it’s beautiful. Fun fact? These four all went to college together, and they are all buddies! You really can spot kids who went to music school from a mile away. I bet they were in an a cappella group. I bet they watch Pitch Perfect all the time. I bet they’ll watch it tonight! They all go through.
The next group sounds absolutely wretched and every one is sent on their un-merry way. One of the members, who looks like he’s in the beginning stages of growing some Harry Styles hair, complains that he was taken down by people he doesn’t know, and that he’s a solo artist. Honestly, contestants, you’ve all watched the show enough to know not to say these things. Say these things to a camera, and they will make you look like a jackass on national television. And it will be deserved. Buh-bye.
NEXT: Tiny Daniel Seavey asks the ladies to keep their clothes on.
Girl group time. Obviously the girls can’t get along. Ugh. Adanna Duru, Cindy Maslov, Denise Natoli, and Camille Peruto do Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” and Cindy and Adanna are clearly the best. Their voices, individually, sounded good, even though the group was a damn mess. At least these two can stop fighting (for now). Also, let it be noted that this tiff was the weakest in all of Group Night history. I expect more, producers.
Look at this next group! LKYCO—Ladies Keep Your Clothes On—is amazing because it consists of Trevor Douglas, baby Daniel Seavey, Qaasim, and Savion Wright. Four of my faves, and a hella weird grouping. Singing “The Story of My Life” while walking in some weird circle and taking quick turns on vocals, the boys do SO well. Everyone sounds fantastic, and at the end they broke into some beat boxing and harmonizing, and it’s just a really surprising and exciting performance. The judges love it, and we will see them later. All four are golden.
Hollywood Anderson apparently spent Group Night hitting on the ladies instead of rehearsing, and now he is sleep deprived. Hollywood is straight up passed out on the damn floor like a fool, and the ladies in his group basically have to hit him until he wakes up. And they are pisssssed. A girl named Laurel (have we met her before?) steps in and takes charge, and she is not doing it gracefully. She’s yelling at everyone! And in the kind of tone that would make me really want to cry.
Team No Sleep, as Ryan refers to them, sings “Grenade,” and while Hollywood sounds great, the group-ness of this group is nonexistent. It’s pretty disjointed. Hollywood goes through, but my girl Amber Kelechi gets the ax. Maybe she’ll come back next year. (Hey Amber, come back next year, k?)
So this jazzy version of “All About That Bass” that’s being thrown at us by this next group—which features favorites Lovey James, Jess Lamb, and Kory Wheeler—is fab. Are all the notes perfect? Nope. But they are pretty damn close (Jess Lamb is killing it), and this is definitely the most artistic and thoughtful arrangement of the evening. Sadly, Kory gets the boot, but Jess and Lovey advance.
Group fight time! This next quartet has been arguing all night, arguing all morning, only two of them know the lyrics, and it sounds like it’s going to be a full disaster. Ultimately, it’s not a total mess, but it’s no LKYCO (Ladies Keep Your Clothes On, for those of you who forgot). Tanya Mackenna (I don’t think we’ve met her before) gets her name on the screen, so it’s no surprise when she goes through. Rocky Peters, sadly, doesn’t make it, but based on this performance, it’s a fair judgment. And the other two guys, I don’t believe we’ve ever seen before. So the producers don’t bother asking us to care about them now.
NEXT: The girls are still fighting.
Another girl group, another round of drama. (How much do I hate that the girl groups are the ones with the most problems?) Girl group #2 apparently has one member who tried to bail, and now she feels bullied and ostracized and is crying. And her teammate, who has alarmingly strong eyebrows and bold lip color, said “I’m not here to sugar coat” while explaining the conflict, which is what girls say when they know they’re being terribly mean and don’t care. (I’ve said this before, so I understand the intention.)
So I’m super annoyed by this performance because I really like the girl who cried, and I find the others to be okay and the bold-lipped girl to be actively terrible. But the poor girl who cried goes home, and the other three go through! I am baffled by this and actually mad about the mean girl. She was, simply, not good.
Luckily Mark Andrews’ group is next, and he sounds and looks as wonderful as ever. He’s really like a hot Casey Abrams. This entire group is good. Vanessa Andrea, Katherine Winston, and Alex Shier round out the quartet, which can harmonize beautifully, blend beautifully, and still manage to showcase each individual voice. I want them all to go through desperately, but sadly Vanessa doesn’t make it. Thrilled for the others though, really.
Garrett’s Girls takes the stage (remember Garrett? Charming, blind Garrett with the loving dad who we can’t get enough of?), and to my disappointment, the entire performance is meh. It’s not terrible, but it’s terribly amateur. It’s the end of the road for all four.
Another girl group, another round of tears. I’m not even sure what the cause of the tears is this time, but, whatever. They break into the opening of “Somebody to Love,” and we barely get past the intro before hipster Joey Cook forgets the words. She recovers by singing something along the lines of “I didn’t just forget the words, it’s only your imagination,” which I suppose is a good way to handle that, but you know what’s a better way to handle it? Don’t forget the lyrics to one of the most famous, overplayed songs of all time. Shannon Berthiaume, despite having slept through her alarm because she’s just so indifferent to the world, kills it. That girl can just sing her face off. (And I still don’t believe she’s never performed in front of an audience, just for the record.) So despite the lyric flub, these girls pulled it together, and they all go through.
I had no idea that was our last group of the night, so I’m shocked that the credits are rolling! The good news is, Group Night is officially over. How do you feel? The judges were noticeably absent tonight, right? Tomorrow, more solo performances, and some finalists are selected. Get your beauty sleep, readers.