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American Idol Recap: Group Drama

I don't know how time got away from me again. I really should have posted this Friday. It's my recap for Thursday's show.



• Hollywood Week continued for Season 14 of "American Idol," picked up with Gabby Zonneveld, who had ended the previous episode, forgetting the lyrics and stressing out. Harry Connick Jr. joined her onstage and told her to go take a deep breath. The judges decided to come back to her later.
• Single mom Kelley Kime, 23, wasn't bothered by the pressure. Neither was singer-songwriter Katherine Winston, 18, wearing a brown brocade dress and matching tights and singing "Wild Horses."
• Then Gabby got up again to give it another shot, this time having apparently conquered her nerves.
• When it came time for their results, Kelley, Gabby and Katherine all made it to the Group Round.
• Overconfident Andrew Annello, 22, sang "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse. Jennifer Lopez cut him off before he even got to the chorus. Maddie Walker, 16, turned in a pleasant performance. Alexis Gomez, 22, who was barefoot with her guitar, sang "Before He Cheats." In that group of 10, Andrew was the only one who didn't make it through.
• Cody Fry, 24, performed a lilting slow song that had the character of a true crooner. He went through.
• Loren Lott was a bundle of energy offstage and gave a controlled performance onstage, enough to get her to the next round.
• Rayvon Owen, raised by a single mom, still looked very '80s in a shirt buttoned all the way up, with a necklace on top and a flat-brimmed hat. Shi Scott, 19, was very jazzy in her audition. Both made it through.
• Clark Beckham, 22, sang "Let's Get It On," accompanying himself on guitar. The girls seemed to like it. Daniel Seavey, 15, also playing guitar, also sang a love song to Jennifer. Both moved on to the group rounds.
• Dakota Suarez, 19, a drag performer, wore heels to perform, but unfortunately, strained at the top of phrases while singing "Natural Woman." Then we saw some brief excerpts of other bad performances.
• Qaasim Middleton, 18, had been flirting with another contestant before performing, and it seemed to give him some inspiration for the love song he performed. That helped him to move on, along with Quinton Alexander (ph?) and Zach (ph?) Colton.
• At that point, the judges gave them the rules for the Group Round. They had to choose groups of four, keeping in mind that while they should be a team, they should stand out. Alexis Granville was left out at the end of that first round of pairing up. Eventually, Sal invited her to join his group, making it five.
• Compared to previous years, there was initially a relative lack of drama shown during the Group Round rehearsals. Just a lot of people working hard and falling asleep.
• After a good night's sleep, the first group to perform, Double Stuff, featured David Oliver Willis, Jesse Cline, Clark Beckham, and J. None doing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." They did all right. Jennifer thought they performed and sang well. Harry thought it was a great start. Keith found there was inconsistency. All four made it through.
• The next group, Shiva Squared (ph), sang "PYT (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson, including Andrew Bloom, 17; Shi Scott, 19; Adam Ezegelian, 21; "Big Ron" Wilson. They all had a groovy vibe. Keith felt that Andrew did well but was possibly outshone by the other guys. He really liked Shi. Harry thought it had shown who was the strongest and who wasn't as strong. It was a yes for everyone but Andrew.
• The Dream Team, the youngest group, consisted of Maddy Hudson, 16; Reno Anoa'i, 16; Tyanna Jones, 16; and Steffi Ledbetter, 16 doing "I Want You Back." They kind of fell apart, with Reno forgetting lyrics. Jennifer said it wasn't the best they've seen. Harry pointed out they didn't have to out-run each other. Keith felt the song was best suited to Tyanna and not suited as well to Steffi. The judges sent Steffi home, and the others made it through.
• Team Dimples was next. Jennifer thought the name was cute. The group included Jaq MacKenzie, 15; Nick Fradiani, 29; Hunter Larsen, 20; and Michael Simeon, 21. They were very well-rehearsed, along with a little choreography and some terrific harmonies. Jennifer said she really loved Michael. After telling them all that they couldn't all win, Harry told them they were all going through. The group very cheerfully thanked the band on the way out, which Harry really liked.
• Sal's group, as they stepped out onto the stage, lost a member. Alexis collapsed and was taken offstage by the paramedics. This was the cliffhanger for the week, with the teaser promising more drama next week.
• This week, who will survive the Group Round?

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