On Thursday night, American Idol aired their own version of the Winter Olympics, Hollywood Group Rounds. In this sport, virtual strangers need to pair up with others to perform something that they are accustomed to doing alone; much like what many Olympians are dealing with, if the Sochi bathroom photos are to be believed.
The morning of group rounds dawned very early for the contestants but it wasn't until 10:58 am that the judges were prepared to hear their first group and despite the leisurely start to the day, all three judges appeared on the panel with tired, bloodshot eyes. But who can blame them? We viewers only had to sit through two hours worth of highlights from days 1 & 2 in Hollywood; the poor judges were forced to sit and hear singer after singer after singer for hours on end. No doubt the multi-million dollar paychecks work like a nice poultice on that festering annoyance.
Although, after sitting through Thursday's Group Round episode, that pay grade starts feeling a bit more justifiable. While it's true that Group Rounds have never been good television, in past seasons they have been tolerable television - sometimes they even bordered on entertaining in a guilty pleasure kind of way - but this season, Day 3 of Hollywood was a snooze fest.
Perhaps this is because the audition rounds so largely featured Season 13's greatest assets, the judging panel, that to sit through an entire hour without them seems almost intolerable. But whatever the reason, this episode offered little to get excited about and the fact that after all the cuts, 77 contestants still remain, means that more than half of them will be cut in order to get to our top 30.
So, while it is too soon to celebrate anyone's success, we can recap some of the early favorites who fell by the wayside during day 3:
Tony Foster, Jr. was the only member of his group to be sent home but he still managed to impress the judges by asking them to give him an explanation for their decision. Shockingly, they had a clear and tangible answer to offer: Tony stared at his feet almost throughout the entire performance and failed to engage the audience. Tony seemed to recognize the validity of their assessment and demonstrated a graceful exit.
Too bad Tony couldn't have given some graceful exit pointers to Stephanie Hanvey's stage mom, who succeeded in making herself seem less mature than her 15-year-old daughter by blasting the three group members who made it through the botched performance of "All The Single Ladies." Poor Stephanie seemed to take her own elimination in relative stride but her mother ran to and from, making a bigger fool of herself with each passing moment.
The day didn't fare much better for Sound Healer, Adam Roth, young Madisen Walker, Keith London, or Alyssa Siebken.
Arguably the biggest loss occurred when super talented Tiquila Wilson opted to withdraw from the competition, stating that her heart was with Gospel music and she didn't feel as though Idol was the right path for her. Trust us, Tiquila - we were all kind of feeling the exact same thing at the end of Thursday night, at least about Idol.
Next week, the judges will put another 47 contestants out of their misery and hopefully the producers will put us out of ours by providing us some excitement in the lineup.