The most valuable lesson we learned from last night’s Girls Only competition on American Idol was that Gotye is no one’s friend. The evening’s competition consisted of a sudden-death a cappella performance, followed by the dreaded group round. In short, it was just like boys week, but slightly higher pitched. However, Ryan Seacrest warned that there would be “massive cuts,” because there were more girls than guys.
After 72 contestants made it through the sudden-death solo rounds, we saw group after group felled by trying to add unnecessary runs and additional harmonies to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Or, of course, completely forgetting the words to the songs. That’s what did in Almost Famous, where only Daysia Hall advanced to tonight’s solo performance round, causing Savannah Votion to threaten, “This will be the last time I ever come on the show.” Gotye also took down Alex Delaney (whose own father was grimacing in the balcony) and Kalli Therinae, whose group delivered a performance that Randy Jackson instantly deemed “terrible.” Stephanie Schimel, who advanced along with Holly Miller asked, “Why did they let me through? I totally botched that thing!” Gotye also got the best of Handsome Women, where only barefoot music teacher Liz Bills survived, much to the chagrin of Israeli radio star Shira Gavrielov, who demanded an explanation from the judges. The judges told her that her performance wasn’t very good, but she did not accept that judgment.
Here are some of the highlights from last night’s American Idol:
During rehearsals, amateur fire performer Kez Ban frayed every last nerve of her groupmates Breanna Steer, Angela Miller and Janelle Arthur. Her wacky behavior even got the staid vocal coach to mouth “OMG!” at the camera. It all paid off though when their rendition of that Dirty Dancing classic “Be My Baby” earned them a rare and unexpected standing ovation from Nicki Minaj. With that honor bestowed upon them, they clearly all moved to the next round of competition.
Nicki lost a fan when she sent Seretha Guinn home to her adorable three-year old daughter after Urban Hue’s dismal performance of “American Boy.” As the song faded out Keith Urban hopefully asked, “Is it finished?” and Nicki replied, “I hope so.”
While some contestants were soundly scolded for forgetting the words, the judges didn’t always mind it. “I enjoyed you guys messing up the words more than I enjoyed anything else today,” Nicki told Kriss Mincey, Janel Stinney and Cristabel Clack before ushering them to the next round. Side note: Shubha Vedula and Cristabel Clack are competing for my favorite name on Idol.
Megan Miller who auditioned on crutches, was sent home, but with the title of best job-description chyron of the night with Miss Greater Baton Rouge.
Kamaria Ousely, Melinda Ademi, Candice Glover and Denise Jackson earned accolades from the judges for their great harmonies, great look and great song choice. In the words of Mariah Carey, “Swag on.”
Randy rejoined the judging panel just in time to enjoy the Poohsnaps’ version of “Knock on Wood.” While one member of their ranks was eliminated, Erin Christine, Zoanette Johnson and the singularly named Isabelle all managed to stand out from the crowd and advance.
The judges enjoyed Britnee Kellogg, Kree Harrison, Brandy Neelly and Haley Davis’ song, but Nicki took a minute to holler at Haley who went to bed at 2:30 a.m. instead of staying up all night with the others. Nicki also deemed it “disrespectful” that Haley wrote the lyrics on her arm. These slights didn’t prevent Haley from moving forward, or Brandy from going home, but that’s just the way that Idol rolls.
Most Nicki Moment: When the contestants wrote lyrics crib sheets on their hands, Nicki responded by writing, “They suck,” on her hand.
Best Randy Jackson Moment: Randy was too “busy in the studio” to show up to Idol this week.
Best Reason to Come Back Tomorrow: A breakout piano performance and lots of tears, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Previously: Nicki Minaj Gets Tough