American Idol always has a special group round during Hollywood Week. The 2011 version (American Idol 10) was broadcast on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. As always, there is a fair share of drama in this round, as being forced to work with the other singing contestants and having only one night to prepare a performance can be quite a stressful task. This article will discuss the groups and singers who probably improved their chances the most. Of course, this could also just mean the contestants that the producers wanted to help in the editing process.
Brett Loewenstern was featured from the start and continues to be an early favorite. He came across as a pretty cool guy when interacting with the other contestants.
Jordan Dorsey came across as a jerk, basically auditioning and rejecting Scotty McCreery and insinuating that another one was a weak link. Meanwhile, Scotty actually busted out a non-country tune and sounded pretty good. Scotty has improved his position in the contest no matter what happens and is likely a strong favorite at this point.
Tiffany Rios, a contestant who has literally no chance of winning, was featured prominently. She couldn’t even find a third person and was forced to do a duet. Tiffany is fun to watch on TV but is simply there for ratings. Of course, she and her partner were eliminated.
James Durbin complained about the stage moms helping certain groups. This is the guy with Asperger’s disorder. He was also shown wailing away during practice, something sure to make some people love him and make others who don’t “get” rock music accuse him of screaming.
James is probably going to be too divisive to win, but he certainly could go far on those crazy high notes if he can also show some subtlety in his performances, as well. His “Somebody to Love” showed some promise in achieving the needed nuances, but he needs to be more careful about when to pull out those crazy high notes.
Clint Jun Gamboa came across as a complete tool, kicking out Jacee Badeaux from his group for no apparent good reason. Jacee has certainly shown himself to be a credible singer and likely did not deserve that kind of treatment without good cause. Clint is likely in the gutter after this selfish stunt. Jacee eventually joins Brett Loewenstern’s group.
Pia Toscano and her group sang the Bruno Mars song “Grenade.” This is the first time we are seeing Pia. She has a deep, sultry voice that perhaps makes her more versatile than most of the “diva” singers we see on Idol. Her range is absolutely sick, but that won’t be enough by itself to win the show. She will likely need to be more soulful to win.
Jordan Dorsey ended up in Robbie Rosen’s group. They both sang well, but Jordan hurt himself overall in this episode from a personality standpoint. Robbie’s appearance was good but likely neither hurt or help him to a significant degree.
Adrian Michael and Lauren Turner were finally shown, and both of them delivered good performances. Lauren has a crazy range and vocal stylings, but her Aguileraesque style needs a bit of refining to keep from turning off the voters who do not like excessive runs.
Overall, the singers just seem to be far better this year than last year. While there may not be a superstar in the group, the average talent level seems high for American Idol’s Season 10.
Jovany Barreto sang better this time than before. Karen lacked power and does not seem to have the presence of an American Idol winner. Jorge Gabriel seemed to perform poorly and was cut.
Lauren really did not show much power and was actually outperformed by her groupmates in my opinion. She started out as a clear favorite, but I think the lack of musicality will slowly reveal itself (although her tone is amazing). Bringing Steven on stage seems unfair. That should not be allowed. For some reason, only Lauren went through. Something seems seriously wrong about that. While we obviously could not see the whole performance, all of the girls seemed great. Was this decision made before the girls even stepped on stage? At any rate, Lauren is still a strong favorite for now.
Colton Dixon finally gets shown. His group sang “Just the Way You Are.” His clip was pretty short. but at least he finally got some airtime. I have picked Colton as an early favorite, but he definitely needs to be featured more to start building a fan base.
Ashthon Jones was finally featured. That hip hop style will not work on Idol. She will need to change focus if she wants to win.
Deandre Brackensick has a great vocal range and nice voice, but a great range does not win Idol. He will need to show a more soulful side to complement his beautiful tone.
Julie Zorrilla and Casey Abrams were in the same group. This was really not a great a capella, and it sounded like they needed more practice. Casey has been my favorite so far, but this didn’t help him much even though he appeared to be the best in the group. Julie was not that impressive and has little chance of winning American Idol.
Jacob Lusk was great. He seems to have that soulful side along with the great range that can work on Idol. He needs to start building a fan base fast, though.
Chris Medina was shown a little. He is an okay singer to be sure. But he did not stand out in this group-round episode or even in his own group.
Jacee and Brett were the stars of their group. Jacee did not deliver a great version of “Mercy” to be honest. But he is now a sympathetic figure after this group round and probably popular enough to make the Top 12 (maybe Top 13 or more this year due to wildcards).
Scotty McCreery and Clint Gamboa sailed through. Clint, while clearly unlikeable if basing it on the group-round episode, is a sickly powerful singer. Some will claim that he doesn’t have control, but that can be fixed if he wants to fix it. It all depends on what he wants to do. However, he is simply so unlikeable at this point that the singing probably won’t even matter. Scotty is partially responsible for what happened to Jacee, as well. But his crying and apologizing likely fixed that problem in the bud. Clint, however, was not the least bit apologetic (unless, of course, that part was hidden by the editing to make him look bad).
So who has been helped the most by this episode? Overall, Scotty and Jacee were the stars, and Brett Loewenstern certainly did not hurt himself, either. All in all, James Durbin probably helped himself to some degree.
Unfortunately, some singers hurt themselves despite doing very well in terms of the actual singing. Jordan Dorsey and Clint Jun Gamboa exhibited selfish behavior on camera that will likely not make them many new fans. It’s a shame when good singers shoot themselves in the foot, especially when the group round is still judged on an individual basis. A singer in Hollywood Week in Season 10 should know by now not to act up when the American Idol cameras are running.
American Idol Website