‘Idol’ Season 13 Hollywood Week, Part 2: Group Therapy
"The agony and the ecstasy" of the group rounds, as Ryan Seacrest put it in his typically hyperbolic and reverb-drenched manner, continued on Thursday's "American Idol" Hollywood Week episode, complete with fumbled/mumbled lyrics, one very sick contestant, one shocking resignation, and one overbearing stage mother who surprisingly didn't go by the last name Percario. And many of the remaining 104 hopefuls experienced much more agony than ecstasy, as they were eliminated over the course of the long day.
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First up were Tony Foster Jr., David Oliver Willis, and Sarina Joi Crowe, aka Three Mo' Days. I'm not sure what their group name meant — surely these kids, all veterans of past "Idol" seasons, aspired to stick around for much longer than just half a week. But one of them wasn't even destined to stick around for three mo' hours, sadly. While the trio's cover of Alex Clare's "Too Close" showcased some impressive harmonies, and their a cappella outro was especially awesome (Jennifer Lopez called it "super-beautiful"), the judges weren't impressed with their lack of stage presence. Harry Connick Jr. was especially disappointed that Tony spent "85 percent" of the performance staring at the floor, and the panel decided to let him go. But class-act Tony appreciated Harry's honest feedback, saying, "I can leave knowing that I got an explanation, and that's really all I wanted." More proof that Harry is a fantastic judge.
Next up were the amusingly named Backstreet Cowboys — comprising early fan-favorites Casey Thrasher, Ben Briley, and Dexter Roberts — actually daring to take on the real Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way." There was an element of novelty to the song choice, of course, but this was not a throwaway performance; the trio took it seriously, and everything actually gelled. "Very entertaining. I love seeing three Southern guys doing a song that has nothing to do with them musically, and making it work," said Keith Urban. "Has there ever been a boy band in country?" asked J.Lo, indicating that she never watched "The X Factor" last year. (Either that, or she's already totally forgotten about Restless Road.) While it's unlikely that Casey, Ben, and Dexter will form a permanent boy band, they're staying together in some way for now, as all three advanced.