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'Idol' Recap: Lots of fainting and forgetting, and 'tent girl' says goodbye

"American Idol" trudged through 42 tryouts during Hollywood Week's group auditions, and the competition claimed several early favorites, including Tennessee "tent girl" Amy Brumfield.

“I pushed myself and I forced myself for nothing,” lamented the 24-year-old, who forgot the words to Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” during her audition. "I'm just going to have to let that door shut and hope a million more open."

“On group day, some of the contestants inevitably forget their lyrics,” noted host Ryan Seacrest. “And this year, the verbal amnesia ran rampant.”

One contestant had bigger things to worry about than a few forgotten lyrics. Hollywood hopeful Imani Handy fainted not once, but twice!

After recovering from her first spell during practice, Handy gamely took the stage only to faint for a second time–in the middle of her group’s audition.

“She fainted ‘cause of nerves?” asked judge Steven Tyler, as several people rushed the stage to help the 17-year-old. As paramedics and Seacrest tended to Handy, she worried aloud about her teammate’s reaction to her inopportune collapse. “They’re going to hate me,” she cried.

A short time later, Handy sat weakly in a folding chair on the “American Idol” stage, as judge Jennifer Lopez delivered the bad news. “Baby, I’m sorry–you’re going home.”

Beleaguered group M.I.T. had an uncomfortable “confessional” before their audition for the judges.

Heejun Han, Jairon Jackson, Richie “Cowboy” Lawson and Phillip Phillips stood silent in front of the camera until Lawson suddenly announced, “We chose the group MIT for most international team.” Lawson paused for a moment, awkwardly turned to Korean-American Han, clasped his shoulder and said, “Thanks, man,” as fellow teammates Jackson and Phillips exchanged dubious glances.

Jackson rolled his eyes as Lawson continued to babble. 

“We had a little time of argument, but that’s what the pressure is all about,” explained Lawson, not letting his teammates get a word in edgewise. “We tried to make our group a bit of a democracy, where everybody got their fair share of say in it.”

“Seems things were not OK in this corral,” intoned Seacrest, with no lack of understatement.

Feeling that he had not quite made his point clear, Lawson returned to the confessional – alone.

“I’m compromising, but at a certain point, there’s no compromise between good and bad,” complained Lawson. “There’s no in-between. It’s either good, or it’s not.”

Outside the confessional, Han noted, “(Lawson’s) problem is that he has a mouth, but he doesn’t have an ear. He talks, but he doesn’t listen.”

Despite a less-than-perfect audition, all four members of M.I.T. were sent through to the next round.

All in all, 98 contestants survived the group round auditions, but judges Lopez, Tyler and Randy Jackson still had to thin the herd. The contestants were divided into four rooms, where they waited nervously to get the news.

In the end, 70 hopefuls made the cut, including Han, Jackson, Lawson and Phillips.

Next up: The wannabes are off to Las Vegas for some sun, song and sin.

 

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