'American Idol' Gets Serious About Singing

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Published February 05, 2009

| FoxNews.com

Personalities clashed, tears flowed and talent prevailed as American Idol brought us day 2 of the Hollywood Rounds.

The dreaded Group Day is always interesting as people’s true colors really shine through. But what’s even more interesting than seeing how incapable some if them are at working with others, is seeing how incompetent they are at working, period.

Take the "Action Squad" for example. Considering this is a singing competition, you would think their first order of business would be to nail down the singing. This group decided instead to spend half the night practicing the ever-so-complicated "1-2-3 Action Squad" cheer, which, by the way, they never actually got right. The other half of the night was apparently spent working on choreography, but despite my expectations for break moves and back flips after hearing that, all we got were step-touches and spirit fingers.

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"Compromise" was another group that relied on spirit, the Holy one that is. Like "Action Squad" this group also deemed singing an afterthought in the whole "Group Song" project. They opted instead to fight over whether they should "study" or "rest their voices" and in the end decided to rely on the power of prayer, asking God to "help us with our harmonies, help us with our performance, help it come together. I know we haven’t been the best of friends but please!"

Guess no one ever told them that that "ye shall receive" part doesn’t always work out.

Katrina Darrell, on the other hand, skipped the prayer – and the practice – for her usual plan of attack: showing some extra skin. But having completely ditched her group in the process her stems weren’t enough to carry her on to the next round this time. And despite her many attempts to explain that she was just too tired to "from being in heels all day" to rehearse, even Simon took no pity. Sadly, Ryan wasn’t around for a goodbye make-out session, either.

But I do have to say that despite the many reasons she deserved to get the boot, at least Katrina sang the right lyrics. You’ve gotta love the reaction in the room every time Simon announces that they have to know the words to the song they’re singing. It’s like Armageddon in there: Half the room cries, the other half gasps, the others go into to psycho nail-biting mode. All this, because they have to sing, not an entire song but a small part of song, and actually get the lyrics right – GASP!

Of course despite the warning there were plenty of people who still did managed to forget their words, and, as promised, most of them took their last bow.

One person who didn’t make the lost lyrics montage however was David Osmond whose inexplicable exit on the show has all but left me traumatized. They didn’t show him make a mistake, they didn’t show him make an inappropriate pass at Paula or accidentally fall of the stage – they didn’t even show him sing. And, yet, just like that, David is gone. I feel like I just got dumped over text message.

Luckily, Nancy Wilson was there to kick off my favorite part of group day: hearing people’s explanation for why they ended up where they did. In Nancy’s case, she came in on the wrong key, on the wrong part, singing the wrong words, but some how her teammates were to blame for her not making it through.

Ryan Pinkston was apparently kicked off because Paula Abdul has turned evil and "turned her back" on him, and now she and her demon friends are out to get him, I guess.

And then there’s Tatiana Del Toro who did make it through, and for that had to thank everyone from Jesus, to the academy, to the "the sound stick guy" who, I assume is the person responsible for bestowing us with the joy of listening to Tatiana’s endless banshee laugh. In the words of Mark Mudd, "be careful" sound stick guy.

But, like her or not, we’re stuck with Tatiana and the other 74 contestants who will continue on to the final round of Hollywood. And with spots in the coveted Top 36 at stake, surviving this round is sure to require some serious work.

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