It’s time for one last trip into classic reality television.
Remember classic reality TV? When it was just a bunch of randos with cameras following them around and drama created from clashing personalities? Stuff like ‘The Real World’ and ‘The Osbournes’. When the personality clashes were real and not scripted like every housewife and Kardashian’s series or built around a specific competition?
That’s what Hollywood Week, and especially group night, always tapped into for ‘American Idol’. While this show really raised the competition game of reality television, it always took one last delicious return to the roots of the genre for a night where a bunch of underslept people fought with each other over really bad choreography.
Let’s go back to reality one last time with the Hollywood Week Group Night Awards.
“Stop Trying to Make ‘Fetch’ Happen” Award
I’ve been watching ‘American Idol’ for its entire run. I’ve seen every single Hollywood Week Episode. I’ve never heard anybody using the expression “Lines of 10”. I don’t know why they made a whole graphics package around “Lines of 10”. I can’t think of anything duller than calling something “Lines of 10”. Yet there it was, a whole night devoted to those lines of ten singers and the back going home and the front staying.
Yes, they’ve done it every year, but nobody ever called out attention to it until now, and certainly nobody ever gave it name. I don’t know why they tried to make “Lines of 10” happen in the show’s final year, but it’s never going to happen.
Best Use of a Bathroom Award
The team of Milk and Cookies that features my favorite combination of Ariana Grande and Ellie Goulding, Jenn Blosil, understands acoustics and that hotel lobbies are not the best place to hone a group sound. So what did they do? Huddle in a bathroom stall of course. Not just the bathroom, but all together sitting on a toilet in a metal and tile stall to get their sound down. No wonder they all got through.
Best Reason to Go Solo
This goes to Trent who was diagnosed with mono on the first day of Hollywood Week and had to go into quarantine away from the other contestants. Every year, it seems like somebody comes down with some tiny malady during Hollywood Week that causes them to “lose their voice”. Now Trent has a real actual disease and is entertaining than about 90% of the groups that I’ve seen over the years with a really solid rendition of “Rather Be”. Imagine when he’s 100%.
Horrible Boss Award
Goes to Lindsey of the group Singing Out Loud. Not only did she make them sing through every song on the list. Not only did she scream at everybody in the group for no real reason in particular. Not only did she delay the choosing of the song because she “didn’t care about sleep”. But after she took a hatchet to her entire group, she was the only one who didn’t make through. Lead from the front, Lindsey.
Nooooo! Poooooh! Award
Goes to Poh. The sister of last year’s crazy-insane Shi Scott was poised to be my favorite contestant this year as she seemed to be double the crazy of her sister despite being a little younger. Then she exceeded my expectations by leaving the competition for no reason because “she’s not ready”. That’s so nuts! This is the last season, Poh. And all you have to do is sing. Quitting is actually crazier than I even expected from her. Which makes me happy on one level, but very very sad as I’ll never get to see how much further she could go into her nuttiness.
C’mon Mom Award
Goes to Anatalia’s mom. This was a stage mom so brutal and oppressive that she actually got her daughter kicked out of her group. Anatalia’s mom screamed and shouted and insisted that her daughter’s group change the song specifically to fit Anatalia’s range to the point that the group snuck up and wrote in their name without Anatalia on their roster just to spite her and get out from under the thumb of her mother. Turned out Mama knows best as Anatalia got through with another group, and now I can’t wait to see her mother’s continued hysterics.
The Best Wrestling Reference Award
There was a group of Puerto Rican girls called Las Boricuas which I understand is a synonym for Puerto Ricans, but it was also the name of Savio Vega’s wrestling stable during the Attitude Era in WWF and that is enough to make this group my favorite one.
Honorable Mention: Kylle for looking kind of like Super Fly Jimmy Snuka.
Group Night MVP
La’Porsha takes the prize just for being in the center of all the great dramatic tropes of Group Week. First, she quit a group to go join another one. Then, somebody in her former group gets fake sick. Then somebody from her new group gets kicked out. Then in her new group, they are underprepared and nobody knows the lyrics. Then one of her group members just totally made up the lyrics to her part. Somehow La’Porsha had every silly thing that has ever happened in the history of group night happen around her in one night.
And that’s really a fitting finale to this portion of the series.