Thursday, 7 February 2013

Hollywood Week: The Boys

It's always been difficult commentating on this round. Huge numbers get whittled down and in the past they had to form groups which was pretty mad. Memories of Scotty wandering around and no-one wanting to have in.

This time it looks a little better with a line-up of six or seven by the look of it on stage going one or two lines at a time. We see one or two for the first time too but really just a line isn't enough. Cortez Shaw we see doing three lines and sounding pretty damn impressive. This part, though, is more of a way to find a quick exit to avoid time wasters who probably shouldn't really have been there and in that respect, if they can get ri of a pile of useless acts now, so much the better.

At the end of the week there'll be just 20 guys left and next week they'll choose the 20 girls. That should make life a bit easier. How they'll cut them further remains to be seen. I'm surprised there hasn't been any good leaks yet.

We get a long intro for Lazaro Arbos, the guy with the stutter and the heavy Spanish or Portugese accent. I do hope they don't put him through just because he makes good TV as his singing of Angels wasn't that brilliant. Bryant Tadeo and Charles Allen we hadn't seen before that I remember.

I don't know if it's my monitor's resolution but Mariah looks huge. Some shots taken from behind on the stage weren't so complimentary, nor were some of her behind the desk. For someone with so much money, you'd think she'd be able to choose colours and clothes that disguise bulges rather than emphasise them. I suppose it's possible that no-one dares advise her. Occasionally she's got it right but the sky blue number does not work.

So, Group Night is still there. The producers fix the groups and that's probably not such a bad idea and certainly an improvement on people trying to sort themselves out. Looks like they get some support from vocal aides too which is another good thing. Still some problems but I guess it's a way to see who can cope with getting some tune and lyrics together. I've always wondered why on Earth they need to learn dance moves as well and don't recall many of the previous winners doing anything particularly impressive or more than a shuffle at best! Philip? Scotty? David? Hardly!

Anyway we get to see some cool performances and some disastrous ones and plenty seem to get through this section too so presumably there's still some decisions to be made to get the numbers down. Not having names appear on screen very often makes it tricky but I spotted Gupreet Singh Sarin and Elifah Liu going through which should help to tick some diversity boxes. Johnny Keyser is still hanging in there despite losing the words to Reach Out I'll Be There. 

We get a look at someone billed as JDA who I think is Joshua jada Davila and he sounds cool. Still haven't seen another Joshua - Halliday - who is supposed to be pretty good. I may have missed him I suppose.

The kids at the end made us all go Aww as my tennage daughter would say. They tried pretty hard and David Leathers was a stand out with Kevin Quinn. Not sure how much further even they'll get, though.

One thing strikes me, though, and that's how average they all seem at the moment. This round really doesn't give anyone a chance to do themselves much good - it's more a case of ensuring they don't give the judges a reason to send them home.

A lot of time spent on one final group in the evening with Frankie Ford getting upset and telling the cameras he'd be back next year quite a lot.

To be honest, after two hours, I'm not a great deal wiser about anyone. This is a round for the judges more than viewers. Let's see what they decide tomorrow.