American Idol Takes a Step Forward

From #LinesOfTen to #IdolGroups

“Step forward.”

Those were the only two words that the judges said over and over and over on Thursday night’s (Feb. 5) American Idol.

Because now it is the second night of Hollywood week, and the first step was to sing in what they called #LinesOfTen.

That means that all the excitement and giddiness and critiquing and back stories of the initial auditions is long gone. The show apparently forgot to pack any of that in their bags bound for California.

The whole first half of the show did have a rhythm of sorts. It was sing, vote … sing, vote … sing, vote.

But just when I was ready to die of boredom, it was time for what Keith Urban called the most challenging week of Hollywood. It was time for group rounds.

That’s when the hopefuls divide themselves into groups of four (or five), pick a team captain, decide on a song, stay up all night, suffer from exhaustion, have temper tantrums, pick fights, break down and ultimately put on their big kid pants and show Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. what they’ve got.

Most of the groups so far pulled together and conquered the room. But for one group — the one that did Michael Jackson’s 1983 “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” — Urban had the best advice of the night.

“If you get a no today, make sure you use that no,” he told them, “and turn it into coal for the fire and burn on that.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.