Now we have a group made up of hipster-cheeseball Philip Lomax; Tiah Tolliver, the one Simon threw a conniption over last week; Chesi Spriggs and Robert Cruz, who I don't know; Kelly Warner, the chick who looks like an aerobics instructor in a 1980s teen comedy; Austin Simmons, who at least looks familiar with his tats and bleached hair, and Nick Voss, whose Elvis/Vanilla Ice hair has gotten even bigger. We're introduced to Chesi by way of an interview in which she says she doesn't just sing, she performs, and then we get a reminder of how Tiah really only impressed Simon at her first audition. Tiah is determined to prove herself to the other judges. She's ditched the bangs for this, though, which I think it what Simon liked most about her, so she might be in trouble. The group takes the stage to sing "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone. It's clear that Nicole and Paula are still gunning for Tiah, but when it's her turn to sing, it's equally clear that they're impressed. Simon feels vindicated, and he's not quiet about it, either, even while they're still singing. Although after they've left the stage, he admits, "I've actually never felt so much anxiety over someone." Well, it's always nerve-wracking to ask someone out, Simon. The singers feel pretty good about their performance, and so do the judges. "How'd you get her on key?" L.A. asks the vocal coach. The backing track probably helped. "Aren't you glad you saved her?" says even Brian the choreographer. Paula admits as much.
How many more of these groups are left anyway? I thought Steve said there were seven, but I'm pretty sure I've written about thirteen so far. Anyway, we're up to Rachel Crow (sassy tween), cowboy Joshua Maddox, 4Shore (fix the name), Hayley Orrantia (drawing a blank here), group Illusion Confusion (all is forgiven, 4Shore!), and the previously unseen Caylie Gregorio, De'quan Allen and Ellona Santiago. Their song? "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston. There's quite a bit of struggling in the vocal room, and the vocal coach even tells 4Shore not to harmonize. Which, I may have said something along those lines last week. Rachel Crow's a little out of her depth with this song, which the vocal coach admits is the toughest one of the bunch. Once they're out onstage and their song begins, it's soon obvious that if they have the hardest song, they also have the damn-cheesiest choreography. They don't make Glee kids do that stuff, for God's sake. Rachel almost pulls it out after all on her part, powering through some pitch issues, but the main 4Shore singer has more problems. As they leave the stage, Simon tells the others he wasn't expecting that. They don't seem too impressed with Ellona, however, probably because in an interview she's just so goddamn earnest. "I still have more to give," she maudlins. No thanks, we're good.