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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • IDOL 411: Good guys, bad girls emerge on group night



    “American Idol” seemed to be setting up two major characters in Wednesday night’s Group Round episode: Michael “Big Mike” Lynche as the good-natured teddy bear you can’t help but love and Mary Powers as the infamous reality show villain.

    Let’s start with Big Mike.

    Singer Erykah Badu made headlines last year (and was the butt of some jokes) for Tweeting about the birth of her child in real time; Big Mike came close to doing the same thing on Wednesday night, showing photos and videos of his wife in the delivery room and announcing that she was “8 centimeters.”

    TMI, anyone?

    While the whole thing was kind of sweet, we have to ask: If that was your husband, would you expect him to give up his “Idol” dreams to witness the birth of his baby in person?

    Should Big Mike have been in the delivery room with his wife? [Poll]

    As for Mary, she took a turn toward the dark side on Wednesday, quickly becoming the “Idol” version of Vienna on “The Bachelor” (as in, the person nobody likes). While her group tanked their performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” with Mary herself giggling awkwardly at the start of the song, just like Vienna, she inexplicably stayed on the show for another week. That said, Mary does have talent, and we think the judges are setting her up to be this season’s Amanda Overmyer.

    Meanwhile, many of the contestants failed to heed Simon’s three pieces of advice for Hollywood Week: “Don’t be nervous, don’t be boring, don’t forget the words.” On the contrary, forgetting the words was all too common, especially among the several teams that tried to sing Gwen Stefani’s tongue-twisting “The Sweet Escape.” We have to say we sympathize here: We’ve never known exactly what Gwen is trying to say about a refrigerator door in this song.

    WATCH the best performers — Katie Stevens, Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia, and Ashley Rodriguez — and the most painful moments of the night.

    On the flip side, the broadcast had a couple of standouts, like fresh-faced teenager Katie Stevens, whom Kara declared “the potential winner” on Wednesday night. Can’t you just see her doing Neutrogena ads? We’ve also been remiss in not calling attention to 20-year-old cutie Tim Urban, who has Zac Efron’s good looks, a trendy mop top of hair, and a good voice too — a combination made in tween heaven.

    The always terrific Andrew Garcia (who sang “Straight Up” on Tuesday night) nailed it again in his group performance, and seems headed straight for the Top 12. Ashley Rodriguez also jumped off the screen, possessing a winning trifecta of Rosario Dawson-style good looks, a big personality, and a great voice.

    Meanwhile, Ellen continues to keep a low profile, throwing in a zinger or two (like when she accused one group of dressing up like Cirque du Soleil) when she’s not acting serious by putting on her glasses.

    We can’t say that any of our early favorites went home Wednesday night, though we will miss the guy who held up a convenience store when he was 15. We also had a soft spot for booted “drama queen” Amanda Shechtman, perhaps in part because she’s from the same general part of New York as we are.

    Lessons to Amanda and all future “Idol” contestants: Don’t even attempt a Gwen Stefani song. Do memorize the lyrics. And if all else fails, help deliver a baby on national TV. People love that.

    —Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman, Amos Content Group

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