'American Idol': A Look Back at Hollywood Week Group Performances With Chris Daughtry

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr.
Michael Becker / FOX. © FOX Broadcasting

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., at the taping of American Idol XV on Aug. 22 in Little Rock, AK.

It's the last-ever Hollywood Week rounds of American Idol. The most intense week of cuts always includes drama, tears and the inevitable medical issues that seem to plague every season.

Wednesday night's show did not disappoint, as 24-year-old hopeful Trent Harmon soldiered through his audition despite being diagnosed with mono. Sympathetic to Harmon's plight is season 5 alum Chris Daughtry, who tells Billboard that Hollywood Week -- particularly Thursday night's (Jan. 28) group rounds -- is the most brutal round of all.

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"It’s definitely a recipe for disaster," he tells Billboard. "What people don’t see is you are starting at 8:30 in the morning but you are working on the collaborations until 3 or 4 in the morning and then you have to perform the next day and be expected to sound fresh and it just runs people down, and people get sick."

While Daughtry stayed healthy during his time in Hollywood, others weren't as lucky. "I remember people going to the hospital and they had laryngitis or they couldn’t speak because their bodies were rundown," he said.

Sometimes repeat auditioners have an edge, he said, because they know what's coming and prepare better for it. "The ones that haven't done it before, break," he said. "They crack or they find a way to get involved in drama that makes great TV, but what they don’t realize is it also shows what kind of person they are, and a lot of people may not want to work with that."

Daughtry -- who said he is going to be involved in the Farewell Season in later shows -- maintains that Hollywood Week and the dreaded group round is actually a necessary evil. "I think it’s great that they do that," he said. "It really puts people through a fraction of what of what they are going to go through on a professional level."

In honor of Thursday's group performances, Billboard pulled up a few memorable ones from past seasons in tribute to the series.

Season 8: "White Chocolate" -- Kris Allen, Matt Giraud, India Morrison and Justin Williams
Kris Allen maintains that he didn't get a lot of screen time early on during his season, but this group round of The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" is quite memorable. Giraud got a sassy rap intro from Morrison, while Allen rocked an argyle sweater.


Season 14: "Team Dimples": Nick Fradiani, Michael Simeon, Hunter Larsen and Jaq MacKenzie
Overflowing with cuteness Team Dimples did an adorable version of Magic's "Rude." Judge Jennifer Lopez loved the name, the harmonizing and Simeon. This was nice.

Season 8: Adam Lambert, Matt Breitzke, Jesse Langseth
When Adam Lambert took the microphone to perform "Some Kind of Wonderful" in his group round, you could tell by the look on Simon Cowell's face they had someone special. 

Season 10: Haley Reinhart, Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk
Without question, the talent pool was deep in season 10, and it's no coincidence that this supergroup all ended up in the top 10. The Beatles song was certainly in Reinhart's wheelhouse, and Adedapo and Lusk dug into the verses with soul. Judge Steven Tyler looked like he thoroughly enjoyed taking the "Long and Winding Road" with this group.

Season 6: Blake Lewis, Chris Sligh, Rudy Cardenes, and Thomas Lowe
Our love ran deep for this group, as Lewis beatboxed his way through this Bee Gees classic.

Season 2: Frenchie Davis and Kimberley Locke
This is the template of how a group round performance is supposed to sound. It's no wonder Davis went on to have success even after her untimely ouster from the show.


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