updated 02/13/2013 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/13/2013 AT 11:00 PM ET
Imagine the Supremes, the Go-Gos, TLC and Destiny’s Child. Now imagine them in the Hunger Games arena.
Yes, it was the dreaded group round on Wednesday’s American Idol. The remaining 76 female contestants were shoehorned into 19 awkward quartets, each of which seemed to consist of three normal girls and one who acted crazier than Kathy Bates in Misery. Hide your hammers!
Before all that drama, nearly 200 contestants were put through a brutal round of cuts. The show lost Megan Miller, the Miss Baton Rouge who auditioned on crutches, when she was cut after a solid but unspectacular performance. But perhaps the most surprising elimination was Mariah Pulice, the talented Illinois contestant who had recently successfully battled anorexia.
“There’s a plan for everything,” she said through tears. “This just wasn’t it.”
Inexplicably, both Zoanette Johnson and Kez Ban advanced, perhaps because they could be counted on to bring the drama.