(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and
out of the spotlight.)
What does it feel like when all the men with American Idol golden tickets get together
to compete in Hollywood? Like a post-apocalyptic nation at war? “It does feel a bit like The Hunger Games, so we’ll
see who gets to the weaponry first,” Keith Urban explained to describe
the feel of the all-guys Hollywood week, which aired Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 6-7).
So much of this part of the
Idol process is devoted to the behind-the-scenes drama that always seems to come with group week. (Strangers have to
collaborate and then get judged on their performance, so drama is inevitable.) At one point, Urban had to tell an entire group
they were heading home after they failed miserably at “What Makes You Beautiful.” He noted, “If the word ‘wrongest’ can be
used, it was the wrongest song for you guys. The song’s from One Direction, but it was like four directions.”
did have good things to say to a handful of contestants this week, though. “You just simply must go on,” he told Lazaro Arbos.
“You are born to sing. It’s what you do,” he said to Devin Velez.
And to Nicholas Mathis, Urban went on and on about
chasing songs. “There’s a lot that pulls at you in this calling,” he said. “And somehow we have to compartmentalize that,
and when we wake up at 3 a.m. in the morning on a tour bus and we wonder ‘What are we doing out here,’ and we just cry, the
only answer can ever be, ‘Because this is what I was born to do. This is my calling.’ And I just felt like when you said ‘chasing
a dream’, I got to say, man, I felt like you were chasing a song.”