American Idol: For Some, What Happened In Vegas Ended In Vegas

Down to 42 contestants...
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American Idol - Las Vegas - Elvis ExperienceTonight’s American Idol takes us to Las Vegas where the remaining 70 contestants sing and dance for Steven Tyler, JLo and Randy Jackson in hopes of not being instantly cut. They will be singing music from the ‘50s, after they perform with a group and costumes they will find out then and there if they make it forward.

The first group up has Skylar Raine, Colton Dixon, Cari Quoyeser and Chase Likens and they’re dressed as if they’re going to a prom in 1955. Their song is “Dedicated To The One I Love” and while it wasn’t bad at all, it was boring and didn’t hold my attention for more than a few nanoseconds. Everyone but Cari makes it through.

Up next are David Leathers, Gabi Carrubba, Jeremy Rosado, and some random girl I don’t remember form earlier tackle “Rockin’ Robin” which proved to be a harder song to learn than they counted on. After a few annoying diva moments from Gabi the foursome had a solid performance and all make it on to the next round.

Adam Brock is in the next group along with Erika Van Pelt, Angie Ziederman, and Shelby Tweten and they had a campy run down of “Great Balls Of Fire” that never seemed to gel. After a brief deliberation the judges decide to put all four on to the next level.

Schyler Dixon (younger sister of my beloved Colton), Brielle Von Hugel, and some girl named Molly  do a cute Andrews Sisters-type rendition dance number to “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” with Brielle being the only real vocal standout, she makes it along with Schyler Dixon.

A group I’m really excited about houses Reed Grimm, Elise Testone, Haley Johnson and Eben Franckewitz doing a smooth, jazzy version of “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.” And it’s gorgeous, polished, and fun to watch complete performance that made the entire judges panel stand and clap before telling them they’re all going through.

MIT loses the cowboy and Jermaine Jones leaves his group over tone and key issues so they join together on “Make It Easy On Yourself ” which starts off so strong and pretty with Jermaine. Then we get the cowboy who sounds like a Country Kermit which as bad as that was it got exponentially worse when they tried to harmonize together. It was an awkward, weird performance that actually made me feel uncomfortable. The judges say it was beautiful and perfect and for some sick reason they put them both through.

Now we get a medley of groups not worth showing but Baylie Brown and Hallie Day both make it in and that’s all that really matters. Deandre Brackensick’s group updates Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” to smashing results. The highlight comes in the form of Deandre’s unexpected D’Angelo-esque falsetto. His trio makes it through unscathed.

At the end of the day the Day One performers who made it through are called back out and informed that the judges still have ten groups to see tomorrow and only about 40 individuals are leaving Vegas. If some groups tomorrow outshine Day One’s performances, a few who initially thought they were safe will still be sent packing. Got it? Yeah, me either.

The first group we see on Day Two includes Scott Dangerfield (remember him from last year?) and three other guys whose names don’t matter because their take on “Jailhouse Rock” is so hokey and abysmal I can only watch for five-second increments. After mixed reviews the judges decide Scott and two guys called Adam and Clayton made it through.

Caleb Johnson’s group had “Burnin’ Love” which I thought was super karaoke but his whole group makes it through, along with Joshua Ledet who is quickly becoming One To Watch and Shannon Magrane who are the only ones of their group to progress.

Jessica Phillips and her group didn’t even bother rehearsing with the band because “we all sing for a living so why would we waste our time as well as the band’s?” After an anemic take of the Supreme’s “Keep Me Hanging On” the judges quickly decide Jessica is the only one to not go on after today. The other two girls won’t be around long so I’m saving your brain space on their names, too.

Hell On Wheels vocal coach Peggi Blu had her hands full with Lauren Gray while the other two members (no need remembering their names, either) had pretty flawless rehearsals on “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” The performance day was another story as only Lauren and the other chick made it through.

Now that MIT has kicked out Cowboy Kermit and subbed in Neco Starr they finally have a cohesive and hot sound that compliments all their voices. Neco starts them off on “I Only Have Eyes For You” and he reminds me of all five of the Jackson 5 in one person, he’s adorable and captivating with such a pure, tender voice. Phillip Philips (who’s now be shortened to “Phil” while performing) is kind of the odd man out with his Joe Cocker/Dave Matthews/Chris Martin’s lovechild vibe. They all did really well with maybe Jairon Jackson being the weakest. That said, they all four make it through. Heejun Han breaks down after hearing the good news and I suddenly have a “Heejun may win this” feeling, the same one I had with Scotty McCreery last year and we all know how that turned out for him.

Groove Sauce from last night’s performances (sans Reed Grimm) are now renamed The Lady And The Spectacles and give us a nearly flawless performance of “Sealed With A Kiss.” Jen Hirsch and Aaron Marcellus had standout performances. They along with weird-voiced Creighton Fraker all make it through as Nick Boddington sees the end of the line.

Now all the remaining contestants from Day One are called back out to see who is considered fat to be trimmed. They call down the first four and only Gabi Carrubba is released from her group. Colton Dixon and his remaining group members are also safe; the same cannot be said for his sister Schyler Dixon who is cut. Colton took an extra spot in his sister’s audition and is hurt for his sister as well as angry.  Jairon Jackson is cut, so is Britnee Kellogg, we also say goodbye to Johnny Keyser.  

Next week the Top 40 perform for the chance to make it to the public’s votes as part of the Top 24 (12 Guys/12 Girls), now we’re finally getting somewhere! Am I alone in thinking this process getting to the Top 24 is much too long?

American Idol Vegas - Elvis Experience