Guys, we're in Vegas! Should we hit up the jack black table first or the strip club? Shoot. We should probably squeeze in the American Idol auditions quickly. There are 70 "hopefuls" left -- don't you love how they're always called "hopefuls"? Tonight, we're singing songs from the '50s and '60s in groups of three and four. We have some partying to do, so let's get to it!
"Dedicated To The One I Love"
Skyler Laine, Colton Dixon, Cari Quoyeser, and Chase Likens are looking super-chic tonight dressed in black and white. They tell Cari she sounded shaky and weak, and she's the only one that doesn't get sent through.
When Randy describes your group as "hot," you know you're doing something right. Little David Leathers Jr. shines as usual, Jeremy Rosado is good but has yet to prove he has a personality, and Gabi Carrubba has turned into an American Idol diva. They all are sent through, in addition to the final group member, Ariel Sprague.
"Great Balls of Fire"
Our third group of the evening does a strange Grease-meets-"Great Balls of Fire" situation and it's a terribly unnatural pairing. Regardless, Adam Brock rocks it on the piano, and Erika Van Pelt is her usual spunky, high-energy self. Angie Zeiderman is in all her Broadway glory and to be perfectly honest... it's nauseating. Shelby Tweten falls flat, in my opinion, fading into the background up against the other, stronger performers. But the judges liked it, and the entire group goes through.
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
The song reminds Steven of making out, and while the three girls singing it are cutesy, they don't blow me away. The strongest of the group appears to be Schyler Dixon, who is sent through to the next round. Brielle von Hugel joins her.
"The Night Has 1,000 Eyes"
Reed Grimm (who has been getting more air time than any other contestant on this show, it seems) sounds smoother tonight than ever before, but unfortunately his hip swivel and creepy sexual gaze provide us with an unwelcome distraction. He's trying too hard. Elise Testone is unique and powerful but needs to take a face-wipe to that caked-on makeup disaster. Eben Franckewitz seems to struggle the most out of everyone, and he could probably benefit from a few more years of experience. Haley Johnson is nothing special... until the last 10 seconds of the song where she kills it. Everyone gets sent to the next round.
"It Doesn't Matter Anymore"
"Three very different voices, coming together and making a very beautiful sound," says J. Lo, about 16-year-old powerhouse Jessica Sanchez, Candice Glover, and Deandre Brackensick. Barely any deliberation on this one — the judges were sold from the start and they all survive.
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
The baritone boys, Jermaine Jones and Richie Law, are paired up by default because they had previously been rejected by everyone else. I don't know — maybe I don't have an appreciation for voices of the baritone variety — but I didn't dig it. It reminded me of the phone call someone gets from a killer asking for ransom in thriller movies. Like Conspiracy Theory. The judges aren't scared though. The baritones will both live another day.
It's our second day in Vegas and are you guys hungover, or what?! I've always been told that the best cure for a night of heavy partying is American Idol, so thank goodness we have a solid hour ahead of us. Today, we'll see 10 more groups, but will they outshine the groups from yesterday? Let's find out.
It's a dude foursome clad in leather jackets and striped tees, and while they definitely had a harmony going on, a clear front-runner really never surfaced for me. All four were good, but none were great. And at this stage in the game? There's no room for mediocrity. However, the judges felt otherwise. Scott Dangerfield, Clayton Farhat, and Adam Decker are safe, but Curtis Gray is sent home.
"You Keep Me Hangin' On"
Holy pink sequins. What happened to the rest of Courtney Williams' dress? The ladies are peppy, but the judges aren't convinced the song was the right fit. Despite being a fashion emergency, Courtney moves on, and so does Britnee Kellogg. Jessica Phillips says goodbye. "They're obviously not looking for a real artist," she says, not at all bitter about her departure.
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"
Lauren Gray — what an old soul! Her sound is Amy Winehouse-esque. Wendy Taylor also turns it out tonight, and as a result, they're both sent through. Mathenee Treco is the weakest link. Goodbye!
"I Only Have Eyes For You"
How much do you love that awkward, monotone Heejun Han? So timid and nervous, always! I actually think he peed his jeans after Peggy, the vocal coach, yelled at him. He's definitely my favorite of this group, and it's because the sound that he emits is so totally unexpected. Neco Star and Jairon Jackson are also impressive, and Phil Phillips (he's going by Phil now, apparently) stumbles in the beginning — but will the judges hold it against him? Alas, they have not! Everyone goes through. Thanks, Peggy!
"Sealed With a Kiss"
We end the evening on a high note with the all-star team, also known as "Lady and the Spectacles." They perform in the style of a barbershop quartet, and as anticipated... they are absolutely fantastic. I'll say this right now: Jen Hirsh is going to win this thing. Creighton Fraker was equally as unbelievable, as was Aaron Marcellus. Sadly, Nick Boddington — the least impressive of the four — is sent packing.
Just when we think it's over, all of the groups that have previously been sent through must take the stage, where more cuts will be made. It's cruel and unusual punishment! Almost like an employer giving someone an amazing job offer and then being like, "actually, we take that back." We're not particularly devastated about any of the cuts, except of course, for Schyler Dixon — whose brother, Colton made it through and subsequently ruined her life.
We've slimmed down to a solid 42 contestants — who did you like the best tonight? Who still needs to be sent home? Let us know your thoughts below!
Guys, we're in Vegas! Should we hit up the jack black table first or the strip club? Shoot. We should probably squeeze in the American Idol auditions quickly.