Over 742 million people auditioned, according to Seacrusty and Idol's stats... but now, we are down to only 70. And tonight, we will trim that number even further. Tonight, the Idols travel to Las Vegas to perform on the big stage... because they can't do that in Los Angeles, apparently.
Tonight, they'll be singing music from the 1950s & 60s, performing on the Viva Elvis stage, traveling by bus. The groups have been instructed to form groups of three or four, and will be working with vocal coaches. Like Peggy. Remember mean Peggy? She's back!
And here are the highlights:
- Skylar Laine is having all kinds of trouble... she says, "All my friends got cut, so I'm lost without a group..." She was placed in a group with Colton Dixon and two others.
- A quick look at the judges, and The Lovely Steph Leann merely says, "Wow. Randy the Dawg's argyle sweater..."
- We also find out immediately that Colton's Sister is still in the group--first we've seen of her in weeks!
- Cari, Chase, Colton and Skylar are all dressed in their fancy 50s garb, and sound great. I guess being in Vegas affords them the chance to dress up, and they've got an old Ford Mustang and 50s props behind them. And the cuts are made immediately. Chase, Colton and Skylar make it through... Cari Quoysnerourour goes home, just like that.
- The next group features four of the youngest contestants who have all been friends since they met in the Savannah audition line... and they are singing a song that seems easy enough, "Rockin' Robin", yet is turning out to be really hard.
- The trick on doing these songs is that each person wants equal time to showcase their vocal talents... so "Rockin Robin" is divided up four ways, each taking random lines here and there, all trying to really shine. And all four, including Little Pimp David Leathers, make it through.
- White Chocolate is leading three chicks in doing "Great Balls of Fire", jamming on the piano. They all doing their thing all over the stage, looking kinda weird. Angie Gaga freaks me out. Erika Van Pelt didn't sound that great, and some chick named Shelby also kinda soured. And they all live to sing another day.
- Dressed as USO Nurses, Schylar Dixon (Colton's missing sister), Brielle Von Hugel and some other chick do "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", though its not awesome. Its decent, I guess. Doesn't matter the other name, as she gets cut.
- Seacrusty runs through a list of names we should know that were cut, like Wayne Wilson? Aubrey Deckmayer? Like, I vaguely remember these names... Stephanie Renae? Ah, who cares. They are gone.
- Reed Grimm channels his inner Michael Buble with his group performance, doing Bobby Vee's "The Night has a Thousand Eyes". Also in the group is Elise Testosterone! Love this chick! Haley Johnson sounds great! And Lil Eban, who is a prime candidate for becoming The Lovely Steph Leann's Next American Idol, brings it to a close, and this is the best performance by any one Idol or group so far this season.
- And Jerkweed Cowboy Richie has joined up with Big Jermaine to make the only duo of the round. And they are both baritones. Ebony and Ivory. And their song is proving to be difficult... Vocal Coach Debra sends them away to learn the melody of the song before practicing with the piano. Cowboy Jerk is, of course, blaming Big Jermaine. He says, "I didn't come here to recycle music. I came here to make it."
- The Lovely Steph Leann and I both like Big Jermaine... "But I hope this doesn't screw Jermaine over", she says.
- Big Jermaine sounds great... but Jerkweek Cowboy sounds like Kermit the Frog is trying to do an imitation of himself. But the judges liked it lots. And they both make it through.
- Baylie Brown!!!!
- Seacrusty shows us Chelsea Sorrell, and both The Lovely Steph Leann and I go, "Who?"
- One of our vocal coaches is Piesha McPhee... that's right, the mom of My Dear Kat McPhee!
- We've got three Idols that have gotten virtually no screen time so far, and I seriously think that Kenny G is auditioning as a singer.
- About Candice Glover, The Lovely Steph Leann says, "She's good, but her outfit is not. A woman of size should not wear pants like that without a top that compliments it. Dress your body to look good."
We've been hearing about a "twist", and its revealed... with 10 more groups coming on Day Two, if they find great groups, they might make more cuts to those who made it through on Day One.
The Lovely Steph Leann and I debate the merits of this, and we both agree this is a little unfair to tell an Idol that you are through, then tell them that no, they didn't make it to the end of the round after all. We shall see.
- The dude that just spelled "Vegas" by saying "V-A-G-A-S"... cut him now. And the guy who said, "We will be singing 'Jailhouse Rock' on the same stage that Elvis sang on!", referring a stage that was built what, ten years ago? Right.
- The Neopolitans, as they call themselves, include Jessica Phillips, Brittany Kellogg and Courtney Whatshernuts have made the confident proclamation, "We didn't need to practice with the band. We sing for a living." This isn't going to be good. And its not stellar, by any stretch.
- And the judges all catch them on the chances they took in the song--"if you are going to take those chances, you need to be unbelievable, and you weren't...", says J-Lo. Brittany Kellogg makes it through. Courtney Whatshernuts makes it through. Jessica Phillips gets cut. She's the chick with the special needs boo... and its sad, because I really liked her.
- I say I liked her... and then Jessica becomes a brat on camera... "They aren't looking for real artists... there are people who are making it through that aren't as good as me," spoken while standing next to Courtney and Brittany, who reaches over and grabs Jessica's hand--and Jessica blows her off.
- Finally, we get to Vocal Coach Peggy, who drills her people with a hammer. And insults them. And chides them. And warns them, "Do not NOT sing it..." Kinda reminds me of the "Again" scene in "Miracle" when Coach Brooks makes his team skate about forty times back and forth on the rink.
- Lauren Grey starts off "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", with Wendy Taylor, who, at 28, is on her last chance, and Mathenee Treco (who? what?), who gets some screen time. Lauren and Wendy get cut, Mathenee (he's a guy) gets cut.
- So, I can't spell Asian Guy's name, so I will call him Asian Guy for now--if you watch this show, you know who I mean. He says, "Do we have scary vocal coach?" And the answer is Yes. Vocal Coach Peggy is in full effect.
- Neco Starr, who already has a Hollywood name, is with Asian Guy, Jairon Jackson and Phillip2 doing "I Only Have Eyes for You" by The Flamingos. Flamingoes? Heejun! That's his name!
- Poor Heejun... he's now such an Idol favorite to showcase his humorous moments and such, he has to wait til the end of every round to perform, so American Idol can tease his performances with funny clips and soundbites. They all four make it through to the next round.
- Or do they?
- The Final Group calls themselves Lady & the Spectacles, which is a fun name... and they are doing "Sealed with a Kiss". Nick Boddington, Jen Hirsh, The Welfare Timberlake and Aaron Marcellus Wallace are featured here, and though they all sound good, the whole thing is sort of boring. Aaron Marcellus Wallace, The Welfare Timberlake and Jen Hirsh make it through... Nicky B says goodbye.
Day Two Idols have finished. So all of Day One has been brought back to the stage for another round of cuts... and Day Two have been asked to join them. J-Lo breaks it down, and they have to get down to 40 people.
Little Pimp David Leathers makes it. Colton Dixon makes it. Schlyar, the sister, doesn't make it. And Colton cries on camera, and tells us how much he thinks it sucks. Eben makes it. Reed Grimm moves on. Jerkweed Cowboy, Big Jermaine make it. Angie Gaga says goodbye. And Brittany Kellogg gets cut, and has a breakdown. "I worked my butt off, every performance was perfect, I dont get it."
Lauren Grey moves on. The Welfare Timberlake moves on. But a total of 27 other people said goodbye... leaving a Top 40.
And next week, each of the 40 get one final performance, then the judges cut 16 out... then, our Top 24 head to the voters.
Plus, Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler moons us. Cant wait!