70 hopefuls remained in American Idol season 11 last night, so we ma have been in Vegas but there was no time to hit the gaming tables and strip joints. Hey, this is prime time! But was it prime entertainment?
The performance challenge this time was to sing songs from the ’50s and ’60s in groups of three and four.
Skyler Laine, Colton Dixon, Cari Quoyeser and Chase Likens sang Dedicated To The One I Love. They looked great and sounded pretty good. The judges picked out Cari as sounding shaky and weak, so she’s the only one to get the boot from this group.
David Leathers Jr., Jeremy Rosado, Gabi Carrubba and Ariel Sprague were described as “hot” by judge Randy Jackson, which isn’t easy to do when you’re singing Rockin’ Robin. They all get sent through but David Leathers Jr. is the real star of this group.
Adam Brock rocked it on the piano for Great Balls of Fire. He’s joined by Erika Van Pelt who is her usual spunky, high-energy self. Angie Zeiderman was nauseatingly Broadway and Shelby Tweten was as flat as a pancake, if you asked me, but they all got through somehow.
No one was really blown away by the next group singing Why Do Fools Fall in Love, despite the song reminding Steven Tyler of making out. It was cute, though. But only Schyler Dixon (the best of the bunch) and Brielle von Hugel make it through.
The Night Has A Thousand Eyes was Reed Grimm’s best performance so far, I think, but his hip swivel and leering were a little disturbing. He got through. Thankfully. Elise Testone will have a professional make-up team helping her when she gets to the American Idol live finals. Her unique voice is very strong but that was way too much make-up, baby. Eben Franckewitz seemed to struggle the most out of everyone, and he could probably benefit from a few more years of experience and Haley Johnson was nothing special, until the last 10 seconds of the song when she smashed it. They all make it through to the next round.
Jennifer Lopez called Jessica Sanchez, Candice Glover, and Deandre Brackensick’s rendition of It Doesn’t Matter Anymore “three very different voices, coming together and making a very beautiful sound.” Needless to say, everyone gets sent hrough.t
Jermaine Jones and Richie Law were teamed up to sing Breaking Up Is Hard to Do because no one else would have them. Not my favorite performance but the two bariones both got through.
There were ten more groups to see on Day 2 in Vegas.
Scott Dangerfield, Clayton Farhat, Adam Decker and Curtis Gray sang Jailhouse Rock with no obvious standout performance but the judges obviously thought Curtis wasn’t as good and they sent him home while the others got to stay in the competition.
Next up were three girls singing You Keep Me Hangin’ On. Courtney Williams went forward in the competition, despite apparently losing most of her dress. Britnee Kellogg joined her. And this is where I turned against Jessica Phillips. When she was booted, her bitter and twisted comeback was: “They’re obviously not looking for a real artist.”
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? Not if you’re Jessica Phillips I won’t, but if you’re Lauren Gray or Wendy Taylor, Yes! They both get sent trough while we say goodbye to Mathenee Treco.
Heejun Han brought his magic to I Only Have Eyes For You and got thtough no problem. Neco Star and Jairon Jackson were also impressive, and Phil Phillips (he’s going by the name Phil now, apparently) stumbled in the beginning, but the judges were happy and everyone went though.
They saved the best until last, in my opinion. Sealed With a Kiss was where Jen Hirsch established herself as a likely winner. Creighton Fraker was awesome, as was Aaron Marcellus. Sadly, Nick Boddington was less impressive and was the only one of the group to be sent home.
But wait! There was a surprise cut from those who had already been sent through! How cruel! That took us down to the top 42 contestants. Who did you like the best tonight? Who still needs to be sent home?