‘American Idol’ in Vegas: Striking the Lucky 42

by | February 16, 2012 at 11:27 PM | American Idol, Eye on Idol, Recap

AMERICAN IDOL: Las Vegas Round: Contestants perform in front of the judges at the Cirque du Soleil's Viva ELVIS Theatre in Las Vegas. (Michael Becker / FOX)

Vegas. Land of Elvis, clichéd language, and too many “American Idol” contestants. It’s like another Hollywood week, only four hours east and in costume.

Again, everyone must choose a group to work with, but this time producers avoid meltdown footage and instead focus on vocal coaching. Most performances are far better than the last group round, but that is still no excuse for the fact that judges could only whittle the batch down from 70 to 42.

Even that number was hard to come by; they practically let everyone through on the first day of performances, and had to call them back the next day to do additional cuts. Knowing that the ultimate goal for live shows is 24 means there’s still a ways to go before we’re ready. So yes, we can expect another round of increasingly difficult challenges to slowly shave off contestants next week. In my best impression of Heejun Han’s deadbeat sarcasm: Yay.

Tonight’s rules were thus: contestants had to form groups of three or four, at which point they were assigned a song from the ’50s or ’60s. There was lots of “I never heard that song before” going around among the children of the ’90s and ’00s. Once they got over how wonderfully exciting it is to be so young, they proceeded to get verbally berated by the Vocal Coach From Hell (who at one point actually yelled, “There’s no crying in music!” Love her!)

On the bright side, we were finally introduced to some new faces, although most of them eventually were sent home. Candice Glover, Curtis Gray. Molly something, Amber something-else, (There was some especially strange editing during a few sequences, when they flashed forward to judgment while the performance was still going on, making it almost impossible to get the names of some of these people or know what was even going on.)

Watch Highlights From Wednesday’s Episode:

We lost a few familiar faces as well. Johnny Keyser, who will no longer be encouraged to “keep singing.” Jessica Phillips, whose boyfriend had a stroke, showed a completely ungracious vengeful side after her elimination, by ranting about how she’ll get a record deal without “Idol” and she’s a “real artist.” Nick Boddington, an erstwhile member of yesterday’s Groovesauce group, was let go. Schyler Dixon, whose big brother Colton remains in competition. Britnee Kellogg, the divorcee. And Angie Zeiderman, the weird girl with glasses, lip ring and purplish curly hair, who I can’t believe was even allowed this far.

But guess who’s still in play: the cowboy, Richie Law. He’s so far alienated everyone he’s come into contact with, he’s trying too hard to be Scotty McCreery and he sings like a frog. Why, why, why.

Musical Geniuses

Who thinks the judges actually know the meaning of some of the musical terms they tossed out tonight?

“Augmented diminish.” – Steven Tyler

“It’s a minor third thing.” – Steven Tyler

“Hit the falsetto to go into your mainline.” –Randy Jackson

Cliché-Riddled Language

Tonight, for the hundred-millionth time, we heard variations of the following:

“It’s the moment of truth.”

“In the pocket.”

“Wake up and smell the coffee.”

“This is do or die.”

“End of the line.”

“End of the road.”

“Deep cuts.”

My Draft

If I were the judges, I would cut all this nonsense now and make a Top 12 out of the following:
1. Joshua Ledet
2. Lauren Gray
3. Heejun Han
4. Phillip (now “Phil”) Phillips
5. Jen Hirsh
6. Reed Grimm
7. Creighton Fraker
8. Colton Dixon
9. Adam Brock
10. David Leathers, Jr.
11. Brielle Von Hugel
12. Jermaine Jones