Friday, February 17, 2012

American Idol 11: Vegas, Baby!

After over 100,000 contestants auditioned, we are now down to the top 70 performing on the stage of Viva Elvis at the Aria in Las Vegas. The contestants have formed 3 or 4 member groups and will be given a song to prepare. The songs are from the 50's and 60's and are classic rock and roll. They must put together a complete performance package including choreography and costumes. The groups will perform over two days.

Day 1
Group 1- Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Chase Liken, Cari Quoyeser- "Dedicated to the One I Love"- Not bad. Chase is the best.  Bye Cari. Rest are through.

Group 2- Jeremy Rosado, Gabi Carrubba, David Leathers, Ariel Sprague- "Rockin' Robin"- Good sound, fun- All are through

Group 3- Adam Brock, ErikaVan Pelt, Angie Zederman, Shelby Tweten- "Great Balls of Fire"- Nice energy and vocals. All are through

Group 4- Brielle Von Hugel, Schyler Dixon, Molly Hunt- "Why do Fools Fall in Love"- cute 50's military style costumes.  Not bad.  Molly goes home.

A quick montage of folks going home:
Wayne Wilson, Ashley Robles, Stephanie Renea, Aubree Dieckmeyer, Janelle Arthur, Tina Torres

Group 5- Haley Johnson, Eben Franckewitz, Reed Grimm, Elise Testone- "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes"- Reed is awesome. Group is great. Well done on the syncopated rhythm- Standing O from the judges and they are all through to next round.

Group 6- Jermaine Jones, Richie Law- "Make it easy on Yourself"- two deep voices put together because they didn't work in other groups. Debra Byrd coaching them should make this a piece of cake if Richie closes his mouth long enough for instructions. Not a bad blend.  I like Jermaine better, but Richie is OK too. Jermaine has a richer sound to his voice.  Both move on.

A quick montage of contestants advancing:
Hallie Day, Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell

Group 7- Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick, Candice Glover- This is our first time to see Deandre, a favorite from last season who was cut at 24, and Jessica Sanchez, who is the talk of the Internet. "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"- Jessica is a power singer for sure. Deandre's range has grown from last year. Candice is good too, but not good enough. Bye Candice.

End of day one and the contestants are now told that they may not all be safe after all. Some may be cut after Day 2 performances.

Day 2
Group 1- All the rockers- Clayton Farhat, Scott Dangerfield, Adan Lee Decker, Curtis Gray- "Jailhouse Rock" Kind of rough in spots- mixed reviews from judges. End of the road for Curtis.

Group 2- Caleb Johnson, Joshua Sanders, River ?, and a girl whose name I didn't catch- "Burning Love" decent job. All through to next round.

Group 3- Shannon Magrane, Curtis Finch, Jr, Joshua Ledet, Amber ?- "Blue Suede Shoes" Joshua and Shannon are awesome and advance. Bye to Curtis and Amber.

Most groups are practicing but Johnny Keyser and hos group are at the pool. Might not be a good move.

Group 4- Britnee Kellogg, Courtney Williams, Jessica Phillips- "You Keep Me Hanging On"- all three of these ladies look scary in their tiny pink sequin dresses. Really rough. Jessica is going home and has an attitude. Too bad, I liked her until the attitude came out. Not sure why they kept the other two.

Group 5- Lauren Gray, Wendy Taylor, Mathenee Treco- Lauren not getting along with coach Peggi Blu, aka "The Queen of Mean" "The vocal coach from hell" - Peggi tells Lauren "there's no crying in music" "get a grip." "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"- Lauren is sick and her voice sounds like it. I don't like the girls dresses, especially Wendy's. Song is rough to me. Bye Mathenee.

Group 6- Heejun Han, Phil Phillips, Jairon Jackson, Neco Star- The guys are working with Peggi and Heejun is scared of her, but everything works out fine because she loves the group and they actually love her too. "I Only Have Eyes For You" Perfect song . Awesome delivery by all.  Randy asks all to step forward one at a time, and then says " You four are not ... going anywhere. You made it through. All fall to the floor. Heejun is in tears.  Jairon tells him"Turn that frown upside down."

Group 7- Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, Jen Hirsh, Nick Boddington- Practicing with a barbershop sound but must spotlight each person. "Sealed With a Kiss" Pretty good. Nick is a little shaky I think.  Looks like the judges agree with me.  Bye Nick.

So, all of the groups have performed and the judges now need to cut some more contestants to go from 70 to 40.

We say goodbye to:
Gabi Carrubba (she is heartbroken), Schyler Dixon (Colton is crushed), Angie Zederman, Candice Glover, Johnny Keyser (What? We did not see this performance so we don't know what went wrong. I thought he was one of the best.), Jairon Jackson (this makes me sad) and Britnee Kellogg (sorry, but I didn't like the Vegas performance)

Safe until next week:
Jeremy Rosado, Ariel Sprague, David Leathers, Chase Likens, Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Haley Johnson, Reed Grimm, Eben Franckewitz, Elise Testone, Brielle Von Hugel, Jermaine Jones, Richie Law, Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell, Hollie Cavanaugh (we see her but still haven't heard her sing this season), Lauren Gray, Wendy Taylor, Joshua Ledet, Shannon Magrane, Jen Hirsh, Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, Phillip Phillips, Heejun Han, Neco Star, Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick, Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, plus 12 more(?) .

All in all, not too bad. A few disappiontments, especailly Johnny Keyser going home and Brielle Von Hugel advancing, but overall I agree with the judges so far.

27 go home in Vegas, 42 move on to the next round. Next week they go down to 24.  And we have a disturbing preview of Steven Tyler mooning the camera and then jumping into the fountain (or pool ) on the set to swim.


Micki said...

Margie, I must say, you sure do put a lot of work into these recaps! You are amazing!

I really enjoyed the performances on the Las Vegas show! Probably because I love the music from the 50s and 60s -- what can I say? Showing my age, I guess -- Ha ha!

And it was a relief not so see so many sick, angry and stressed-out performers like we saw on Wed. Especially the group Area 451 -- that really bothered me … the really weak and sick girl Imani goes on to perform with the group, and like you said "threw it into total chaos." When she fainted, Bryce, who was supposed to sing the first part, immediately forgot the lyrics. Well who wouldn't? It really seemed unfair to me. I'll bet JLo or Steven might forget the lyrics if one of their band mates suddenly collapsed during a performance!

Well, I guess a lot of things have never been really fair about A.I., so we just eliminate people and move on, right?

Like you, we really enjoyed "Rockin Robin" and especially "Great Balls of Fire!" Shelby Tweten we noticed during her audition in Aspen (maybe partly because she was from MN, our home state.) She was GREAT then (you said so too, Margy) and we were wondering if she had been eliminated during the Hollywood rounds, since we had not seen her since her audition. I hope she was not cut in the second elimination Thursday. If she was, we did not see it.

There are some really excellent singers this year, don't you think? One standout for us is Reed Grimm (he was fantastic Wed. playing drums and singing "Georgia," and Thurs. with group singing "The Night has a Thousand Eyes." He is really talented and fun to watch. Also really like Ericka Van Pelt (powerful alto voice), Adam Brock, Shelby Tweten, Heejun (funny AND talented), Shannon (6-foot blonde), Jen Hirsch (another powerful voice), Jermaine Jones (the bass who sang the duet with the irritating Richie (the cowboy). I agree Jermaine's voice was the richer of the two. There were lots of others we liked too!

Say, I thought Phil Phillips was eliminated, but you say not, so maybe I got it wrong. Guess we'll find out if he's still around! ha ha

PandasMama said...

I really enjoyed this show more than the Hollywood shows too. I love the music from the 50s and 60s and caught myself singing along, which was driving Amanda crazy.

I'm so glad they left the illness drama behind for the most part in Vegas. I really think the mom of Imani should have stepped in and stopped her. At least the judges had enough sense not to advance her.

Amanda and I are really liking Adam Brock. Not the normal type of contestant that we root for, but he is just plain Good. I also like Reed Grimm and Jermaine Jones. We are so over the "want-to-be Scotty-copy" Richie. Please send him home next week. Of the young ones, Eben has the most potential IMO. Heejun is funny and a good singer. I hope he stays in this for a while. I'm sure Phil Phillips advanced but what got us was that Johnny Keyser was eliminated with no explanation. Both of us really liked him and Idol didn't even show what happened, just that he went home. I check on Idol's site yesterday to watch the video of his group performance and it wouldn't work. I'll check there again today and maybe get an idea of why he left. Could be that his group was hanging at the pool when everyone else was practicing.

We really haven't connected with that many of the girls. I was hoping to hear something from Hollie Cavanaugh who just missed out on the top 24 last season but we still haven't seen her sing this year. Her group is on the site and she sounds good.

Vicky said...

I don't know many of the names yet, but Lauren Gray stands out to me. Also, there is a dark-haired girl, maybe it is that Jen Hirch. A few performances gave me goose bumps already. Several seem to be very talented and entertaining.