They're going to Vegas! Does this mean anything to you yet? I'm not sure what I think about this "Las Vegas Round," as this is just the second one we've seen, but I'm all for more group performances and quotables from The Vocal Coach from Hell. So, on with two hours of the flash and lights of Vegas!
The first face we see in the episode is Heejun Han's, so things are off to a good start. 70 singers remain, and this vocal coach will yell at all of them! They will be singing music from the 1950's and 60's. On the bus, Cowboy Richie almost punched a girl IN HIS SLEEP.
Colton Dixon is no longer reluctant to be a part of this whole process. He has decided to make Vegas "[His] Moment." He's in a group in with Skylar Lane, who is having a hard time. Her vocal coach, some tired guy at a piano, keeps telling her to relax.
Hey look, they get costumes this year! Nice budget, American Idol
! The first group up is Skylar and Colton's. Hey, remember Colton's sister? She is still in this, apparently, as though this whole thing wasn't about Colton and his terrible hair. Did you notice he's growing it out in the back? Everyone stop doing that immediately, please. I don't care how good your voice is, you gotta cut that sh*t.
The first group does very well, that tired guy did a good job working with him. They told this girl we just met that she was "a little shaky and weak," which I completely disagreed with but what do I know? I'm no Randy Jackson. It was the end of the line for her, and everyone else made it through. Sucks for her. "Ah love yeeeww," Skylar tells the girl. She's sweet.
Jeremy Rosado, Ariel Sprague, David Leathers Jr., and Gabi Carruba are tackling "Rockin' Robin" but they're young so everybody loves them! I'm embarrassed that they have never heard this song, but more embarrassed still for the youngsters who had never heard a Beatles song last season. Gabi is upset because her part doesn't show her off enough. This made me dislike her, so Vegas is doing its job.
We love David Leathers Jr., his intro was flawless. The rest of them were just alright. Jeremy Rosado's voice is a little too thin for my taste, but maybe this just isn't his genre. Gabi was just fine, milking the crap out of every single note. Randy assured her she was "in there, man." They all go through to the next round.
Up next is another person I have decided not to like: Adam Brock! He's with Erica Van Pelt, Angie Zeidermann, and Shelby Tweten. They're singing "Great Balls of Fire." Erika Van Pelt kills it and I hate to admit it, but Adam's voice works for this song. Great choreography with this group, too. They really stepped up their game in Las Vegas this year (remember all that bad costuming and choreography last year? With Scotty chasing some girls around a giant Cirque du Soleil prop?). Randy stretched it out, but in the end they all made it through. He paused on Angie quite a bit, but there's something different and interesting about her.
Yes, this Vegas round is much more put-together, and therefor not nearly as hilarious. But it's still fun to watch. Can someone tell me where these girls got their little WWII outfits, though? Those did not come out of their suitcases like, "oh we all just packed the same specific costume!" Brielle Von Hugel is doing well in this group, and we can't say the same for Schyler Dixon (Sister of Colton), or that blonde girl who didn't even get a solo.
Randy calls for microphones off. When they're back on, Steven tells Molly (who?) that her vocals were hurting. Molly is out, and Schyler and Brielle move forward. Interesting. We also lost Wayne Wilson (who?!), Ashley Robles (the girl with the little kid), Stephanie Renae, Aubrey Diekmeyer, Janelle Arthur, and Tina Torres. I'm only sad about Aubrey Dieckmeyer or however you spell it, because I liked her.
The next group has Reed Grimm, Elise Testone, Eben Franckewitz, and that girl with bangs. I'm not a fan of Reed, but how cute is Eben with those little lipstick marks on his cheek? God the girls are going to go nuts for him. Reed has a very specific style. A style that makes him unique, and works for the judges, I guess. Those legs are made of rubber!
Who is this Elise Testone person? Do I need to find out? Per Reed I'm sure, they all skatted over Haley Johnston's verse. Eben was adorable, but I thought this group performance was actually kind of a mess in most places. The judges gave it a standing ovation, because it must have been very exciting in person.
The next group up is Jermaine and Richie. Ebony and Ivory, only if they hated each other secretly. I will call this portion of the show: Everyone Still Hates Richie. Because He is a Jag. Heejun is so happy to lose Richie from the group. These guys are both not getting the melody, and might be struggling to find notes. They were both listening to "different versions of the song," neither of which was right.
Richie tells the cameras that he knows HIS part, and Jermaine kindly admits that Richie is a prick. "I didn't come here to recycle music, I came here to make it," Richie insists. God he is insufferable. Poor Jermaine. The judges must know how terrible Richie is!
In an unlikely twist, they actually sound pretty good together. Richie looks like he's pushing out a Texas turd singing on his own, though. He also looks like he is dressed to murder someone for OIL.
They're both through, and Jermaine is looking forward to never having to work with Richie again. We love a cowboy, but I hope they see through this guy. Richie keeps patting Jermaine on the shoulder and not understanding that Jermaine wants him to stop.
Hallie Day, Baylie Brown, and Chelsea Sorrell are still in this I suppose. They got brushed over, but it was worth it for the Jermaine and Richie story, wasn't it?
The last group to perform on Day 1 is changing up a Buddy Holly song. A guy I really liked from last season, Deandre Brackensick, is in this group, along with frighteningly thin Jessica Sanchez, and Candice Glover. Deandre is giving Marvin Gaye realness! It was an exciting performance. They all move through.
And now, a surprise for the remaining contestants. 10 more groups are performing, and the Day 1 contestants may not be completely safe if Day 2 turns it out. So ... try to get some sleep knowing there's nothing you can do about it, kids!
Four guys I don't really care about walked out in leather jackets like a chain gang. They're performing an Elvis song, and did an admirable job with choreography. Did any of them really manage to stand out? I don't know. They all have hair that is too long and greasy. Cut yer hair, you damn kids! Oops sorry, one of my alters who is a grandmother wrote that. She bosses the other alters around and gives them Werther's Originals.
The judges weren't nuts about the performance of "Jailhouse Rock," and sent just three of the four greasers through. It was the end of the line for Curtis Gray, who looked the most like a bully who would steal your milk money to buy a pack of cigs.
Another group made it through after singing "Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love." Joshua Ledet made it through because his voice is a gift to us from Jesus. Shannon Magrane made it through, too. Why are they making us wait so long to see the Vocal Coach from Hell, though? Is it really that great? Is she worth the anticipation?
The groups are mostly working on their routines, except Johnny Keyser's group, who is sitting in a hot tub. In case you didn't read last night's recap, I do not like this guy. I think he is a tool. More on him later.
The Dreamgirls-style group contains Britnee Kellogg, Courtney Williams, and Jessica Phillips, felt so good about their sh*t not stinking that they didn't rehearse with the band. As a result, it sounded absolutely unhinged. The judges kept wanting it to stay on track, but it got away from them a bit. "Sometimes it might have been a little much for me," Randy admitted. Courtney and Jessica took too many liberties with the song, so only Courtney and Britnee are through. Jessica! And her boyfriend! The one story that touched my heart!
"If you ask me, they're not looking for real artists," Jessica tells the cameras, making me like her less. We don't need that 'tude here, unless it is directed at Richie, please.
At long last, Peggi Blu is on the scene. She is SO MEAN, she told Lauren Gray that there is no crying in music. Then she asked Lauren if she's on Ritalin. I like you, Peggi! Please don't yell at me.
Lauren Gray, Wendy Taylor, and Mathenee Treco absolutely kill it the next day. Who is this Wendy Taylor? I adore her! Peggi Blu may be tough, but she gets results! Keep her around forever. Lauren and Wendy move through, and Mathenee joins the ranks of other people we just barely met.
Jairon Jackson, Neco Starr, Phillip Phillips, and Heejun Han are next to face Peggi. Heejun vs Peggi! He looked her up on Youtube; he knows! He told her he was "scared, a little bit, but that's OK." She hugged him, then yelled at him. This group, this song, it's amazing. I thought Jairon Jackson got eliminated in Hollywood? I was wrong. Heejun and Peggi like each other!! I love this.
Neco Starr is giving Bruno Mars, and they all made it just beautiful. Every time Heejun sings, I am so glad he has an amazing voice. I want him to be on this show as long as possible. He knows how to work the camera. Apparently Phillip Phillips is just going by Phil Phillips now. Whatever.
The performance was so good, and they thanked Peggi. She gets RESULTS. Randy has them all step forward so that they can all go through. Randy just loves drama. Heejun forgets that there's no crying in music, and shows some heart. I love him.
Groove Sauce, sans Reed Grimm, is together as Lady and the Spectacles. Peisha McPhee, mother of Smash star Katherine McPhee, reminds them that it's a competition. They can't be best buds together. This group knows what they're doing, though. They are savvy. Jenn Hirsh, Nick Boddington, Aaron Marcellus, and Creighton Fraker are all solid. I'd like to see Aaron get some more screen time. He is amazing!
Can they all win? Jenn, Aaron, and Creighton can. Nick Boddington is out, which is a bummer. We learn from Ryan that "the drama has just begun." The talent has been SO immense that the judges must make more cuts. Everyone gets arranged on the stage to hear the news.
The groups stand before the judges again. Gabi didn't make it through, and the rest in her group did. Oh, the injustice, Gabi thought to herself. Her group cries for her. Colton, Skylar, and Chase make it through, and Gabi is still upset, storming around backstage.
And now, the news for Schyler Dixon. She didn't make it, Brielle Von Hugel did. Colton is upset, and keeps whipping his too-long hair back and forth in disgust.
Angie Zeidermann didn't make it this year, but neither did Johnny Keyser! Yay! Jairon actually did get eliminated this round, which is a bummer. Britnee Kellogg didn't make it either, much to her dismay.
But 42 contestants carry on into the next round. Next week they will sing solos and walk the Green Mile. I hope we actually get to see the solos this year! Looks like Jennifer wore her green sparkly dress for the Green Mile again, and Steven will eventually wear nothing. Scary! We can't say we weren't warned.
(images courtesy of FOX)