Thursday, February 16, 2012

AI Season 11- Las Vegas Groups, 02-16-12

Heejun Han is so laid back, he almost moves in reverse. American Idol wants us to note that well. Okay. Noted.

Ryan asks what better place to do this next round of auditions than Las Vegas. I counter with: Anywhere. The kids ride a bus from LA to LV (which is not all that far, actually), during which Cowboy Richie perfects his asshole routine.I have a feeling that some of these people may have never seen a bed before. Or a shower. They seem inordinately excited by both, once they get to their hotel.

The groups are all going to sing 50's and 60's tunes, which means that I will know most of them, and the kids won't recognize any. After a couple of clips, that becomes painfully obvious as the Mean Mean Meany Coaches expect the auditioners to buckle down and learn actual music.

JLo is wearing tassel-y, tight, short, pink spangles. Steven has on a black and white bow tie. Randy is in pastel argyle.

The first group is Cari, Chase, Country Skylar, and Colton. They're all in coordinating black and white (Side Note: there must have been some *styling* going on- unless the kids were given plenty of time to decide, choose, coordinate and purchase costumes for this portion of the festivities). As a group, they sound okay, but Skylar is weak in her solo. The judges don't agree- Cari is cut, but the rest go through.

Young Ariel, David, Jeremy, and Gabi (all in Red and Black) attempt Rockin' Robin. They discover that Music is Hard, but they're all good, and all have a strong stage presence, and all make it. Ryan is wee, but next to him, Ariel looks microscopic. That girl is seriously teeny.

Angie, she of the glittery makeup and facial studs (this year's Alternative Girl), Shelby, Adam, and Erika (the Mobile DJ, I believe), sing Great Balls 'O Fire (also all in Red and Black). These kids are good, and though the judges drag it out, all 4 make it through.

Next up are Schyler Dixon (sister of Colton, the Accidental Auditioner), Brielle the Awful, and someone named Molly. The girls, mistaking the 40's for the 50's, dress like they're Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy-ing. They sound good together. Schyler and Brielle make it through. Molly takes the cut well.

A bunch of kids get cut, and several Mamas are not happy about it.

Eben (with perfectly applied lipstick smooches on his baby-smooth cheeks), Reed, Haley, and Elise sing The Night Has 1,000 Eyes. Let me say that, in person, Reed would exhaust me in about 10 minutes. But he can sing (and Eben can't dance). I like Elise best, but all four make it through.

Before they head to Vegas, the kids are instructed to form groups of 3-5 people. Owing to the fact that Richie is absolutely unbearable, he can't find any group that will take him (his previous friends having set him free). Unfortunately, poor Jermaine is in the same boat (though not, as far as I can tell, for the same reason). They become a duo, and Richie very rapidly exceeds Jermaine's limit for bullshit. And horseplay. Okay, I take it back about Reed. I could not only live with Reed, I could cherish him, as long as it meant that I never had to spend time with Richie. Richie has very certain ideas on how he intends to sing Burt Bacharach's Make it Easy On Yourself (a difficult melody- and not, ahem Randy Jackson, sung by The Righteous Brothers). Jermaine starts out beautifully. So beautifully that I get Goosies (TM JLo). Richie sings like he has a bubble in his throat, but Jermaine... oh my Jermaine has that Barry White thing going for him. Both go through, and in the short distance from the stage to Ryan's interview area, Richie manages to manhandle Jermaine several times. If they are forced to sing together again, I am very much afraid that Jermaine will dismantle Richie piece by piece.

Another girl group-  Halie, Baylie, and Chelsea. Only Halie impresses me, but all go through.

Jessica, Candice and D'Andre (this year's Jason Castro) have Peisha McPhee for a coach. Peisha McPhee just happens to be Katharine McPhee's mother. When did the mother of the Season 5 Runner Up become a vocal coach for AI? They're singing Buddy Holly's I Guess It Doesn't Matter Any More. There's something wrong with the mikes, I can barely hear any of them. But they seem to be doing well, and all three go through.

The judges gather the Day 1 Survivors and announce that they're not automatically safe, that they can be bumped for Day 2 people. This news does not cheer them up even one tiny bit.

At least at first, Day 2 is All Elvis, All The Time.

Clayton, Scott, Different Adam (not the one I like), and Curtis are dressed in cuffed jeans, black jackets and striped shirts. Obviously, they're doing Jailhouse Rock. I am underwhelmed, and so are the judges, though all but Curtis go through.

Caleb and Joshua sing Burning Love well enough to get the nod. And another Curtis makes it with Blue Suede Shoes.

Side Note: Many of the girls are having trouble figuring out what makes a hairstyle 50's or 60's. Hint: If women were wearing their hair that way during WWII, you've missed the mark.

Courtney (who looks 40), Britney, and Jessica are all in pink spangles. They don't sing Elvis, but they're still not exciting. Jessica gets cut. She whines and rolls her eyes, and declares her own artistry. Good thing that she doesn't need this damn show anyway, since she's no longer going to be on it.

Lauren and Wendy are Big Girls (I love me some Big Girls) in sparkly, too-tight dresses, and Mathene is this year's Jacob Lusk. They sing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, and I don't know what to think (except for a silent plea to Mathene to dial it back a bit). The judges agree with me, and relieve all of us of Mathene's presence.

Next up are Jairon, Neco, Phil Phillips, and Heejun. Neco took Richie's place, I guess. Heejun is scared of Peggy, and rightfully so. They sing I Only Have Eyes For You (a song that The Hub and The Sons ruined for me by substituting *washyourbutt* for *sh-bop sh-bop*). Their harmonies are spot-on and they sound absolutely great, and surprise surprise, Heejun aces the choreography. All 4 make it through, after which, Heejun has a minor breakdown of thankfulness.

The final group is Jen, Creighton, Nick, and Aaron- last night's Groove Sauce, minus Reed, who probably just forgot they existed and wandered off to join another group. They sing Sealed With a Kiss, and technically, it's perfect. But they're just singing the words and notes, there's no soul or heart in this. It's dry, and for the amount of talent on the stage, disappointing. Nick is sent home.

Okay, so now the Judges gather everyone to cut the remaining however many kids down to 40 for next week.
Gabi goes home. Also Schuyler Dixon (again). Dammit- Richie made it. But Angie (of the sparkly eye makeup), Candice, Johnny Keyser, and Jairon are cut. Also Britney, who cries and says that she was perfect.

Ryan says that these 42 kids are moving on. Hmmm- what happened to whittling the number to 40?
Anyway, next week they're trimmed even further, to the Top 24, and after that, The Real Competition begins.

Oh, and Show? I beg of you, do not make me think about Steven Tyler's bony old-man ass again. Ever.

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