Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AI Season 11, Vegas Eliminations Part 1, 02-22-12

This episode is labeled Part 1, so I highly doubt that they're going to winnow the 42 survivors down to 24 tonight, no matter what Ryan says. He keeps talking about *tonight*, and *yesterday* as though we saw something last night, and I start to worry that I missed an episode. But nope, Ryan is just funnin' us.

For the eliminations tonight, JLo is wearing emerald green spangles, and her hair is up, and held back with a cute headband. Randy is in a gray Beatles Jacket with white piping on the lapels. Steven is in purple and his pants are on acid.

Jen Hirsch is in black sparkles. We see clips of her original audition, which I missed, and frankly, I think is pretty awful (all screechy and such). We also see a bit of her final solo, on a dais surrounded by a moat filled with water (they're in some Cirque du Soleil-style theater), and it also sounds far too breath-y and wail-y, but I know this girl has the pipes and I will be very surprised if she does not go through. I am not surprised.

Commercial Note: So AT&T 4G customers automatically turn into jerks, eh? Duly noted.

Creighton Fraker desperately needs a shave. He's the Bunny Ear Street Performer Guy. He explains that he was adopted into a preacher's family, and was grown before he learned that his birth father was a rock guy from an 80's hair band. His quirkiness is wearying, and his final solo seems to end with a burp (and he looks a bit like Constantine Maroulis, only without the sleaze). He makes it through. As he tells his family the good news, we see that he looks very much like his birth father (who still has the hair, though he has cleaned up considerably).

Lauren Gray is wearing a leather jacket over a print dress, and booties. She has a bluesy voice, and she may or may not have a Stage Dad (given that she makes a point to say that he's a failed musician and is living through her at the moment). We see clips of her final solo, and.... MY EYES!!!!... she's wearing a belted, strapless, capri-length jumpsuit. I have no idea how her voice sounds because I cannot hear it over the ugly. Doesn't matter- Lauren is going home.

Joshua Ledet is also a preacher's son, and you can hear the Gospel in his voice, which he cranks up to 11 at all times. On the few moments when he dials it back, you can tell that he has a nice voice in there, but I fear that Dialing It Back is something that Joshua seldom does. Randy jerks him around for awhile, but he's in.

We catch a glimpse of a few pretty unknowns getting the ax, but since we've never seen them (or at least, I've never seen them), I don't care.

Hailey Johnson has blunt bangs and stringy blonde hair. She's wearing a weirdly textured orange top, and a short, striped black skirt, and boots. She has a huge voice and a teeny weeny nose stud. She's in.

Okay, so 40 minutes have passed and only 4 people have gone through so far. I guess they won't have any trouble filling up 3 hours with 24 (not that I doubted AI's ability to drag things out).

Neko Starr has an excess of self-confidence, though I actually like his voice better than some of the other guys. But he's an arrogant doofus in a leather jacket and red/white/blue jeans. And... he's out...

We see Clayton Someone and River St. James get the boot, and in both cases I say: Who? Also Caleb Johnson who dressed like a lounge lizard for his final solo, and forgot his lyrics.

Elise Testone is in full control of her big, blues voice. She sang her final solo in a chartreuse satin dress, and gets word that she's in the Top 24 while wearing leather and a short skirt. Presumably, she'll learn some makeup tips from the stylists.

Ah, here's Reed Grimm, he of the ADHD and last minute drum solo. He drum solos again for his final performance, singing If It Ain't Got That Swing at warp speed. He's in, of course- the cameras have spent far too much time with him to go home now.

Erica VanPelt is the Mobile DJ, and she has a lot of visible gumline. Her solos are not impressing me, and I'm even less impressed with the print strapless mistake that she wears over leggings and boots. We have to wait for a commercial to know the verdict, but she's in.

Chelsea Sorrell forgot her words totally in one performance. She's currently dressed like a secretary in a green long-sleeved blouse and dark skirt. The judges torture her a bit, but she's in.

Bailee Brown auditioned for this show first at age 16, and again this year at age 21. She's no Carrie Underwood, but she has a nice enough country voice. She's wearing a blue bandage dress when she gets the news that she made it.

1 hr and 15 mins, and the total is 6 "girls" and 3 "boys"... out of an eventual 24... sigh...

Now we get a rehash of the whole Heejun/Richie and Richie/Other Big Dude flap (condensed version: Heejun and Big Dude are cool, Richie is an ass).

Richie Law is called in first. We hear him zip soullessly through Ring of Fire, and it will not surprise me if he is passed through just for the drama of it all (Haters love to Hate, and they'll watch just to Hate, and AI doesn't care why we watch, just so long as we do). But... YAY! He's out. There are a few carefully suppressed smiles from the rest of the auditioners when they get that news.

Heejun Han goes in next. While Heejun is usually laid-back to the point of immobility, he's a bit more agitated tonight. And clips from his work with disabled kids show him more animated than we've seen on the show so far. His final solo was lovely, though he really does need to work on his enunciation. After he gets the nod, Steven says that Heejun is a better star than he is a singer, which... huh? Heejun is so happy that he falls apart just a bit. And unlike the reception that Richie got, everyone is happy for Heejun.

16 year old Jessica Sanchez was a pageant kid. Tonight, she's wearing a one-sleeved top made from floaty, pink ruffles, and black spangly pants. I don't love her voice, and I don't love the way she oversings every single note. I wish she'd give herself a couple more years before jumping into the fire (there is talent in there, it just needs some maturity), but the judges don't see it that way. She's in.

Phil Phillips is an odd duck- he's had a lyrical flub or two, and he's nasal up in his nasal (tm Paula), but he's good with the guitar. He explains that he really wants to go through, but it's okay if they send him home. JLo sorrowfully interrupts to say that he's staying.

Colton Dixon was shoehorned back into the competition when he accompanied his sister Skylar to her audition. Skylar got cut the day before, and Colton takes it badly, singing at the piano in his generic broadway voice (I don't remember the song- his stupid striped Mohawk irritated me so much that I forgot to take notes). Anyway, this year, Colton makes it through.

Brielle Von Heugl, who has the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Stage Mom, enters wearing leather shorts and a cafe curtain. For her final solo, she jazzes up Killing Me Softly, which is wrong on every level (not the least as a minor singing that song). Dammit, she's in. As they leave, her mother tells the rest of the kids that she loves "alla yaz".

It's getting late (with 8 *girls* and 6 *boys* selected so far), so I assume that Adam Brock is the last one for tonight. Adam is AI's Josh Krajcic, without the extra grease. His final solo is You Don't Know Me, and I do like his voice. A lot. Adam is excessively emotional and weepy as he talks about his infant daughter, and how much this chance means to him. He honks his schnozz on the sacred kercheif, and wipes his reddened eyes.


So I don't know if Adam made it or not. Damn you, Joel McHale and your snotty humor that I love so. I'm sure the Interwebz will tell me if Adam is in, and I'll get back to you on that tomorrow night.

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