Tonight's another two-hour episode as the competition heads to Vegas, baby!
Seventy contestants travel on a bus from Hollywood to Vegas as the judges continue to trim the roster before the live shows begin. These contestants are to perform in groups again, this time on the Viva Elvis stage. They will sing songs from the 1950s and will be told right after the performance whether they are in. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Except there were a lot of great performances. And after the judges make their initial eliminations, they call the contestants who have made it through back to the stage after all the group performances are done, and make more cuts until there are 42 left.
My top 3 group performances:
"A Night With a Thousand Eyes" by Reed Grimm, Haley Johnson, Eben Franckewitz and Elise Testone. I loved Reed's jazzy take, though I find his moves a little weird (but hey, whatever works for you, buddy). He does seem to turn on the charm every time he performs. Elise's tone is spot on for the song and she can beatbox! Eben's lower notes sound flat, but other than that he sounds like a young popstar that tweens will vote for. The performance all in all was so much fun, ending with a nice harmony. Standing O from the judges.
"It Doesn't Matter Anymore" by Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick and Candice Glover. With some help from Peisha McPhee and Michael Orland, the song gets some updates to make it more modern. Cue the alarm bells in my head, because (as lame as it sounds) I didn't think they were good enough to pull it off because they didn't get as much screen time. Like I said, lame. But I was happy to be proven wrong. Jessica Sanchez exhibits power and soul in her solos. Candice Glover sounds as if she is gonna bring it to church. Deandre Brackensick sounds the weakest of the three. Maybe because he tries to sound like Prince? (Nobody can.) Nice lower register, though. Steven is swaying along during the performance while Randy waves his arms and says "Woooo!" Not to be outdone, Steven shouts "Praise the Lord!" as the performance ends. Another standing ovation from the judges.
"Sealed With a Kiss" by Aaron Marcellus, Nick Boddington, Jen Hirsh and Creighton Fraker. With their oh-so-beautiful harmonies, I feel as if they should be a group forever. They just sound so good together. C'mon, guys, drop this"Idol"thing and release a Groove Sauce album. Right? Right? Anyway. They initially planned for a barbershop-quartet-style performance, but as Ms. McPhee rightly pointed out, they should also focus on having each of them given a time to shine. Honestly, for me, the guys sound pretty much the same, having similar styles. Jen obviously stands out. But, like I said, I prefer them as a group than as individuals.
Peggi Blu is back, y'all. The lady known as "The Vocal Coach from Hell" has some quotable quotes like "Do not not sing it" and "Now sing it again. Sing it again. Girl. Hello! There's no crying in music!" Tom Hanks must feel proud.
Heejun Han has come out as the breakout star for me since last week — and mostly not because of his singing. C'mon, the guy's funny! He is even able to make Peggi Blu smile and got two hugs from her. And how awesome is it that he researches her on YouTube? I love this guy!
In his solo part of the group performance, Phil Phillips looks like a serial killer who is gonna attack me through the TV. I do not need to see that at night time.
Jessica Phillips, who I liked in the past, shows a diva side when she gets eliminated. "I'm an actual artist. They're (judges) not looking for real artists." Yikes.
The "Jailhouse Rock" group of Clayton Farhat, Scott Dangerfield, Adam Lee Decker and Curtis Gray wears identical striped shirts and black leather jackets — with hair pulled back — that make me think the guys could pass as Biff's gang in "Back to the Future".
And next week, all will be revealed as "Idol" puts on the finishing touches before the live shows. The top 24 will soon be known, but for now, check out AmericanIdol.com for a full list of the 42 who have made it through to this round.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun