'American Idol': Judges Praise 'Unreal' Costumed Group Performances, Give Standing Ovation
'American Idol' hopefuls continued auditioning for the judges on Thursday night's show. This time they took the stage at the Aria in Las Vegas on the stage of Cirque du Soleil's Viva Elvis show. Performing in groups, the contestants had to give a complete performance with choreographed moves and costuming. As judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson were watching and making cuts following each performance.
The first group to perform featured Colton Dixon, Skylar Laine, Chase Likens, and Cari Quoyeser crooning the Shirelles' "Dedicated to the One I Love." The judges were impressed with the performance, but thought Cari's vocals were shaky and weak. She was cut; the others made it through.
Jeremy Rosado, David Leathers, Jr., Gabi Carruba and Ariel Sprague were the first group performing the Bobby Day hit "Rockin' Robin," but they had some problems getting it together in rehearsals. It all came together onstage, and the night was off to a strong start. Randy said he was impressed, and Jennifer loved Ariel's smile. They all advanced to the next round.
Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, Angie Zeiderman and Shelby Tweten sang Jerry Lee Lewis's "Great Balls of Fire" with Adam playing piano at the top of the song. They all showed a lot of spunk onstage, and Jennifer said it was a lot of fun. She thought the number played to each group member's strengths, and Steven loved their choreography. Another group made it to the next round intact.
Brielle Von Hugel, Molly Hunt and Schyler Dixon modernized the Andrews Sisters' USO tour look for their performance of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." Steven thought it was "sweet" and "beautiful." He recalled making out to the song as a teenager too. Brielle and Schyler made the cut, but Molly was cut due to weak vocals.
Reed Grimm, Haley Johnson, Eben Franckewitz and Elise Testone put a modern spin on Bobby Vee's "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" including a beat-boxed breakdown behind Haley's solo. The judges gave them a standing ovation, and Steven said it was "unreal" and "spot on." They're all going on to the next round.
Jermaine Jones and Richie Fox teamed up for the Vegas round, after Richie's old group kicked him out. They tried to work out an arrangement of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "Make It Easy on Yourself," but they weren't gelling vocally or socially. They sat on stools and sang the song as a baritone duet. Jennifer loved it, and Randy loved how their voices sounded on it. Jermaine and Richie will be around next week.
Hallie Day, Baylie Brown and Chelsea Sorrell all earned high praise from the judges in the Vegas group round. Caleb Johnson, Joshua Sanders and Joshua Ledet also made the cut.
Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick and Candice Glover sang an updated version of "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" by Buddy Holly. The judges applauded with a standing ovation, and Randy said, "Y'all blew that out." He especially loved Jessica's performance. They're all going through.
Adam Lee Decker, Scott Dangerfield, Clayton Farhat and Curtis Gray took the stage wearing striped shirts and leather jackets for a performance of Elvis's "Jailhouse Rock." Their moves were pretty good, but the song didn't show off anyone's vocal chops very well. Randy said it was "fun," but he didn't love Curtis's vocals. Scott, Clayton and Adam made it through, but it was the end of the line for Curtis.
The Neopolitans - Courtney Williams, Britnee Kellogg and Jessica Phillips - took on the look of The Supremes for their performance of "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Randy didn't like Courtney's vocal performances, and the judges didn't seem to like Jessica's vocals either. Britnee and Courtney made it, but Jessica got cut.
Tough vocal coach Peggi Blu wasn't happy with Lauren Gray, Wendy Taylor and Mathenee Treco's rehearsals of The Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." They pulled it off pretty well onstage for the actual audition though. It was the end of the line for Mathenee, but the girls made it through.
Phil Phillips, Heejun Han, Jairon Jackson and Neco Starr took on The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You," and impressed vocal coach Peggi. Jennifer exclaimed, "So good!" Randy said, "They have arrived." They all easily made it to the next round.
Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh, Nick Boddington and Aaron Marcellus call themselves Lady & the Spectacles since all the guys wear glasses. They sang Brian Hyland's "Sealed with a Kiss," and it was really a group performance for the most part. Steven loved it, and Randy said it was "so good." Everyone but Nick made it to the next round.
At the end of Thursday's show, the judges decided they had to send even more people home. Gabi Carruba, Schyler Dixon, Angie Zeiderman, Candice Glover, Johnny Keyser, Jairon Jackson and Britnee Kellogg were cut as a result.
'American Idol' returns next Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Fox, with the remaining 42 contestants delivering one more performance before the judges choose their top 24. The stage the hopefuls will perform on next week is surrounded by water, and viewers can look forward to seeing Steven Tyler go for an on-camera swim in his skivvies.