American Idol (2011): Las Vegas Round

Okay so, it’s time to be a little cut and dry this go-round.

Last night’s installment of American Idol took place in Las Vegas. The 61 contestants who made it through from Hollywood would sing to their heart’s content in the hopes that they would make the cut to be of the 39 considered to be the top 24 of the competition. Two days of sweating and learning a routine and song with one or two others proved to be a challenge to many, including but not limited to working with a vocal coach. But once all of that was put to the side, the contestants were really able to stand on their own.

Our favorite performance of the night (interestingly the final performance of the Vegas round) was the trio of Aaron Sanders, Jordan Dorsey, Robbie Rosen, whose utterly delicious rendition of “Got to Get You Into My Life” was the pep the episode needed. We could overlook the illuminated crosses in the background (why bring God into it, but holy side point, Batman…I mean) because…we’ve already gone there and we don’t wish to continue at this point.

Tension abounded, naturally. FOX should win the informal award of Best Application of Pause and Overdramatic Music Just to Keep You Sitting at Your Seat. Other notables include Thia Meghia and Melinda Ademi, whose performance of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun“, in our opinion, was sweet and spot-on with harmonies and in letting the song figuratively bring in the sunshine for itself. Not all of the judges agreed, but — well, let’s just say that we can’t wait until it’s our turn for our votes to count. When all’s said and done, the girls did fine with what they were given (a vocal coach by the name of Peggi Blu, “Vocal Coach From Hell”, an award not listed on her resume, we assume) and a beautiful song that is easy to screw up. They were cool and collected, but they will need to bring out the big guns come the live portion. But “You’re going to die on stage”? “I’m going to be laying in bed watching you guys croak”? Who says that to someone? A burned b*tch says that to someone! She acted out some aggression on these sweet girls. She? Needs therapy and kick-boxing lessons. And perhaps some inspirational tapes to listen to as she sleeps. Or? The Ludovico Treatment. Yes…

Back in L.A., the contestants walked a long walk to the judges in order to receive their personal verdict as far as their fate on the road to becoming the next American Idol. We assume that this long walk is symbolic of something more than drama, because these people be stridin’. Striding. A long walk can mean a journey? A long walk can symbolize, uh…that’s all we’ve got. Drama. That’s all it’s for.

So, here’s where our complaints really begin. We’re all for documenting and hyping and involving us in the contestants’ drama. Hell, the long periods of tension are even acceptable. What happened last night during the final judging round in Vegas were the commercials. That last hour might as well have been called Block of Commercials, brought to you by American Idol.

Of course Clint Jun Gamboa got in. The camera crew followed him to his place of work; of course he was going to make it.

Hollie Cavanaugh did not get in, but she gets the award for Most Improved and Endearing Contestant. From her first audition to her final song — “No One” by Alicia Keys — she has drastically shown the nation that she has talent. We hope to see her next year.

And now the good stuff: Was Jennifer Lopez really crying? And will she return tonight to finish the job she signed a contract for?

Our answer? No, and hell yes. She can’t act, but she’s not walking out of a contract. Ratings, people. Ratings. We still like Steven more.

For a complete list of songs sung during last night’s round, check out American Idol‘s official website. Five have already been put through to the next round, and tonight we’ll find out the final 19.

See you tomorrow!