American Idol 11 – Las Vegas Performance Challenge – Recap and Videos

The American Idol 11 Top 60 70 head to Las Vegas where they will sing songs from the 50s.  Once again, the hopefuls will have to sing in groups, but this time they will perform on Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS stage.

I’ll be live blogging tonight at Entertainment Weekly. Do join me there if you’d like! I’ll be back here as soon as the episode ends on the East Coast to post videos, polls and a full recap!

Entertainment Weekly Live Blog


List of Top 70

Gabi Carrubba, Schyler Dixon, Angie Zeiderman, Candace Glover, Johnny Keyser, Jairon Jackson and Britnee Kellogg  got through the 1st Day rounds, only to be eliminated the second day.

Also leaving the competition: Cari Quoyester, Molly Hunt, Wayne Wilson, Ashley Robles, Stephanie Renae, Aubree Dieckmeyer, Janelle Arthur, Tenna Torres,Curtis Gray,Jessica Phillips, Mathenee Treco, Nick Boddington and more

42 remain for the next round

After the cuts at the end of Hollywood, 70 contestants remained.  The group found out quickly enough that they would all be heading to Las Vegas to perform 50’s tunes in groups on the set of Cirque Du Soleil, Viva Elvis stage

The contestants were instructed to form groups of 3 or 4. Each was assigned a song. The contestants will learn immediately after performing whether they stay  or go.

Now we’re talking! The Las Vegas Round pretty much rocked, and for the first time I feel completely confident that we are heading into an exciting competition. There is so much talent, it’s hard to pick a favorite!  Right now, I’m into the girls. Jen Hirsh and Elise Testone are my favorites so far.

One of Nigel’s nasty little twists entailed putting through people on the first day only to have them come back after the second day to face more cuts. Yep, it was pretty dramatic to watch on TV!  Fan favorite Johnny Keyser is gone, as is Colton Dixon’s sister, Schyler.  He was pretty pissed about that. But he’s got to realize siblings are only cast on Idol to be broke up later on.

Peggy Blu the Vocal Coach from Hell was back, and she sure was entertaining: “NO! There’s no crying in music! What’s that tears? ARE YOU ON RITILIN!”

Skyler Laine, Chase Likens, Colton Dixon and Cari Quoyester – “Dedicated to the One I Love” –  Skyler had some worries that she wouldn’t get the harmonies, but the group pretty much nails them. Nice arrangement. Lead vocals are also very good.  I would not have known that Chase is a country singer if I hadn’t been told. Skyler reminds me a little of Brenda Lee.  – The judges loved the harmonies. They thought Cari was shaky and weak.  Colton, Skyler and Chase are through. Cari is sent home.

David Leathers, Jr, Jeremy Rosado, Ariel Sprague, Gabi Carrubba – Rockin Robin – The way they prepared the song initially didn’t feel right, but once they updated the sound, the quartet felt comfortable. Gabi feels like she’s not getting enough solo time in her group.  The rest of the group calls her a diva.  All teenagers, these kids are really good! Singing Tweedlydeet Tweedledeet in harmony and together is harder than it looks.  “That was hot, man,” says Randy, who thinks David has improved pitch-wise from last time,  All four advance to the next round.

Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, Angie Zeiderman, Shelby Tweten – “Great Balls of Fire” – Really well put together performance. Good choreography, harmonies and vocals. Adam plays the piano. Erika is the standout, Shelby is the weakest link—she’s tentative. Angie’s theater vibe works really well here. It still feels like Adam is bellowing at me.  Jennifer feels like the number played to everyone’s strengths. Adam Shelby and Erica are through. Angie is also through, but Randy makes her wait for an answer. Mean. Steven says, “For a skinny girl, you don’t have many tail feathers, but you sure shook them.” Ugh.

Schyler Dixon, Brielle Von Hugel, Molly Hunt – “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” –  The trio perform the tune in campy military outfits. It’s more 40s than  50s, but the performance is very charming. They liked Schyler and Brielle but not Molly so much.  Schyler and Brielle are through, Molly is sent home.

Wayne Wilson, Ashley Robles, Stephanie Renae, Aubree Dieckmeyer, Janelle Arthur and Tenna Torres are sent home.

Haley Johnsen Reed Grimm, Elise Testone and Eben Franckewitz – “Night Has A Thousand Eyes” Eben has red lips on his cheeks. NGL, he’s sort of adorable. The group made the decision to “update” the song. So instead of a 50s song, it sounds like a 70s lounge tune. I’m not sure that “update” did much to modernize the arrangement. But everybody’s vocals are good, with the exception of some over-singing from Eben. Geez. Reed is such a ham!  Both Reed and Elise have great interaction with the audience. Eben lets loose a high kick. The jazz hands are coming! Get this kid on Glee. Srsly. All are through to the next round.

Jermaine  Jones and Richie (Cowboy) Lawson – “Make It Easy On Yourself” – Oh noes. It’s Cowboy! He’s such a loser, that he couldn’t find a group that would take him. He hooks up with fellow baritone, Jermaine Jones. Surprise, surprise—the duo aren’t communicating very well. Richie bitches when Byrd rearranges the song. This kid is either trying to be a reality show dick, or he’s psycho.  The performance is really odd, but it has some nice moments.  These two just don’t seem to belong together, singing this particular song.  Randy compares them to the Righteous Brothers and then says, “Richie, wow man, the country man in the long tall black hat with the long stroke.” WHAT?!? Jermaine has the nicer voice. Both are through to the next round.

Advancing to the next round: Hallie Day, Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrell,

Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick, Candace Glover – “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – This trio of R&B singers isn’t comfortable with the rock and roll stylings of Buddy Holly. So Michael Orland and Vocal Coach, Peisha McPhee work to transform the song into a gospel raveup. Hm. As a Buddy Holly fan, I’m not completely down with this arrangement, but it was necessary to allow these singers voices to shine. It’s a little over the top, but there’s no doubt all three can SANG their faces off.  “Amazing” was the judges consensus. Of course, they are through to the next round.

Day 1 is over. But. Uh oh. Monkey Wrench.  If the talent out of the ten groups the judges are seeing the next day is really good, they may have to cut some 1st day people they already put through. There’s some guaranteed drama for ya.  So, hold off that celebration for now, kids.

Day 2

Clayton Farhat, Adam Lee Decker, Curtis Gray, Scott Dangerfield, – “Jailhouse Rock” – Compared to some of the other performances, this is just a’ight–really corny and a bit sloppy. Randy thought it was fun. They got called out on some pitchiness. Jennifer thought they needed to use dynamics better. Scott, Clayton, Adam, make it through. Curtis is eliminated.

Caleb Johnson, Joshua Sanders, and their group are through to the next round.  Joshua Ledet amd Shannon Magrane are also through.

Courtney Williams, Britnee Kellogg, Jessica Phillips – They decided not to rehearse with the band because they all sing for a living? Does that even make sense? Arrogance will bring you down fast, girls. These girls sound like….they could have used a little rehearsal!  They aren’t completely together. The harmonies are decent. The judges liked Britnee the best.  The other two maybe over sang it.  Britnee and Courtney make it through, Jessica is eliminated  and is pretty bitter. “A lot of people are making it through,” Jessica says as she refuses Britnee’s hand, “that are not real artists…”

Lauren Gray, Windy Taylor and Mathenee Treco – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow“ – Oh noes. It’s the vocal coach FROM HELL, Peggi Blue. “NO! There’s no crying in music! What’s that tears? ARE YOU ON RITILIN!” lol.  Wendy and Lauren are both really good! Great harmonies. Very soulful. Lauren and Wendy are through. Mathenee is eliminated.

Jairon Jackson, Neco Starr, Phillip Phillips, Heejun Han –  “I Only Have Eyes For You” – Peggi Blu is coaching them. “I looked her up on You Tube and it was kind of scary,” says Heejun. When Peggi finds out he’s scared, she gives him a hug. Oh my gosh, Heejun is melting her heart, just like he melted ours! The best singers are Neco and Heejun. Phillip sings like he’s gargling a box of rocks. “They have arrived in Las Vegas,” says Randy.  The group thanks Peggi after they make it through.  The entire group is through to the next round.  Heejun is so relieved, he breaks down and cries.

Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh, Nick Boddington, Aaron Marcellus – “Sealed With a Kiss” – They call themselves ‘Lady and the Spectacles” cause the boys wear glasses. This is groovesauce minus Reed Grimm. I’m not loving these harmonies, and Creighton Fraker has never met a note he didn’t want to completely over-sing. Actually, they all over-sing to varying degrees, but Jen Hirsh and Aaron Marcellus are both fantastic vocalists. Creighton, Jen and Aaron are through. Nick is eliminated.

The performances are over, but the Day 1 contestants who were put through have to take the stage again for more cuts. Harsh.  The groups step out together.

Going home: Gabi Carrubba, Schyler Dixon, Angie Zeiderman, Candace Glover, Johnny Keyser, Jairon Jackson, Britnee Kellogg and 27 more hopefuls.

About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!