'American Idol' completes Vegas Round and narrows hopefuls to 42
By Reality TV World staff, 02/17/2012
American Idol narrowed its eleventh-season contestant pool to 42 hopefuls during Thursday night's broadcast of the Fox reality singing competition's Vegas Round.
Thursday's American Idol broadcast picked up where Wednesday night's episode had ended and began with judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson telling the 70 contestants who had survived the competition's Hollywood Week auditions they would be traveling to Las Vegas and singing 1950's and 1960's music for the next phase of the auditions.
However, before the boarded their buses and made the drive to Sin City, the hopefuls were told they would have to perform as trios or quartets during the Vegas Round and instructed to organize themselves into the required groups.
Most of the contestants appeared to organize themselves into the required formations without significant issue, however Jermaine Jones and Richie Law both struggled to find groups to join, resulting in Idol's producers allowing the pair to partner as a duo.
Once they arrived in Las Vegas, the 70 contestants rehearsed their group's song withAmerican Idol's vocal coaches and performed for the judges over two days. Tyler, Lopez and Jackson deliberated immediately after each group performed and then individually cut or advanced each group member to the competition's next round.
Eight hopefuls were shown being cut during Day 1's group performances, including Cari Quoyeser, Molly Hunt, Wayne Wilson, Ashley Robles, Stephanie Renae, and Janelle Arthur.
However, after the Day 1 performances ended, the judges called the contestants who had survived their group's performance back on stage and told them the Vegas Round was set to end with only 40 hopefuls still in the running, so it was possible they might have to make additional cuts at the conclusion of Day 2 after all the groups had performed.
"Congrats to all of you, you made it through... [but] another word of caution to you, because tomorrow we'll be seeing 10 more groups. And if we find that the people in those groups perform better than some of you today, we may have to make more cuts at the end of the day tomorrow. So some of you may not be completely safe," Jackson told the contestants.
"Once we see how it goes tomorrow, then we'll have to revisit the whole group again, okay?" Lopez added.
Additional contestants were then shown being cut following their group's Day 2 performances, including Curtis Gray, Curtis Finch Jr., Jessica Phillips, Mathenee Treco, and Nick Boddington.
Phillips, a 26-year-old receptionist from Brooklyn, NY, took the news of her elimination less than gracelessly.
"I'm actual artist. It doesn't seem like they're looking for actual artists! If you ask me, they aren't looking for real artists," she said afterwards.
"I didn't come here to win a television show, I came here for a record deal... and a lot of people are making it through that aren't real artists, and they aren't going to sell any records and I don't have to worry about that. Because that's not me."
However after the Day 2 auditions concluded, the American Idol judges gathered all the remaining hopefuls back together and announced that, as they had previously warned, too many contestants had survived the group performances and they would have to make some more cuts.
"Okay guys, here's the deal. This really sucks, but after watching all the groups we have to get down to the Top 40, and then you guys know beyond that the Top 24 and the Top 12. So we have to make some more cuts right now," Lopez told the hopefuls.
The judges were then shown cutting seven additional contestants, including Gabi Carrubba, Angie Zeiderman, Candice Glover, Jairon Jackson, Britnee Kellogg and Schyler Dixon -- the sister of fellow hopeful Colton Dixon, who survived the cuts.
When the cuts ended, 42 contestants were left in the running for one of American Idol's eleventh-season semifinalist slots, according to host Ryan Seacrest. The broadcast did not provide an explanation for the discrepancy between the 42 contestant figure and judges' prior "Top 40" comments.