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‘American Idol’ Group Recap: Hopefuls Head to Las Vegas

Idol
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Only 70 ‘American Idol‘ contestants were left at the start of tonight’s episode (Feb. 16) and when all was said and done, there were only 42 still standing. Before the drastic cutting of contestants took place, the hopefuls headed to Sin City to perform in groups…again.

That didn’t go so well last time, but tonight was a marked improvement.

The contestants were tasked with producing a complete performance package, including choreography. The intangible of getting along with your groupmates didn’t prove as challenging this time out, either. The stakes are higher, so the ‘Idol’ wannabes were forced to hunker down and work.

An added bonus: No excessive fainting and no falling tonight, since there was so much of it last night that it felt forced and therefore almost funny.

Nevertheless, the rules dictated that the Idols had to form groups of three to four members. They were assigned songs from the 1950s or 1960s. After the performance, they would be told -then and there- if they are on to the next round. There was a snafu of sorts. The judges had to make more cuts at the end of the ep, in order to whittle the group down to a workable number. That meant that some contestants who initially made it through had their dreams dashed.

PopCrush watched every performance and broke it down for your easily digestible pleasure. Read on.

Group 1:

They doo-wopped their way through ‘Dedicated to the One I Love’ and nailed the harmonies.

Skylar Laine: She is safe, despite being unable to find a group at first.

Cari Quoyser: She was eliminated for being shaky.

Chase Likens: He is good looking, and safe.

Colton Dixon: He impressed the judges. He is safe, as well. The same didn’t hold true for his sister.

Group 2:

They performed ‘Rockin’ Robin,’ which was written many years before they were born. It was essentially Hollywood Five reunited without Eben Franckewitz for a seamless, malt shop rendition of this classic, complete with cute and simple choreography.

David Leathers, Jr: He is so soulful and wise beyond his years. He is moving forward. Duh!

Gabi Carrubba: She was “in there man,” said Randy. For that, she moved forward. Until the end of the ep, when she was one of the final cuts.

Jeremy Rosado: He’s always solid, and is on to the next round.

Ariel Sprague: She smiles and lights up the room, so we’ll see her again.

Group 3:

This crew had flawless chemistry for ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and it was fun anthem that felt plucked right outta ‘Grease.’

Adam Brock: Mr. White Chocolate tickled the ivories and made it through.

Erika Van Pelt: Her magnetism ensured her a spot next week.

Angie Zeiderman: She worked it and made it through, even though Randy made it seem like she wouldn’t. Actually, she didn’t, since she was axed at the end. Emotional roller coaster.

Shelby Tweten: She played the “good girl” role during the perf, and found herself a spot for next week.

Group 4:

The ladies did ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’ complete with military-style, pinup girl outfits and perfect choreography.

Brielle von Hugel: Her vocals stood out, so she’s moving on.

Molly Hunt: Her individual vocals did not impress so she is going home.

Schyler Dixon: Her vocals also stood out, so she’s got another chance at first, but was cut at the end of the day. Bye, Schy.

Group 5:

This batch of hopefuls modernized the groove of their song, ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,’ adding a little pop. It earned them a standing ovation. [Watch it here]

Reed Grimm: He was the star of this show, so he’s in the Top 40. Make that 42, since that’s how many were left end of ep.

Haley Johnson: She ended the song strong and is still alive.

Elise Testone: She beatboxed to melody, so yes, she’s moving on.

Eben Franckewitz: He had red lipstick kisses on his cheeks to match his groupmates’ outfits and his high vocal keeps him in the thick of things.

Group 6:

This odd couple was the only group of two, and both are baritones with deep voices. They sat down and sang ‘Make It Easy on Yourself,’ for which Randy referred to them as “The Brothers Righteous.” It shouldn’t have worked but strangely, it did.

Jermaine Jones: This baritone offered up butter smooth, silky R&B depth and made it through.

Richie Law: The cowboy harmonized nicely and is moving forward, in spite of his prickly personality.

Group 7:

This two gal, one guy trio sang ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ by Buddy Holly in an over-the-top, fire and brimstone fashion. They blew it out. [Watch it here]

Deandre Brackensick: His range sent him through to the Top 40. Love those wild curls, too.

Jessica Sanchez: We didn’t know she had it in her to be so soulful, so she’s got another chance.

Candice Glover: Girl is feeling it, at all times. Yes, she got a golden ticket at first, but it was promptly rescinded at the end.

Group 8:

This group did ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and the choreography was very Elvis the Pelvis. But their big voices held them back from having dynamics.

Scott Dangerfield: He’s got a golden ticket.

Clayton Farhat: He cycled through a few key changes and made it through.

Adam Lee Decker: He was saying “please” under his breath before learning his fate and it was sad to see. Thankfully, he made it through.

Curtis Gray: He didn’t make it, sadly.

Group 9:

This literal girl group rocked ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ so beautifully in pink sequined dresses.

Courtney Williams: She oversang a bit on a simple melody, but got a pass.

Britnee Kellogg: The mom-of-two started and ended strong, so she made it. At first. She was cut at the end of the day and took it very hard.

Jessica Phillips
:
She didn’t breathe fire into the mic as expected, but it was the end of the line for her. She was all sorts of sour grapes after the fact, saying she is an artist who came here for a record deal and that other performers who are not artists made it through instead of her.

Group 10:

After a tough session with vocal coach Peggy Blu, they sang ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ Peggy’s tough love worked wonders.

Lauren Gray: She gave J Lo the chills. She’s got another round in her.

Mathenee Treco: His falsetto was the least featured voice so no shock that he was sent home.

Wendy Taylor: Randy was smiling and shaking his head approvingly when she belted our her parts, so she’s got another round to go, too.

Group 11:

This all-male group harmonized ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ and was in sync and even fell to the floor in sync when they found out they were safe. It was the only falling of the ep.  [Watch it here]

Heejun Han: He is such a judge’s fave, so we’ll see him another round and in the Top 24, if the rumors are true.

Phillip Phillips: Blue-eyed soul closed the song strong and got a golden ticket here. See above for rumors of his fate.

Jairon Jackson: What a terrific classic R&B voice. He survived at first, then got cut at the end.

Neco Starr: Another classic R&B voice we’ll hear another week.

Group 12:

Groovesauce got back together, without Reed Grim but that didn’t stop them from conducting their business like a barber shop quartet for ‘Sealed With a Kiss.’ [Watch it here]

Nick Boddington: Not his best offering, so he’s going home.

Aaron Marcellus: He is always consistent and going to the next round.

Jen Hirsh: She’s a wower and is moving forward because of it.

Creighton Fraker: Impressive, once again. Yep, golden ticket for him.

Some other key stays and goes: Baylie Brown, Hallie Day and Chelsea Sorrell all made it through, even though their group wasn’t shown in full. Johnny Keyser didn’t move on. That was a bum out.

Tune in next week when the remaining 42 are thinned to an even smaller herd of hopefuls.

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