American Idol Las Vegas Day: Cirque du Sob Story
American Idol dished two hours of giddy theatrics last night: We started with an hour of Las Vegas auditions featuring Beatles songs (courtesy of the Cirque du Soleil rollerblading clown show Love) and concluded with sixty minutes of the judges' first Top 24 invitees. BREAKING: I loved American Idol this Wednesday. Let's break it all down in the wrong order: We'll start by discussing the five declared entrants into the Top 24 and conclude with our (my) feelings about the remaining hopefuls. EXCLUSIVE: Still don't trust Robbie Rosen.
Voila, our first five members of the Top 24:
Naima Adedapo: American Idol's favorite tidbit about the Milwaukee janitrix is that she "used to scrub toilets" (as if to say, "My God! A woman doing custodial work! We at Idol managed to see that she is unusually pretty.") Her group number with unbearable Haley Reinhart and throaty gurgle demon Jacob Lusk may have lacked any sense of restraint, but her solo version of "Put Your Records On" wooed America right. P.S. Who'd have guessed that Corinne Bailey Rae's boring-ass bike-ride song would endure as an Idol standard? Antonella Barba and Megan Joy Corkrey, you have legacies, apparently.
Clint Jun Gamboa: Ugh. You know how I feel about grown men who dress like members of the Burger King Kids Club. Clint Jun Gamboa, who probably goes by "Boo Boo" or some other infuriating nickname at home, sang Lionel Richie's "Hello" for his solo effort, which was telling. He's as artful as a blind sculptor. We were all thinking it. His voice is fine, though cloying, and I'm sick of Schmaltz-O-Meal Idol trillers. Shape up, Boomer. Or Boo Boo. Or Banzai, or whatever.
Ashthon Jones: LOVE. THIS. GIRL. First, she sang "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" in her solo round, which makes me think she is six layers of fire. Secondly, she's gorgeous, kind of in that Latavia/LeToya way that only Beyonce could upstage. Plus, she uses hand signals when she dances, and she doesn't suck at it. This is empress material.
Paul McDonald: Look, I get that Paul's group-round version of "Blackbird" with Kendra Chantelle was off-kilter and cool. I really do. His voice is clearly radio-ready, but are we so sure he's not James Blunt II: Blunter and Dumber? Because his self-penned song about "American dreams" and how they "come from within" or "come from the heart" was effing sad. Kara DioGuardi would not declare that a Platinum Hit (coming this spring to Bravo). Still, he looks OK in a vest, and that is the Idol standard for male stars.
Haley Reinhart: Cut out my insides with a novelty pumpkin knife, because Steven, J-Lo, and Randy have to be out of their gourd (YAH-HAW) to let through this belch-y screamer. Just observe that name for a second. "Haley Reinhart." You hated every Haley Reinhart in high school. She made posters for the pep assembly and pretended to love community service, but she really just wanted an internship at a downtown costume shop. And her Aunt Sue already worked at that costume shop, so she was a shoo-in anyway. So screw you and your glitter pens, Haley, because the rest of us are human beings. Ugh, annoying. Some people never grow up.
And now, scattered thoughts about others who will certainly make the Top 24:
Robbie Rosen: For the Vegas round, he performed "Got to Get You Into My Life" with two other dudes. They called themselves "R&Beatles." Here's where you went wrong, cocky giggle-sorcerer Robbie: You are not R&B. You will never be R&B. You are a YouTube-bred balladeer, and your happy-go-aww-shucks front of a personality means death to me. Your spunk is hurtful. You need to not be here, because I will not warm to you. I will slam your earnest delivery and playful head-bops at every turn. I will not be steamrolled. I will never die! I live. I live in spite of you. You sing OK though.
Lauren Alaina: Nigel's pet was eviscerated for her group round rendition of "If I Fell," which is convenient drama. She'll make the Top 24 with no problem, if only because Steven Tyler sees himself in the shattered panes of her childlike eyes.
Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla sang "Something" at each other, which was fine and proper. That's good.
Stefano Langone and James Durbin barreled through "Get Back" and delivered the most powerful rendition of the evening. Now, James Durbin, the autistic-handicapped-paralyzed-potential-sociopath who caterwaulsings like Adam Lambert, is a little worrisome to me. If you remember season eight well at all, you'll recall that Adam Lambert's shtick got super old super fast. In fact, he was annoying. James has already maxed out this season's scream quota, so I'm hoping he'll rein it in for the rest of the year/lifetime.
Pia Toscano and Karen Rodriguez served up "Can't Buy Me Love" with karaoke aptitude. Together they looked like stand-ins for two members of Josie and the Pussycats, except they didn't even have a sassy Valerie stand-in. They were Melody and Josie stand-ins up there, and that is bleak.
Rachel Zevita sang an overdramatic version of "Eleanor Rigby," because she's that girl.
Jennifer Lopez bawled for eight minutes when Chris Medina -- he of the Sad Sob Story About A Car Accident -- didn't make the Top 24. I didn't cry at all. I was too busy reveling in Ashley Sullivan and Hollie Cavanagh's ousters, because they were awful. Can you believe the producers spent six minutes showing Ashley getting married? I can, because Idol is full of unbearable tricks. And still...
I loved this show, and I can't wait for tonight. Who can wait for the blessed Top 24 dance, the greatest moment of the year? Let's do season ten, y'all. I'm bringing my hand-jive.