American Idol 2011: Vegas round cut short as Top 24 assembly begins

Julie Zorrilla and Tim Halperin.  Fox photo

I hope no one takes this the wrong way (because I mean it exactly as I say it), but tonight’s “American Idol” might just be the worst two hours I’ve ever seen of the show. First of all it was completely changed from what we were told it was going to be. Then we got an hour of badly edited half performances. Then there’s a quick cut to get the Top 40. Then it ends and the second hour starts complete with opening credits.

I thought surely the second hour will be better since we’ll see more solo performances and the beginnings of the Top 24. I was wrong. It was filled with  more bad editing and really bad judge’s fake outs. You know the whole “We’re really sorry to tell you this …. but …. You’re in the Top 24!” So 2002. And again we saw virtually NO performances. It was terrible. I’m sorry, it was.

I’m going to try to assemble a recap/review based on the jumbled mess that made up tonight’s episode. So bear with me.

When the Vegas round episode began, I thought my biggest complaint of the night was going to be all the kids not knowing who The Beatles are or what songs they sang. OK, enough complaining. I’m just going to review what performances we did see in the Vegas round.

*James Durbin and Stefano Langone, “Get Back.” I thought Stefano was more interesting during this performance. James is starting to irritate me. Enough shrieking.

*Pia Toscano and Karen Rodriguez, “Can’t Buy Me Love.” I thought it was kind of loungey or show choir-y. And, no, that’s not OK, despite what “Glee” might lead you to believe. There’s a time and place for show choir. It’s called HIGH SCHOOL.

*Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, and Naima Adedapo, “The Long and Winding Road.” Haley was sultry, Naima brought power and Jacob was weird. He can sing, yes. But he does a lot of weird things with his voice that I’m not used to hearing.

*Lauren Turner and Jovany Baret0, “Let It Be.” This was one of my favorites based on what little we got to see and hear. Lauren’s voice is amazing.

*Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla, “Something.” Another favorite. I’ve been a bit hard on Julie because I haven’t gotten her yet. I got it tonight. She’s good. And so is Tim. Great duo.

*Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle, “Blackbird.” This was a decent performance. Paul is definitely unique and music is clearly what he’s meant to do. But he comes off weird, too, like Jacob. He sings with his teeth or something. It’s just odd. And again, I’m still waiting on these people to grow on me. So don’t take my criticisms too seriously. I love his voice, just not his stage presence.

*Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery and Denise Jackson, “Hello, Goodbye.” Yes! Scotty can sing more than one song! And quite well. I thought he stood out in this group. Yes, even more so than the highly pimped Lauren.

*Casey Abrams and Chris Medina, “A Hard Days Night.” Meh. Those two should’ve never teamed up. That could lead to their downfall.

So that’s pretty much it. Nothing much really to go on. We only saw bits and pieces of each song. Then it’s time to cut the 61 to 40. The most notable contestants cut were Carson Higgins (my favorite guy — boo!), Molly DeWolf, Caleb Hawley, Denise Jackson, Ashley Sullivan (at least she got married while she was there) and Melinda Ademi.

Now we go on to Part Two of tonight’s train wreck. The building of the Top 24 and almost NO footage of the Top 40’s solo performances. So here’s who made it and who didn’t so far:

Naima Adedapo – In

Holly Cavanagh – Out

Lakeisha Lewis – Out

Alex Ryan – Out

Clint Jun Gamboa – In

Haley Reinhart – In

Deandre Brackensick – Out

Paul McDonald – In

Ashton Jones – In

Chris Medina – Out

Yes, you read that right. Chris is out. He was an almost-certain Top 24 and Top 12 contender. No one thought he’d go home due to a judge’s decision. It really is a weird outcome. And it seems as if it wasn’t even a judge’s decisions. I mean, Jennifer Lopez completely broke down over it. It had to be a producer’s decision. So odd. I’m not really bothered by it.

Stay tuned for tomorrow night as the rest of the Top 24 is revealed.