Last night, American Idol rolled into Las Vegas and challenged the remaining hopefuls with Songs of the 50's!  Some were up to the challenge and others?  Well, others were sent packing in a brutal round of cuts that no one expected.  Steve Thompson, WBKR's Idol expert, shared his thoughts about the Vegas round and who's looking like they're in it to win it!  And, here at, you can see his picks and watch them in action!

This morning, Steve joined Moon and me on The WBKR Waking Crew and chatted about the Lad Vegas leg of the auditions and what happens next!

From Steve Thompson:

  • While we watch the Idol contestants dwindle down to their inevitable two dozen, USA Today reported that The Voice will have its third season this September and that all the judges are on board.  Frankly, Simon better start tweaking X Factor and fast.  (Latest rumor on mentor to replace Paula: Janet Jackson.)
  • The first day of Vegas sent us back to the groups again.  I'm not certain about the logic of having everyone pair off as if this was a group performance contest, but I suppose it gives The Powers That Be a certain idea of how these kids can perform under pressure.
  • Most impressive from day one in Vegas?  I rather enjoyed the group of Reed Grimm, Elise Testone, Haley Johnson and Eben Frankiewicz singing The Night has a Thousand Eyes.  I think I was more impressed with the risks they took than the actual song (one of my all time least favorites) but that tells me that all four have potential to make the live shows interesting.
  • Also on day one, Adam Brock doing his best Jerry Lee Lewis riff on piano with his part on Great Balls of Fire.  This group also featured Erika Van Pelt, (no relation to Lucy or Linus,) a singer that has quite a following in the chat rooms but we really haven't seen much of her to this point.
  • I was a bit surprised that the group that included Jeremy Rosado and David Leathers acquitted themselves rather nicely on their version of Rockin' Robin. If I were a betting man I would've lost money on that one.
  • We had our first official Deandre Brackensick sighting since he got his walking papers last year during Idol's "Green Mile" elimination episode.  Wasn't that impressed with his part on It Doesn't Matter Anymore.
  • Day 2 of the Vegas rounds proved that Elvis is dead.  The groups doing Jailhouse Rock and Burning Love didn't impress me at all.  Shannon Magrane sounded pretty good on her part of Blue Suede Shoes, however.  It was good to see at least some of the girls get some screen time.
  • The automatic cuts this season finally provided a bit of drama when the group singing You Keep Me Hangin' On loses a member who suddenly goes into a politically incorrect snit after being the only one cut from her group.  (Ironically, Brittney Kellogg is later cut from this same group when the judges made some deeper cuts to get to 42-- without a snit, I should probably add.)
  • My favorite group from day two featured Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, and Jen Hirsch with a really wonderful sounding version of Sealed with a Kiss.  Jen Hirsch really is starting to look like a keeper for the girl's side.
  • So...  The Top 40 is actually 42.  Next Wednesday we'll see the highlights of the solos that prompted 42 contestants to be whittled down to 24.
  • We're almost ready to go live...

@February 17, 2012  Stephen W Thompson