American Idol
Las Vegas Round 1

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: A- | 1 USERS: B
Stacking the Deck

Ryan welcomes us to the lobby of the Vegas theater we've been trapped in for weeks now, telling us that from now on, the contestants are singing for our votes. "This is American Idol." Did somebody say that something else was, Ryan?

After the credits, we're back in the auditorium, where the camera picks out fans holding up signs in support of their favorite person on the show: Mariah Carey? Ryan tells us that the top ten "ladieeez" are singing tonight and the guys are singing tomorrow night, with the results of the vote set to be revealed Thursday night. Either Fox or I need to budget our time better. There's some talk about the decisions being taken away from the judges, not that it's going to shut them up even a little. In fact, Ryan chats with each of them at length, while the crowd keeps screaming every time he mentions Mariah's name. Which makes me suspect she's stacked the audience for this show.

So with five minutes burned off, Ryan brings out tonight's ten singers: Zoanette Johnson, Breanna Steer, Aubrey Cleland, Janelle Arthur, Tenna Tores, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison, Adriana Latonio, and Candice Glover. Hey, I remember almost all of these women! There's a clip plugging the American Idol app, which among other things allows users to allocate 50 votes between different contestants. Wait, is he saying that people are allowed to vote more than once? God, I've been so naïve.

We're starting with Zoanette, who's now got her hair under control if not her personality. She does an intro reel about how great last week was, then comes out and does a version of "What's Love Got to Do With It" featuring alternate lyrics that she's making up and slurring out on the fly. And the sultry vocal on the original is for suckers, apparently. After all, why sound like Tina Turner when you can sound a like a drunk person doing kamikaze karaoke on a dare? But she's having a great time as always, which seems to have served her well so far. She wraps it up with a big, high, loud run of notes at the end.

Keith gives her credit for having fun, but questions her song choice. Nicki warns, "You know I love you," which is always a bad sign, and says that wasn't it. Someone in the audience is swearing loudly enough to get all the audio cutting on and off as Nicki advises Zoanette that being on key might be more to her advantage. Randy says everyone loves her, but it was a mess other than the end. It was bad enough that even he didn't comment on the botched lyrics for once, in other words. Mariah's feedback to Zoanette is about how supportive she is of other singers during their performances, and her Lion King song last week, which is Mariah's nice way of saying that her performance just now sucked. Zoanette has taken all this pretty well. Ryan comes out to remark on her new look, and she answers his question by wiggling her wig. Ryan gives the voting instructions, which are getting longer every season as new ways to vote are invented. In a few years, contestants are going to have to sing their voting instructions just to make sure there's time to cover it all.

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American Idol




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