American Idol
Auditions: Las Vegas/Beatles Night

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Like Pigs From A Gun

I don't know about you but I've been warily excited about the whole Las Vegas twist this year. I mean, on the one hand everything's been kind of awesome this year and on the other hand, this show will always getcha. Well, somehow they've done both: It's all the collective psychotic breaks and Mean Girl meltdowns of Group Night, but also in the grossest location on earth, with everybody already getting styled to death, singing one of the most high-stakes Themes of the entire year. The Rooms of Doom were a pressure cooker but this is more like rock and roll suicide, sous-vide style. See how they run!

"As we whittle away at the remaining contestants," Ryan says -- truer words -- it turns out we're looking for our Top 24, which will be revealed tonight in that Running Man makeover they gave the Chair last year where it's onstage with all the lights and it feels like you're being forced to play some kind of Jigsaw Killer game. How I miss the class of the old Chair, the long waxed-hardwood walk into fate, the elevator that obviously smelled like pee.

They have cut Chris Medina's hair or strapped it down under a hat, and introduced John Wayne to black-people music. Gossip Girl-looking Colton is crashed out, like a dirty-faced little angel, and of course Casey Abrams and Chris Medina are getting along together in the cutest, most Mountain Dew/Cheetos way possible. I wonder what that's like; Chris telling Casey about his pretend wife and Casey playing sad songs on made-up instruments.

But Whom Will Ashley Sullivan Be Taking Down With Her This Week?

Good question. The answer is, of course, "all of us eventually," but in particular I can't say for sure. She's blonde and she's not Lauren Alaina, which does not narrow things down.

Blu is a second Byrd, a vocal coach who does not have faith in Thia and her teammates. L Alaina is with a girl Denise and with Scott, and they are working with Ken the sexy vocal coach in the droog hat. Lauren tells us some things about feelings or something and looks pretty close to cracking, so that'll be fun.

There are fully fifty vocal coaches this year. Ken keeps changing into cuter and cuter outfits. Molly DeWolf Swensen casts an eloquent eye around the room, assigning each and every person and object its own unique number of stars on the Molly DeWolf Swensen Ratings Scale Of Excellence.

Blu eats the face off of Thia and her little girl-partner, and we learn that she is the Simon of vocal coaches. I think there's something scary inside of her, I don't think they're trumping it up. Little girls start to cry, and then she threatens their actual lives. She wants to lay in her bed and watch them choke onscreen and refuses to take responsibility for them. Then she tells the little girls to sex or Hunger Games each other, it's all bleeped so I don't know what really happened but their eyes bugged out, and then she starts talking about eating roadkill. It's all pretty amazing.

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American Idol

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