After the previouslies from last week -- which end with the cliffhanger of Neko Starr and Ben Briley each hoping for enough votes from the viewing public to make the top 30, because that's valid -- Ryan is coming to us from the brand-new stage at the auditorium. I can tell it's brand-new because Ryan says it is. The stage currently holds 13 stools, indicating that the top 13 will be chosen by Thursday night. Like how the top 30 were supposed to be chosen last week?
Remixed title sequence and theme song, and then Ryan explains that it's the first-ever "Rush Week," meaning we get to pick our pledges. Just what Idol needs: to be even frattier. Ryan then brings out the judges, who take their positions at the table facing the circular thrust section of the stage. Then the faces and first names of the top 15 girls are flashed on the screen. Wow, that was fast, can we vote now? Actually, Ryan tells us that not all 15 of them will sing tonight; just the judges' ten favorites. What are they going to do with the rest of the time, then?
Oh, God, Randy Jackson is in the house. I'd forgotten about that, or blocked it, or something. That'll take up lots of time. He joins Ryan on the stage and explains why he's there, which is…to help the contestants, I guess, by working with them and going over the judges' feedback, and if he's as incoherent with them as he is on the stage he will not be helpful to them at all.
Flash back to Randy addressing the top 31 at some resort ballroom, saying he now gets to work with them more closely than before. Lucky them. Randy introduces his panel that includes the vocal coaches and stylists and "movement coaches," who I thought have been around all along, but now there's also a middle-aged couple who are billed as the "spiritual advisors." What a terrible idea. I bet it was Randy's. He also brings out Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, who I guess will be sub-mentors or something this week. Back in the auditorium with Ryan, Randy says that this will be one of the best groups ever. It probably helps that he didn't pick any of them.
Jennifer gives a long, rambling introduction of the first singer, Majesty Rose, and then we have to watch a clip of Randy interviewing her, if by "interviewing" we mean "bragging about the workshop he put together." She worked with a vocal coach and Adam Lambert on "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. She's doing it with her guitar, which has her stuck behind a microphone stand, and the song doesn't let her show much range, but she's clearly having fun and the judges seem to dig it as well. Jennifer compliments her on being ready and confident, while Harry says they were hoping she'd keep doing what she's been doing, and he's happy with how she set the tone. Keith liked the song, particularly the "moments" showing her vocal range. More like nano-moments. Ryan chats with her a bit and sends her to go sit on a couch and stare awkwardly into the camera all by herself while Ryan gives the voting instructions. That's another downside of going first.