‘American Idol’: Jennifer Lopez Has A Breakdown While Shaping The Top 24

Robbie Daw | February 24, 2011 5:54 am

Why so glum, Jennifer Lopez? Your new RedOne-produced dance jam “On The Floor” is the #2 song on iTunes! Oh, right—this was the week on American Idol where the remaining 61 contestants were shipped off to Las Vegas to perform songs by the Beatles, whittled down to 40, then carted back to L.A. so the group could be pared down again to 24. That’s gotta be rough on a pop diva. And it was! Read on. We had been teased by host Ryan Seacrest throughout last night’s two-hour episode that the Top 24 was going to be revealed, when actually only ten of the contestants who made it through were shown. The evening ended on J-Lo’s teary-eyed breakdown over an early Idol favorite being cut. An ominous “To Be Continued” flashed on the screen as the night came to a close.

But let’s rewind—the night began with the 61 Hollywood Week survivors rolling to Vegas’ Mirage Hotel & Casino, where they partnered up in either duos or trios and were given a mere 24 hours to learn and perform Beatles songs on the stage of Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE show. Steven Tyler said, “This is freaking me out, because Beatles Land is where I live.” In other words, he was letting the hopefuls know they’d better impress him!

Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine was on hand to give out advice as the groups rehearsed. He brought along “Love The Way You Lie” producer Alex Da Kid and other music insiders, and overall they weren’t liking what they heard from Lauren Alaina, Denise Jackson and Scotty McCreery‘s stab at the Fab Four.

Eventually the duos and trios took to the LOVE stage, including Stefano Langone and James Durbin, who kicked things off with a rendition of “Get Back” that pleased judges Tyler, J-Lo and Randy Jackson. Other groups who received the thumbs-up: Pia Toscano and Karen Rodriguez (“Can’t Buy Me Love”); Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo (“The Long And Winding Road”); Robbie Rosen, Aaron Sanders and Jordan Dorsey (“Got To Get You Into My Life”); Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle (“Black Bird”).

Ashley Sullivan took advantage of the trip to Sin City and married her boyfriend at the Little White Chapel (i.e., the same joint where Britney Spears’s ill-fated union with Jason Alexander went down in 2004). Unfortunately, her pairing with Sophia Shorai wasn’t so sweet, and the two failed to wow with their take on “We Can Work It Out.” Scotty, Lauren and Denise also came off a bit wobbly with their silly attempt at “Hello Goodbye.”

By the time Idol rolled out of Vegas, 21 contestants got the axe. Unlucky warblers who were cut included White House intern Molly DeWolf Swensen, Carson Higgins, Denise Jackson, Caleb Hawley and newly-married Jersey girl Sullivan.

Back in L.A., judges Tyler, Lopez and Jackson began the painful task of whittling the remaining 40 down to 24. The crooners who made it through (so far) were Naima Adedapo, Clint Jun Gamboa, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald and Ashton Jones.

The Idol road ended for Hollie Cavanagh, Lakeisha Lewis, Alex Ryan, Deandre Brackensick and the one who truly broke J-Lo’s heart when she had to let him go—Chris Medina.

Twenty-six-year-old Chris had initially impressed the judges in Milwaukee, with both his talent and his dedication to his girlfriend Julieanne, who was left wheelchair-bound and suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident.

“I just don’t want to tell them no,” Lopez said through tears after Medina did the long walk out. “You did it the best way possible and I think you were really real and really honest with him,” Randy tried to reassure her.

And so the night ended on Idol‘s resident pop diva saying, “I don’t wanna do this anymore.”

Tonight: J-Lo answers the age-old question of “should I stay or should I go.” But she’s not the only one—there are still 14 more contestants who have a shot at making the Top 24.