It was a tough night as the 70 remaining singers were asked to perform tunes from the '50s or '60s in groups. "It isn't just about the vigorous vocal rehearsals," Ryan Seacrest said. Contestants had to put together a "complete performance package," including choreography and costumes before taking the stage in front of the judges.
Some sailed through as a group, like youngsters David Leathers, Jr., Jeremy Rosado, Ariel Sprague and Gabi Carrubba, who sang "Rocking Robin" in a "job well done," according to Randy Jackson.
Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, Angie Zeiderman and Shelby Tweten sang "Great Balls of Fire," which Jennifer Lopez said was "a lot of fun." "You're a skinny little girl," Steven Tyler told Angie. "You don't have many tail feathers but you sure shook them."
Early frontrunner Reed Grimm led Haley Johnsen, Elise Testone and Eben Franckewitz in "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," earning a standing ovation from the panel.
Jairon Jackson, Neco Starr, Phillip Phillips and Heejun Han were all spot on with "I Only Have Eyes For You," and all fell to the floor with relief when the judges told them they'd made it through.
Other groups were divided by the judges, like Clayton Farhat, Scott Dangerfield, Adam Lee Decker and Curtis Gray, who performed "Jailhouse Rock" and earned mixed reviews. "When you guys have such big voices and you're used to rocking out like that you got to learn how to hold back," Jennifer said. "That's called dynamics." Curtis was the only one who didn't make it through.
Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh, Nick Boddington and Aaron Marcellus sang "Sealed with a Kiss," but Nick was cut. "Nobody has a voice like Nick in the competition so I think [the judges] are wrong," Jen said.
After two days of competition, the judges had put through more than 40 singers, so everyone who had made it through was called back to the stage. "This really sucks," Jennifer said, before breaking some bad news to contestants who thought they were safe.
Gabi Carrubba was cut, leaving her team in tears. Skylar Laine was also sent home, though the judges kept her brother, Colton. And Britney Spears lookalike Britnee Kellogg took the judges' change of heart especially hard. "I don't get this," she said through tears. "This is my life and this is what I do. It's crazy. ... I don't want to go home."
Idol returns next week (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET) on Fox as the cuts continue on the way to the top 24 – and the live shows.