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Round 1: Vegas baby! Part one

Twenty-four singers made it past the American Idol judges after they showed off their talent in Las Vegas. This time, Randy, Paula and Simon were joined by guest judge Kenny Loggins. And unlike the other audition shows, the producers finally threw in a clip about the guest judge's career. One of the first singers aired this week sings "Footloose" by Loggins, who grimaces and says "Somebody shoot me!"

The auditions could only get better from there.

Young and cool
Mikalah Gordon, 16, sang "Lullaby of Birdland" and the judges were thrilled. Randy said "You were spot on pitch. You were born to do this." Loggins said "I enjoyed the way you worked this." And Simon said the performance was a fresh break from all the teenage pageant queens who come in and audition. "I think you're great," said Simon. "You're just cool!" To which Paula said, "We'll see you in Hollywood!"

Neil Diamond fan
Next up - 24-year-old Jeffrey Gray who was deaf as a baby. The first voice he ever heard was Neil Diamond singing "America." Of course, Gray chose this as his audition tune. He wasn't a good singer and he made a strange stabbing motion with his hands when he sang. The judges sent him on his way.

Show girl talent
Before 23-year-old Amanda Avila took the stage, the show aired a montage of really bad singers. Then, Avila, who is a Las Vegas show girl, grabs a yes from the judges. Simon asked if her show girl friends would visit her in Hollywood if she moved ahead. When she said that they would, he smiled and said "yes." The other three judges approved of her singing as well.

Vegas style?
Christopher Tamura told the judges he was going to give them a true taste of Las Vegas style, and then launched into a really bad Elvis impersonation. Simon asked what he does for a living. "I work at the Venetian front desk." Simon replied, "You're going back to the hotel."

Won't take no for an answer
During auditions in New Orleans, the judges barely passed on the Molfetta brothers - a twin duo who won Randy and Paula's approval. In Las Vegas, one of the brothers, Rich, returned for a solo audition. Randy and Paula again gave a thumbs up. Simon stayed firm with no. The salvation for Rich was the fact that guest judge Gene Simmons had gone home and Kenny Loggins was now in the driver's seat. Loggins said "You have a very strong voice." So with three yeses, Molfetta is on his way to Hollywood.

Bubbly and fun
When 22-year-old Emily Neves got her chance to sing, she picked "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Paula asked her if she could sing something else. She sang well, and ad libbed some of the lines to direct her performance to Simon. Randy loved it. "I think you're funny and fun," he said. She's on her way to Hollywood.(Continued...)

Read more now -- about this episode of American Idol by clicking here.

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