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Steven Tyler Tackles the ‘American Idol’ Group and Solo Rounds

Steven Tyler
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

It’s the always drama-filled group and solo nights on ‘American Idol‘! Whee! Let’s see how our own Steven Tyler and the rest of the judges fared with this whole “shooting fish in a barrel” thing.

If you’ve never seen ‘Idol,’ let us be the first to congratulate you on your good taste. A brief primer: these rounds are always fun because first, everyone is forced into weird groups of 4 or 5 people, who then spend all night working on a song and bickering and saying nasty things about each other to a Fox camera they must think has no film. Oh, and then they perform for the judges the next day and face the chopping block.

A few groups were awful, a few were good, but one in particular that ran over Boston‘s ‘More Than a Feeling’ and then backed up and ran over it again a couple more times just to make sure they’d really killed it dead got a look of such unbridled slackjawed horror from Steven that we doubt they’ll ever sing Boston again. Or visit Boston. Or eat Boston baked beans or Boston cream pie. Or even watch ‘Cheers,’ for that matter.

Yeah, it was that bad.

As the cuts continued, the pressure was clearly too much for some of the contestants. We’ve seen a lot of them passing out lately — hell, last week one chick did a full-on faceplant right off the stage — and on Wednesday night at least two fainted from exhaustion or the flu or whatever, but Steven’s reaction to them was priceless.

Of course he was concerned, but it came with an invisibly-raised eyebrow, like, “Is that all you’ve got? Dude, I’ve blacked out in the middle of concerts and never even stopped singing. In fact, one time when I came to, the show was already over and I was back in my hotel room with about a dozen women who didn’t even know I’d been unconscious. Man up already.”

Anyway. Moving along …

Solo day started with a jam session — Randy Jackson played the bass (as he’s reminded us ad nauseum over the years, he was Journey‘s bassist for about four minutes once) and Steven grabbed a mic and let loose on ‘Walk This Way’ and a couple other songs as everyone joined in. Fun was had by all.

After everyone did their solos, they were split into four rooms — three rooms moved on to the next round, and the other one didn’t. Steven told the room of rejects how often he was booed off stage when he started, but that he kept on going and they should too. Most of them probably won’t though, and for that we are eternally grateful.

Thursday night, the group goes to Vegas for more needless hijinks as Fox continues to squeeze every single minute of ad time it can out of an ‘Idol’ season. See you then!

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