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Jessica Sanchez, Jermaine Jones, Lauren Gray, Neco Star and Brielle von Hugel emerge as stars on 'American Idol'

From more than 300 contestants sent through to

From more than 300 contestants sent through to Hollywood, dozens were eliminated almost immediately. Those left standing will form groups for the next round. Credit: Fox

42 contestants are still on their feet after "American Idol's" Las Vegas group round -- with Jessica Sanchez, Jermaine Jones, Lauren Gray, Neco Star and Brielle von Hugel separating themselves from the pack with memorable performances.

It was an unusually strong night, with a lot of groups blending well and a few ready to tour already. Below's how I ranked them; put in your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter at #ndidol.

1) Jessica Sanchez, Deandre Brackensick and Candice Glover were electric on "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" -- real musicians, blending three different voices well. "Wow, man, you all blew that out" said Randy Jackson. "You guys sound so good, amazing!"

2) Odd couple Richie 'Cowboy' Law and Jermaine Jones were fantastic with their deep, sincere voices on a slowed-down "Breaking Up is Hard to Do." Jennifer Lopez said it best: "Oh my god, I love you."

3) Young hotshots Jeremey Rosado, Ariel Sprague, Gabi Carrubba and David Leathers's "Rockin' Robin" was fun and got a "nice, nice; that was hot, man, I was really, really impressed" from Jackson.

4) Lauren Gray, Wendy Taylor, and Mathenee Treco's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" showcased Gray's x-factor voice; something about it really sticks in your head.

5) Jairon Jackson, Neco Star, Heejun Han, Phil Phillips' "I Only Have Eyes for You" catapulted Star to my attention; also glad to see Han cry when they got through, he's a funny guy but he also really cares about this.

6) Schyler Dixon, Brielle von Hugel and Molly Hunt's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" was most notable for von Hugel's distinctive, oddly enjoyable voice.

7) Haley Johson, Reed Grimm, Elise Testone and Eben Franckewitz's "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" didn't do much for me, but got a standing ovation from the judges.

8) Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, Angie Ziederman and Shelby Tweten performed "Great Balls of Fire" well, even if the vocals were nothing electric.

9) Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Cari Quoyeser and Chase Liens' "Dedicated to the One I Love" had some nice individual vocal moments, but overall felt stagey and forced.

10) Voices of Creighton Faker, Aaron Marcellus, Nick Boddington and Jen Hirsch blended into one for me on "Sealed With a Kiss" -- nothing memorable.

11) Divas Courtney Williams, Britnee Kellogg and Jessica Phillips may all sing for a living, but there was nothing memorable about their version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

12) Goofy group of Clayton Farhat, Scott Dangerfield, Adam Lee Decker and Curtis Gray may have dressed up as Elvis for "Jailhouse Rock" but they sure didn't thrill like the King.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.


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