Tuned In

The Morning After: Going Hollywood

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The 24 semifinalists will be unmasked tonight. / Timothy White/FOX

American Idol decided to retool its Hollywood-audition round this season, eliminating the singing-group competitions. I always liked the model-U.N. vibe of these episodes, with the contestants pulling all-nighters with strangers and working out harmony and choreography, but it was a strange way to winnow down the contestants in an individual singing competition. And the ratings were never as good for the audition rounds with the bad singers. So this year AI compressed Hollywood into one episode, cutting the backstage drama and narrowing the field down to 50 who will next be pared to 24 semifinalists, in tonight’s dreaded Elevator Episode.

But the big question of the night was this: did anyone else notice how many of the singers had blue tongues? Was there a bowl of blue-raspberry Tootsie Pops backstage? Or were they just oxygen deprived?