BWW Recap: THE X FACTOR Auditions - Episode 3
THE X FACTOR, FOX, Reality TV
It's the third week of auditions on this week's The X Factor. This episode starts off with some Los Angeles auditions. Paulina's out for the day, leaving my 3 favorite judges!
Two sisters, Shirley and Cynthia began with one of my favorite songs (and my ringtone, actually) I Want You Back by the Jackson 5! It started off alright, but one sister was way than the other, and it Tanked quickly. They were completely out of tune. Kelly agreed with me that the talent was disproportionate, saying that the better sister could return in the future.
Josh Levi, a 14-year-old from Houston, Texas sang Selena Gomez's Come and Get It. I loved watching Kelly and Demi dance along to his version.
Next up was Drama Drama, a group of 5 girls in their mid-20s who confused the judges by also claiming to be teenage girls. I have a thing for girl groups, and I wanted them to be good when they claimed to emulate the Spice Girls, who I've worshipped since childhood. But when they started their a capella cover of Party In the USA (Miley Cyrus's only tolerable song, in my book), it was immediately clear that they weren't a group to root for. They were out of sync in every way, to the point where members of the group were singing different verses from each other. Simon told them that everything about them "screams old fashioned," which led to a montage of auditions by groups that Simon rejected based on their unoriginality. The montage including 90s-esque boy bands imitating NSYNC, some contrived Motown, and corny country duets, none of which were cutting it for Simon.
But AK NU showed up to prove that "classic" doesn't mean old-fashioned. The three Scott brothers, sporting matching haircuts and leather jackets, cover one of my favorite songs, Amy Winehouse's Valerie. The lead vocal is only okay in my opinion, but their energy, their throwback sound, and their infectious dance moves completely win the crowd over. Kelly loves it, calling them "refreshing. " Demi said they gave her chills. Simon loved their Motown quality. Personally, I love Motown, and I think that any group that can balance the flavor of nostalgia with modern appeal is one to root for.
Paulina's back, and we're in Charleston, South Carolina.
Brandie Love, 21, a pretty country girl, grabs my attention when she announces that her audition song is Up to the Mountain, and she doesn't disappoint. Her performance is stunning, completely solid from beginning to end. She gets a standing ovation from the audience, and the judges agree. Paulina says, "You've got the X factor, honey." Simon adds, "Brandie, you took us to church." Kelly loves how she "allowed the music to set [her] free." Demi says admires her ability to sing country and add soul to it, which is exactly what I love in a country performance as well. "I'm from Texas and you just took me home." I love Demi Lovato. I rolled my eyes when Miley Cyrus's The Climb started playing, and but it turns out that the terrible vocal would serve as a soundtrack for a montage of "yes"s for auditioners such as Millie Thrasher, a 14-year-old who tried to "hit [the judges] with her talent" singing Katy Perry's Wide Awake; Timmy Thames, a 13-year-old who won the judges over with Ed Sheeran's Lego House; and Yellow House Canyon, country girls who sang Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Woman.
We head back to Long Island, where we meet an over-confident Vincent Crisostomo, who brags that he sees himself playing Nassau Coliseum or Madison Square Garden one day. He works at a bagel store, but apparently needs a bodyguard to protect him from all of his fans? He tells the judges that he looks up to Biggie and Tupac, but then gives everyone a good laugh by choosing to sing How Do I Live by Leann Rimes. I happen to love that song, but poor Vincent ruins it, and he's ridiculously out of tune. One of the worst auditions so far.
Back in Charleston, we meet 16-year-old Carlos Guevara. He's immediately endearing, and Demi agrees that he's "so cute", even before he reveals to the judges that he has Tourette's Syndrome. After Being diagnosed with Tourette's and OCD at age 12, Carlos has been determined to live life to the fullest, despite his motor and vocal ticks. His resolve is inspiring to say the least, and even more so when we meet his team of unbelievably supportive and enthusiastic friends. He covers Gravity, and his voice is great! I prefer his version to John Mayer's, but that's probably because I'm not the biggest fan of John Mayer. Carlos is adorable. He makes Paulina "proud," and the judges are completely moved. After getting the four "yes"s he deserves, a massive crowd of his supportive friends storm the stage.
I loved the interlude clip they showed of Demi posting a hilarious picture of a young Simon Cowell to her Twitter without asking him. Her friendship with Simon is my favorite.
Next up, Chloe J & CJ, who met at hair school. They sing River Deep Mountain High, yet another one of my favorite song. But they're terrible. Simon makes sure they know it, calling them "absolutely awful." The shocker comes when Chloe responds by marching up to the judges' table and attacking Simon's neck with her tongue! "I'm in Cleveland, if you wanna get it, daddy." Okay, Chloe. Thank you for making that audition worth playing on television.
Malie Delgado from Alaska, is a pretty 18 year old receptionist who sings Because of You by Kelly Clarkson and starts off a montage of "yes"s from the judges.
Then we meet Colton Pack, an 18-year-old from a 200-something-person town in West Virginia called Danese. Tons of supporters from his hometown took a charter bus over 1000 miles to take him to the audition, and they're all wearing matching t-shirts and hopeful smiles. Colton wants to be a "country music superstar," naturally. He sings Hicktown by Jason Aldean, and I think he does an okay job with it. Demi calls the performance "pitchy" but "interesting," and Simon "really, really" likes him. He gets through! I'm glad he did, otherwise that would've been a depressing and awkward charter bus ride home...
Next we meet Danie Geimer, a quirky junior in high school. I immediately have issues with this girl. Not because she's quirky, or awkward. But because she's a little to self-righteous about it! She claims to be "the only one who reads books." When a nice girl in line for auditions next to her says "I like your glasses," she responds with "Thanks. I read books." And when the girl who paid the compliment looks understandably confused by that response, she clarifies that these books are about "neuroscience." Granted, I'm sure the world could do with more high schoolers who are proud of reading about neuroscience of their own volition, but as a bookworm myself, it's annoying that Danie seems to consider herself superior for her interests. But despite the off-putting first impression, she chooses House of the Rising Sun, and damn, she is good. I was close to rooting against her, but her vocal was solid, and the audience loved her! She got through easily. Good for her.
Closing out the episode was a familiar face, Jeff Gutt, from the last season. The single dad returned with a point to prove, and Demi and Simon recognized him immediately. He chooses to audition this time around with I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing, and although he sounds just like Aerosmith, for some reason I'm not impressed. Simon agreed with me, saying that although Jeff has a "really great rock voice," it may have been a poor song choice and it sounded like he was "trying to impersonate Steven Tyler." The impression was spot-on, but it didn't feel authentic. He gets a second chance and sings Radiohead's Creep, a song that I don't like unless it's Being covered. His voice is different and definitely better on this song. Simon warns that over years of gigs, Jeff has "picked up bad habits," but, as Demi said "timing is everything," and the judges decide to give him another shot. Everyone's favorite part of Jeff's audition is his kid, who is freaking adorable. The judges die when Jeff's son runs out onstage to celebrate and Demi is dying. "Hi booboo!" I'll say it a million times, I love Demi Lovato. When she tells the little cutie, "it's good to see you again," he sassily replies, "I know." Simon approves, joking "That must be my son." I guess he spoke too soon, considering his recent and surprising baby news... Just saying.