The X Factor Recap: The Uncertainty of No-ing

After three episodes, The X Factor is turning out to be a little like that polarizing audition from Tiah Tolliver, the 19-year-old beauty with the cascade of bangs and tidal-wave pompadour who closed Wednesday night’s two-hour litany of tryouts from Chicago and Seattle.

In one corner, we had judge Paula Abdul crinkling her nose over Tiah’s sudden and not-exactly-welcome key changes during a cover of Shontelle’s “Impossible,” and in the other, we had Simon Cowell insisting that Tiah had true superstar potential. “I’ve got a real feeling about this girl!” he pleaded, worried Tiah’s X Factor run would be finished before it started.

The question is, how much blind trust are we willing to place in Simon? It’s not as if the man hasn’t led us to the promised land many times before — whether that destination was Kelly Clarkson singing “A Moment Like This” under a shower of confetti or Fantasia Barrino lifting us up and over a swaying Gospel choir with her rendition of “I Believe.”

And to be fair, when The X Factor is good, it’s really, really good. Oh, sure, with its relentlessly swelling soundtrack and carefully edited reaction shots, it’s about as organic as a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. But that doesn’t make it any less joyous when a guy like burly, bearded Josh Krajcik opens his mouth to sing “At Last,” and you realize that he’s been stuck in the back of a burrito restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, when maybe he should’ve been selling out stadiums. (Wait a second: Are there tears in my eyes from the smell of chopped onions, or am I just getting emotionally manipulated by shots of Josh’s adorable mother seizing with excitement?)

Still, when The X Factor is bad, it’s horrid — disappointing and predictable. Hey, there’s tall drink of water Steve Jones traveling via 18-wheeler (again). Oh, and here we are pretending that the open-audition cattle calls that draw tens of thousands of wannabes actually occur on the same day as the live auditions that take place in front of the judges. (Does this bait-and-switch do a damn thing to increase our enjoyment of the proceedings? I think not.) And here are the auditions presented with the same exact rhythms we’ve grown accustomed to over 10 seasons of American Idol — except with audience reaction shots and trumped-up production values. Yep, we’ve got another bad-singer montage: Lady who took 10 years of voice lessons and sings “Firework” as if there are 10,000 butterflies attacking her windpipe; male model disastrously attempting “Kiss from a Rose”; 45-year-old woman in a sheer lace number and red bra; sassy gray-haired lady who wants to be a judge; your finger twitching as it hovers above the remote control, considering the “fast-forward” option or maybe even a cleansing half-hour of Modern Family.

Honestly, didn’t it ever occur to Simon & Co. to break these tired patterns — unexpectedly inject a truly great vocalist into the midst of the “ha-ha, look at the deluded people!” moments — and force us to keep both eyes glued to the screen? Instead, three episodes in, I find myself fighting an overwhelming temptation to not wait for the commercial break to send a text to my mom or fold some socks or ask the hubby to refill my glass of sauvignon blanc.

For now, though, I’ll pull a Nicole Scurvywhatzit, see the steel in Simon’s eyes, and hope that we’ll see some fresh new spins on the genre when Boot Camp rounds begin next week. And with that in mind, let’s run down last night’s successful auditions from most- to least-promising.

* Josh Krajcik: Nope, this burly dude never had to lift an SUV off his own leg, or recover from a rhesus monkey attack while he was homeless and sleeping on a bench at the zoo. His backstory — my favorite kind of backstory, incidentally –is simply one of working a regular day job to pay the bills, and waiting for the right time to follow his incredibly enthusiastic mom’s advice of “Share your gift!” I loved how L.A. Reid said he thought Josh had come to the audition looking like a “before” — the better to dramatically transform himself as the competition continues. But whether or not he upgrades his sneakers or deep-conditions his beard, I’m looking forward to hearing more of the massive, gruff instrument that swooped and soared on Etta James’ “At Last.” This guy could really be a contendah!

* Drew Ryniewicz: Your average teenage girl auditioning for a reality singing competition would deliver a monologue about her Justin Bieber fandom with a slickness of purpose that would hint at her ability to also score a six-episode guest arc on iCarly or one day join the hideous ranks of the Bad Girls Club. But Drew, God love her, had none of that teen-star assembly-line sheen about her. “I could honestly throw up or pass out or something,” she squealed, before hitting the stage with a slowed-down, piano-driven spin of The Bieb’s “Baby” that showed a remarkable self-assurance and a much-appreciated willingness to take a risk. Nicole was right that Drew’s rendition was an improvement on the original, but I just hope that whatever happens in Boot Camp, Drew retains the kind of innocence that had her nervously making sure her sleeveless dress hadn’t slipped and accidentally revealed any cleavage after she jumped up and down for joy.

Elaine Gibbs: I don’t know why we only saw a few seconds of the 53-year-old grandmother delivering “You’ve Got a Friend” with a robust fervor that would make even Scotty McCreery raise a Gospel hand, but I am telling you, I’m not going…to be happy if we don’t follow her journey over the next few weeks.

Makenna and Brock: If this duo were a Lady Gaga chorus, they’d be singing “Caught in a Bad Showmance.” I mean, it was pretty clear that both parties realized an unrequited/unspoken love arc would make for better TV than a backstory about a pair of attractive young friends who make beautiful harmonies — just not in the bedroom. But while Brock won’t be winning any Emmys for his “I love her but she doesn’t know it” speech, I will say his unaffected voice blended quite nicely with Makenna’s rich, velvety quaver on the Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather.” There’s nothing really showy about Makenna and Brock, but if they survive those So You Think You Can Dance-y group choreography shenanigans coming up in the next couple weeks, they could position themselves as the no-frills, “real music” alternative to some of X Factor‘s showier front-runners.

Beyond those four acts, I’d be willing to risk my ability to ever again type the words “Mishavonna Henson” in a recap that none of the rest of the episode’s “successful” tryouts featured our eventual $5 million winner:

* I actually kind of dug J. Mark Inman’s rearrangement of “Creep,” but his quirky dance moves and limited range peg him as a slightly more talented, and decidedly less shticky Norman Gentle. I did chuckle at Paula admitting she’d visited his home planet once or twice.

* Francesca Duncan seemed like a pretty girl with a pretty voice, but I question the taste level of any vocalist who chooses to audition with Mariah Carey’s done-to-death “Hero.”

* Runaway superlative alert: According to Paula, 16-year-old Skyelor Anderson showed “commitment that is unparalleled” when he kept singing a capella after his track malfunctioned during a rendition of “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right.” In his defense, the kid had an unaffected Southern charm, but he probably needs five years of voice lessons if he’s going to seriously compete at this level.

* Tiger Budbill: I’d have fallen in line with L.A. Reid and voted “no” after dude held a giant, if not mellifluous, note on “What’s Going On.” But Nicole likes people who have the tiger in them or something, and Simon decided it was the guy’s lucky day, and then Tiger wept with joy, and I was kind of happy the wedding DJ got his moment like this, y’know?

* Phillip Lomax: Anyone who utters “I’m a bit of a hipster” directly into a TV camera should be swallowed up by a trap door and forced to face off against The Rancor. But then Phillip scored four ‘yes’ votes for a thin, ridiculously affected vocal on “Fly Me to the Moon.” Maybe the judges are trying to flesh out the next round with folks whose spectacular downfalls will be pure, family entertainment?

* My inner feminist wanted to write a strongly worded email to Fox after that extended package of Simon implying Paula and Nicole wouldn’t vote in favor of attractive women. Really, X Factor, you had to go and perpetuate women-hating-women myths? Maybe we can get some gay slurs or racial stereotypes cued up in the coming weeks, too! And for the record, Paula and Nicole were absolutely right voting “no” to Tiah Tolliver. Her vocals careened more wildly than a malfunctioning tilt-a-whirl on “Impossible,” and her followup — during which I think girlfriend was saying “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sing” — showed no finesse or control. What is the point of requiring three yes votes if Simon is going to strong-arm his fellow panelists into reversing their “no” votes when he disagrees?

* Speaking of “no” votes, I’ve got to admit that something seriously crazy happened to my cable box during the audition where boy-band quartet 4Shore tackled Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.” The lead vocalist went flat as a thin-crust pizza on the opening verse, and the dude with the braids dissolved into a caterwauling wreck on the “come to my bed” portion of the bridge. And that’s where my cable went all wonky — mixing up the judges’ reactions from what was clearly a different audition: LA started saying Babyface and Boyz II Men would be proud, Simon was envisioning an international success America could be proud of, and Paula used the word “blessing.” If anyone can explain to me what I missed, please hit the comments and help a blogger out!

What did you think of Episode 3 of The X Factor? Who was your favorite singer? Did you disagree with any of the judges’ decisions? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. JohnDoe says:

    I actually like the host of X Factor a lot of more than American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest. The moment the show gets a host that annoying and noticeable, I’m out.

  2. Beth T says:

    OK – so it wasn’t just me thinking 4Shore was totally off-key during that audition. They seem like nice enough guys and aybe this boot camp thingy will help them, but I’m with you. Michael, in wondering if my DVR malfunctioned.

    I liked Josh and Drew – and I thought Skyelor was pretty good. I didn’t think as much of Mackenna and Brock as the judges did, but thought they were OK.

    Overall, it’s just far too early for me to be championing anyone. I’m really still watching more out of curiosity than interest.

  3. Tedrick says:

    I’ll only be following this turkey of a show if you do an Idoloonies weekly video Mr. Mikey Sleeze. Any word on that? Or is it, as i suspect, the show’s recaps and articles are generating enough popular click traffic to make the effort of flipping on the camera worthwhile.

  4. Adam Leonard says:

    I’m not enjoying enough about X-Factor to be sure I will continue watching. I prefer Simon and Paula to Steven and JLo, (though I would have preferred Cheryl Cole to Nicole Whatever). However, I don’t like the auditions with an audience and music. If they really insist on backing tracks then they should require the auditionees do a separate song with no track. I understand that the backing track gives you a better sense of what they will sound like in a true performance but it also can hide weak vocals or vocalists (think about how they kept going on about how Tiah needed a backing track). Still if you’re going to allow backing embrace it and allow people to play musical instruments if so inclined (we’ve seen people audition who had guitars back stage but who did not bring them onstage which I take to be due to contest rules).

    Back to the question of watching it. I have been watching AI since season 2 and missed perhaps 1 episode over that time. However, it is a big commitment of time and I am becoming less and less enamored with the show since it fails to address it’s shortcomings (such as teenage girls powervoting more talented females off the show over the past few years – Alison & Haley). Now that there Fox has gotten greedy with both a fall and spring show that require 3+ hours a week of commitment, I’m not sure I will watch either of them. I’ll keep watching X through boot camp and see how it develops. I’ll also probably watch AI this year or at least give it a chance to see whether it introduces changes to address the challenge that X and the Voice present to it’s dominance. Having said that, I think it very likely that I will watch neither X nor AI next season.

  5. Chad says:

    I honestly think 4Shore was let through because they were distressingly low on their quota of male groups, black groups, or both. So they were willing to completely overlook flaws in an effort to round things out more in that respect.

  6. LindsayS says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one baffled by the 4Shore gushing. That was odd. I was beginning to expect more from LA Reid after Simon’s apparent softening since we saw him last. Favorite by far was definitely Josh. God, what a voice.

  7. clyon says:

    I am also glad I am not the only one who thought 4Shore was off the mark. I thought to myself…is that guy flat? Then the raves started, so I thought I was the wrong one.

  8. maggie says:

    I laughed at Tiah’s second song because she didn’t know the words. If you are given a second chance, sing a song you know.

    I honestly think they got rid of Cheryl because they wanted a nasty woman judge. They wanted to do a “female judges wouldn’t vote in favor of attractive women” storyline and Cheryl was too nice for that. It’s embarrasing.

  9. fiona says:

    I 100% agree with you regarding 4shore. They were out of sync and gawd aweful I was in shock when they made it to the next round!

  10. andy says:

    i totally agree – 4shore was definitely flat! i appreciated that they did that song cause it’s been awhile since i’ve heard it, but they just weren’t that good. maybe it sounds better live than it does on TV.

    i actually thought the last girl Tia was really good!! she probably should have used music, but i saw the same thing as Simon and felt she has that X factor that they’re looking for.

    Josh aka the Burrito Maker was unbelievable!!!! can’t wait to see more of him!! i also liked Drew, she was adorable and had a cool voice.

    i am really not a fan of nicole as a judge – i think cheryl was doing a great job and there is a very sweet quality about her. i wish they would have kept her.

  11. Denise says:

    I tried to watch and like X Factor but just can’t. The editing is driving me crazy and the time committment required is nuts. There is a lot of quality scripted shows out there and these 2 hours filler shows are out of control. I am giving up DWTS for the same reason. I will keep the Sing Off though.

  12. darclyte says:

    Josh was the best of the night for me, and I really like that kind of soulful tone. I wasn’t crazy about Drew, I didn’t care for her tone and she also could use 4 or 5 more years of vocal and performance training. The duo was pretty good, but I see them imploding because of their “feelings” for each other, or those NOT for each other. I didn’t much care for Elaine, I know it wasn’t much that they showed, but she seemed to be a bit screamy and over-siging. I imagine that they put through the 3 guys as they’ve shown VERY little people going into the “group” category. I also think Paula and Nicole were right and Simon and LA were off their rockers with Tiah, but maybe she’ll improve. At any rate, I’m pretty sure that once I see the “bootcamp” round that I’ll drop out as I think I’m burned out with all these singing/talent shows. There are too many good shows on tv now to be spending so much time with these shows anymore.

  13. B.Rich says:

    4Shore was godawful. I’d rather listen to obese mother daughter duo #47.

  14. betsy says:

    this show is a very disappointing pile of poo.

  15. Gabriele says:

    I liked Josh Krajcik. I liked him so much, I googled him after the show. I encourage you to do the same. Away goes the fairy tale of burrito slinging nobody who has no stage experience (should I wear the jacket or not?). While I understand that contestants are allowed to have a previous career, do they really need to try and fool us that much? In this day and age, it only takes a few minutes to find out the truth. That really disappoints me.

    • Rachel says:

      Agreed Gabriele!! On the plus side, I DO like his voice, and we’ve got two sure signs he’ll be making it far on the show, allowing us to continue to enjoy it: 1) he got the slobby weirdo followed by unexpected triumph edit; and 2) the facebook, myspace and twitter accounts for his band (on their second album for those too lazy too google) have been shut down, and their website stripped. There remains this breadcrumb:

    • SP says:

      His gigs are a night/weekend job. When standing in front of thousands of people (and on national TV), wouldn’t you worry about what you were wearing, how you look and just stress out more than usual, thus saying things that come off a bit silly? I believe that was more jitters as opposed to if he was really worried or not. He’s just a good dude with a great voice who has been doing dive bar shows for a long time. Why should that knock him out of the running? He deserves his shot- his voice proves that.

      I do not mean to be rude or anything like that, please understand that. I’m just saying, yes, he’s performed before but not along the lines of this! :)

      • Gabriele says:

        Yeah, I didn’t mean to put him down or knock him out of the competition at all. I was aiming at production with my comment. As I said, I did like him very much, still do and hope he goes far. But did they really have to build up this image of a nobody who has no stage experience and comes straight out of Mom’s kitchen? That’s just not true.

        • SP says:

          When you look a certain way and don’t expect that voice, I imagine Fox jumped all over the chance so yes, I can understand what you meant 100%!
          Just happy he made it through. I hope good things for him!

    • Yo says:

      I gather these shows would just fold up and die if someone said, “Ive had a coupla bands, put out a coupla records, but, damn, I’m aging and broke and I need either fame or money.” The shows seem to think the audience is in on the “let’s pretend they are fresh from the pumpkin patch” plot.

      Part of the problem with the genre is that the audience has become way too savvy. I didn’t believe Josh’s mom and was suspicious of Josh, who looked plenty poised for a mam’s burly boy belter. Who knows the true story of this family? I don’t, but I can’t believe any of the story lines these shows throw, which makes it far easier to detach from the contest.

      • (!) says:

        I believe his mom. He did gigs at bars and went along the lines of those people who pretty much throw their demos out car windows. All she was talking about on the show was, “Josh has wanted to show Simon what he’s got for 10 years” and “I want the world to see what my son can do.” I don’t remember anything about “my son sings in his closet and I want him to go public!” – I agree with everything else though, except that I wasn’t really suspicious of him honestly. He knows he has a voice, and speaking of savvy – you know when people get certain edits what the outcome will be :p

        • Rhiea5 says:

          Actually his mom said that SHE has wanted Josh to sing for Simon for 10 years. – “I’ve wanted Josh to sing in front of Simon for 10 years because I know Simon heard him, he would be like ‘where have you been?'”. Other than that I agree with your post :)

      • wondering says:

        …am i the only one who thought josh’s mom came off a little creepy? there was almost an incestuous vibe between them (or at least coming from her) – perhaps it was just that she’s sadly living vicariously through him? i don’t know, something just seemed off there…

    • ELM315 says:

      When was it said that he had no stage experience? I apparently missed that part. Guess I didn’t realize that nervousness (jacket scene you refer to) on performing before thousands of people including Simon Cowell and company meant no stage experience. And his previous “career”; I assume you are referring to the amateur vids on You Tube and self produced/self paid for CD’s. That would be the point of a record deal, so you can have professonal vids made and not have to pay for the recording and distribution of your CD’s out of your own pocket ending in “slinging” burritos to pay for it hence auditioning on X Factor.

      • Gabriele says:


        Apparently you missed the whole conversation. Go back and read :)

      • Mary Ann says:

        I did not feel duped but perhaps I am a better judge of character. How you could not see Josh was someone doing the toils of trying to break into the music world, when mom was gushing about his songs and how much he put into it… well I don’t see the con. He is just a very talented guy who needed a platform and this is what this show and American Idol and other shows like them are about. NO big ruse here. Josh is an American talent that if the industry is smart will sign and start letting us share his gifts with our money going in their pocket. He is the real thing.

  16. Al says:

    What the US version of the X Factor is missing is a massive dose of the 21st Century. Everything about the show feels very dated to me, especially compared to the UK version. In the UK auditionees almost always sing songs that have been released within the last 15 or so years and when they don’t, they drag the old classics into the modern era and give them a flare of originality. For me the US version is missing that current appeal that the UK has. I also feel that the UK version has a hell of a lot more charm about it and considering US X Factor has the same producer, I’m surprised it doesn’t have the same feel (for me anyway)… I’ll give it another go up to the bootcamp stages to let it try and win me over but right now it’s at a loss.

    • Mic says:

      What the X Factor US is lacking is any sincerity. Nothing is very real at all; it’s all overproduced shlock. And I remember saying the same thing about it’s dated quality during the first show. I think it has to do with Simon’s taste in music. He hates modern music. Did you hear that he called Lady Gaga and Beyonce “the most boring singers in the world”?
      Maybe he just said to get attention for the show.

    • KSM says:

      It is really hard for someone to do a current song, though, because people know the songs so well and have a preconceived notion about how they should. The only way to do it is to do a totally re-worked version, like Drew did with Baby. Or be really, really good.

      Also, I totally didn’t get the love the 4Shore either!

    • (!) says:

      If I hear Firecracker one more time, I will eat my gallbladder after seasoning it with my stomach fluids.

      Same goes for the Beyonce, Mariah Carrey, Whitney Houston, Rhianna songs. I’m SO sick of hearing the “current” music. That is what sounds so dated to me. And many of the other “current” songs are heavily processed, and sound totally different – unless you make it more or less clear that you’re making something with it, it’s not quite fair. I think there are a lot of great raw songs from the early 90s, going all the way back to wherever you want that people who really do have the voice for it can blow your socks off. NO, not Sugar Pie Honey Bunch! I’ll cry. Someone like Josh that was on the other night – he did a great At Last. I would LOVE to hear him sing a Pearl Jam song. or 80s rock too. A lot of things. Just please.. no more Katy Perry :<

      • (!) says:

        Also I just want to add, I’m not dissing current music – there are plenty of artists I enjoy that came out very recently. But the kind of music I’m talking about it the music every person auditions with and all the music you hear on Light FM stations..over, and over, and over.

  17. Dayna says:

    Just not sure I can take Nicole Sherzwhatever. When she launches into that hood girl speak (“We tryin ta help her up”) I die inside and then when she busted into the Whitney song, it was good… but she just isn’t as great as she thinks she is… and it shows. I can not stand her.

    • anon says:

      I really like Nicole bc she thinks for herself and stands up for herself. It’s a shame Simon had to pressure her and bully her into giving in with Tiah. I thought she was onspot with Tiah. Simon is just going to put Tiah in a group.. and then drown the groups voices out with loud backgorund vocals like he did with One Direction.

  18. HR says:

    I think It is hard to judge the people who only got 3 seconds of their audition shown. Some got complete songs which you are praising. Others, like that Tiger guy got nothing. We need to hear more from him before you can side with LR. I agree with 4Sho they were just not that great to me. I didn’t get the hype.

  19. Ben says:

    After leaving J Mark Inman off yesterday’s poll, I’m glad that you nailed the box he is in today (you basically said what I commented yesterday). Still disappointed he wasn’t on the poll though. Surely more people liked him than the sleazy Sinatra wanna-be.

  20. Rachel says:

    Same here SP, I wasn’t trying to knock Josh at all-I liked him from what we saw, LOVE his voice, and see nothing wrong with using these shows to launch your career to the next level… plenty of bands out there with great albums, who are nevertheless unable to make a career out of it. What I don’t get is why these shows need to manipulate and obscure this reality to such an extent. Josh isn’t the only one either…. most of the contenders we’ve seen so far have had SOME kind of music career… slinging burritos may make for a more sensational backstory… but struggling band makes for good backstory too. It’s just not a reality the music industry cares to admit.

  21. katie claire says:

    Hahaha! Three recaps in and we have a mention of Mishavonna Henson! Before you know it, it’s Kendra Chantelle, Lauren Turner, etc.

  22. Amy says:

    I surprised myself by actually sticking to my word and totally didn’t watch X Factor again this week…which means it MUST be bad! Whenever I’ve “gotten mad” at Idol and swore I was “done” I’d always go back, and was glad I did, for all it’s “good, bad and sometimes ugly”…but I agree with the poster above here who says, there’s just too much BAD filler, and the show still is just phony and sucks still to me. I guess that’s the difference…I don’t even care about it enough to be “mad” over it.
    Like with Idol, as has been discussed here before…I believe it’s about the show to them (Simon and co., and in Idol’s case Fuller &Co.),not so much really making a star, since there’s been only a few they’ve really promoted well after the shows ended. The shows themselves are the BIG ticket to them, I think…and this show stinks so far, as quality, interesting, exciting entertainment. It’s manufactured to the point of being simply uninteresting, even with some talent there…the vehicle to showcase and follow the talent is just bad.
    Just not worth wasting time for, IMO. Haha…so I guess that pretty much disqualifies my even posting here for this anymore!

    • Ella says:

      I’m totally with you Amy and I totally missed the show yesterday and only was able to watch some parts today. And it didn’t take any restrains from me – it was just too boring, too fake and too overproduced crap!

  23. anon says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who thought the whole makenna and brock love arc was a set up. I really didn’t buy it at all.

    I have to say, but I am really am *not* impressed with the vocalists this year. No one is wowing me. IN fact, some of the people that have been put through would have been insulted and dismissed in AI/The Voice.

    It’s such a pity that contestants on AI or The Voice couldn’t get on this train. It’s a better platform, better opportunity and better prize.

    My observation: AI has the best talent, Xfactor has the best prize/hype/format, and the Voice has the best judges. I think Xfactor overthought the judging to the point of getting a mediocre judging panel. When I see the old UK Xfactor, and even the Australian X factor, you can see a more natural and likeable set of judges. And their talent is way above what we are seeing here.

    • Ben says:

      Talent not as good as Australian X Factor? Lol! Are you, by chance, Australian? The talent on that show was not great at all.

      • anon says:

        actually, no, I’m not.

        • Ben says:

          I admit I didn’t see the 2005 version, but Altiyan Childs couldn’t make the top 16 of the US version, nor could any of the other contestants. And I actually knew one of the groups, Luke & Joel, who came 5th and was rooting for them all the way. But even with that factor I can see that the talent was just not as good.

          The reality is, I think, that AI has the best talent/format/hype. It will always be the top rated because it’s format and hype is simply unsurpassable. And since its the biggest platform, it will always get the biggest talent. XFactor will hopefully win long term in particular areas… kids, oldies and groups, since idols base is so limited.

          XFactor obviously has the best prize and I’d agree the Voice has the best judges.

  24. jazzy says:

    Slezak, I am so with you on Elaine Gibbs. I’m thinkin’ on voice alone she may be the best so far. And, I did not get the boy band love either, not at all. I’m thinkin’ they MUST sound great in person or they are so desperate to get some boy bands in there that they only watched and didn’t listen. Hmmmm.

  25. J says:

    Whu- I loved Tiah.


  26. Leon says:

    I’m loving this show and these last two audition episodes have been amazing! ALOT of talent! Can’t wait for neXt week when we see ALL the REAL talent!

  27. meyer says:

    Re: 4Shore – we were in the audience for that days taping and I have to tell you- 4Shore brought the house down. They were the first act of the night and few came close to matching it. We too were shocked at how awful they sounded on air though. They obviously had some audio/sound mixing issues that day, because live, in Key Arena, the boys weren’t off key or flat at all. I think they got the short end of the post-production stick.

  28. Pop Vulture says:

    No mention of Nicole Scurvywatsit’s impromptu “I Will Always Love You” lyric? Honestly, I have to (oh-so-reluctantly) reassess my disdain for her. I think, er, thought she was just a beautiful super-hot dancer. Girl can sing! Color me schooled. And good for her for putting Simon in his place! And me too, I guess.

    • emacco says:

      I’m with you Pop, Nicole’s sudden burst into song was pretty amazing and did more to silence Simon than a million of Paula’s silly slaps and insults could ever do. Even though I’d been wishing they’d kept Cheryl Cole, I have a new respect for Nicole’s singing talent.

    • Faboosh says:

      Nicole Whatchamacallher is mean. She’s jealous of different, unique, Lady Gaga-esque, platinum blonde hair-coloured, multi-pierced, pretty, über talented and standout beauties. She is a has-been at 30-something, and whether she admits it or not, she and her group hasn’t really contributed to the music industry. Her impromptu belting out of I’ll always Love You hit an all-time low. She did that to prove to the judges, the contestants, the audience and the viewing public that she is “it”, that she’s on par with Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, that she is the epitome of a true talented singer, that the contestants should sing like her (ugh!). She’s not really cut out to be a judge. Just my 2 cents.

  29. Jonathan says:

    Elaine Gibbs is a superstar who should’ve been “discovered” years and years ago!!! I’ve heard her sing in small clubs, and her talent is NOT to be believed. To the person who thought she was “shouting” I can assure you that her range is amazing and her soul shines through with every note. We saw a small clip when we should have seen her sing the entire song. I can’t wait to see her take over this competition and earn her place in the finals!!!