The X Factor Boot Camp Recap: How to Make an American (Idol) Quilt

Depending on how your brain works, night one of The X Factor‘s “Boot Camp” round might’ve reminded you of the horrifying 1971 movie A Clockwork Orange or Dolly Parton’s tearjerking 1971 ballad “Coat of Many Colors.”

On one hand, the 90-minute telecast featured a relentless assault on the senses, with what felt like each and every one of the show’s 162 remaining musical acts flashing past our propped-open eyes in rapid succession, their voices melding into an indistinguishable din of noise. And yet, thanks to a dozen or so truly promising voices (all of ’em featured in brief but intriguing bursts), there was undeniable beauty to be found in the patchwork structure of the episode. Plus, there was a brilliantly/freakishly feathered jacket on display — but more on that in a minute.

Steve Jones (not in an 18-wheeler!) introduced opening day of Boot Camp with the news that 162 different acts had made it past the auditions only to face “the toughest week of their lives.” (Obviously, Tall Dark and British wasn’t referring to the contestants who’d endured real-life hardships like stints in rehab, emotionally abusive boyfriends, and overcrowded bathrooms.)

Much like Hollywood Week on American Idol, the contestants were asked to line up in groups of 10 and belt out a ditty of their choosing for the judges, only there was a random choreography session thrown in beforehand (the better to garner footage of a female contestant in a state of physical and emotional collapse) and the use of backing tracks during performances. Bam! That got us down to 100 acts, who were divvied up into groups (or “ensembles,” as Dapper L.A. Reid put it) and performed again, only (unlike Idol) there wasn’t three hours of footage featuring emotionally unstable droolies shouting abuse at one another, bursting into tears, and threatening to quit the show. We wrapped up not knowing which of the “ensembles” were in, and which were auf’d.

Now, as Kara DioGuardi liked to say, here’s the thing: I could attempt to give you a play-by-play of the proceedings, but does anyone really want to read an unfeasibly long list of items that reads: Some blonde chick with okay voice; that rapper kid making a face again; another awful boy band; hot bearded guy forgetting his lyrics. (SPOILER ALERT: You do not!) So let’s instead break it on down with a list of honorary prizes, titles, and categories for the episode’s most memorable contestants:

Random Yet Surprisingly Exciting Factoid
“Young Homie” Chris Rene has a sister…and she’s made it to Boot Camp, too!

Candidate for Early Acceptance into the Milford School (Where Children Should Be Neither Seen Nor Heard)
Annoying child/rapper Brian Bradley, sulkily refusing to participate in the choreography session. “I don’t wanna dance. That’s not what I’m here for,” he whined, and I suddenly had a fantasy of Simon Cowell dismissing him from the competition, but not before making him finish his Brussels sprouts!

Random Waking Daydream
Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought Simon’s comment — “If Beyoncé was here right now, she’d be pushing her way to the front.” — was going to be a setup for Beyoncé pushing her way to the front and giving the X Factor wannabes a demonstration on how to do the “uh-oh uh-oh uh-oh oh-no-no.”

Where Was This Kind of Honesty When Jacob Lusk Needed It?
Simon, reacting to Stacy Francis’ excruciatingly long note: “That was way over the top, babe.”

He Whose Name Shall Not Be Typed
That philosophy major guy getting cut from Day 1, then trying to attract the attention of a TV camera by screaming “I don’t have a life!”

Part Where I Shouldn’t Have Felt Anything But Inadvertently Teared Up
The judges reuniting Groups 1 and 3 to the tune of O-Town’s dreadful “Nothing at All”

Weirdest Editing Decision
How come producers showed the very best ensemble — Caitlin Koch, Elaine Gibbs, Audrey Turner, and Drew Ryniewicz singing “Creep” — first, instead of building toward it at episode’s end?

Something Nobody Probably Expected to See on Reality TV
An audition by the late Ike Turner’s widow!

Kind of Thing That Gets Said When You Let Your Kid Watch Too Much Oprah (or Maybe Dr. Phil)
“I’ve always wanted to sing ever since I’ve been the age of having a goal.” –Drew Ryniewicz

I Spy Artistry!
Melanie Amaro envisioning an artful pause in her group’s rendition of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

What Did I Miss?
Simon saying “Paige. Paige. Paige.” after Paige Ogle’s group sang “Desperado.” I dunno, girlfriend kinda sounded like a Cher impersonator to me!

She Had Me at Brian Bradley’s Death Stare
Tatiana ‘Reina’ Williams (and her wayward dreads)

Candidate for a Full Scholarship to the Milford School (Where Children Should Be Neither Seen Nor Heard)
Brian Bradley yammering about his dream of being “treated like a star.” Isn’t it just darling when a contestant makes it all about his love of music?

Sometimes It Helps to Have Wingmen
Was Josh Krajcik’s rendition of “Superman” really stellar, or was it just that all of his cohorts sounded like they were gargling with Ty-D-Bol?

Insecure Simon Just as Appealing as Cocky Simon?
Who else loved Simon getting all jittery before Tiah Tolliver, the contestant for whom he’d fought so vehemently against Paula and Nicole’s ‘No’ votes, took the stage? “I’ve never felt so much anxiety over someone,” he said. Anyone wonder if Mr. Cowell’s gonna end up mentoring the gal with the wacky bangs?

Where J.Hud At? (And While We’re at It, Let’s Page Adam Lambert)
Someone needed to play the American Idol alum’s Weight Watchers ad — and La Lambert’s Season 8 Idol performance — for those foolios doing damage to “Feeling Good.” Especially Nick Voss.

Excellent Use of an Instrumental
Some awesome editor playing the intro to Amerie’s legendary “Gotta Work” prior to Rachel Crow’s group taking the stage for “I Have Nothing.”

At 14 Years Old, She’d Better
Ellona Santiago pleading to the camera, “I still have more to give!

Most Likely to Be Eliminated
4Shore. Sorry, guys, but when it’s never a good sign when a professional vocal coach tells a boy band to just stop harmonizing.

Best Group Name
Song Preservation Society

This Is Not The Hills
Makenna and Brock painfully pretending to ramp up their showmance for the cameras

How Many Guinea Fowl Were Harmed in the Making of That Frock, Sir?
Brian Friedman’s preposterous feathered jacket

And finally, in random-ish order…

The 12 X Factor Vocalists I’m Most Excited About at This Particular Moment
Ellona Santiago
Jennifay Joy Nichols (who tried a lot harder to rap than Brian Bradley did to dance)
Lauren Ashley (tiny pretty vocals!)
Jeremiah Pagan and Emily Michalak (for turning Snow Patrol’s “Run” into something I didn’t totally despise)
Elaine Gibbs, Drew Ryniewicz, Caitlyn Koch, and Audrey Turner (“Creep” was a true X Factor “moment,” no?)
Melanie Amaro
Josh Krajcik
Tiah Tolliver (Yeah, she still has some pitch issues but she brought a ferocious new energy to “Feeling Good.”)

What did you think of the first half of X Factor‘s Boot Camp? Which singers are exciting you? Which are working your last nerve? 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. Joanna says:

    I thought it was a good episode, but Idol will always be better to me.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      I am watching clips onlne and the XF singers are just not that good….I heard/saw a lot of off key and shrill singing. And some of these contestants are retreads from Idol. Time will tell, but Idol is still the standard bearer, just a better produced show all around. And the host, Ryan, is tops.
      The only difference I see between the two is that XF is a mashup of AGT+the Sing-off+Idol.

      • Noelbelle says:

        I like that this host isn’t trying to constantly take over the limelight like Ryan Seacrest. It feels to me like he’s functioning more as a sounding-board for the contestants, so he spends a lot less time talking and there’s no smarmy hamming it up for the cameras. Plus, he’s crazy hot and has a cute Welsh accent. So far, a winner all around, I say. Whether he has any personality is yet to be determined because he hasn’t had enough screen time.

      • Ron says:

        Are you kidding me? Better singers on Idol? Too many singing off-key? Shrill singing? Lets see: Of the final eleven Idol singers, only about half the singers could actually sing a complete song and stay on-key for most, or all, of it. Pia, Thia and Haley were the best at staying on-key. Scotty, Lauren, Casey and Stephano were pretty good at staying on key, but each had their really bad moments. Paul and Jacob were horribly off-key almost every song. Naima, and James were off-key a LOT. And if you want to talk about shrill singing, lets talk about Jacob and James. And as far as production goes, I much prefer the live audience auditions to what Idol does. And we haven’t seen the best of XFactor yet. We should all reserve our judgements of XFactor and comparisons to Idol until we’ve seen the live shows and see what kind of talent comes out of that.

        Idol may have set the standard, but, I think, XFactor is going to raise that standard of excellence, and Idol is going the have to scramble to catch up. Idol has a LOT of flaws, and needs to be overhauled completely, or they are going to be history.

        • Chelsea says:

          Once X-Factor finds someone who can sing better than Kelly or Melinda, then we will talk. And idol is going to be history? LOL. X Factor has to still try to get half of the ratings idol does….sorry to disappoint you. And X-Factor doesn’t even look for the best singer as we saw last night. And the live audience makes it way too over the top during auditions.

  2. (!) says:

    “I’ve always wanted to sing ever since I’ve been the age of having a goal.” –Drew Ryniewicz
    -> Becomes new trend for epitaphs
    When I heard that I was like, “wait. What? She’s trying to cover the fact that she’s 14 isn’t she”

    The rapper kid. Didn’t he yell something during the seemingly pointless dancing thing about Jay-z?

    Overall there was a lot more substance that usual. The only thing that really made me gag was the showmance. Unfortunately, all I could think about during most of the show was how Stacy Francis looks like Droopy Dog.

  3. Kel says:

    I loved Melanie Amaro!! Her voice is amazing! And I definitely love this show!

  4. Annie says:

    The show was okay, not very exciting, but they needed to work harder to distinguish it from American Idol. It’s like they didn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s a carbon copy.

    • Ron says:

      Carbon Copy? Are you joking? Have you even watched both shows? I can name three very big differences already. #1. Live-audience audition. #2 Boot Camp. Groups are mentored and assisted by professionals. Very different from Idol’s Hollywood week. #3. Final 100 are divided in four categories and each judge mentors a group and they decide who makes it to the live on -air show for audience and viewer participation. Very, very different than Idol.

      And 4th, I can almost guarantee the voting system will be very different from Idol’s. (One of Idol’s major flaws.)

      And 5th, If I’m not mistaken, XFactor will have backup dancers on the live shows, which will greatly enhance the entertainment value of the live performances.

      XFactor, already is very different than Idol.


      • Ron says:

        I forgot to mention #6: XFactor actually has “judges” that know what they’re talking about, and will see to it that the contestants will be “mentored” and fairly and honestly critiqued. Again, unlike the “judges” on Idol, who pick their favorites and then proceed to conduct themselves like “fans”.

      • Chelsea says:

        Have you seen the UK X-Factor? The judges have their favorites and the manipulation is increased by the tenfold compared to American Idol. And Idol had professionals for Vegas week. And who cares about backup dancers? That takes away the “rawness” of the performances. At least the contestants can have raw “moments” on idol instead of manufactured ones we see on X-Factor. And you think Paula is a good judge? Get real. Remember, Simon championed the lowest selling winner on idol ever.

    • Mick says:

      I agree with Ron (see below…). I’ve watched The XFactor UK for the last few years via YouTube, and the production values of that show blows American Idol away.

      Once the mentors/ groups are picked, they will be swept away to “Judges’ Houses” where they will hone their skills even more. Some have flown to Greece, Los Angeles, Miami and Australia from the UK.

      Once we get to the live shows, the stakes get much higher than Idol. Each judge is also a mentor, and they will compete against each other. They will whittle down to 3 contestants each, then take them under their wings after Judges’ Houses; picking songs, choreography, lighting, background vocalists and stage back drops. Watch the XFactor UK seasons 2009 and 2010, then compare.

  5. Christina says:

    I have a feeling Stacy is going to be annoying if she keeps crying every 5 seconds. I know she had an abusive relationship, but still. Brooke White and Didi Benami were the least emotional people compared to Stacy.

  6. Gina says:

    I really liked this episode. It was similar to Hollywood Week on AI, but much more structured and I appreciated the relatively low drama. It felt like adults were running the show and not hysterical teens. I’m glad groups and songs were assigned so we didn’t have to watch the inevitable straggler who can’t find a group that wants to work with him.

    • cathy says:

      I agree. Xfactor’s boot camp was 100 times better than American Idol’s. Unfortunately AI got to big for it’s britches and concentrated on the drama and forgot the performances. Anyone remember Tatiana (shudder)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Or “Jersey girl”, the gal that thought she was too good for everyone else and then no one would have her in their group? And then there was Ashley, the girl that almost quit and then ended up getting married in Vegas. Yea, I can do without the drama.

        • Gina says:

          Ugh, I hate Hollywood week. I got a little worried watching the X-Factor last night when they showed everyone partying and oversleeping that it was going to take a turn for the worse, but they glossed over that pretty quickly.

        • Noelbelle says:

          I think Cathy is talking about Tatiana Del Toro (sp?). She was the girl a couple of seasons ago who always wore sequined gowns and wouldn’t stop singing Whitney Houston. She was totally convinced she was going to win, and kept telling everyone else how much better she was than them.

  7. Marc D says:

    Quick correction, O-town’s song is titled “All or Nothing” speaking of which I wonder what happened to Bryan from LMNT (the guy that almost got picked for O-town) I saw that he made it during the quick cut during the auditions. But never saw him at Boot camp. BTW, WHY DIDN’T THEY EVEN GIVE 5 SECONDS to that OLD LADY IN THE BLUE DRESS.

  8. L says:

    I like this sooo much better than AI – a little of the usual “junk”, but not too much. LA Reid is great, even Paula seems a little more serious. They have a number of REALLY good vocalists. I love Drew and Melanie. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens. I can’t for the life of me figure out what Simon sees in Siameze-PLEASE can we get rid of him?!!!! And the coach who was apparently attacked by an owl needs a stylist more than most of the contestants.

    Looking forward to the actual show.

    • Kim R says:

      “Attacked by owls..” Thank you for a good laugh. So funny! I am liking this better than AI easily. They jammed a lot into 1 1/2 hrs as opposed to AI which usually drags out “junk” for its 2 hour episodes. I agree about Siameze as well. I don’t get it. I really like Drew & Josh. The little rapper dude needs to go home and grow up. He needs to learn respect although he is talented. I get the urge to put him on the naughty mat! :)

  9. asherlev1 says:

    Lol, I’m so darn bitter about Brendan O’Hara being cut. I literally replayed his 10 second audition over and over…and then he got cut. D:

    I get it, he screwed up. But maybe they could have given him just one chance?

  10. trev says:

    AI is crap in comparison.

  11. Danielle Notaro says:

    So what happened to Tora Woloshin? The girl who sang Michael Jackson last week??

  12. shaunna says:

    I stopped watching Idol after 2008.

    But X Factor I will not miss, It has all the best of Idol and nothing of the annoying things. Idol treated Paula horribly throughout and I wonder how she put up with it as long as she did. Hopefully X Factor will not make the same mistake and treat her better as the valuable irreplacable person that she is.

  13. Jane says:

    It’s not the contestants or the judges/ mentors that I find less interesting than idol, it’s the production. The show feels dated to me. O-town really? Someone must of owed Lou Perlman a favor. And another Whitney Houston song for group? Other than Creep, all the song choices were terrible. Plus, I heard a lot of wonky notes last night and the fact that Simeze (?) and weirdly shaven Elvis guy made the top 100 and cute bearded guy with more talent didn’t makes me question the sincerity of finding a truly great artist to win. I did like that a whole team of vocal coaches/ choreographers helped put the group performances together and mostly avoided “nuts of wonder” catastrophes.

  14. Leon says:

    Last night episode was great to me! The one thing I really noticed is how this show doesn’t focus on the judges, they focus mainly on the contestants and their growth throughout the show. We saw clips of the judges reactions but outside of that not much more than just their comments. I’m really Xcited for tonight when the contestants sing alone and really give their all!

  15. Chris says:

    I find this show boring. There just isn’t enough singing. When the most noteworthy things about it are a bratty kid, a feather vest, and Ike Turner’s widow, it’s clear the show is not working. I don’t plan to watch again until the talent is given more air time. Could you believe some of these singers didn’t know “Creep”?

  16. Lynn says:

    Did someone say this show had no drama? Seriously? Pre-arranging for some idiot to drop his pants on stage, then having Paula run into the bathroom and pretend to vomit? Give me a break. Paula is as annoying as ever. The other female judge is a ditz. LA is great. Simon is Simon. Unite Simon and LA with the Idol judges and you’ve got a show. Resurrecting Paula was so not necessary. After watching segments of this show I’m eager for Idol to start.

    • cathy says:

      The idol judges sucked this year. Even Simon couldn’t fix how bad they were. They weren’t judges, they were cheerleaders.

  17. RCS says:

    Slezak –
    I think the Creep group was showed first because they actually went first on the competition. I think they’re actually doing it in order of their performances instead of mashed together.

  18. Yo says:

    Philosophy majors contemplate life, not do it. I love big ole’ sloppy Josh, but dude, keep your mom away; they will attack you with your backstory.

  19. John says:

    How so? Once they find somebody better than Kelly Clarkson or Melinda Doolittle, get back to me. Those two can blow anybody from the x factor out of the water.

  20. monchy says:

    For some reason, I’m finding XF UK incredibly charming and the US version intensly boring… Maybe it’s the accent? Maybe is that I like the judges more?

    • Guy says:

      I totally agree. I am an Australian and i am finding the UK version so much better than the US version. I don’t know what it is but something isn’t clicking. Mind you i love X Factor and its way better than Idol will ever be and to be honest with you i am so damn sick of the comparisons all the time but i guess that is what happens in media land.

    • dona says:

      they def made a mistake they got rid of that other british woman, nicole doesn’t have 10% of her charm.

      • Noelbelle says:

        Getting rid of Cheryl Cole was a total screw-up.

        • Rick says:

          Totally agree.

          • Elaine says:

            100% agree. I don’t know Cheryl Cole at all, but the few moments we saw her she was articulate, interesting, and, contrary to what a lot of Americans thought would happen, was very easy to understand. I thought she really added to the panel. Sorry they let her go. Simon’s explanation that she wasn’t comfortable on the US just doesn’t ring true with me. She looks quite the opposite. So bring her back next season Simon!

  21. sharon says:

    i was really looking fw to jazzlyn little…was so excited about her.

    i think x factor is much better than idol (i like the notion of mentoring, simon, the live audience at the auditions, more singing and less drama on bootcamp, choreography, contestants over 30).
    however, i think that the audience is ready for something Really new. x factor might be an improvement to ai but it still uses a format that has grown old over the past 10 years. there is a global awakening of consciousness all over the world (see the revolutions everywhere) and people begin to develop animosity to all this manufactured drama. people are ready for sth really new. what would it be other than protests and occupation of city halls i don’t know but i am sure it would be translated into art.

  22. Kylee says:

    Everybody who says it’s better because there is no drama is in for a rude awakening- Simon said on Regis and Kelly that they captured all the drama and even used hidden cameras to capture it.

    And it’s way too soon to say that the show is “better” than American Idol- Melinda Doolittle can school all of them, Kelly can, Adam can, Pia can, Haley can, even Diana Degarmo can.

    • Elaine says:

      Jeez Kylee, we’re not even into the top 12 and you’re saying that? Not that Haley, Kelly, et al aren’t fabulous because they are, some of them weren’t great initially and improved as they went along. I expect the winner of this competition will be on par with them. There’s a few with that potential already.

      As to the drama, Jeez I hope that doesn’t happen much. There’s plenty of drama already. Anymore is too much.

      It’s about the singing, not the damn craparama.

  23. Michelle says:

    Count me in as a member of team X-Factor convert. :) I’m loving both the talent and the judging panel, Nicole notwithstanding. I really enjoyed the chance to experience the groups in the closest thing to real-time you’re likely to see on reality tv, and especially to get a real sample of most, if not all, of the vocalists left standing. Some major standouts among them, too (Melanie Amaro and Elaine Gibbs, I’m lookin’ at you)! But best of all, for me, was the sweet sweet sound of honest feedback. No glory note can hold a candle to LA Reid saying of Brian Bradley, “from a rap perspective, he’s just too young.” :) Are you watching this,Nigel’s Angels? :)

  24. darcy's evil twin says:

    At this point I can’t say whether or not I prefer “X Factor” or “Idol” – they’re just too different, IMO. I’ve watched American Idol for years and I’m used to the format, even though the “judging” last season made me completely crazy. This episode of “X Factor” reminded me of watching “Sesame Street” on fast-forward – there wasn’t enough time spent on any one singer or group to really make a decision, IMO.

    Who were the two young boys in plaid shirts? I think they were brothers. My husband and I thought they sounded quite good. If you blinked you missed them.

    My husband listened to Melanie Amaro and said, “she reminds me of someone”. I said, “Whitney Houston?” and he excitedly replied, “That’s it!”, LOL. As if that was tough to figure out! Oh well, he likes country music.
    I’m looking forward to tonight and HOPING they slow things down a bit. Perhaps I’m just old.

  25. Mike Dyson says:

    Is it just me or does the Makenna part of the Makenna and Brock Connection resemble an Amy Poehler character via her early SNL days? It’s both her speaking voice and appearance3 and it is weirding me out.

  26. silkrose says:

    I like The Anser…are they still in?

  27. Noelbelle says:

    K…I don’t get it. I’m usually right on the same level with Slezak about everyone, but I HATED that rendition of “Creep.” The only one I liked was Drew at the beginning. Half the words were wrong (and in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” too, btw) and those two ladies sang the bridge waaaay over the top. Also, a couple of them sounded out of time with the music. Maybe I’m biased because it is one of my absolute favorite bands, but I was totally astonished at the praise the judges heaped on them.

  28. margaret says:

    I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about the editing/producing that’s so off-putting, but it has the potential to be a good show if they can fix whatever it is. Also, it’s hard to take the judges seriously when they let a 14 year old wannabe thug take a crap all over them. Maybe because I’m a mother, but he irritates me enough to stop watching this show. Everyone can go ahead an criticize me now, but that type of behavior in a child should never be rewarded.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think the jumpy, breakneck pace is what bothers me (as I wrote previously, it reminds me of fast-forwarding through “Sesame Street”). I just wish they’d take the pace down a couple of notches.
      And I feel the same way about bratty children (and adults) – on both Idol and X Factor.

    • Ron says:

      I totally agree. He should have not made it this far, and he should be sent back home to grow up and learn to respect others and drop the attitude.

    • Noelbelle says:

      It’s so obvious he wants to be Kanye West.

  29. ileasa says:

    Great review, I had to look up the pictures of some of these people. I like Drew, Josh Krajcik dude can sing (someone please tell him to take a shower before the next show!!), (name?) the cute little girl that sang the Whitney song, so much soul from a young girl!!

  30. lking says:

    Forgot to watch and was watching CMs and flipped to X Factor to see the young rapper kid having a snit. Kick his butt off the show now!!! Nothing less appealing that some diva type kid thinking he’s too good to do what others ask. Like the guy with the beard and growly voice, Jason I think. I actually like the X Factor so far. Can longer stand Idol with new judges, who don’t judge. Only one thing to say, if I see another commercial with Jlo in it, I might throw my shoe at the TV.

    • Elaine says:

      ROFLMAO@you lking…………… that was a hilarious comment. And I have to say that like you, JLo turned me off so much last AI season that I can’t even stand to watch ANYTHING with her on it. Talented lady, beautiful, but she just irritates me to no end.

      To be fair, after last AI season, Steven and Randy irritate me as well (though Steven was good for a giggle cause his comments were so “out there………… he still didn’t provide any proper critism or real guidance so he’s still on my sh*t list).

      Halleluia for the XF judges. What a breath of fresh air.

  31. Mary says:

    Wow, this show is more interesting to me. AI had great singers because it was the only singing contest at the time. This year, X Factor will blow away AI because they’re looking at the whole package and getting some honest mentoring. The group work was particularly good because they were assigned a group, presented with ONE song, and had mentors helping them with arrangement and presentation. It made so much more sense, and the results were so much better than the group sing with AI. This show has the potential to do some really great things, and perhaps we won’t be so manipulated into our personal favorites like Randy Jackson so blatantly did last season of AI. I can’t forgive him for being so rude to Haley. She was the most talented one of the lot. X Factor has a lot of good singers to choose from, and they’re not all 16. The group acts will also add a delicious balance to the show.

  32. Tom says:

    TIAH TOLLIVER = PAIGE MILES. You heard it here first (i. e., Simon fawns over her and we will never get a good performance from her).

  33. Erika says:

    I loved last night’s episode. I like that the contestants for the most part get equal face time. I liked that there was a song from each group. I liked the no over night dramatics of deciding how much to practice and kicking people out of groups. I liked that the judges are already giving very blunt critiques to the contestants and that the process seems to be transparent.

    Some of my faves going into tonight that continued to impress: Melanie Amaro, Leroy Bell, Josh Krajcik, Stacy Francis, Drew Ryiewicz, Caitlin Koch, Elaine Gibbs

    New faves from tonight: Dani Knights, Paige Ogle, Ellona Santiago, Lauren Ashley, Reina Williams, and Audrey Turner

  34. JenD says:

    can we just have a moment to appreciate the absence of the crazy on last night’s episodes. (philosophy creep aside of course.) pre-arranged groups + pre-chosen songs – britney spears-obsessed psychos who got married in the middle of the auditions = a program that i didn’t have to fast forward through half of. come on, aren’t we relieved?

  35. Vetle says:

    I love bootcamp, that’s when the X Factor really gets good! Anyone watching the UK version this year? The girls are MAD strong. Check out Amelia Lily!

    And I love the fact that they actually managed to get a Radiohead song for them. I loooove Radiohead. I’m excited to see if they’ll do a top 16 like they’ve done these last two season of the UK version. Top 16 is so much cooler than top 12.

  36. Andy says:

    I think I am honestly ready to give up on the Xfactor US. I am from the UK and I am currently juggling both versions, but I prefer the British version. For one I think that Steve Jones has been heavily edited out, I don’t know why, but the UK host does such a great job, I can’t imagine why Steve wouldn’t do the same, I think he has just been given a bad edit.
    In the UK, with Simon leaving the show feels newer, I don’t miss him all that much, and this new mix of people, I only really like L.A.Reid, it’s a bad bunch of people (I can’t stand Paula!)
    There are more reasons but when it comes to choosing between both versions, give me the British one any day.

  37. Derk says:

    I think the UK version of x-factor is better than US version because you see more people with original voices with greater star potential. The US version has great singers, but they don’t sound unique. I think it is cultural because the UK is less culturally segregated so the average British person has more diverse musical influences. You look at British X-factor constestants like Leona Lewis, Matt McArdle and Rebecca Ferguson and they all have unique voices. Even JLS the group that came second in the British x-factor is superior to any of the groups in the US version in looks, star quality and voices. America has a population 6 times the size of England, yet England has more talent. That is why England has singers like Tinnie Temper, Plan B, Adele, Florence and the Machine, Amy Winehouse and Ellie Goulinding and America has cookie cutting crap like Bieber, Taylor Swift and Keish.

    US Xfactor will be better than American idol because the judges are proactive and their competitive nature means the singers improve faster on xfactor than they do American idol. By show 2 or 3 in the live shows all the contestants look and sound like artists. Also on the X-factor you will have more original arrangements of old songs so it won’t be as boring as American Idol. Look up on youtube Rebecca Ferguson’s xfactor version of wicked game for proof, her version sounds better than Chris Issac’s original soung. Production is value is also big.In the UK the show looked like a live concert every week with the effects, dancers and production. Now Simon has big American bucks for the US version, I wonder how big the production will be for the US version.

    Remember the UK was were American Idol started and it was called pop Idol. When Xfactor came along in the UK, pop idol looked dull and old and the show was cancelled, I can see the same for AI.

  38. Name That Tune says:

    Okay. This show just reminds me that AI is way past its prime, and it lost its credibility when Simon left. I know I won’t be investing any time in it next January. Can’t take JLo or ST seriously as judges.

    I think there is some real talent here and I’m willing to wait it out to see if X Factor can build on the stories we’ve seen. I like LA as a judge. I like that these judges have OPINIONS. What I don’t like is that it hasn’t shown me that it’s different than AI. But the judging so far is superior to AI, and Paula is talking in complete sentences that make sense. So props for that.

  39. Mic says:

    I liked Boot Camp much more than the auditions. However, I’m not getting nearly as excited about any of the contestants as I do start to get around this point in American Idol.

    I don’t really think that X Factor will ever get quite as popular. I mean, prove me wrong, Simon Cowell, but the show has a kind of honesty in the sense that they’re looking at the whole package, not just an incredible voice, which makes the show a little less appealing to people. Just a feeling I’m getting.

    Also, did anyone else think “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was way too laid back? I personally feel like that song needs more urgency, but I think they sounded pretty nice. What do you all think?

  40. Isa says:

    Lost interest on AI when Simon left.