The X Factor Recap: Home Is Where the Start Is

Things we learned from the latest two-hour installment of The X Factor: Nicole Shirthanger realizes she’s not L.A. Reid or Simon Cowell — she’s sorry about that! — but she’s a really hard worker. Paula Abdul “represents everything a woman wants to be” (at least according to a spelling-challenged member of all-female vocal act 2SQUAR’D who has never heard of Marie Curie, Madeline Albright, Mother Teresa, or countless other powerful ladies who’ve graced our humble planet with their presence). And there’s nothing ominous — nothing ominous at all! — about a middle-aged man in a shirt unbuttoned down to South America reclining in the backyard of his French countryside mansion while lithe young women sing and dance for his pleasure.

Oh, and one more thing: The X Factor might seriously turn out to be appointment television — whether or not you’re resistant to the idea of devoting four hours per week at its altar from now through Christmas.

Indeed, after two weeks of surprisingly spotty auditions, followed by two Boot Camp episodes that were essentially the emu to the ostrich of American Idol‘s Hollywood Week, The X Factor is finally finding its voice. Night 1 of the “Judges’ Houses” round found our four panelists inviting to “their homes” the eight acts remaining in their respective categories, then asking them to perform songs on their impeccably manicured lawns, in the hopes that one more listen would help them winnow the overall X Factor field from 32 down to 16. (Bonus factoid: Judges choose which songs the contestants sing.)

Hang on one sec… We interrupt this recap for a promotional interlude with our lovely X Factor host. (Yes, X Factor has a host; dont be like that!)

Where in the world is Steve Jones? He’s visiting the Eiffel Tower! He’s a tall and chiseled form in a jaunty “NYC” t-shirt set against Manhattan skyline! He’s a comforting pillow to soak up bitter tears from former Skid Row resident Dexter Haygood! He is not, for perhaps the first time in seven episodes, hitching a ride across the United States in an 18-wheeler! Congratulations, Steve! Keep asking those Fox overlords to give you more to do — and I don’t just mean fetching coffee for L.A. and Paula while exchanging bitter, commiserating texts with Cheryl Cole.

But enough about all the ridiculata! Now that we’ve given you enough filler to pad a two-hour recap, let’s talk about the Talent (intentional upper-case). For Night 1 of “Judges’ Houses,” we saw performances from half of each judges’ eight remaining acts. Let’s take a closer look at each category from most- to least-promising:

Simon in France without Mariah Carey (Girls Under 30)
Attention, America! While Hurricane Irene unleashes her fury on your Eastern seaboard — and leaves Mariah Carey without transport to her X Factor debut — Simon Cowell is baking his torso on a yacht off the coast of France. Some stars are not just like you! And this star, in particular, has a bench so deep I kind of wish Fox would detonate the “Groups” category, split the eight “Girls Under 30” between Simon and Paula, and allow all eight to make the live shows.

Drew “Someone (in a Crisp White Shirt With Missing Buttons) Should Get Shanked if She Doesn’t Advance” Ryniewicz
Thursday, October 13, 9:55 pm ET: The precise moment at which The X Factor hooked me for the season. Or rather, the precise moment at which Drew (pictured, left) delivered a controlled, aching rendition of Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” that outshone the original, and was without a doubt the best vocal performance ever given by a teenage girl sitting in a deck chair next to an inground pool. I don’t know how a 14-year-old had the emotional capacity to do what Drew did, but thanks to her devastating delivery, I can no longer rail against X Factor‘s under-16 age limit, nor can I mock Nicole for responding to any future performances with a single tear running down her cheek.

Simone “She’s Facing an Uphill…” Battle
If Simone makes the live shows — and based on her stripped-down, emotionally connected take on the Beatles’ “Help,” she just might — it’ll be interesting to see how far she can go. After all, her persona contains none of the “Oh I can’t believe this is happening to me/ Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this” wide-eyedness that America values in female reality show competitors, but not so much in its pop stars. Plus, she’s inclined to wear outfits like a black bathing suit with sheer, black skirt by Spanish Brothel*. If nothing else, Simone might serve as a template for competitor Stacy Francis on how you can belt a note without beating it into submission. Simone’s rich, vibrato-free howl reminds me a little of ’90s dance diva Lonnie Gordon, and I mean that in the best possible way. (* not a real label)

Caitlin “Probably Too Subtle for Primetime” Koch
I’m worried that Caitlin — one of my faves from the audition rounds — only ranks No. 3 on my Thursday-night list, and there are still four more “Under 30 Girls” left to sing on Sunday night’s episode. Simon was right that this likable rugby player has amazing phrasing and tone, and I loved that you could see her emotions blazing in her eyes as she gave a languid, sensual take on “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” No matter which four ladies advance in this category, the cuts are going to be hard to accept.

Tora “Paging the Fashion Police” Woloshin
Tora was kidding about struggling with the lyrics to the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” right? I mean, it’s only got, like, 10 words. Either way, the sassy auto mechanic had to contend with the least organic track of any contestant in her category, which played a little jarringly in the scenic confides of Simon’s back yard. There’s no doubt the girl has a solid voice and a surplus of charisma, but if she hits the live shows, here’s hoping she encounters a stylist who can warn her against the dangers of matching a pair of red boxer briefs with a denim shrug-vest situation and a leather v-shaped cleavage cover that seemed to teleport directly from the set of Cher’s “if I Could Turn Back Time” video.

Nicole in Malibu with Enrique Iglesias (The Over 30s)
People over 30 apparently have a theme song, and believe it or not, it’s Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional.” Yes, the old and the weathered, the folks who like Julio Iglesis’ son have seen it all, faced rejection, and still have the courage to bailamos, are not afraid to cry. A lot. On national television.

Elaine “Throw a Gospel Hand” Gibbs
Elaine’s gotten precious little screen time over four weeks of X Factor — maybe because her backstory of becoming a wedding singer “for stability’s sake” doesn’t pair that well with “Fix You” or “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — but her voice creeps up on you like a lion in tall grass: Stalking, stalking, stalking, stalking…until suddenly it pounces and absolutely slays you. That satisfied mmm-hmm and head shake Elaine gave at the end of Oasis’ “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” said it all, and if you didn’t understand it, it loosely translates to “live rounds, here I come!”

Stacy “Oh No, She’s Crying Again” Francis
Stacy Francis (pictured, right) is a conundrum because she’s absolutely everything a reality competition contestant is supposed be: Incredibly hungry. Incredibly talented. Just waiting to finally catch a break in this damned and difficult world. Fighting such obstacles that she had to borrow her dress and shoes to go to the Judges’ Houses round. And yet, all of these things have to be used like a perfume: Just give us a hint, a subtle spray that lingers in our minds. Don’t trap us in the elevator with the wretched excess of an entire bottle beating down our nasal passages. At this point, Stacy’s shtick is 10 gallons of drug-store body spray: Impassioned speech. Tears. Rivulets of mascara. Note that lasts longer than a Lee DeWyze record contract. Yes, her take on “Purple Rain” was powerful and clear, but the only thing I felt during her “I just don’t want it to end right here” speech was annoyance. And I fear Nicole is not the kind of judge who’ll tell her to rein that nonsense in.

James “I’m Not Cannon Fodder, Really!” Kenney
I enjoyed his brief and rocky rendition of Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette,” but let’s face it, this dude is getting the “don’t get attached!” edit. Also, just for the record, you can’t say you “work five jobs” and then include being a husband and father on said list. Otherwise I’m updating my resume to include the title Chief Sauvignon Blanc Inspector.

Dexter “Oh No, Now He’s Crying Again, Too” Haygood
Nicole really needed a t-shirt to express her feelings about this audition: “I wanted to hear ‘Crazy in Love,’ but all I got was a full plate full of crazy.” I mean, I didn’t hear a single word of Beyonce’s R&B classic, just a wilted word salad delivered with James Brown-lite hoo-hah. Why do I get the feeling that X Factor producers have cast Dexter for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the meltdown that will happen when his “journey” comes to an end?

L.A. Reid in the Hamptons with Rihanna (Boys Under 30)
It’s not crazy that I’m convinced L.A. is the only judge who used his own estate as the setting for “Judges’ Houses,” is it?

Brian “Putting the ‘Ass’ in Astro” Bradley
Am I a terrible person for using profanity in my description of a bespectacled kid with an anti-bullying message and headphones around his neck who made Rihanna go “awww”? Yeah, probably. But if this kid makes it to the live shows, part of L.A.’s mentoring process has to include grounding him for two months without the use of his Playstation. I mean, really, you meet Rihanna and immediately boast you’ll be collaborating one day? (Reality check: delivering room service to Rihanna’s hotel will not technically count as a collaboration.) Still, objectionable personality aside, there’s no denying Brian showed incredible skill in his delivery of an age-appropriate version of Diddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.” I may even have bopped my head a little, even if I understand L.A.’s question of whether the kid is just a novelty.

Phillip “Putting the ‘Feh’ in Affected” Lomax
Even as I type this, I’m having a hard time accepting that Phillip gave my second-favorite audition from L.A.’s group on Thursday. Or, rather, I should amend that to say he gave my third least-favorite performance from L.A.’s group Thursday night. I mean, yes, I appreciated that he tried something different with a jazz-ballad rendition of “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” but Phillip is ultimately a facsimile of what a crooner should be: There’s an artificiality to his delivery that makes it seem like he watched 100 hours of Sinatra and Martin and Connick and Buble to best assimilate all their mannerisms and define a market niche for himself. Plus, based on the rough patches he hit in his upper register, I’m not sure dude has all that much range, y’know?

Nick “I Can’t With That Eyebrow Situaysh” Voss
L.A. said he’d heard Nick give better performances than his sparse, mostly falsetto rendition of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” but I’d actually say this was his least terrible vocal to date. Nick was mostly in tune, and the verses were actually kind of pretty. And yet, at the same time, there’s something so contrived about Nick’s whole act — his pleading facial expressions, the overwrought way his voice swells when he’s trying to “get emotional,” the fact that he dresses like he’s auditioning to be an extra in a Duran Duran video — that I cannot imagine he’ll wind up being among the four best under-30 guys in The X Factor‘s inaugural season.

Skyelor “Why Does the Spelling of His Name Always Make Me Think of Skeletor?” Anderson
Awww, now this is the kind of polite, adorable teenager who should have his cheeks pinched by his aged aunties after he performs a song or three at family barbeques and holiday get-togethers. Which is my roundabout way of saying he’s no $5 million act.

Paula in Santa Barbara with Pharrell (Groups)
Oh dear. The groups. Let’s be brief about these, shall we? Also, was anyone waiting for Paula and Pharrell to suddenly interrupt their motivational speech to the groups and yell, “The ones eating the cupcakes are out!” No? Okay, just me.

The Brewer Boys (Who Could Potentially Sell a Lot of Records)
“Good is sometimes the most damn difficult place to be,” said Paula, trying to misdirect the audience at the end of the teenage brother act’s nifty rendition of “Only Girl in the World,” which felt like a peculiar (but not in a bad way) blend of folk, dance, and world music. But why try to create a false sense of “will they or won’t they make the live rounds” when these two kids — Nathan, 14, and Justin, 17 (pictured, center) — have more talent in their well-conditioned hair than the night’s other three groups have in all their bodies combined? After Paula and Pharrell questioned the Brewer Boys’ potential, a heated convo began in my living room:

Me: What? Come on! They were much better than those four country chicks!
Hubby: Um, they were much better than Rihanna, too.
Me: Indeed.

The Anser (Will Not Be Accepted Until It Is Spelled Correctly)
Their rendition of Pink’s “Perfect” went from “decent” to “kind of a mess” by the time this trio lost their way on the chorus, but while they’re no Vicci Martinez-Niki Dawson, they weren’t too bad, either. Which, in the groups category, will probably be enough to crack the live rounds.

Lakoda Rayne (Cherokee for “Four Chicks Secretly Plotting to Murder the Other Three”)
“We’ve grown like sisters who want nothing more than to be on TV,” said the one whose name I think is Dani of this band of wannabe solo acts glued together with tears, desperation, and a wardrobe resembling a quartet of streetwalking extras from Pretty Woman. Aside from the air-point choreography, there was nothing memorable about Lakota Rayne’s countrified take on “Born This Way,” and weirdly, while none of the four individual voices stood out in any way, none of them blended particularly well together, either.

4Shore (They Are Not Going to Win The X Factor)
Oh my word, this quartet’s booty-slapping-in-the-square choreography wasn’t just Color Me Badd, it was color me awful! Plus, dude with the long hair really needs to stop taking the lead vocal. But if there’s a positive to be found in 4Shore’s audition, let it be that everyone reading this article checks out the solo work of Kina Cosper, lead singer of one-hit wonder Brownstone, the act behind 4Shore’s track “If You Love Me.” (Hear Kina’s stuff here, here, and here.)

What did you think of Judges’ Houses round? Who’s your favorite so far? Which acts should be barred from the live rounds? 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. darcy's evil twin says:

    Comment from the Old Folks Contingent – hubby and I were watching X-Factor and the Brewer Boys started singing. Hubby looked up and said, “Wow, they sound just like The Everly Brothers”. I hadn’t realized it but my husband is right on the money – they sound exactly like Phil and Don. Amazing. Even though it doesn’t take much to be better than Rhianna, they were outstanding, IMO. I think “The Anser” has potential and I wouldn’t rule out Lakota Rayne simply because they’re all gorgeous (see Rhianna – looks go a long way).

    Oh Tora! Tora! Tora! Struggling with the lyrics to “Satisfaction”? Wow, it’s a good thing you didn’t tackle “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, which actually requires a modicum of memory.

    • Owen says:

      Look, “X-Factor” chose some amazing females, and purposely picked some not-so-talented guys (these eight are the BEST from 1,520,000,000 male auditions?). The one cache they are counting on, to make them stand out from “Idol” and “Voice” is to say, “Look at US! WE finally broke the curse. WE have a FEMALE winner. That means WE’RE the best!!”

    • Bill says:

      I saw a post from Tora’s mother that said she was referring to an Eagles song she had difficulty with the lyrics on. All contestants apparently did TWO songs and Xfactor chose one for each, too bad to see her get this grief even from a reviewer for something not true.

      (But Michael Slezak is the best. His Reinhart interview this summer was epic. After finding this article I see he is still the best coverage available).

      • Tusk says:

        “His Reinhart interview this summer was epic”

        Still wishing someon would package S10’s Idoloonies and Haleyloonies on DVD for purchase. Made the AI season infinitely more entertaining. :)

        BTW XFUS is starting to appear uber scripted and manipulated, contestants put through only for drama rather than talent (See Dexter and Francis). I have a feeling my interest will leave once I find out the ‘trainwrecks’ picked to make it through to the live show :P

    • marie says:

      LOL, this Old Folk thought exactly the same: young Everly sound-alikes! And very pleasant at that. Maybe not earth-shattering, but very pretty.

  2. Sybil says:

    If there’s going to be an over 40 female singer in the live rounds, it ought to be Elaine, not Stacey. Elaine was a revelation. Stacy is just too. frakking. much. Please dial it down from eleven.

    Simone was also a revelation. I was convinced she was put through simply because she’s young and hot.

    The groups all suck ass except for the Brewer Boys. I don’t understand the purpose of these fake groups. How can a bunch of strangers become a cohesive group fast enough to compete with groups who’ve been singing together for years? Oh, right, when they all suck ass except for the Brewer Boys. I still don’t get the groups.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      According to some previous posts from people in the UK, the Groups category is extremely popular in the UK and they typically form two groups from other contestants – so I’d say they just continued that tradition from the UK version.
      I agree with your comments about the female singers. I must confess I did enjoy Stacy’s rendition of “Purple Rain”, histionics and all, LOL. And I can’t believe that Drew girl is only 14. Amazing.

    • Billy says:

      You’re not alone with regard to the groups. I can’t believe Simon & co. didn’t see this coming. In the UK boy bands/girl groups are still extremely relevant i.e. The Wanted, The Saturdays. In the US however, they haven’t been relevant for about decade. Has there been a successful group in the US since N Sync? For the US show they should have either allowed bands to enter in the group category or scrapped it altogether and replaced it with boys & girls under 16 or 18.

      • Yo says:

        I have not understood the groups at all, haven’t even watched them, figuring they were not relevant to the contest. Actually, though, I kind of figure no one is relevant to the contest, except Simon’s do-me girls. (Didn’t he look the sultan, though?)

        I like the over 30s, but they are over thirty and Simon doesn’t date anyone over thirty, so…..sadly, they have an ice cube’s chance in hell of advancing. You can say a lot about this show; you can even say a lot about taste in mansions, but you can’t say this is a for real contest.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        There are a number of very successful duets and groups in the country music genre on this side of the pond (US) in the last decade and recently – Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Montgomery Gentry, Big and Rich, The Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, and Nickel Creek, just to name a few off the top of my head. My husband listens to country. Country music has always been heavily populated with bands, groups, and duos.

        But I believe you’re correct about the lack of groups in pop and Top 40 music.

        • Billy says:

          I’m not really a country fan but aren’t all those you listed more “bands” than groups? By bands I mean that they play their music. I was talking about singing groups when I said they were irrelevant. I’d be all for a group category if instruments were allowed. Then, along with country, you’d have rock and alternative/indie groups. I could be wrong about the country groups you mention though. (I know in Lady Antebellum they all sing but I think the dynamic totally changes when you take the instruments away and just put the 3 of them up there with mics.)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Well, I suppose so. Guilty as charged. Okay, Billy, I am so busted!
            I guess what we’re really referring to here when we say “groups” are groups that sing but don’t play their own music – like The Backstreet Boys, Boyz to Men, In Synch, 98 Degrees, En Vogue, Destiny’s Child, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Spinners, The Four Tops, Manhattan Transfer, The Pointer Sisters, The Lennon Sisters – and now I’m stopping because I am REALLY showing my age, LOL.

            There have been a few country “groups” like that – The Oak Ridge Boys come to mind right away.

            I suppose “bands” would be a more relevant category in today’s music industry than “groups”. Either that or drag out Lauren Alaina’s wardrobe from last season’s AI and find a younger version of The Lennon Sisters!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Okay, I thought Rascal Flatts was a group, but my husband said no, they’re a band. He said, “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Give it up”. So I am!
            So, I guess in answer to the question – have there been any relevant groups in the US in the last ten years, I guess the anser ;-) is “no”.

          • Shindig says:

            I would looove it if the groups category turned into bands, hahaha. It would make so much more sense. Even with N* Sync and Backstreet Boys and such, that was just the pop sector. Groups don’t really seem relevant anywhere else as far as I’m concerned (actually, not speaking for country and dance and such). When it comes to rock and alternative it’s typically a full band. I really wish there was more hard rock exposure on shows like this, and I think Josh Kracjsomething will bring a little bit of that, like Haley did with classic rock and jazz. Now that I think about it, he really reminds me of Haley :p

    • Grace says:

      One Direction was thrown together and they were good.

      • jem says:

        I love one direction!!!!, hopefully they will perform on x-factor usa :) and it does definitely show that putting 5 strangers in a group can work, as they are superstars, with fans all over the world, and best friends :D (one direction were put together at bootcamp, then put through to the live shows by simon, where they eventually came 3rd on the 7th season of X-Factor UK (2010))

    • Shindig says:

      I honnnestly don’t see what was so fantastic about the Brewer Boys. They sounded fantastically bland if anything.I just couldn’t get quite interested, but that’s not saying any of the other groups did either.

  3. Craig says:

    Simon is going to have a tough time cutting 4 of those very talented girls. Keep all 8 girls and get rid of like 6 of the groups. We also only need like 3 from the boys group.

    • Louie says:

      The talent pool is way too deep in some categories and can’t-even-wet-my-toes shallow in the rest. If you ask me, they should put through all the Girls, 6 of the Overs, and one each from the other categories…

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        @Louie – agreed! I can’t believe they came up with this group of guys after all of those auditions!

        • Stacie says:

          That’s the downside of X Factor and American Idol. They get too stringent on the categories. If 6 girls are better than 2 boys or groups or over 30s it’s not right that you have to cut the 2 girls. Some can say it’s comparing apples to oranges, but to me it’s comparing to talent to not talent. Each of those girls, even Simone Battle who I didn’t like early, did a great job. The groups were atrocious.

          They have to pick the best contestants, not the best of a particular group. They’ve done this on Idol. I remember a couple years back when the guys were pretty bad, like Tim Urban, and he makes it when a girl like Caitlin Epperly(yes, I’m still bitter) didn’t make it only because the girls were stacked and the males needed another person. Instead of taking the best available they had to take the particular gender. It’s a flaw in the system and it’s happening on X Factor too.

          I do enjoy the overall format of X Factor more than Idol. I like that we get to listen to full performances, and get to know the contestants pretty well. On Idol it’s so packaged that we barely learn who these people are before we are supposed to care about if they stay or go. I am pleased we will know who these contestants are before the live rounds. It’s a welcome change. And most of these people are very talented.

      • Shindig says:

        I personally (but know he won’t) hope he cuts 4 girls that are young enough and could do good with getting more training in rather than the older ones, NOT counting Drew however considering she really is the top in the category. I guess that comment is mostly targeted at Rachel.. I mean, it would be horribly sad to watch her get cut if she is, but she’s 13. It’s not like that shuts off the road, and she can live with a “small bathroom” for another year. And practice Shirley Temple moves more.

    • tbp says:

      “like” 6? “like” 3? Why not just 6 or 3? Get rid of the “like” from your writing.

  4. Katherine says:

    Slezak on his absolute A-game. I am humbled.

    • I disagree. Slezak and I aren’t on the same page with this series.

      I didn’t care for Drew. The look on her face made her seem terrified or clueless. Performing seated added nothing to her performance. Also, I thought that the song was a bit age inappropriate. “Lay a whisper on my pillow/Leave the winter on the ground/I wake up lonely, is there a silence/In the bedroom and all around.” Plus, “It must’ve been love, but it’s over now.” She’s 14, it wasn’t love, it was hormones. I liked Lady Tora MUCH more. The other 2 will most likely be over shadowed with some of the women coming up especially Ms Battle who never should have made it in the first place.

      I also liked 4 Shore and thought they were second best after the brothers.

      I don’t like Brian, and a rapper of any age won’t go far in this series. I thought Phil Lomax (isn’t that a mobster’s name?) was the best of the 4, followed by Skyelor.

      I’ve liked Elaine (what little they’ve shown of her) up until this show. I was as bored as Enrique looked. I think that’s the reason Nicole asked, “Could she be a star,” because she was SO boring. I thought Stacey did well, but sometimes I didn’t like how she crammed a bunch of lyrics together. She should have spaced them out better for effect. I felt a little badly for James who hasn’t had much airtime (and it seemed they edited his performance to be shorter than anyone else’s…not a good sign) but I thought that he as ok. Of the 4, the 2 older women probably deserved to move on, but Elaine needs to not be so boring.

      Here’s hoping that X Factor won’t air on Sunday, I’d LOVE to see a Game 7 of the ALCS…winner take all!

      • Shindig says:

        Facts vs. Opinions 101

        anyway, on some pages I agree and some I disagree (such as Philip Lomax and Brewer Boys, I found both extraordinarily boring – and no, it wasn’t musical taste). But I have to add, I think the backing track they chose for Tora was HORRIBLE. It totally drowned her out, which is a shame. She’s one of my favourite under 30s. Who in their right mind cranked the bass up so loud and though it was a good idea to have the music louder than her voice? Especially when it concerns an elimination? I wish she was given The Eagles song that was mentioned

  5. Joe says:

    Phillip Lomax’s version of Rihanna’s song “Don’t Stop the Music” was pretty much exactly the same as Jamie Cullum’s jazz take on the song a few years ago….was shocked that Rihanna or LA didn’t realize that

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Maybe they did realize it but Lomax was more tolerable than the other guys so they left it alone.
      The little rapper kid needs a one-way bus ticket home. I can hardly wait until he starts singing about his b*****s and hos. (“B***h took the playstation, so I capped her”). Wow, I can write rap lyrics! Or not.
      I don’t get Nick Voss, but that Skeyelor guy was even worse.
      Who was the cute guy with dark hair that auditioned – Brendan, or something like that. He forgot his lyrics during one of the rounds but he absolutely deserved another chance, particularly based on what I’m seeing here. L.A. is probably looking for his number right now!

      • Louie says:

        What are you talking about? Brennin made it to the judge’s house. He just hasn’t performed yet. We are talking about the former model who did his own song in the first audition, right?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          @Louie – should have made that more clear – I was only referring to the guys that performed on last night’s program in my comments.
          I think you’re referring to Brennin Hunt, and he will perform on Sunday night’s program. Josh Kracjik (sp?) isn’t too bad, either for the guys and he’ll be on Sunday night.

          As far as the guy that didn’t make the cut to whom I was referring, his name was Brendan O’Hara. (The first names are similar but they’re two different singers). Brendan O’Hara had dark, long-ish hair, a very close cut beard, and I really thought he deserved another shot even though he forgot his lyrics. I thought he was better than Nick Voss or that little rapper kid. And wasn’t it Simone Battle who completely botched the lyrics to her song but made it through anyway?

          • Louie says:

            @darcy’s evil twin
            Ahhh, sorry I see now. I was a bit too hasty in replying. I remember who you’re referring to now. Not sure I remember much of the performances they showed but he honestly can’t be worse than more than half the guys they did choose. And forgetting the words, to me, is a more forgivable sin than squealing like a cracked-out Elvis wannabe or a flat-note Sinatra wannabe or an eye-rolling Lil Romeo wannabe or a sweet-as-apple-pie-but-cant-carry-a-note-in-a-bucket country singer

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Considering the similarity of the names and the fact we see exactly one nanosecond of nearly all the contestants (except Stacy and that James Brown guy) the confusion is understandable.

          • Shindig says:

            Personally, I think the Nick Voss thing is that he’s pretty hot, especially in the picture where he had long hair. dat eyebrow, grrrowl! LOL (but I agree, he’s kinda weaker on the vocals end but I’d prefer seeing him move on instead of Skyelor or Phlomax)

            And the name confusion. Man. It does get pretty bad. Between Stacy Francis’ mascara and the unknown kid in orange hat, there’s only so few seconds to see the other contestants! But wait until we’re in the live rounds. They have to make the planted audience reactions worth the money!

    • Leo says:

      Yeah, I don’t expect Rihanna to know much, but I was really surprised that LA didn’t know Jamie Cullum’s version, which was released as a single and is far better than Lomax’s rendition. I was even more surprised by how much clothing Rihanna was wearing. That’s probably the first time I haven’t seen her naked.

    • Delon says:

      What Lomax did was done better last year in The X Factor Australia. Check it out:

    • marie says:

      Whoops, sorry, posted my own comment on this right after reading what Michael had to say about it; only read your comment just now. Yes, pretty strange LA didn’t mention that – or maybe he chose that arrangement for his team member and didn’t want to own up to it: seems to me he’d have an interest in making it seem like that arrangement was original and innovative. (Jamie’s performances of the song are much better.)

  6. Jay says:

    I thought last night’s episode was the best yet. This completely blows Idol out of the world.

  7. Lo says:

    Thanks I couldn’t figure out what my issue was with Phillip. My favorite singer is a crooner and I love that music most of my ipod is made up of that. As much as I loved his version of the song..there was something about it that was completely off and Michael you just figured it out for me! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  8. Davey says:

    Were these singers pre-recorded? Because they looked like they were lip-synching.

    • Ian says:

      I don’t think they were lip-syncing, but there was definitely reverb on the vocal mics. Reverb on vocals is like MSG on food – it makes bad vocals sort of OK, although I still cringed all the way through Nick Voss.

      • Clarence Novak says:

        I was a fan of the show until the contestants auditions at the ‘judge’s homes’. They are ALL lip syncing to mixed tracks…there is NO way that anyone singing in someone’s backyard can sound like that! I still love many of the talented contestants and in a much fooled with mix,
        my favorites still sounded great. I’m not dissing them, but the production decision to have them audition outdoors is beyond stupid. The only time the talents HH mic is live is during the first chat with the judge(s)…when the talent signals the (NOT REALLY) ‘band’ to start, the audio disparity is a complete tragedy. The audio presence, depth, reverb etc. is just inauthentic..aka fake sounding for the location. It does a great disservice to the exceptional talents of this level of contestants. I’m a 25 year veteran Producer/Director and musician, and I’ve worked on some of the American Idol shows. All my audio techs have been screaming and laughing ever since the first ‘backyard’ audition performance on this last show! Making a farce of our favorites is an insult to them, and then (us) the viewers. That the ‘fakery’ is so obvious is truly jack ass. If X Factor thought they could ‘fool’ us that the vocal audio is live, they really think someones very clueless.

    • Adam Leonard says:

      I’m convinced that they they post-mixed the performances for the broadcast. That is, they took the signals from the mixing board (vocals, piano, guitar, other backing track) and ran it through effects (especially reverb on vocals) and then played the results. The judges did not hear that perfect mix in the back yards. They heard the actual performance. The rest of us heard the mixed-overproduced recording. The former is what a live performance sounds like. The latter is what a “record” sounds like.

    • pete says:

      I thought for sure they were all pre-recorded, too perfect quality ofsound. So it’s just another fake out…and yes they were lip-synching

      • RD says:

        It was all lip-synched or ‘digitally enhanced’-i’m sure.In the UK version you get it bare bones,the way it should be.Hardly think it’s fair that this lot,(particularly the groups),will get judged by the public on studio-enhanced performances.Do they think the american public should not hear real performances? Trouble is,most wouldn’t even notice.Even so, Nick Voss managed to totally destroy the Tears for Fears song …..

        • JE says:

          Agree 100%. Definitely studio recorded and mixed to make them all sound like superstars. None of them sang that well in auditions. Plus, does anyone really think that the acoustics would sound that good OUTSIDE! Pay attention to the groups in particular, isn’t it amazing that the waterfall goes DEAD silent when they start singing and you can see the it is not perfectly synced in several places. The UK version has never done this, you get the raw voices and some of them aren’t so great once they get to Judges houses. Check out poor Luke Lucas on youtube. X Factor in the US is doomed, too superficial right out of the gate. Disappointing for sure, looks like Simon Cowell’s day in the sun may finally be over. Shame on him for treating us like we are really this stupid. I am done watching, would rather put up with the silly judges on Idol than waste my time on US X factor, it’s garbage TV.

    • anon says:

      I noticed this immediately once Brian began to rap. I was actually looking away and thought it sounded like a track from a recording studio. It was extremely distracting and made me slightly annoyed because I felt like was just listening to a bunch of studio recording tracks, and not raw voices. I noticed there was something off in the bootcamp sessions too when Drew was singing. Was that a different mic, bc it didn’t sound normal. If x-factor means , digitally altered voices, then boo!

  9. Ian says:

    Elaine sold me on X-Factor as appointment TV. Great, great voice. Drew I thought sounded nervous and I don’t buy those lyrics coming out of a 14 year old. However, apparently the judges picked the songs so I’m going to award Simon bonus “Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC, Mr. Cowell” points and leave Drew alone.

  10. Jessica says:

    Did anyone else think Enrique was awfully smug and annoying last night? When was his last hit? How stupid of him to say that he’s in his 30s and he understands more about life. They should all have had Julio for a father.

    • L says:

      His last hit was “I like how it feels” which is out now just FYI. and if you knew anything about how his career has gone, you would know that he started in Mexico precisely not to use his father’s influences in the business. Get your facts straight before you comment.

    • anon says:

      I don’t know about smug, but he looked dreadfully bored out of his mind. I think he realized at times he better look interested for the tv, but was genuinely not excited.

  11. Jaded says:

    I thought it was a little distracting how overproduced the songs sounded. They were all outside on windy coasts yet there wasn’t a hint of noise that would indicate that. I thought they all recorded their songs in a studio and the tracks were played over their actual singing in front of the judges. Either way, I’m enjoying this so much more than Idol.

    • Kevin C. says:

      For me this overprocessing moved beyond “a little distracting” right through “manipulative” and all the way to “this might make me stop watching the show if it keeps up”.

    • Greta says:

      Im sure once your favorites are eliminated, you will be changing your mind. You are just bitter against idol for all the years your favorites didn’t win.

      • Jaded says:

        LMAO Greta! I seriously had to go back and reread my comment to see if you were really directing yours at me. I’m “bitter against idol”???? I said I’m enjoying XFactor more than Idol so far. If that makes me bitter, I guess I’m bitter. And if you think holding pent up aggression about a singing competition for years on end is commonplace then perhaps it’s time to get a life!

  12. lisa says:

    I agree,get rid of the groups.I think Drew is amazing and she is consistent.It will be tough to beat her.

  13. jvassalo says:

    Let me start with Lomax. To be a jazz/swing singer is not that. We have to have security, improvise, know our limits and comfort zones and put it in the pocket.
    As a drummer, I sometimes play jazz. But imagine if I would go to a contest trying to be a Erskine or a Gadd. That’s what he did. Sinatra? Bublé? Come on. The kid has to learn how to SING fist!

    Oddly enough, I liked Astro. I don’t think he’s cocky. As any teenager in a grown mans world, he’s just trying to LOOK confident. But his rappin chops are great!

    As Elaine was singing, I thought of Sade. Amazingly, she gave a cool, calm, balanced, not over-the-top, but still strong rendition. She became my yesterday’s favourite. The focus for mature contestants should not be “please don’t let me go, this is my last chance” but “why the hell have you not noticed me before?”. I am sure I know where this came from. When you sing/play in weddings you can’t be the center of attention. You are background music. And this cool and colectiveness has given her the sense of where she is and how to behave. Hooray!

    Stacy, I love her story, was rooting for her but she seems like a power cannon off the rails. She has to get a grip and tone it down two notches. You have the chops. Learn how to (NOT) use them and win, sista!

    My comment is too long, but I think Simon has the toughest job. The girls are good. My favourite is the rugby coach Caitlin. She has an amazing dreamy voice! But come on Caitlin, you left all your toughness with the tacles? Don’t turn into another “I-only-do-ballads” Pia! See – please – how well THAT went and start dancin!

  14. lisa says:

    Enrique has had a couple of big hits recently like Tonight and I like it for whoever said that

  15. Louie says:

    Haha… you said Simone’s performance was stripped down. You made a funny, cuz you know, she was like wearing a skirt but not really and well… sigh. She did good, which means that one of my other favorite ladies will be getting the shaft if this chick did enough to impress

  16. Michelle says:

    This episode sealed my commitment to the X-factor for the season…to the point where I was more than marginally miffed that my Canadian network decided to fall in step with its U.S. counterpart and not air part two last night as planned. :) I love the diversity of talent, the varied song choices, and even some of the individual judges. Elaine is a revelation. She reminds me of Melinda Doolittle, but with a tad more personality. Anyone who was lucky enough to hire her at their wedding better be grateful for the total steal they secured! :) Love Drew, but am still holding out to see what Melanie will do. And I refuse to commit to an under-30 male until I hear the A-list do their thang (on sunday, is it)? That said, I kind of enjoy Brian. He’s obviously talented, and a few strategically timed verbal smackdowns (especially from the likes of L.A.) should sort out the other stuff. :) As for the groups…no comment. Except to praise Paula for being a trooper and trying to positive spin on coaching them.

  17. darcy's evil twin says:

    At the risk of sounding old (which I am) would someone mind telling me who that Pharrell guy is that’s with Paula? I’ve never heard of him.
    And yea, I was a bit surprised by Simone because I didn’t think she should have made it through.

  18. notmzbehavin says:

    I agree with some of the above regarding Michael’s recap: well done, Inspector.

    I got chills when Stace first started singing “Purple Rain.” I’ve not been too much of a fan of hers, but saw her talent if she could only rein it in (pun honestly not intended, but I’ll take it).

    She started great, and I was hopeful that I was about to hear something memorable–but then she let the hounds loose and unfortunately over-sang once again. I was more disappointed that I can say.

    As far as Elaine went, I think she has a wonderful voice but I’m kind of tired of gospel tinged pop. I also wanted to love Dexter, but he’s not getting the memo that there already IS a Mick.

    I’m waiting for Josh.

    Drew is memorable and someone I could see voting for. Simone has already alienated me, and Tora is cannon fodder. The rugby girl has a very pleasant voice, but it’s already fading from memory.

    The groups need a LOT of work. While I remember the Everly brothers and used to listen to them on the transistor radio as a pre-teen, I’m not really making that connection with the Brewer Boys.

    There’s something in me that wants to cut their hair and lose the Beiberishness, but then, they’re not in my demographics.

    For me so far, it’s going to be Josh, Drew, and Leroy.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I never would have made the Everly Brothers connection, but my husband is very tuned in to voices (he should have worked for the CIA or FBI – he could have identified voices when they put wiretaps on phone lines). He made the comment without ever looking at how they looked. When I listened to them (with my eyes closed) they did sound like the Everly Brothers to me as well.
      anyway, hooray for the older demographic! Did you ever put your transistor radio under your pillow after your parents sent you to bed and listen to the Top 40? :-)

      • notmzbehavin says:

        WLS Chicago lol. And I’ll never forget the DJ ole’ what’s his name, the one who sang “on top of a pizza” on the air. Standing at the bus-stop bugging the old people with my radio turned up to

        Tweaked what’s left of my memory, did you!

        There was this guy–can’t think of his name now but he was one of those one name stars that burned really bright for me and then faded to black. I saw him up close and personal at some exposition in Chicago when I was about 23. It was so sad–9/10 years before and I’d have died and gone to heaven to be close enough to touch, but there I was, one of maybe 50 people listening and couldn’t care less that he was only feet away.

        • notmzbehaving says:

          “Standing at the bus-stop bugging the old people with my radio turned up to….” should have read “turned up loud to songs by people I no longer remember but just KNEW I’d never forget…”

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Very funny! My husband and I have both laughed at how we put the transistor radio under our pillow and listened to WHB (710 am)in Kansas City. Especially on New Year’s Eve when they played the Top 100 countdown but we were young enough we weren’t allowed to stay up until midnight!

          We remember the name of the D.J., but only because he’s now a traffic reporter on one of the local TV stations.
          The memories are fun – whether or not you think the Brewer Boys sound like Phil and Don! And you would have nailed those lyrics about “standing at the bus stop” the first time if you were younger, LOL.

    • Fernando says:

      OMG I HATE the brewers’ hair! Ugh. They need a makeover, stat.

  19. PsiHawk says:

    Let’s face it.. we got those 2 ‘bouns groups’ because the collective talent of the other groups sucked so bad, that th ejudges could only muster up 6 groups worth bringing to the semi finals… and they needed 8…. So we take 4 girls, who may or may not make it as a group, but we give them more tv exposure and hope someone likes them enough to sign them… and we take 10 of the little kids who we feel bad for, and give them a spot also, so we dont feel like monsters for getting rid of them….

    I do think given time… and someone who can teach them choreography… Oh Paula…That Lakoda Rayne may actually have a shot. The girls will all vote for the Brewer Boys.. and the guys will vote for Lakoda… (kidding)

    Anway.. we’ll find out Sunday.

  20. Kevin C. says:

    In last night’s X-factor I saw many examples of outstanding technical skill, musical talent, and emotionally powerful work.

    I’m not talking about Drew or Elaine here, but about the studio producers. the performances were so processed, reverbed, and manipulated that I have no idea what any of the singers actually sounds like in real life.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Kevin – you get a Made Me Laugh. :-)

      I thought some of the performances sounded more “processed” than others but I’m not a sound engineer so I can’t explain that comment.

    • Tim says:

      Exactly. I mean, they’re singing outdoors, yet there’s a ton of reverb? It makes no sense with what you’re seeing. That really turned me off.

      • Shindig says:

        Well there are quite a lot of mics that have built in reverb and support synthesizing. But what shocked me was the lack of background noise and wind. I live on the coast on Long Island (lololol not in the Hamptons, but a realistic place) and I can tell you it gets very very windy here.

  21. Grace says:

    Okay, first of all, THANK YOU Michael for calling that girl out on the whole Paula “represents everything a woman wants to be” thing. I literally did a spit take when I heard that.

    Totally agree with everyone saying that all 8 girls should advance and they should cut all the groups. Actually, I was frustrated with the girl group I could barely hear them over that distracting track. Were they doing them a favor because their blend was so bad? I don’t know. I feel like the only people who could possibly be enjoying the groups category are the tone-deaf and those who have never seen The Sing Off.

  22. Mick says:

    Loved this episode. I love that you actually get to hear every contestant, which means no Michelle Delamors, who get’s screwed.

    I think Drew and Stacy did the best job, but I’m still pulling for Caitlin to make it to the final four.

    And poor James. I wanted to press mute when he started talking about his life back home. There’s just no way he’s going further in the competition with the lack of screen time he’s been getting. I hope Christa likes her life back home or I’m going to have another problem Sunday…

  23. buffy522 says:

    I like James Kenney but he really has gotten little screen time and they even shortened his song I think. All of the “overs” had way too loud track in the background. And they don’t need it!

  24. CG says:

    First thing I said about the judges home, is that this can’t be Paula’s home.

  25. jagers8675 says:

    I have a problem its too much like AMERICA’S GOT TALENT!!!

  26. Elaine says:


    DREW – This kid is 14? Seriously? She has a maturity of voice that is quite
    ELAINE – For me, the performance of the night.


    CAITLIN – great potential, interested in how she’ll handle an upbeat song.


    STACY – (definitely talented but PLEASE STOP with the over-the-top
    performances. That out-of-place screaming reminds me of Jacob Lusk.
    Not a good thing. That being said, she does have the raw talent so with
    the right coaching she could be great. And the tears…… you want this
    badly. It’s your last chance. We get it….enuff already).


    TORAH – like her personality, but the performance was nothing special for me.

    PHILLIP – Never felt genuine. More of a copycat than a talent. Never would
    have put him this far and last night’s performance just reinforced that
    for me.

    NICK VOSS – Didn’t impress me. never has. An okay singer but nowhere
    near a $5 million singer….. not even a $1 million dollar singer.

    DEXTER – Someone I would have loved to see do better/go far, but I’m afraid
    last night’s song really showcased the limitations of his abilities. And
    regarding the crying, please refer to my Stacy comments above.

    SKYELOR – Loved the idea of an African American kid singing country…
    (the new Charlie Pride… bring it!), however, while he’s a good singer,
    he’s not a great singer. I never “felt” it when he was singing.


    SIMONE (in AI during Hollywood week, the judges, including Simon, have
    booted someone for forgetting a few lyrics…. this chick forgets 98% of
    them in the XF elimination round and still she’s there? That being
    said, last night’s performance was her best so far, but I don’t think
    she deserves top 4.

    BRIAN – Hearing LA’s comment “he’s just too young” I was grateful I
    wouldn’t have to see this kid anymore, yet here he is. Let me say I think
    he’s a talented rapper and I think that cockiness of his is more about
    self-protection and hiding his insecurities than anything else, but I’d
    like to see him come back when he’s older, more secure and maybe a
    bit humble and grateful for his opportunties in life.


    BREWER BOYS – Nice harmonies – potential there. Didn’t blow my mind,
    but pretty good.

    No group really blew me away. Feel for Paula because she’s got the
    category with the least talent. Hopefully night 2 will bring up some good
    talent (curious to see how that huge “makeup” group of 10 do).

    I’m also worried that some of my favorites may not make it because in
    listening to the judges, they keep referring to someone being “commercial”
    “current” “saleable”……… I think LA, Rhianna, Nicole etc… sound like
    they’re looking for “pop stars”….. American Idol-type stars and that’s not
    what I thought this show was about. I cant imagine any of them putting a
    Susan Boyle or Paul Potts through, yet they went on to sell many millions
    of albums around the world. I have my fingers crossed that these new
    judges will get the heck of out American Idol mode and see beyond that
    limited vision. (Prove me worrying for nothing, please).

    Overall I enjoyed last night. I love the “home” location. Nice to hear full
    songs. Enjoy hearing what the judges say about the performances.
    Definitely a more interesting format than AI (the elimination rounds last
    week also way more interesting than Hollywood Week………. all that fracking
    drama… all the “you can’t be in my group” stuff…. IRRITATING). Really
    really enjoying XF.

    • Elaine says:

      hmmmm what the heck is with all the extra spaces in my first post? grrrrrrrrr

      Anyway, forgot James….
      I liked his song… would have lliked to hae heard more… the fact they didn’t show the whole song, though, tells me he’s gone. I think he’s talented so that would be unfortunate.

      Looking forward to Sunday.

  27. Gina says:

    I guess I was the only one who liked 4Shore, so I’ll avoid getting attached :(

  28. RK says:

    Great Recap. Last night’s episode totally won me over on X Factor and I pray there will be no baseball on Sunday. Drew is truly a revelation – pure talent. I disagree on Stacey – she will benefit greatly from the mentoring and has tremendous potential – her tone,range, phrasing are pretty incredible. I was underwhelmed by Elaine and have a feeling she has been given the don’t get too attached edit as well. Hoping James Kenney is getting the “slowly fall in love with him” treatment – his vocals were suprisingly good and studio friendly. Dexter has been set up for a public breakdown, poor guy, and will do so in his tragic bedazzled denim. Although I find him annoyingly full of himself for one so youg, Astro aka Bratly, does seem to be full of the same kind of swagger that Hip Hop requires, but I agree with the “gimmicky” aspect of it and do not think he can compare to the Hip Hop stylings of Chris Rene, who breaks my heart every time he speaks/sings.

  29. StorytellerGal says:

    KINA! Thank you Slezak for a shout out to one of the sassiest singers that no one has heard of. “I hope your hell is filled with magazines and every page is filled with pictures of me. And under every picture a caption should read, not bad for a girl from a gutter like me.”

  30. msmaka says:

    X-factor might not be on this sunday -.-
    Because if baseball goes to game 7, it will bump the x-factor off the schedule again. (and Tigers have somewhere around ~40% of winning tomorrow’s game 6)

  31. Melissa says:

    I wonder how many of these contestants realize that the “judge’s” mansions probably each cost several times that 5 million dollar prize – especially when you include the cost of furnishing it. Let’s not even start on the maintenance costs.

    • Yo says:

      And yet they had no personality. They looked like corporate headquarters. I did not like the McMansion shot with 28mm lens aspect of the show; it was very Simon, treating us to his idea of what the little people aspire to. Nicole had a nice view, however, which framed the singers nicely, sorta Sound of Music-y.

      • Shindig says:

        I’m from Long Island, and L.A. does have a “house” in the Hamptons. However, that area of Long Island is more like “the fantasy world” to most of us. I got lost when trying to get to an art place for one of my classes, and it was like winding up in the land of milk and honey or something – endless green lawns, horses running around, beach at peoples’ doors. Quiet. Mansions all over. I live on the beach too, but in the Hamptons houses really are like that.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          The local police didn’t pick you up for loitering, did they? ;-)

          • Shindig says:

            Hahaha, you know I’m surprised we weren’t ;)

            Punishment enough was that we got lost on a pig farm, lol. Speaking of which, we passed a lot of scenes shown when they picture LA’s house. And I’ll tell you right now, things like that windmill aren’t by his house. Gasp! Conspiracy?!

  32. JVC says:

    Good thing I’m going home and we have DVR there because I didn’t watch alot of it really (college midterms will do that to you). Slezak i did here stacy’s purple rain, and i thought it was pretty good. I didn’t here that “i don’t want this to end for me” comment but reading it in your recap i was already annoyed. There’s nothing that turns fans off besides bad contestants are desperate ones. And I hope it’s not hateful to say but stacy’s and dexter constant crying has been getting old too (has there been a whole episode where either of them haven’t cried?) Elaine is the diamond worth watching from what i hear. There weren’t any guys under 30 i didn’t like. Same for the groups. But i do look forward to the group of 10 because that’s going to be a disaster, WAY TOO MANY to manage. I pray marcus canty from the under 30 boys and 4squared get grand slams because they are my favorites from the auditions and I haven’t seen much of them.

  33. (!) says:

    I thought the Brewer Boys sounded awful, I couldn’t wait for it to end =/

  34. jennielyn says:

    Definetely the last time we will here Vanilla Elvis (aka Nick Voss).

  35. anon says:

    DREW – Didn’t like her singing. Didn’t like her lounging on a chair. Didn’t like her looking at Simon in that weird way. I don’t think girls would really root for her.
    ELAINE – Just Ok. No marketability.
    CAITLIN – Not her best.
    STACY – Cant stand her. I watched her audition and thought it was terrible. Just awful. Was so surprised everyone liked her so much. She def reminds me of Jacob Lusk.
    Seriously, am i the only one that thinks she’s terrible?
    TORAH – Love her performance. She has great potential. That little thing that is missing is passion/commitment. I don’t believe she really wants to do this.
    PHILLIP – copycat is the right word. He’s not really relevant. He looks sorta like Enrique.
    NICK VOSS – His voice is interesting but his performance was lacking.
    DEXTER – I like his voice but he kinda messed up on parts of the song.
    SKYELOR – I don’t understand why he is there.
    SIMONE- Her best performance. Thought it was good. She’s marketable.
    BRIAN – I genuinely don’t get ‘it’. But i think xfactor is trying to send a message to future auditioners. that is, it’s okay if you arent a pop artist or rock artist.

    BREWER BOYS – LOVE them. Just love them. I think they should go far.
    LAKODA RAYNE – I think they have a charm and I can easily see guys and girls liking them. I can see them winning.
    4Shore- Entertaining but the lead singer is terrible.
    ANSER – Nothing special.
    JAMES- Loved it. Wish we got to hear more of him.

  36. anon says:

    RIHANNA- I never heard her talk before, i never knew she had an accent.
    ENRIQUE- He looked bored and not impressed with anyone. Maybe a little impressed with James.
    PHERREL- he did a decent job.
    NO-MARIAH- Couldn’t Simon have connected Mariah via video camera?

  37. Dags says:

    I know I am in the minority but I adored Phillip Lomax. I just watched the episode and found his voice mesmerizing.

    I am new to the X Factor but if memory serves me right, a crooner just won AGT. America really seems to like this style right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move to the next round.

  38. RM says:

    Drew has trouble with sustain, but her phrasing is good for someone who is 14. Aside from a slightly weak voice, her style of singing might not lend itself well to a TV competition. It was funny how Tora was complaining about learning her lyrics and the song turned out to be the Stone’s Satisfaction. The Satisfaction lyrics are simpler than Row Row Your Boat. Whoever owns “Nicole’s Malibu mansion” has one stunning view. LA Read’s Hamptons mansion seems to be the only one not decorated by Rent-A-Center. The show might be reaching for a younger and different viewer base than Idol. Brian, Simone, and Tora would reach a different audience. Maybe that’s why LA’s guys are somewhat puzzling picks. On the other hand, the producers might think they can construct a Jackie Evancho (Drew) or Susan Boyle (Stacy). They really pulled out the whole bag of computer tricks in mixing Stacy’s Purple Rain. For a moment there, you were expecting the gospel choir to climb up the hill.

    • anon says:

      apparently, they sang more than one song. They edited it to make it sound like she was afraid of forgetting the lyrics to satisfaction, but she was really talking about another song.

    • Shindig says:

      A few shots from Reid’s home are actually not from anyone’s property :( And with Simon’s mansion, mountains… and it edit it to seem like it’s in central France :p

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I”m glad to hear Tora wasn’t struggling with the words to Satisfaction.

        And if they aren’t really the judges’ homes, why don’t they just say, “We’re taking everyone to fabulous mansions”?

  39. Suzie says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who hates the blubbering tears. I don’t watch the show to hold your hand as you have an emotional breakdown. Just sing. Do it well. Then I might buy your song. If you’re just gonna cry, I’m gonna fast forward.

  40. spambrando says:

    When I first tuned in (the Anser, or whatever they’re called), I was astonished to hear the post production on the song while supposedly singing out in the open. Sounded as if they took the song, mixed it in the studio and did a sync of the remix back into the video. Have you EVER seen GMA or the Today Show when they’ve had musical guests playing out in the open? It SOUNDS live! All the performances were post-productions, either enhanced or distracting from the actual performance, depending on whether TPTB want these contestants to continue or not. The trumped up production was a real blow to any trace of authenticity the show had remaining. This was an absolute abomination of everything wrong with this stinker of a show.
    First off. Simon lives in FRANCE??!! Must be his “summer” home. Looks to me that this little trick of herding the talent to the judges’ homes is nothing more than gratuitous footage for the sheer purpose of showing off their “cribs”. The neverending sob stories are ridiculous already. What started out a few years as a few nice little back-stories on contestants’ journeys to get onto a show has become an overwrought, boring and pathetic attempt to squeeze sympathy out of the viewers for a particular singer/group. Truly, this has got to be the most pathetic of ALL the singing competitions. The ONLY reason I see ANY of it is because there is only one TV in the house and I rent from the owner. I have no choice in the matter as he’s a 12 year old girl trapped in the body of a 60-something year old man and seems to love little boy singers (Creepy? I think so). So, basically, I catch a few minutes and run away as fast as I can to the safety of my own space. And yeah, what’s with all the Rhianna crap?
    It’s SH*T like this that makes me long for the MTV MUSIC VIDEOS of the 80’s. And BTW, I don’t know or care who Pharrell is. Bring on a REAL influence to the show. This kid has barely been on Earth long enough to qualify as an inspiration.
    If you disagree with any of my opinions, that’s YOUR prerogative. That’s why you’re still watching.

  41. Sandi says:

    I thought James Kenney was the best of the boys (even if he was in the over 30s category). And he was definitely the most contemporary of the over 30s. I agree that he’s getting the “don’t get attached” edit which is unfortunate because I already am!

  42. Sandi says:

    I also wanted to say:

    Please, no more shots of Simon being hugged by excited girls in various stages of puberty. It’s NOT a good look for him.

  43. chris8677 says:

    Drew was my favorite from Thursday night’s show and I’m sure Josh will be my favorite from tonight considering I have thought he has been totally amazing every time I’ve heard him. I am hoping Stacy Francis does NOT make it although I bet she does. I am so tired of seeing her cry. Pretty tired of Dexter too. I understand the crying, but really every single time?!

  44. Judy Pickett says:

    35% of the judges picks last night sucked buttermilk!!! When Nicole picked Dexter instead of Tiger Budbill, I came unglued!! I hope they can taste their food, because they have NO taste in music!! Should have let the viewers do the voting!!!!!!

  45. Judy Pickett says:

    35% of the judges picks last night sucked buttermilk!!! When Nicole picked Dexter instead of Tiger Budbill, I came unglued! Should have let the viewers do the voting!!!!!!

  46. marie says:

    I’m way behind commenting here, but I have to say it anyway: Phil Cannon Fodder’s version of “Please Don’t Stop the Music” is in no way original; Jamie Cullum has been performing a very similar version live for a couple of years, and said version appears on his most recent album, The Pursuit. And oh yes, Jamie sings it much better.

  47. smartkitchenpicks says:

    Good to read all conversations.