The X Factor Recap: Cry Hard, With a Vengeance

And the Emmy nominees for Best Supporting Object in the Trumped-Up Reality-Show Drama of The X Factor‘s Top 17 Announcement Episode are: Nicole Shapeshifter’s shimmering eyelashes; the pillow used to mop up Stacy Francis’ tears-and-mascara gravy; the matching “wedding bands” worn by all three (!) members of rejected boy band The Anser; Tora Woloshin’s floppy white hat; and Steve Jones’ soft but muscular embrace. And the statuette goes to…

…the pillow used to mop up…wait! Simon Cowell is rushing the stage. He’s calling an audible and changing the script. The winner is Christa Collins’ “Creepy/Awesome Baby on a Lilypad” Hat!

See, there really is justice in the world. As well as truth, beauty, freedom, and love. And, often (though not always) tears, backstories, accessories, and world-class singing.

So this is The X Factor. Let’s check in with Steve Jones, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in his black-and-white vertical-striped t-shirt. The same black-and-white vertical-striped t-shirt he wore in front of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night’s episode. Nope, Ryan Seacrest’s contract would never allow such sacrilege (though he burns all his shirts after one wearing, just to be on the safe side).

Before we get to an analysis of the Season 1 Top 17 — oh yes, you read that right, 17 instead of 16 — let’s kneel on our couches in the Nicole-approved “break it to you gently” position and review who got cut during Tuesday night’s bloodbath. (For extra dramatic effect, play one of The X Factor‘s already over-used go-to montage ditties — O-Town’s “All or Nothing,” Christina Aguilera’s “The Voice Within,” or Coldplay’s “Fix You” — while you read this recap.)

* Nick Voss: “I’ve wanted to be a star since I was five,” said Nick, pretty much summing up his central defect as an artist — digging the fame more than the actual music.
* Skyelor Andeson: L.A. once again implied that Skyelor’s focus on country music was “limiting.” Would that conundrum have held true if Skyelor happened to be white? Why the face, L.A.? (Refreshing to see a reality-show judge who demands his artists stay inside the damn box, or better yet, not even be aware there is a box in the first place, no?) I’d have appreciated it if L.A. had just been honest and told the kid his vocals weren’t strong enough for the big show.
* Brennin Hunt: “Inside, I’m pretty insecure,” said the guy who once described himself as “the total package.” Um, okay. Yeah. Still, while Brennin is probably right that at 26, he’s already “getting old” for major-label consideration, I was shocked L.A. didn’t pick him over Phillip or “Astro.” I mean, granted, Simon probably already has Season 1 locked up, but you’d think L.A. might want to give him a serious run with a vocally consistent, Pepsi-commercial-ready option, no? Then again, Brennin’s already gotten to duet with American Idol Season 10 semifinalist Kendra Chantelle, so in some ways he’s already won at life.
* Tim Cifers: Sorry, I’ve got nothing to say about this ouster because I got so distracted by Tim’s ridiculously adorable baby friend! (Okay, to be fair, we never saw this dude hit a bum note, but no way was L.A. going to get stuck with a pure Nashville artist with questionable charisma.)

* 2SQUAR’D: I truly, madly, deeply loved that original track they performed at the Miami auditions — it’s called “Shine,” and it’s on YouTube — but then they got the “side of a milk carton” edit, and their Judges’ Homes rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a hot mess. So while I still can’t believe Paula cut them in favor of Lakoda Rayne (just typing those two words together causes an involuntary eye roll), I’m not all broken up about it, either.
* Illusion Confusion: “I’m mad as hell,” said that one dude from this trio. Or were they a quartet? I honestly have no idea anymore.
* 4Shore: When Paula looked at these four gentlemen in their custom t-shirts and and called them “technically, the most beautiful-sounding” competitors in her category, I trembled with terror. Honestly, I never heard a performance from 4Shore that sounded completely on pitch — even with the “Judges’ Home” special sound-enhancing, environmental-noise-deleting button. But perhaps Paula’s praise was a consolation prize, since moments later she cut them for the sole reason that she couldn’t figure out which member of the quarter was the lead singer. Talk about axing the right group for the wrong reason! Sister, try using that logic on the funky divas of En Vogue!
* The Anser: At least threse three spelling-challenged guys from Salt Lake City, UT, still have their matching rings to symbolize their love and lifelong commitment to each other(‘s music).

It’s pretty clear Nicole is an alien life form who is sustained by equal parts oxygen and human tears. Thus, despite the fact that Christa Collins and James Kenney displayed far more promise (and ability to memorize their lyrics) than Dexter Haygood, their mild-to-moderate composure wasn’t nearly as appetizing as Dexter’s constant state of sobbing emotional collapse. Tiger Budbill, meanwhile, had decent chops, but you don’t show up for your big TV moment in a bowling shirt, exposed tank top, shorts, and sneakers. Maybe Nicole couldn’t see through her giant false eyelashes, but her immediate greeting of “you look good” was perhaps her craziest comment of the night. Yet while Tiger was perhaps a little too “everyman” to top the charts, here’s hoping his X Factor exposure gets him enough local work to pay his mortgage.

And finally, please tell me I wasn’t the only person whose first thought during Simon’s “I made a mistake” moment was, “Oh good! Simon can add Melanie to his roster, and stupid-ass Nicole can bring back Elaine Gibbs!” I know the X Factor editing team tried to paint it as an Elaine Gibbs-vs.-Stacy Francis proposition, but Nicole could’ve given one spot to Weepy McSobstory and still put through Elaine (“one of the most talented singers I’ve come by in my entire life,” Nicole sighed) over Dexter, no? Kudos to Elaine for keeping her head up and not allowing Nicole to collect her tears in a cup for a pre-lunch snack: “It’s been an awesome journey. Hopefully, my dream is not over.” Dance labels, take note!

Is it possible that I actually understand/support every one of Simon’s yeses, and yet still feel completely depressed about each and every one of his “no” votes? Tora Woloshin was serving quirky and dynamic star power while still managing to hit (most of) her notes. Jazzlyn Little did indeed have a raw grit about her, one that could’ve been fostered and enhanced with the right mentor. (Then again, Simon’s guidance of the careers of Leona Lewis and Il Divo suggest he might’ve sandblasted the powerful urban vibe right out of Jazz.) And, oh, Caitlin Koch, with your delicate phrasing and sublime subtlety, I’ll miss you most of all! (Until you win Season 11 of American Idol, that is.)

And finally, my pre-season rankings of the Top 16:

17. Dexter Haygood (Over 30s): It’s so nice when contestants do the hard work of providing their own brutal critiques. “I stunk up the room,” said Dexter of his “Crazy in Love” cover. And yet, here he is eating Elaine Gibbs’ lunch. (Side note: Dexter’s “They don’t need it as much as I need it” logic activated none of my sympathy receptors. This is a search for the next big radio star, not Extreme Makeover: Life Edition.)

16. Lakota Rayne (Groups): Expecting an injunction from the Lakota Nation in 5, 4, 3, 2…oh wait, these white chicks are gonna get the boot before their attorney finishes dictating his memo!

15. Phillip Lomax (Boys): I love that L.A. was all “take my advice into the competition,” but his advice was essentially “you need more time.” Which I am translating from Reality TV to English as: “You are my cannon fodder, dude.”

14. Intensity (Groups): There was an Old Paula who lived in a shoe/ She had so many children in this makeshift group, she didn’t know what to do/ She gave them some dance steps, “Cold Hearted” retread/ Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

13. Rachel Crow (Girls): One more word about everyone having their own bathroom and I am gonna flip my damn lid. (Do you think she came up with that bit herself, or is she reading off the X Factor producers’ cue cards?)

12. Brian “Astro” Bradley (Boys): Here was the kid’s chance to come off as humble and full of gratitude, and instead he makes a comment about “getting girls” and not being able to walk to the corner store without being mobbed. Here’s hoping L.A. calls in Supernanny Jo Frost as a special guest mentor.

11. Stacy Francis (Over 30s): She decided to turn off the disapproving voice of her first husband that’s stuck in her head. Or maybe she’s just drowning it out with her hollerating? Okay, that was mean. But kind of honest, right? I say the first time she has a tearful breakdown on the live stage, America will give her the boot.

10. Tiah Tolliver (Girls): She can’t really sing, but I think some of Simon’s Kool-Aid got into my sauvignon blanc.

9. Marcus Canty (Boys): Funniest sob-story intro of the night: “I grew up in an okay neighborhood…” Hey, kid, people are going to vote on whether or not you sing well, not on whether you overcame the hardscrabble streets to do it.

8. Stereo Hogzz (Groups): Those fellas were sporting some aggressive pocket kerchiefs, no? Still, that lead singer is pretty solid, maybe solid enough to keep Paula in mentoring mode well into the holiday season.

7. Simone Battle (Girls): Just because she’s a diva doesn’t mean she’s not likable. And that Judges’ House version of “Help” has me daydreaming about her debut record Honey, Work.

6. Josh Krajcik (Over 30s): Prediction: Dude’s income will exceed $12,000 in 2012. Really needs to SPF that chest when he’s in the California sun, though.

5. Chris Rene (Boys): We already know that he’s not the strongest vocalist in the competition, but he’s a seriously compelling performer, and a decent songwriter to boot. Now if we could just convince the producer to stop playing “Fix You” every damn time he’s on the screen. I mean, reality TV has its uses, but a cure for drug addiction? I don’t think so.

4. Leroy Bell (Over 30s): “I don’t know if you want it enough,” said Nicole, apparently believing that because Leroy is 60 his mind will soon wander to visions of prune juice, semolina, and hard candies. Nonsense! This mercifully understated singer is the lightweight mentor’s best chance at giving Simon nightmares of not taking home the Season 1 crown.

3. The Brewer Boys (Groups): They’ve gotten a decent amount of screentime without being pimped in the extreme, but Paula’s gonna have to do something about those Bieber wannabe haircuts if she wants America to think of them as viable artists in their own right.

2. Melanie Amaro (Girls): I don’t really care if he planned it from the get-go, I thoroughly enjoyed Simon declaring “I made a massive mistake,” flying to Sunrise, FL, and surprising a stunned Melanie with the news that he’d changed his mind and added her to the live-show lineup. Some people will say the time for Melanie’s brand of big-voiced diva music has passed, but everything in the music biz is cyclical. Maybe the time for Melanie’s brand of big-voiced diva music is about to make a comeback…starting with Melanie?

1. Drew Ryniewicz (Girls): I’d accidentally seen a spoiler saying Simon hadn’t picked her for the live shows — despite her devastatingly beautiful cover of “It Must Have Been Love.” To which I say, “Suck it, spoilers”! My heart seriously stopped beating during Simon’s drawn-out reveal: “You weren’t the best teenager. You weren’t. You were the best contestant of the whole day.” And Drew’s breathless response — “I don’t even know if I’m speaking English right now” — was flawless, not too precociously rehearsed, not so mature that she was creepy, but just a genuine kid on the brink of superstardom.

What did you think of the X Factor Top 17 announcement episode? Who are your favorites from each category? Who’s the one elimination that’s still stinging you right now? And who’s your pick for early eliminations? Sound off below 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. socalgal says:

    I would have been more impressed with Simon’s ‘I made a big mistake’ if he had he balls to then take out one who shows well but has yet to stay on pitch.

    • Rock Golf says:

      I’ll bet right now that on the first live show, there won’t be public voting. Instead, each judge will have to drop one contestant. Perhaps, Simon will need to drop two.
      If you drop 1 contestant per week, that’s 16 weeks. This show will run until almost March. If American Idol is coming back, and I fully expect it will, it needs to finish during the May sweeps, and there has to be at least a few weeks between crowning the X Factor champ and AI auditions.
      Also, each judge dropping a contestant after the first live show is what they did in the X Factor UK this year.

      • Owen says:

        Look, I love these girls. All eight of them. But the way the deck has been stacked in their favor makes me want to root against them. Pick five girls instead of the other category’s four. Yes, so X-Factor can claim WE’RE BETTER THAN IDOL AND VOICE. WE HAVE A GIRL WINNER!! Kick the country guy out? When he was basically the STAR of the group rounds? Just to make sure no country people start voting for him to rob X-Factor of their claim LOOK, WE’RE BETTER THAN IDOL AND VOICE. WE HAVE A GIRL WINNER!! Kick out the gorgeous guy who can actually sing so as not to distract females so X-Factor can claim LOOK, WE’RE BETTER THAN IDOL AND VOICE. WE HAVE A GIRL WINNER!! To not have any really teeny bopper friendly Under 30 boys so X-Factor can claim LOOK, WE’RE BETTER THAN IDOL AND VOICE. WE HAVE A GIRL WINNER!! To ensconce the only teeny bopper boys in groups with many pretty girls or with a chubby younger brother so X-Factor can claim WE’RE BETTER THAN IDOL AND VOICE. WE HAVE A GIRL WINNER!! Do I think its esthetically wrong that teenybopper girls vote so much to derail the true singing talent from winning on these shows. Yes, somewhat. But its also fair in the way the shows are set up. So then change the rules on voting. Don’t try to tilt the talent so spectacularly one way as to kick out truly exciting and talented guys (who knows how many great male singers we didn’t even get to SEE because of this) just so Simon Cowell can have his ego stroked.

        • @owen says:

          HAH!! I love this. But I do want a girl winner….

        • Noelbelle says:

          Although I find your points bizarrely convincing and yet disturbingly cynical, I have to say I don’t care if they are setting it up for a girl winner. Was AI not set up for a country winner this year? Was it’s most talented contestant not routinely slammed by the judges and suspiciously edited to have no backstory whatsoever? Let’s face it, the most successful AI winners are GIRLS.

      • Tess says:

        If I’m not mistaken, they already put it out there that the judges’ will be making cuts to their respective categories so that we are down to 12 by the start of November. That way, with the number of live performance/results shows scheduled, we will wind up with a finale consisting of 4 acts.
        X Factor is scheduled to air its finale the week of Christmas, which may be a risky move, but then again, may be brilliant seeing how there is usually nothing but holiday programming and repeats on that week.

        I would venture a guess the judges’ will actually come into the live show Tuesday with their minds already made up as to who they will cut, unless someone does something to change their minds. The easiest cut to call is LA’s because we all can assume Phillip is cannon fodder. I can only hope Simon will cut both Simone and Tiah (since he will need to get rid of two). Paula’s category is a toss up since it’s unlikely any of the groups will get too far anyway, it hardly matters. Nicole should cut Dexter or even Stacy before Josh or Leroy, but I fear one of the more subtle, gruff voiced men will get the boot over the joke contestant and the dramatic crier. Sad too because both Josh and Leroy are far more deserving to be there and have a better shot given the chance to wow viewers but if they do things here like they do on the UK one then Dexter and Stacy will have to wind up in the bottom 2 a lot before they get axed. Right now, I am rooting for Drew, Melanie, Leroy, and Josh. Any of them winning would be good to me.

      • Jake says:

        It’s a fairly good guess since that’s what happened on the UK Factor this year. All 16 performed and each judge had to cut one act before the public got to vote. I also think it’s unfair for Simon to have 5 acts, especially since the girls are so much better than the others.

        I also think this show did itself a disservice for the lack of diversity in who they picked. It seems the majority of the contestants are squarely in the urban/r&B/soul genre–and they are basically competing with each other for genre fans. You basically have one country act and they are as “country” as Gwyneth Paltrow.

        I think the judges didn’t take some of the contestants because they might compete with “their favorites” and act as spoilers to go far in the competition. It seems each judge has at least one act that is completely fodder without any legitimate chance of winning.

        • Juliana says:

          Five acts are going home after the first live show next week: one from each judge (two from Simon). Then they’ll go one per week.

    • Kate says:

      Yeah, I kept hoping that when he brought back Melanie, he was going to cut Simone. Alas, no dice.

      • Zimon says:

        Simon’s picks were awful…. I keep thinking that he has the hots for Simone and Tiah “lips girl” and kept them in despite being pretty bad as compared. And it was pretty darn obvious all the way from the pre-season sneak peeks that mascara gravy Stacy, “annoyingly precocious” Rachel were gonna be put thru, and the 2 “put together” groups were gonna go in order to justify creating them…..
        Overall, really not impressed by the Xfactor as it really feels contrived and fixed, and essentially serves a vehicle to show us how cool SImon is….. imho

        • Alex says:

          “Annoyingly precocious” or not, Rachel Crow has a serious helping of honest to goodness talent. In fact she and Melanie Amaro are a double threat to anybody else competing in whatever category.

          These ladies may not win but they’ll probably make it to the “final few” since they have a following and Simon is not about to axe people with drawing power at this early stage. :-)

      • Sybil says:

        Simone? I would have never put her thru to the judges’ houses after she screwed up Bootcamp, but she did a nice job with “Help.” She can actually sing. It’s Tiah who can’t sing. At all. I was stunned that Simon put her thru and not Melanie, and I have to say that even though he brought Melanie back, the show has already jumped the shark for me.

        • jpk says:

          Simone did a very good job with Help, Tiah is awful! In the introduction to the final 17… the camera kept doing closeups on her…all she did was pout it was laughable and not attractive. Hopefully she won’t last she is just not good enough.

    • darclyte says:

      Wow, I’m REALLY glad that I gave up on this series after Sunday’s episode.
      What a joke.
      My picks for the 16 to go to the Live Shows would be Tora, Melanie, Jazzlyn and Caitlyn for the gals under 30 (sorry to Drew & Rachel, they both need a few more years of vocal and performance training.) Brennin, Chris & Tim and either Skyelor or Marcus for the guys under 30. Brewer Boys, Stereo Hogzz, InTENsity, and 4Shore for the Groups. Josh, Leroy, Stacy and Elaine for the over 30s.
      They REALLY messed up with their picks.
      Laughable and sad.
      Caitlyn for me would have made it over Drew & Rachel because I think BOTH of them are too young. I’ve never been impressed by Drew, and I thought Rachel showed her age in the Top 32. Jazzlyn, for all her nervousness, nailed her audition. Caitlyn now got bumped by both Idol and XFactor within the same year (another girl, Emily, also got booted by both but she got cut after the Top 100.)
      I easily would have put Brennin, Tim or Skyelor over Brian the rapper.
      Lakoda Rayne?
      What a train wreck travesty joke this series has now officially become. Well, at least it frees up a bunch of time from my weekly schedule since I’ll no longer be watching.

      • Alex says:

        The nails on chalkboard Tiah, gone. The insanely whitebread Brewer Boys, gone. Would like to see InTENsity out the door, since I hated “Up With People” the first time around. Brian needs to go until he has the life experience and stones to walk like he talks. I like Josh’s voice but then, I always was a Bob Seger fan and don’t think we need a clone for now.

        Rachel Crow, on the other hand has shown more professional aplomb than many much older contestants. She’s always delivered with no blubbering and running mascara or forgotten words or nervous vocal tremors or artificial attitude or sweating. Proof that talent and professionalism know no age limits.

    • Adam Leonard says:

      He should have had to have cut one of his other 4 (his choice, of course) and they should have shown it on TV – not to hurt the loser but to show HIM owning up to his mistake and their being more meaningful consequences.

    • Pop Vulture says:

      I’m in the minority, I guess, but I love Tiah’s voice. I think with a little bit of control – and I don’t know if that’s the sort of thing that one can learn – she’ll be great. Her tone is beautiful, and I like her phrasing and her connection to the songs. I hope she lives up to her potential!

      • Diana says:

        I agree with you 100%. Everyone is bashing Tiah on every comment board and website about the X Factor. I love her! I think she has potential and with the right coaching she could be awesome. She is cool, sexy, sassy, and has a very attractive way about herself. Did you watch the end of the judges homes episode where they showed the top 17 all made up with make up and clothing for the live shows to come? Tiah looks absolutely beautiful. She looks like a real shining star. I don’t know why everyone is always dogging her. She has that X Factor! I hope she makes it far and if not maybe someone else will see her potential and sign her with a record deal. On the other hand I can’t stand Caitlyn Koch and I am so glad to see that she got the axe. I don’t like her voice at all or her red face. I don’t like her personality because she was mean to Tiah and Tiah made it to the live shows over her. Haa Haa! If Caitlyn got bumped off two separate talent shows two sets of judges can’t be wrong. I also think that Simone should never have made it to the top 100 or even boot camp for that matter. Her outfit on the judges homes episode was a bathing suit and a coverup. The other outfits were two pairs of shorts one denim and the other was red satin hot pants and they were pulled up so high on her waist. They looked so bad. She wants people to ask her to sign their babies. What??? She has too much confidence but absolutely no talent. She is too cocky and probably thinks she is too good and wouldn’t listen to a voice coach because she already thinks she has it all. WRONG! I wish some of her confidence would have rubbed off on Jazzlyn. I think Jazzlyn is awesome but needed someone to coach and/or mentor her and explain to her that she should not discuss her private emotions and fears with the entire world. She sounded like a fool already with the lack of confidence and her shaking hands. It was kind of cute the first time at the auditions when she said she was nervous because everyone was watching her but then she said she only had 500 hits on youtube and people don’t watch it because they don’t like her and after she put herself down she blew the judges and the whole audience away with Mary J. Blidge’s version of “I’m going down”. Right after she made a huge deal about being nervous that day her mother or father should have told her to never act like that again. They should have helped their daughter and given her the confidence she needs or at least pretend to have the confidence. I would have told my daughter that once was enough and maybe come up with a different schtick. She would have made it to the live shows and she deserved to make it but she was so foolish by telling the entire world that she was nervous and anxious. If she kept her big mouth shut no one would have even noticed that she was nervous because every single time she sings she nails it! She has an unbelievable voice but her with her confidence level being so low it only showed immaturity on her part and maybe next chance she gets someone like her parents should grow a brain and tell her not to open up her mouth and tell the world how nervous and scared she is to perform because no one would have even known. Once she watches herself on television she will kick herself after listening to how dumb she looks when she is shaking and telling everyone about the butterflies in her stomach. If she were my daughter I would have told her that if she feels nervous call me and only tell me! Don’t let them know how it makes you nervous. Hopefully this lesson was learned but at what cost? I truly feel that this is the only reason that she didn’t make it. Brian or Astro, Drew, and Rachel were so mature for their ages. It was so much more attractive and the judges felt that they were confident and could handle this competition better than Jazzlyn. That was a shame because Jazzlyn has so too much talent! Maybe someone outside of X Factor will sign her with a record deal and she will find a mentor who will show her how to act. X Factor made her look like a fool. I loved the rest of the girls but I was sad that Tora was not chosen. She was like a little rock star and had a very sweet way about her. As for the boys I liked all the picks Chris, Marcus, Brian, and Phillip. Phillip was the only questionable one but I wouldn’t have minded Tim Cifers instead because I can only take so much Frank Sinatra. He overplays that act too much. Now as to the over 30’s… loved Josh and Stacy the best. Leroy Bell is a nice guy but he won’t win because he’s too old and is just an o.k. singer at best. Dexter…what was that about? He was chosen for pitty and he took up a spot when they should have chosen either Elaine Gibbs or James Kenney but it doesn’t really bother me either way because neither or them will win anyways. And lastly, the groups. I liked The Stereo Hoggz or 4Shore (although they didn’t get picked) but Lakoda Rayne is a huge joke. I couldn’t even watch their audition at the judges homes in front of Paula. I was so embarrassed for them. Hopefully they will be gone by the first live show. Intensity were cute but the one girl Emily in Eusem should have been cut. She was not awesome at all. The group could have been cut to 5 or 6. They picked the two groups X Factor put together to show how great of an idea it was and that both teams were so well chosen that they both made it to the live shows. It doesn’t really matter who they picked because there is no way any group will make it anywhere anyway. Groups are not in right now. They want a solo artist to win (Nicole even mentioned that when she was telling who made it and who didn’t) and the groups were just there to entertain and give some people who would never really gotten this far. They are all pretty forgettable if you ask me.

        • Winslow says:

          The reason she is getting bashed is she’s not only annoying but many feel she doesn’t have the talent to get as far as she has.

          With training and proper mentoring perhaps she could be a diva, but at this point she’s cannon fodder and is now gone.

          Besides, the female judges LOATHED her, and that didn’t bode well. :-)

          • Winslow says:

            Sorry, was discussing Tiah in the above post in case anybody wonders who the mysterious “she” I mentioned was……

    • Louise says:

      As soon as Simon booted Jazzlyn. I turned the show off. What was he thinking? I hope someone scoops her up and gives her a record deal.

  2. Steph says:

    Drew had me firmly in her cheering section when she was standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and declared she wanted a crepe ‘really bad’. Her singing isn’t bad either ;)

  3. pbo says:

    I so enjoy reading you, but when we disagree we disagree catastrophically! I don’t get Drew. She has a mildly interesting tone, but you can hear that in most coffee houses. No phrasing, no dynamics, no range. Just keeping it real.

    • BrendaK says:

      Drew’s voice is far more beautiful and exciting than that of a coffeehouse singer. She also proves that vocal quality is far more important than range. Stacy belts it out, but hits sharp notes every time. Drew just sings from her heart, and it gives you chills.

      • Brittany says:

        Drew sounds like the lead singer of The Cranberries to me. Same tonal qualities for sure. She was a bit restrained with this song and delivered and very emotionally and pitch perfect vocal. I think she has a lot of potential to show her range and power with right song and in upcoming performances.

        • Shindig says:

          That sounds like a great way to put it! While I love The Cranberries, I suppose it’s an “accquired taste,” so to speak, but it really is great. It’s not just that she’s really good at singing, it’s how she sings songs in a way it isn’t normally done – and for a 14 year old, that’s not that easy.

  4. Davey says:

    Michael, I appreciate your recaps but the X-Factor just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m not wasting my time with this show. I don’t care for hardly any of these people. Most of the finalists for the boys and the groups are questionable. That poor show The Sing Offs is 10x more fun with intelligent judges.

    • Mark S says:

      I like X-Factor, but I am so with you on the Sing-Off. All you non-believers check out Pentatonix version of Video Killed the Radio Star from this week or Delilah’s version of Grenade from the first episode on Youtube or I would trade Ben Folds for Nicole as a judge anyday.

  5. Alejandro says:

    Caitling Koch not going thru was the one thing that got me so mad, one of the most talented girls in this show. Also Dexter over Elayne Gibbs is just insane. I think they put Dexter in for the Entertaintment value. Mr slezac are you going to do reviews in video form for this show? I sure hope so.

    • Kate says:

      NGL, I sobbed (in a good way) when Dexter was put through. Elaine was great, but she had no TV presence. I see why they didn’t pick her, although I would’ve taken her over Stacy. Woman drives me Bat-S crazy.

      • Shindig says:

        Don’t forget, they edit the show while knowing he is getting eliminated (!) – they gave her no personality! But I agree with you…Stacy, ugh. She sure does have a voice, you can’t deny that. She’s just extremely irritating. Is she a cousin twice removed of the Lusk family?

  6. Over it says:

    I took it off my DVR. That whole charade with Simon was a bit much. AND most importantly, Jazzlyn is gone.

    I am over hearing about the little brat’s bathroom and that rapper kid is so obnoxious I want to slap him. I can’t bare to watch this nonsense.

    I’ll read your reviews though… :)

    • @Over it says:

      Glad you “can’t bare to watch this”. Naked viewers adds a whole new meaning to X factor.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Only the “Under 30s” are allowed to be naked and watch X Factor. The rest of us are under orders to keep our clothes on or someone will call the National Guard!

      • Alex says:

        Well a naked contestant in the first show sure added “meaning” to X Factor. Why not viewers in the buff? Maybe they could make Paula run away gagging again! :-)

  7. RD says:

    I guess Elaine’s problem was she was too unassuming and not ‘in your’face’ enough. God knows,the world has to be ready for another James Brown/Jagger ripoff though,right?
    I wonder what Cheryl Cole would have done?

  8. FluffyKat says:

    you mean Nicole picked Dexter over the last female who was let go..(forgive me but I can not remember her name, the wedding singer).

    Dexter has no skills and if it is for publicity, then I hope they are doing that female they let go some well deserved record deal…

    Another thing, the girl in the white girl orange who he let go over the young black girl….so confused, hopefully she will be gone early as is the 13 y.o girl who he picked over the girl in Florida….this is going to be a mess…..

  9. Chris says:

    I think you have a typo in here, because you called Chris the strongest vocalist in the competition, and if that is not a typo then you need to stop being the voice behind the singing shows.

    • says:

      Haha, its definitely a typo. He meant its obvious he doesn’t have the strongest voice in the competition.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Good catch, Chris. Thanks for that!

      • laurirose says:

        Hey Michael,
        Another great review, but re: “strongest vocalist in the competition”, without a doubt that has to be JOSH KRAJCIK, imho.

        After his sublime version of “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, added to his brilliant audition performance of “At Last”, I don’t understand how you don’t have him at #1 in this list.

        I definitely like Drew & Melanie, but putting them (+ Leroy, Chris and seriously??, Brewer Bros.) over Josh is really misguided, again imho… Comparing all of their performances to Josh’s, none of them hold a candle to his.

        Next time would love some insightful comments from you about Josh, rather than silly notes about SPF & 2012 salary…

        Btw, I’d put him on the same level as some of our other mutual favorites, Haley Reinhart and Melinda Doolittle – and he’s also got major talent on both piano & guitar
        (any idea if X FACTOR will let them play instruments??)

  10. B.Rich says:

    Where would Caitlin and Elaine rank in the above list? I’d put Caitlin at 2 and Elaine at 3 right between Drew (1) and Melanie (4).

  11. Jason says:

    This show is ATROCIOUS! Only one person has star quality: Marcus… Melanie, however, should win. She’s a brilliant singer… After that, Stacey and Leroy are decent. Drew is another Taylor Swift, vomit, but she can sorta sing and the rest are dreaful.

    • Rock Golf says:

      I don’t intend to be mean, so I’ll put it like this: Melanie has a face that is tailor-made… for radio.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Simon! Is that you?

      • scrutinizer says:

        maybe melanie’s face and physique aren’t as “pretty” as simone’s, but she sure as hell can sing better than the rest of the competition. her tone/pitch/phrasing/range/control surpass all the others. i hope she doesn’t have the same problem in this competition that melinda doolittle had towards the end of her idol run….voters going with the prettier, “more marketable” image such as jordin sparks. not that jordin wasn’t deserving of a record deal, but melinda was, and still is, the consummate performer. i’m hoping america sees what i see in melanie…A STAR.

      • Sybil says:

        Actually, post-makeover pictures of Melanie are out, and she looks pretty good. She’s not as pretty as Simone, and not as busty as Tiah, but she can sing rings around them both. And not just “technically” — she’s got a real voice.

        The whole “I made a mistake” thing was so artificial and phony. This show is like a photo shoot of food: it looks great, but has no taste.

      • @Rock Golf says:

        So if it were up to you, Aretha Franklin would be waiting tables.

    • JohnDoe says:

      I’m guessing you think that American Idol the last few seasons has just been filled with talent, amirite?

      • Halie says:

        It has been-Pia, Crystal, Haley, Scotty, Siobhan, Casey, Lauren, just to name a few.

      • Shindig says:

        Not to burst your bubble, but last season of Idol had some of the best singers (thanks to finally having a little more diversity) than it has in a while. Not to say it’s jam packed, but to be honest the vocals they’ve been showing on X-Factor are soooooo overproduced. EVERYthing sounds like it was studio recorded. At least on Idol they try to make it look less like that >_>

  12. Frankie says:

    Up through the Judges homes episodes, X factor hasn’t done anything different than any other TV talent show. So I was hoping that with the top 16 picks, that would be the break through I needed to see really good singers compete. But O-M-Frickin-G! When I saw LA pick that little Bratty Brian over Tim or the Hunt guy, I thought, “oh here we go, I’m done!”. I expected to see one of the Producer’s Pet Project groups make it through, but both of them when other groups were a lot better. Come ON!! Oh, but the kicker was picking Dexter over Elaine!! You’ve got to be kidding me. I just couldn’t believe. Then I was hoping Tiah was the one that everyone thought he’d say yes to, but said no. I wasn’t surprised, he fought to hard for her to let her go, no matter how much more talented Caitlyn was. WHATEVER! Then the Melanie fake out, why? If the purpose was to add more drama, that’s not what happened. The manipulation was just disappointing, because after 10 years of this on American Idol, I expected Simon to be better and smarter than this. Guess I was wrong. Good thing I still have the Sing Off for a show without all the fake producer fluff, were contestants make it through based more on their talent and not their back story.

    And yes Micheal, I too was hoping that the fake out meant all the judges got to bring someone back and that Elaine would be one of them.

  13. Jerry says:

    More than 75% of the remaining contestants I don’t really like. I hope the live shows are interesting enough to keep me watching.

    On another note, if this show comes back next year (and it most likely will), they need to clean the fat out of the audition/boot camp/judges houses episodes, because HOLY CRAP. The recaps of recaps of recaps. Every time we come back from a commercial we don’t need to know who is mentoring who and where! We don’t need to go through each contestant’s life story, audition, and boot camp when they sing for the judge, and then all of that PLUS singing for the judge when they are kicking people off! Painful stuff. But they, it sells ads. Sigh.

    My 30 second DVR skip button got used A LOT.

    • Jerry says:

      Just to comment on the singers, the fact that the little boy rapper and the little girl made it through is terrible (no, I don’t know names. They don’t register until we are doing live shows because my brain can’t handle all the useless information).

      When Simon asked the little girl if she plans on doing singing her entire life and she said yes he should of said “Good, now go grow up some and come back”. Ugh.

      And the little rapper boy. I mean really? He won’t last long. Way too cocky.

  14. Michelle says:

    I tried really hard to like Nicole — I honestly did. I came to X-Factor prepared to overlook her pussy-cat-doll-ness and the fact that she wasn’t Cheryl. She lost ground when she decided to act like a spoiled toddler during the audition rounds, but gained much of it back with what I thought were interesting, off-the-beaten-path song choices for many of her contestants…But it’s game over now. She lost me forever when she put through Dexter, i.e. X-Factor’s answer to General “Pants on the Ground” Larry Platt, over anyone else in her category…and she moved directly to the top of my hit list when she passed on Elaine, who had the best voice in the whole damn crew, for my money. Perhaps Nicole was hamstrung by the fact that her star vocalist was decidedly lacking in the crazy. I guess when evaluating the potential success of her group members, she asked herself which ones the average person would be willing to spend more than 30 seconds with and promptly cut them (LeRoy notwithstanding). It doesn’t really matter what her “rationale” may have been — Nicole sucks and singlehandedly wiped out at least five per cent of the fun for me!
    I’m not feeling some of L.A.’s picks either. Astro’s advancement feels like an attempt to make sure people know X-Factor is different from Idol. “Look, Mommy, we don’t always put singers through!” And passing on Brennan is a big mistake — dude has vocal chops and decided song-writing abilities! Much love to Marcus, though. And thank the freaking lord and all his beard-trimmers that Melanie got back in the game somehow! As long as she and Drew are around, I’m on board.

    • Noah says:

      I think that Nicole picked her four with herself in mind:
      No’s- Christa Collins: Last pretty one that’s talented and too close to my age. Plus, Enrique really likes her. Not on my watch!
      Tiger- Saying no to him, gives me the opportunity to work my “that breaks my heart” monologue.
      James Kenney and Elaine Gibbs: Sorry, but I had my final four picked (and chosen for me) as soon as I heard what category I had.

      Yes’- Leroy Bell- I think I can keep him in line and hog screentime.
      Dexter Haygood- I’ll show Paula who can cry better for this guy.
      Stacy Frances and Josh Krijek- I push them through and Cheryl Cole goes home, right Simon?

      The Girls’ category breathed a collective sigh of relief when they found out that Nicole wasn’t their mentor, otherwise a threatened Nicole might have had no finalists from her camp…

  15. lee says:

    i think youre being a bit hard on inTENsity. i gave a side eye when they were first formed and thought it was too much members and gimmicky, but i think they probably had the best group performance from the judges house round. i think it wouldve done them a service to cut out 2 of the girls who had no solos, but i could see a market for them. theyre glee-esque. theyre more on trend with todays music scene than any of the other groups, which just come off to me as 90s retread.

    and i think marcus canty should be higher on the list. i didnt really pay him attention before the judges round, but his last performance could really see him going far in this competition. i think he could do well in todays music scene with the right material and guidance.

    still, my favorite is drew. her singing is unreal for a 14 year old. she can emotionally connect to a song in a way that rachel crow cant yet.

    • Tim says:

      InTENsity’s going to have a great future. Look for them next year at a theme park near you.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        As someone that grew up on Joplin, Hendrix, Zeppelin, the Stones, and The Partridge Family (made you look!), clearly Intensity is NOT my thing; however, I have much younger siblings with young children and Intensity is just the thing you’d see on Disney, Nickelodeon, and some of those other kiddie channels. Believe me, I’ve suffered through plenty of those programs. I’m kind of hoping Paula carves out a future for them in children’s television simply because everyone else made such crappy choices.

    • Ang says:

      I totally agree with you about inTENsity. I, too, gave a side eye but actually found myself nodding along as they performed. I see them as a Disney/kidsbop/glee club. I think they hit their target audience perfectly.

    • Alex says:

      You’re correct. inTENsity is not a “90s retread”… they’re a 60s retread. Ever heard of “Up With People”?

  16. lee says:

    and nicole irritates me to no end, but i actually dont think she had anything to do with her picks. they seem the most obvious choices that producers would want, given how much airtime the 4 have got compared to the 4 that were cut. shes just playing her part, but i dont think they would leave it up to her to pick any of them.

  17. solanjoe says:

    The most interesting and exciting of the contestants is, of course,
    Rachel Crow. What are her chances? If Rachel continues to choose appropriate songs and perform them as only she can, she will win the competition.Here is why: this girl can be funny and serious; she connects easily and magically with the audience; her emotional expressiveness is phenomenal; great and special voice; irresistable and good natured personality. All those make her the most likable and popular of all the contestants. Did I forget something? Oh yes:
    the youngest in the competition- and the most gifted.

    • Kate says:

      Rachel will most definitely be this season of X-Factor’s Susan Boyle/Adam Lambert/David Archuletta. They’re pushing her down viewers’ throats way, way too hard, and the edit she’s getting makes her seem far too precocious to be likeable. I think people will much prefer Drew’s brand of modesty and Rachel will have virtually no chance of winning.

      • Rock Golf says:

        You may have intended it as an insult, but all 3 acts you mention finished second overall, and two (Boyle, Lambert) have had spectacularly more successful careers than the actual winners. Archuletta may have completed the sweep, I don’t know.

        • Kate says:

          Seeing as I am the world’s most embarrassing Adam stan in the world, I clearly didn’t mean it as an insult, just an observation. The producers of shows like these don’t seem to understand how to sway an audience without insulting or alienating it, and unfortunately, Rachel is probably going to fall victim to that.

      • Fernando says:

        I don’t understand why everyone is calling Rachel “precocious.” She’s 14. In what way is she acting more mature than her age?

        • Kate says:

          I don’t know how many 14-year-olds you spend time with regularly, but I’ve never seen one talk like her. The things she says almost always sound rehearsed and disingenuous (for example, I’ve never seen a 14-year-old say something along the lines of “I’m very fortunate that I have this opportunity,” instead of, more simply, “I’m lucky to be here.” Of course, Rachel could just be way smarter/more well-spoken than your average 14-year-old, but I call BS/stage-mom meddling).

        • Shindig says:

          Because she’s about as clearly rehearsed as Shirley Temple. And looks the part, too! I honestly feel like someone so young should be told, “you’re very good now, but if you go home for another year of training you will be phenomenal when we come around again”

  18. Rock Golf says:

    Of the best 8 girls in the contest, 3 will NOT be going to the Live shows.
    Yet of the runners-up to that group, at least 9 will be going to the Live show as members of the synthetic “group acts”. (4 in Lakota Rayne, 5 or so in Intensity.)
    You’re odds of getting to the Live shows are better if you are rejected just before going to Judges’ Houses.

  19. Jon says:

    I have disagreed with selections on Idol many times but never so many times in one season as this X-Factor. Nicole is pretty, but does not have the eye. Simon was right, he had to make a lot of tough decisions in easily the hardest cat. LA Reid just flat out went with his box and comfort zone. Paula….was Paula. My overall group ranks:
    1) Simon
    2) Nicole (despite picking Dexter)
    3) Paula
    4) LA Reid

    And I dont know what world you are living in Michael, but Chris Rene best voice? HA. Also, how Rachel gets in I have no idea…she looks pissed off everytime she sings. Must be thinking about the bathroom.

  20. darcy's evil twin says:

    I pretty much agree with most of Mr. Slezak’s list but I’m not wild about Leroy Bell. It’s personal choice – his voice reminds me too much of Michael Bolton’s. I did not realize Elaine Gibbs is almost as old as I am – which doesn’t explain Leroy being chosen and not Elaine, as he is even older than Elaine. WTH????? She had wonderful vocals.

    I hope that little obnoxious “Astro” rapper kid and the almost equally obnoxious Rachel Crow leave ASAP – Rachel can star in the all-black remake of “Annie” (hey, they did it with “The Wiz”). “Astro” can play Sandy the Dog. Good riddance!

    Honestly, I’d like to see Paula win this whole thing with the Brewer Boys, simply because she was the only one I believe chose the best acts. And perhaps it’s my “schadenfreude” showing through but I’d just about give my right arm to watch Lakota Rayne mop the floor with Nicole, Simon, and L.A.’s ridiculous choices. “Hit ’em Up Style” – right upside the ego!

    Simon will push Drew (although I rather like her) because he’s been looking for the next Taylor Swift.
    And finally, one of you Brits is going to have to tell me who Jedward is.

  21. joetheblunder says:

    Each judge missed one person not just Simon.
    They all should have had one call back……except Nicole….the chauffeur doesn’t cry or sing.

  22. joetheblunder says:

    Caitlin Koch…get that recording contract…. I will buy your music tomorrow….the next Carole King….incredible.

    • Kate says:

      I’m quite obviously in the minority here, but I found Caitlin’s voice to be a bit unremarkable and I thought her personality bordered on unlikeable. In shows like these, it’s not always about the voice, we must remember; it’s about the total package. As evidence, I thought that white dude sang “Russian Roulette” better than Rihanna, but there’s a reason Rihanna is the famous one. With this in mind, I see why Simon took people like Simone and Tiah (although I quite like Tiah).

      Also, I thought James Durbin’s version of that Carole King song was about a zillion times better than Caitlin’s and maybe that’s why I was so unimpressed by her.

  23. lo says:

    I will say…I did like most of the their choices. My problem in the girls category was picking simone instead of jazzlyn little who i thought was amazing. Seeing her transform herself when she sang was incredible to me for someone so shy. In LA Reid’s case seriously Phillip Lomax instead of Brennan crazy!!! Nicole I would have said Elaine instead of Dexter even though I don’t dislike him but she is was a lot better. And Paula well I don’t get her. I would have taken the Anser, instead of the 4 girls!! and probably 4shore instead of Stereo Hogzz. But who knows what she was thinking. Its my least favorite category anyway . We’ll see how the live shows go. And I’m loving the Xfactor!

  24. Yuckfactor says:

    I was hoping Melanie or her parents had the balls to tell Simon to go “Factor” himself. I was secretly hoping he’d show up and they’d be entertaining Ryan Secrest in their living room when he showed up. She’s the only reason I’m still watching. Simon averted a disaster – fake or not. If fake, screw him for putting a decent 19 year old through that manipulation. Bad karma.

    • scrutinizer says:

      i agree 100%…read my earlier reply to someone else above regarding melanie. she is DEFINITELY the only reason i’ll watch. and if she’s voted off i’ll delete it from my pvr. and no, i’m not a personal friend or family member…just a judge of REAL talent ;)

      • vicki says:

        Agree completely. The second Simon told Melanie no, I switched the channel. I didn’t even realize he went back for her til I read it on a website the next day. At this point I don’t care that he went back and got her, I’m tired of being manipulated, and won’t be watching again. I gave it a chance, but there’s nothing new about this. I expected so much more. If they’d just play it straight, it would be a much better show. Also, I can’t stand Nicole, bring back Cheryl – she was charming. And how they put through that rapper kid I’ll never know. He’s obnoxious and unlikable and definitely not talented. This show has taken up enough of my time. I hope Melanie ends up having a very successful career, but I won’t be watching.

  25. Damon says:

    to me Jazzlyn had money written all over her. I was shocked Simon let that go.

  26. DookDood says:

    Only 94 days until American Idol returns!

    • Rock Golf says:

      That’s about 13 weeks.

      So there’s going to have to be weeks where more than 1 contestant is dropped. I suspect they’ll all perform next Wednesday, then each Judge will drop one act on Thursday with no public input.

    • JohnDoe says:

      There is more talent in just a few of the singers on this show than the last 5 seasons of AI combines. Fact. I’m right, you’re wrong, get over it.

      • Julie says:

        Hi Simon.

        How does it feel to only get half of idol’s ratings still?

        And you are wrong. Just sayin.’ Only Melanie and Drew could give the idol contestants from the last 5 seasons a run for their money. Melinda Doolittle can crush most of these contestants. Pia can outsing them all and is onpar with Melanie. Haley has more passion than most of them and is onpar with Drew.

        What will you be saying if Season 11 of idol is the most talented season by far? You will have to eat your words…IMO Season 10 idol > Season 1 X factor.

  27. Luna Maya says:

    wth Simon sees in Tiah? He’s the only one who always fight for her while the others don’t.
    Caitlin should have won over her!!

  28. R Truth says:

    I think this might have been a more interesting contest if they’d been honest and just broke the categories into what they’re really basing the final 16 on: Teens, Good Black acts, Good White Acts and Sob Stories.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Made me laugh! :-)
      And STILL we have no Asian singers!

    • Luna Maya says:

      Sob stories would be Chris (love him tho), Stacey (why put on so much mascara if you are gonna cry all the time??)),Dexter (duh!), and the 59 years old guy who doesn’t want to retire :D:D:D

    • Kate says:


      It’s so true about the black acts. You could see the producers being like, “Okay, we only can put through one of these all-guy black groups, and even though vocally they both blow all the other groups out of the water, we only can put one of them through.”

  29. monleo says:

    REALLY PSYCHED up for the live shows now!! Can’t wait to watch Chris perform, you are right Slezak! He’s a compelling performer, with an individual style. Imagine him with all the production and back up dancers and stuff on stage, he will go far…

    But i’m also overjoyed about Melanie! That girl deserves to be in… SO here’s hoping to a Melanie Vs Chris Top 2!

  30. jazzy says:

    I think what everyone’s forgetting here is that most of the acts who made it to the top 32 were all very talented, certainly more talented than Idol’s top 10. SO, there are going to be disappointing cuts and it IS subjective. I predict that each judge will get a “regret” pick, there will be a top 20 and the cuts will be made in larger numbers. If that’s the case I predict Brennin and Elaine will be back.

    Slezak, don’t discount Chris Rene for the win, there is something about him.

  31. emma says:

    Why did Tora go? She had the best audition, in my opinion, she’s a spectacular preformer! Aside from Drew and Rachel (who is getting on my nerves right now) I hate the contestants in the girls category-oh, wait! Then there’s Melanie, who has an amazing voice but lacks charisma, in my opinion. I just see her turning out to be an American Leona Lewis. As for groups, Stereo Hogzz were the best, I really have no idea why the rest got in. The Brewer Boys? Ugh! They’ll be the first to leave, hopefully, because their awkward harmonizing really doesn’t scream ‘superstar’ to me. I’m not even going to talk about the over 30s, but I predict Dexter won’t last very long. Why did Brennin leave? He had an amazing voice! But thank god for Marcus, he’s easily the most likable in the competition so far. And this Philip guy? I don’t even remember his audition! Who is he? Very forgettable!
    And as for Tiah and Simone…I really, really want to like Simone, because I think she might have a chance at this competition, she has the ambition. Maybe it’s how the show is trying to portray her, but ugh- I just want her to switch with Tora, and then Tiah can switch with Caitlin and all will be good! If only the girls were put in Nicole’s group, then we may have a good selection of Over-30s and Tiah and Simone would’ve been given the boot. Simon was the ONLY one who wanted to keep them after bootcamp.

  32. BrendaK says:

    Drew is head and shoulders above the others. If she doesn’t win this, it will be a total injustice. I can’t stop thinking about her performance at Simon’s villa. Melanie is a close second. Whether her initial ouster was staged or not, it should not have happened. Simon should have put her through right away, and Melanie should have gone home from France happy.

    • Alex says:

      Drew is a yodeler and her breaking voice is as annoying as breaking glass. But never fear. She’ll go far because she is a bit unique. If she wins it’ll be a travesty though.

  33. MickyDtroi says:

    U guys know how the judges make it sound like they’re not gonna send the person thru, before actually telling them they made it thru. (i.e. you weren’t the best. i dont know how much u want it). I get how simon and LA did it. but nicole had to have taken acting lessons. i wasnt expecting anything more than yes or no. None of this “i’m not sure. I had to make a decision…”. still not sure why shes on the show. someone made a good comment on what would cheryl have done. WWCD!!! also slezak, your comments on amaro…is cyclical even a real word?!

  34. blingedup.susan says:

    I only thought Kara and Randy were the most annoying judges ever. Enter Nicole. OMG! What a ditz. How she possibly selected DEXTER over James Kenney? Is that a joke? And to choose Elaine over Stacy — ridiculous!

    Major dissapointments — Nicole’s lack of judging ability, loss of James Kenney, loss of Elaine, no Caitlin, and no Jazzlyn. But after reading the spoilers, things could have been far worse.

    And I also don’t care if Simon planned the Melanie thing earlier or not — that was some enjoyable television right there!!

    • Kate says:

      I had the exact same thought last night — I thought Kara was bad, but Nicole… She’s just so disingenuous. Granted, she did get the worst category because I’d be hard pressed to believe she’ll even have an act remaining when there are five people left, but still. Put up a little more of a fight.

  35. Gil says:

    HALEY REINHART blows this X-Factor field away! Obviously, based on the talent pool at X-Factor, HALEY picked the wrong show.

    What’s your take Michael?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      This isn’t Michael but Simon would have cut Haley right along with Caitlyn and Jazzlyn.

      • gil says:

        @evil twin.. Simon IS so hard to understand, especially if you consider Leona Lewis? How the hell did she ever win? A LL concert is the ultimate cure for insomnia!

        As I said, the diverse, multi-talented HALEY walks right through this competition imho!

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh, I positively loved Haley. But I’m not sure Simon would have loved her. And I agree about Leona Lewis – ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…..

        • Gil King says:

          @Kat….HALEY has grown leaps and bounds since she couldn’t get past Simon in AI season #9.

          @Julie… Sioban Magnus would also simply torch this X-Factor field!

        • @gil says:

          Simon picks girls based on how happy they make his little head, not based on talent. He has always seemed to date darker skinned, dark haired girls. Thus, Simone and Tiah.

      • Ben says:

        Haley at the start of AI10 might have been cut, Haley by the end wouldn’t have been.

        But Simon recognises that kind of growth opportunity. The fact Simone and Tiah got through is evidence that Haley might have, in my view.

        But Haley was far better off on idol. She got to 3, I don’t know why people see that as picking the wrong show? If more than 1 had gone each week on Idol, Haley would have gone week 1… and more than 1 are going each week on X Factor. So I think she absolutely picked the right show.

        Caitlyn and Jazzlyn were the right 2 to cut. Jazzlyn simply isn’t ready for being a star – vocally yes, but she needs to grow her confidence in herself before she will be bale to make it. Can you imagine what a post x factor failure would do to her with her current confidence?

        Caitlyn was just (dare I say it) dull. As dull as Kendra Chantelle. There, I said it! There is a reason these unmemorable blondes that Michael is so fond of never get anywhere… most people find them dull! I can’t fault her vocals, and being a New Zealander I LOVE the fact that she is rugby coach and would get behind her on that alone. But she would have gone week 1 or 2, no question, because these shows are about more than pure vocals.

      • Kate says:

        Totally disagree. Everyone knows Simon is a legs guy. Haley would’ve sailed through.

      • Shindig says:

        heheh, Haley and Jazzy-lynn in the same sentence

    • Julie says:

      Melinda Doolittle and Pia Toscano can also blow most of them away.

  36. ana says:

    I would love if LA had chosen Brennin instead of Philip, specially if Brennin could do a duet with Kendra on the X Factor stage! That would be awesome.

  37. XYZ Factor says:

    Without Melanie, the show would have lost its luster for me, and I’d have stopped watching. She can sing anything, the right songs, and she’s a pop star. I do think there’s a lot of talent, but if Simon’s “MISTAKE” was allowed to stand, it would have been a travesty. I like Drew, a lot, but I want to see what she can do week-in and week-out. That’s where I think Melanie will outshine her.

    Give Rachel Crow a Disney Show! She’s got the personality and can sing. That’s where she belongs at age 13! She’s even too sweet for Nickelodeon.

    I don’t agree with that boy group at #3. I don’t think any groups will make it to the top 8.

    Overall I think the talent is wayyyyy better than any season of Idol that I can think of. (but p.s., I’m NOT AT ALL a Haley Reinhart fan, she grates on my every last nerve!!)

  38. Beth T says:

    “Lakota Rayne (Groups): Expecting an injunction from the Lakota Nation in 5, 4, 3, 2…”
    Which probably has something to do with why they spelled it “Lakoda” (with a D);)

    Most comments have already siad what I would have. Leroy is the person I’m most interested in. Can’t beleive Dexter (or Stacey for that matter) were picked over Elaine. o reven James. Sorry Jazzlyn and Tora are gone. Have had too much already of Rachele and Brian-the-attitude.

    Really don’t care much about this show. Good thing I have to DVR it anyway and can fast forward.

  39. Justin says:

    You put the friggin Brewer boys over Stacy Francis? That woman’s version of Purple Rain blew my mind and had me in chills for like 15 minutes.

    • Ben says:

      Totally with Slezak on this one. The Brewer Boys have a certain commercial appeal. I’m surprised at one thing though – Brewer Boys at 3 InTENsity at 14… these two are going for a similar market, I expect both to do well or flop, depending on the voting demos.

      • Justin says:

        I’d place bets on the world ending over placing bets on any sort of success for Intensity. This group is a joke. Ten people in the same group is never ever going to work in today’s music industry. These people are dreaming if they think something will come of this.

  40. Isaac says:

    I’m having nightmares of the Brewer Boys winning. If the same hordes of viewers that voted Scotty the American Idol vote for them… ugh! Here’s hoping X-Factor has better voting mechanics in place like The Voice which limit power voting.

    Drew FTW! Please!

  41. Elaine says:

    Caitlin over Tiah
    Jazzlyn over Simone
    Elaine over Dexter for God’s sake!

    XFactor Prayer:
    Dear God: Let Simon come to his senses next season, swallow his pride, admit he was wrong and BRING CHERYL COLE BCK!! Heck I only saw her on XF usa, but those few short appearances were enough to convince me she would have been a great judge.

    I love Melanie and think either she or Drew will take it all.

    Looking forward to the live shows and stillgrateful fo rthe FF button if they keep all thae damn stories repetittions…. and for FF through Simone and Tiah’s performances (I’ll give 30 seconds.. that’s it)

    Please XF producers – kill thebackstories. NO MORE TEARS! jEEZ ENUFF ALREADY.

  42. Elaine says:

    (So I don’t have to google it)…. anyone out there can ls explain how the voting/live shows run in the UK? What’s with the wild card? (could my dream come true and Elaine come back to usS?)

    • Elaine says:

      I gave in. I googled it. Interesting concepts.

    • BrendaK says:

      There was a Wild Card on last season’s UK X Factor, but I don’t think there will be one on the American version, at least not this season, since there are already 17 acts from the UK version’s original 12 (It became 16 with the Wild Cards). The voting works exactly like American Idol, but where it’s different is the Bottom 2 do a sing-off, and each judge picks which one should go home. If the judges’ votes are split, it goes to Deadlock, and the contestant with the lowest number of votes goes home.

    • Rock Golf says:

      The other big difference is that calls are NOT toll free. You have to pay for each vote.

    • dustin says:

      All your dreams and prayers are coming true next episode.

  43. Kelsey says:

    Did you know…

    -That the prize is $5 million?
    -That Rachel needs her own bathroom?
    -Drew loves Justin Bieber?
    -Stacy’s ex husband was a jerk?

    I didn’t…

    • Mark S says:

      I also didn’t know Coldplay has an obsession to fix Chris Rene.

    • Kate says:

      I also didn’t know that Dexter was on skid row, Simone forgot her lyrics and that scary girl who looks like she’s going to eat you with her eyes was DISNEY’S FIRST EVER CHILD SOLO ARTIST!!! (Whatever the eff that means… Does that just mean you weren’t good enough to be on The Mickey Mouse Club??)

  44. Davey says:

    Astro epitomizes everything that is wrong with this show.

  45. peb says:

    Watched every year of American Idol, and pretty much every singing competition on TV. The worst mistake ever made was eliminating Caitlin. She was able to sing live to just acoustic guitar & piano, while most of the others needed full blown arrangements with backup singers to support or even hide their voices. You may remember the clip of Simon during the first season of American Idol saying “I’m not sure I like that girl” during the Hollywood rounds. He was talking about Kelly Clarkson. Years later Simon would say Kelly was the best of the Idol winners. If there’s any way to get Caitlin on American Idol this season, it would be a great addition. She may or may not be the best one they’ll find, but she certainly showed she deserved to be given a chance on the live shows.

    • the voice says:

      Actually, I see Caitlin best as a contestant for “The Voice”. Imagine the judges facing backwards, that smoky voice and awesome phrasing begins, a judge presses his button and turns around, and his face lights up when he sees this interestingly beautiful woman. Meanwhile backstage the family explains to the host that she’s a rugby coach, and they flash pics of her wrestling in the mud.
      It just couldn’t get any better. ;)
      Plus, that kind of voice doesn’t need theme weeks. It just needs to show off what it does best, accompanied by a live arrangement. The Voice is the best show for that.

  46. Geo says:

    SO glad somebody else likes the Brewer Boys. Saw them twice live in audition rounds, and while they lost it after Boot Camp, they have something truly special when given time to prepare: A lovely Bluegrass-Meets-Everly vibe that I think could really inform the “old is new” thing we have going on in music right now.

    I think the producers were pushing Rachel to talk about the house and bathroom. Was at the initial audition, and her declaration that she wanted her own bathroom seemed normal for a girl her age and almost humble. Most were saying they wanted to save the world, she said she wanted her own space. Since then, though, it seems Simon thinks that’s a winner and wants her to elaborate every single time.

    I saw him pushing lots of people to “be more selfish” in what they wanted from the show, during those intial audition rounds.

  47. Geo says:

    Also LOVE STeve Jones. Handsome and so sweet, and funny… on his British shows. Hoepfully they allow him to loosen up a bit. Drool-worthy, for sure, and now he needs to be smile-worthy.

  48. Cristal says:

    Horizontal stripes, no? Vertical= jailhouse.

  49. karenb says:

    Totally agree with your Top 5 prediction, Slezak. And I only pray to the X-Factor gods to rid us of that Lakoda Rayne Hot Mess. But I worry! What if they freakin pull it off?? I would not be the least bit surprised-I think the X Factor is trying to be as different from Idol as possible. The show has axed off every good looking guy, so I think the show wants 1) a female and what could be better than one female, but 2) a group of females. Please tell me I’m wrong. I don’t think I could stand them going all the way to the end.

  50. donna says:

    You might also have missed that the contestants were split into 4 groups and a judge was assigned to mentor each one..this explanation occurs every 30 seconds. Also, Dexter once was homeless in case you missed it and Josh is a burrito maker (just so everyone is clear).