The X Factor Recap: God and Monsters [Updated]

jeffrey adam gutt x factorAs just about any reality-show contestant will tell you, God maintains an encyclopedic knowledge of/a keen rooting interest in the outcome of everything from Big Brother to RuPaul’s Drag Race to The X Factor.

Thursday night’s installment of the last-named of those shows put an exclamation point on this fact, as lightning, heavy winds, and torrential downpours contributed to a power outage that put the kibosh on a brutal batch of auditions from Greensboro, NC. (All together now: “Thaaaaank God!”)

Sometimes, though, you don’t need divine intervention — especially not when you’ve got a mom who won’t indulge your tantrums and continues to fire her guns of harsh truth even in the face of nationally televised humiliation. Take the case of striking hairstylist Krysten Colon, who saw her audition to Adele’s “Don’t You Remember” get cut short by Simon, who wanted her to pick a song with a stronger melody, then come back later to audition again. Krysten came off as likable enough, the kind of hard-working beauty with TV-ready sound bites like “I finally have the confidence to share what I hear in the shower.”

Apparently, though, the acoustics in Krysten’s shower are more forgiving than those in an arena setting: Her second attempt at making it to Boot Camp — Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” — showed a grasp of pitch as tenuous as a rockclimber with sweaty palms. When Britney Spears makes her “sucking on a lemon” face, you know you’re done. But when Krysten went into a full-fledged “But I’m really pretty! And I’m supposed to be a superstar!” hissy fit, complete with water bottles thrown into cameras and folding chairs raised in anger, Mama Colon dropped a line that should be mounted on a plaque and handed out to every rejected reality show contestant with a raging sense of entitlement: “Nobody promised her four yeses.”

Can I get an amen?

Anyhow, without any further ado, let’s get down to the business of ranking the three latest singers — yes, we only got three good auditions in the course of an hour — headed to Boot Camp, and then placing them in a larger context alongside the other successful auditioners from the first three nights of X Factor Auditions:

3) Willie Jones: Josh Turner’s “Your Man” | The judges seemed almost unnaturally shocked to hear a black teenager with Kid ‘N Play hair breaking out the “baby lock them doors” chorus that began Scotty McCreery’s rise to country stardom. But come on, it’s 2012, and music is universal, no? I loved Willie’s stunned/bemused expression when the audience went nuts for him, but while Simon went over the top with his praise — “this is a day to remember” — I thought Willie’s voice was more solid than spectacular.

2) Julia Bullock: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” | Julia got the whole “my ex-boyfriend/current bandmate isn’t happy to see me auditioning” backstory, and I’d say it was worth it just to set up Simon’s punch line that her moment on The X Factor stage was the equivalent of the dreaded “just friends” speech. Julia had some charisma and an appealing hitch to her voice, but I’m not entirely convinced she’s unique enough to make it past Boot Camp.

1) Jeffrey Adam Gutt: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” | Single dad with adorable son right out of central casting displayed a Neil Diamond-ish quality on the opening verse of a song that needs to be immediately retired from reality singing competitions, then opened it up into a full rock wail. Dude has major-league vocal control, and if he can conjure up the swagger to match it, might be an actual Season 2 contender. Oh, and when thunder clapped overhead during the critique, Demi Lovato scored her best zinger of the season: “God’s even rocking out right now.”

25) Quatrele Da’an Smith: Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”
24) Normani Hamilton: Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”
23) Brandon Hassan: Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble”
22) Reed Deming: Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
21) Jeremiah & Josh: an original track called “Now Life Starts”
20) Vino Alan: Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble”
19) CeCe Frey: Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man”
18) Willie Jones: Josh Turner’s “Your Man”
17) Rizzloe Jones: Freestyle rap using the phrases “X Factor” and “marshmallow”
16) Johnny Maxwell: an original track called “Do It Big”
15) Paige Thomas: Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down”
14) Julia Bullock: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”
13) Tate Stevens: Randy Houser’s “Anything Goes”
12) Citizen: En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love)”
11) Ally Brooke: Jaci Velasquez’s “On My Knees”
10) Emblem3: an original track called “Sunset Boulevard”
9) Carly Rose Soneclar: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”
8) Jillian Jensen: Jessie J’s “Who You Are”
7) Diamond White: James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
6) Panda Ross: Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me”
5) Jason Brock: Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”
4) Jeffrey Adam Gutt: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”
3) Janell Garcia: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Paris (Ooh La La)”
2) Jessica Espinoza: Pink’s “Nobody Knows”
1) Sister C: Pistol Annies’ “Hell on Heels”

Who were your favorites from The X Factor‘s fourth episode of Season 2? Were there any moments that made you cringe? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. Nunfar's Dance of Shame says:

    36 is too old to start afresh in the rock industry, especially with the void of support SycoTV provides to contestant. Good luck if you win Aged Rock Dad trying to get a fanbase up with no tour backing, no media presence and no buzz after your unlikely win.

    Also, I dont need the “I aint seen MAH SON!” teary montage running overtime again this season. Suck it up rock-dads and minstrel-dads and soul-dads. These diva-dads get all weepy at the drop of a hat. Acting like they are submarine-crew-dads or astronaut dads. thats isolation from family.

    Bah. Show is crap. I’m only watching so I can enjoy Reality Check and the triumberate recaps of Slezak, Anne Barrett and Dave Holmes.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh honey if only you knew the backing this man has behind him. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge. Hell of a set of pipes on this one.

    • TheBeach says:

      I thought this guy was good and he and Vino may battle it out for the Josh Krasjik (sp?) fandom this year. Both will be in the Over-30s and each one has that soulful, raspy yet on pitch voice. Could be interesting. Jeff is better looking than Vino but Josh proved that wasn’t much of a consideration. Count me in on being tired of all these back-stories. Just show me the singing.

    • Alex says:

      I thought Jeffrey was all right but not excellent. Maybe he’ll be better next time.

  2. forwarddad says:

    Slezak I knew immediately that you would dismiss Willie Jones. It’s par for the course. He was fresh, humble and fairly talented. But apparently if you don’t have quirk he is bottom ofbyour list – smdh.

    • ktbanks says:

      The thing with Willie Jones is I think there is a good voice in there. However, that song wasn’t the right song for him. The low notes that song requires didn’t sound like they sit well in his range, as he was off key/growly on quite a few of them. However, the higher parts of the song he sounded pretty good. I love that he does country music, but going forward he needs to pick songs that suit his vocal range.

      • TheBeach says:

        I agree with you. While I’m not a Scotty fan, his voice was comfortable in those bass notes while Willie’s were a little sketchy. I do think he has a good voice. He’s a good-looking guy with lots of charisma and if mentored correctly could go far.

      • FreeHaley says:

        IDK, when Scotty sang it it sounded like some weird country parody, many people in my area at least, thought he’d be the first person voted off hah and that he was their picked silly character for the year. This guy had charisma and stage presence and wasn’t doing all sorts of goofy ahh looky here ahh looky there nonsense and made me almost kind of like it (which says a lot, coming from me he doesn’t really like that sort of music).

    • Alex says:

      Willie was okay. He deserved to get through, but he was NOT great.

  3. FreeHaley says:

    Hah gotta love Britney’s faces. And they seem to be showing a lot better talent overall than the first week. For all the trashing the panel got when it was announced by so many, well guess what, we might finally have a panel that might actually be sensible, likeable, honest and fair instead of the disaster of Idol judging or the became afraid to be honest enough The Voice (although I’d still take The Voice judging over the fake, erratic, dirty mess Idol became when it comes to judging, although Steven Tyler tried to keep it honest at the end of the Haley season and seemingly blew off the wishes of TPTB). I suppose the middle rounds and especially live are the real test so who knows, but reasons for optimism.

    • TheBeach says:

      I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Demi and Britney. I didn’t know what to expect but, at least so far, they have been insightful, honest and downright likable. I’m tempering this though by remembering that J-Lo and Stephen were both more critical duriing the audition rounds than they turned out to be when the real show started.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Good points, it wasn’t until the live rounds when the A.I. judges started all their BS. Anyway, at least the new x-factor judges are doing well for now, just gotta hope they don’t convert the way the AI judges do once it goes live.

  4. Patricia says:

    Willie Jones was my favorite so far he was so good and unique, very humble I loved his performance. I teared up a little.

  5. Halien says:

    Tate Stevens is in my top 5 and I don’t even care for country music, but he blew me away. Carly Rose should be higher in my opinion too. But at least everyone can agree Quatrele is at the very bottom. Love the Reality Check with Melinda, glad we don’t have to wait to hear from you guys until Idol starts again!…or what is left of Idol, not sure I’ll watch with Nicki or Mariah, but mostly upset Randy is still there :-/

  6. Titina says:

    This show is just bad TV . Plus the singers are not even that good.
    Honestly I am not gonna bother anymore…

    The Voice for me, thank you X Factor.

    • Venus says:

      You hit the nail on te head. Slezak needs a hearing check. Jeffrey sounded like a wounded animal. have heard “Hallelujah” sung worse but not on national TV. Guess Slezak doesn’t remember Jason Castro, or Josh Krajcik. This Jeffrey guy was the worst.

  7. Rachel says:

    carly rose is number one imo.

  8. Tim says:

    I hope they’re hiding someone good, because the ones they’ve shown us so far have been just ok. I haven’t seen anyone close to Melanie/Drew/Josh level yet.

    • Claire says:

      They were some very good one this year so far , much better than last year . This Melanie Amaro was horrible in any way possible and i could not stand this Drew
      This year is way way Better

  9. jwjohnsoniii says:

    I cannot believe how bad they made the town where I grew up look. They made it look like a small hick town that only has county music. There is so much more to Greensboro.

  10. marygrace says:


  11. JC says:

    I can’t wait for boot camp and the live shows because that is where the real competition starts. Demi and Simon are my favorite judges so far even though I’m a Britney fan :)

    • KB23 says:

      I am actually liking Demi as a judge far more than Britney. Demi at least speaks and doesn’t just make a face and say a simple no then look away immediately like Brit does. You can say that is due to editing but if Britney were saying anything worth listening to they would be showing her comments… Simon seems to enjoy Demi as well – he always seems to be laughing at her comments.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Demi is doing a good job so far, yeah. (but as someone else pointed out, it’s not until the post-auditons where the really bad judging issues have occurred in the past, hopefully they stick to what they are doing)

  12. teatime says:

    I liked everyone who went thru on Thursday! I can not ask for more. It was a very entertaining night.
    Britney is really growing on me. I thought she was hysterical this episode when she said to the inarticulate old dude, “I’m scared I’m related to you or something.” Bwahhaha!

    I have a lot of favorites so far, but I can’t keep all the names straight yet! At this point I only know them by description :) Well, except for Panda. It’s hard to forget the name of a woman called Panda.

  13. Louie says:

    I don’t get it… When Jeffrey started singing “Hallelujah”, I thought it was ok but nothing to write home about. But of course everyone started falling over themselves as if melody was just invented.

    • Templar says:

      JMO Leonard Cohen sang it better and, like Bob Dylan, Cohen is a crap singer. But they know best how their songs should be sung.

  14. connerc says:

    It was hard to be surprised by Your Man because it was such a huge part of Scotty winning AI. What was new to these judges seemed old to me. Otherwise, I thought it was a solid audition.

  15. Tate’s too low. It’s Friday and i still have goose bumps, and i don’t care for country!

  16. Kim R says:

    We noticed in the tantrum Krysten threw after being told no (4 times), that her mom said, “you said you wouldn’t do this”. Hmmmmm….methinks Kryten may perhaps have hissy fits at home when things don’t go her way. :)

  17. I loved X Factor last year but this fake scripted crap they’re doing this year is really ruining the show for me. If this is what they wanna do, at least hire better actors so it’s not so obvious that they’re reading from a script. I just can’t believe that THIS is what they’ve come up with to try to raise ratings.

  18. TheBeach says:

    Britney has been fun, but man, she would be a lousy poker player. You can read every emotion she’s feeling right on her face.

  19. monleo says:

    Jeffrey Gutt HANDS DOWN should win this freaking competition! Slezak i’m with you on Jeffrey and Jessica but definitely not those cheesy Sisters. Like whaaatt?

  20. Erin Miracle says:

    Ok so those dissing Jeff havent checked his credentials. Obviously need to do there homework. He has albums with a band that does music thats not quite my flavor but his talent is undeniable. He definitely has what it takes if he playes smart, and already has a huge following. He definitely has a damn good chance @ winning.

  21. Alissa Seifert says:

    I can’t wait until boot camp starts so some of you can eat your words! Jeff is not just deciding at 36 to be a rockstar! He has been doing this his entire life. Hallelujah sucks, I would never listen to it on the radio. I will be first in line to buy Jeff’s version! His voice and talent far exceeds my expectations and I’m proud to have gone to high school with him. He is not a diva dad, he’s a dad trying to achieve his dream and be somebody for his son. I’m proud of you Jeff for never giving up!

  22. thomas says:

    what happend to gutt!!! im really just not understanding at all, someone call the producers!!! the show leaves you wondering WTF

  23. Erin Miracle says:

    Not to mention his over 4mil collective you tube hits

  24. Steve s says:

    If you didn’t like Jeff Gutt you obviously have over estimated your talent evaluating skills.

  25. priscilla says:

    x factor is a farce, bring back jeffery gutt. simon u did it for melanie so do it for jeff.