The X Factor Recap: Call Him Maybe... Unconscious? [Updated]

Wednesday night’s X Factor ended with the image of a 13-year-old boy collapsed in a heap in his mother’s lap, a flurry of producers and medics trying to figure out if he’d live or if he’d eventually die of embarrassment at the hands of Simon Cowell.

I’m not sure if the incident was a clever indictment of the lengths today’s youth will go to for a chance at fame, or just a happy (medical) accident that the show’s producers cynically used to fill out yet another two-hour audition episode. Maybe it was both. But there certainly was a moral to the story: It’s time to put a stop to the “Call Me Maybe” cover craze.

You see, little Trevor Moran had barely finished lip syncing Carly Rae Jepsen’s ubiquitous summer hit into his computer backstage when his system began to shut down. Call it a case of CTRL+ALT+EVEN+GOD+IS+SICK+OF+THAT+TRACK.

But, honestly, fret not about Trevor’s fate. [SPOILER ALERT: Skip this paragraph if you’re super excited to get a conclusion to Wednesday’s cliffhanger during Thursday’s episode.] If you’ve been watching all of the “coming up on Season 2 of The X Factor” promos, you know that the kid lives to fight again. And by “fight,” I mean cover LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” to the surprise and delight of Demi Lovato.

Other highlights from the latest X Factor installment:

* Britney Spears “pranking” a production assistant (at the behest of her manager) to go forth and find her a straw hat. Because I’m sure that kid’s job filling the judges’ soda cups and catering to their whims isn’t exhausting enough.

* Simon leaning heavily on the dramatic pause as his go-to schtick for a good critique. “I totally agree with that, if you’re good,” he told one singer who insisted with hard work, anything is possible. Then there was a 10.27683-minute pause, followed by “And the good news is, you are very good.” Uff da.

* Demi once again referencing her go-to critique — “twinkle in the eye” — as if she’s a graduate of Tyra Banks’ School of Smizing.

Anyhow, without any further ado, let’s get down to the business of ranking the 12 latest singers 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:

Not enough infortmation: Natalie Martin, Beatrice Miller, One4Five.

9) Austin Carini’s “Wanted” | I liked that Simon pointed out Austin is probably used to positive feedback on account of his being a cute kid. Yet while I didn’t really hear anything spectacular about his vocal — aside from a peculiar tendency to lick his lips while singing — I appreciated that Austin took the judges’ criticism with grace and humility. That’s probably worth a trip to Boot Camp all on its own, no?

8) Arin Ray’s original track “Count on Me” | An erstwhile member of Season 1’s Terrifying Children’s Collective (aka InTENsity), Arin is back for a second shot at the X Factor finals — solo style! — and he certainly has the boyish good looks and pop-star swagger required for the job. That said, I’m not sure those qualities are enough to compensate for what appeared to be a rather ordinary singing voice — unless Arin just sounded ordinary because his original track didn’t have any kind of a hook. I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if it’s the latter. (Side note: What was with the producers choosing to play Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3X” after Arin advanced to Boot Camp? Was it a sly suggestion that Arin could easily eat the rage-prone superstar’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner — if he’s given the right material? Or is this production — which conceivably is targeting a young, female audience — so tone deaf that it just blithely inserted Brown’s hit record into the background despite the fact that he recently debuted a neck tattoo of what appears to be a battered woman, several years after his conviction for assaulting one-time girlfriend Rihanna, who served as LA Reid’s advisor during The X Factor’s first season? Discuss!)

7) Tara Simon’s “Without You” | I’ve honestly had too much drama-queen Tara in my life tonight to think or write about her — or her “let me throw every vocal trick I’ve ever learned into a 90-second audition” ways — for another second. Rated J..for J’enough!

6) Nick Youngerman’s “Ice, Ice Baby” | I’ve probably got this guy ranked too high, but he was pretty cute (or to use Demi Lovato’s favorite overused expression, has “that sparkle in his eye.” Plus, the jaunty janitor (“I clean toilets for a living!” he cheerfully noted) got Britney up out of her chair to shake what her mama gave her.

5) Sophie Tweed-Simmons’ “To Make You Feel Me My Love” | Newsflash: If you don’t want America to define you as Gene Simmons’ daughter, then don’t bring Gene Simmons to your X Factor auditions. Nevertheless, Sophie’s languid tone reminded me ever so slightly of Amy Winehouse, and her grasp on pitch was quite solid, despite the fact that she seemed to be on the brink of tears from the start of the song till the finish.

4) David Correy’s “Just the Way You Are” | I’m not 100 percent sure that in six months, I’ll remember this audition from a man with a gugillion tattoos and a desire that his music leads him to his birth mother, but he’s got a very pretty tone to his voice when he’s not pushing it too hard, no?

3) Nick Perrelli’s “Come Fly With Me” | We only got a little snippet, but the kid looked trés Jonas, yet sounded rather Rat Pack. Call me intrigued.

2) Dinah Jane Hansen’s “If I Were a Boy” | Season 1’s Rachel Crow desperately wanted her own bathroom, but girlfriend didn’t truly know struggle. Dinah Jane is one of 32 relatives living in her grandparents’ house! (Won’t we all feel duped if we discover the Hansens recently moved in to Aaron Spelling’s old digs?) But eye-popping backstory aside, the kid has chops so serious, they could slip on a robe and take a seat between Scalia and Sotomayor. LA Reid told Dinah he thinks she’ll make the finale, but we already knew that from the closed-eye ecstasy dance he performed from his seat of judgment. I’m not mad at ya, LA, I was grooving to Dinah’s brand of heartbreak, too, even if her lower register could use a little more oomph.

1) Daryl Black’s “Stereo Hearts” | Charming father of five looks like a regular dude offstage, but once he had a mic in his hand and a smooth-jazz arrangement of Gym Class Heroes’ hit pumping in the background, Daryl suddenly took on the poise and confidence of a potential star. I couldn’t find a thing wrong with Daryl’s vocal, not even with him introducing the image of riding a giant unicycle in leather shorts only seconds before his audition began.

34) Quatrele Da’an Smith: Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”
33) Normani Hamilton: Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”
32) Brandon Hassan: Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble”
31) Reed Deming: Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
30) Jeremiah & Josh: an original track called “Now Life Starts”
29) Austin Carini’s “Wanted”
28) Arin Ray’s original track “Count on Me”
27) Tara Simon’s “Without You”
26) Vino Alan: Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble”
25) CeCe Frey: Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man”
24) Willie Jones: Josh Turner’s “Your Man”
23) Rizzloe Jones: Freestyle rap using the phrases “X Factor” and “marshmallow”
22) Nick Youngerman’s “Ice, Ice Baby”
21) Johnny Maxwell: an original track called “Do It Big”
20) Paige Thomas: Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down”
19) Julia Bullock: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”
18) Sophie Tweed-Simmons’ “To Make You Feel Me My Love”
17) Tate Stevens: Randy Houser’s “Anything Goes”
16) Citizen: En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love)”
15) Ally Brooke: Jaci Velasquez’s “On My Knees”
14) David Correy’s “Just the Way You Are”
13) Nick Perrelli’s “Come Fly With Me”
12) Emblem3: an original track called “Sunset Boulevard”
11) Carly Rose Soneclar: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”
10) Jillian Jensen: Jessie J’s “Who You Are”
9) Diamond White: James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
8) Dinah Jane Hansen’s “If I Were a Boy”
7) Panda Ross: Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me”
6) Jason Brock: Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”
5) Jeffrey Adam Gutt: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”
4)Daryl Black’s “Stereo Hearts”
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”

And with that, let me turn things over to you:

Who were your favorites from The X Factor‘s fifth 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. Rachel says:

    I hated tara simon’s attitude and her voice. don’t know why the judges let her through.

    • Lauri says:

      I came here to say exactly the same thing. I can’t believe that chick is a vocal coach, she sounded awful. And to think she was criticizing Sophie.

    • blingedup says:

      Well, me too! I thought that was painful to listen to…..was wondering if I heard it wrong.

      I think they put her in for the drama she’s going to bring. You know she’s going to be a hot mess at boot camp. Simon always seems to want to give the viewers someone they love to hate. Tara will serve that role (for a short while) this season.

    • ET says:

      Chick thinks she’s God’s gift to music. I hated the way she kept putting down the other contestants.

    • Alex says:

      I thought she had a good voice but a bad attitude. Judging on voice alone, they’ve let through weaker singers plenty of times. I hope she comes back with a more humble attitude!

  2. forwarddad says:

    Hope there is more of a recap coming????

    • Joe Vintum says:

      Let me set you little heart at ease…. if you read the whole thing, you’d see the line “I’ll be back overnight to update this very URL with a full episode recap”

      The Slezak loves and cares for you. He will give you a full recap and a place to chat in the interim.

  3. teamo says:

    Great talent on tonight’s XFACTOR…very impressed.

  4. Joe Vintum says:

    Its always nice to watch a pair of people, one well off the other obscenely wealthy, taunt hard working people with bullcrap on camera. It was a terrible scene tonight. Please fire whoever is writing the vignettes for Xfactor. They dont portray anyone in a good light. All i see is fey Simon wasting the time of police officers that would be better spent on community policing. Britney getting led by the nose in a crude sketch about wasting someone’s time for her bad-vibes mangager’s banal amusement.

    The entire production is so ugly and so last-decade. I just feel bad for the recappers, the comment traffic has fallen so low for this show that it cant be worth the time it takes to type up much.

  5. Andie says:

    Michael, love the recap, but I’m pretty sure Dinah is living with 23 relatives – not 32!

  6. M3rc Nate says:

    Sophie tweeted saying it really was a little bit (a day) before leaving for the audition she told her parents what she was doing, for support. She brought them as her mother and father, not to show off Gene on camera, so i think your comment is off base.

    Yeah that last chick (Tara) was a brat, and i personally didnt find her singing enjoyable at all, and felt INSANELY rehearsed, like she had spent 1000 hours with singing coaches perfecting how it should be for a audition, instead of singing from the heart or with any passion.

    The “backstage” and especially the “documentary” parts of the show feel so staged. Not actors but definitely like they interviewed a ton of audition’ers to find stories and stage them next to other people to get “interactions” on camera.

    Lastly the Britney Spears prank was SO lame and seemed a bit cruel (agree with what you said regarding his job being sucky/hard enough).

    • Mary says:

      I do not think it is off base at all. Maybe she only told them a day before but honestly did she have to bring them to the audition. If she truly wants to make it on her own, go with friends, or on her own, she is 19 not 12. Sorry it doesn’t fly. I believe she only got thru because she is Gene Simmons daughter. I was with LA her audition was not good. I was surprise Demi said yes, she does need control. God, I feel like I am watching last year Idol. Didn’t Gene Simmons daughter
      try out and all the contestants dropping life flies. This show better start picking up because it is getting quite boring.

      • Alex says:

        That’s pretty unkind of you. Why is everyone else allowed to bring their parents, presumably, yet Sophie is not, simply because he’s famous? I don’t think that’s a reasonable attitude. It’s not her fault that her father is a celebrity. IMO, it’s cool that they were able to share the time together while she auditioned. Yes, she wants to make it on her own, but she got recognized when she stepped onstage, so they would have known who she was whether or not her father came with her.

        • Mary says:

          I do not think it is unkind at all. There are many children of actors and singers that truly make it on their own without the shadow of their parents. If she really wants to do on her own, she could use a stage name, not bring her father to the audition. Demi was the only one who thought she knew her and did not say anything until she said what her name is. This was strictly scripted for TV. Point being if she really wants to do it on her own, there are alternatives.

          • M3rc Nate says:

            Lol so at 19 you are totally ready to stand infront of 5,000 people, and Britney Spears and Simon Cowell (only him cause hes cruel sometimes) and do something you are so nervous about and is so personal…sing…OH and its on national TV. Yeah totally she could it alone! You dont get to bring your parents cause they are famous! Gene was totally low key, she was recognized from her name only by the youngest judge, her dad and mom being backstage was never said to the judges…to her, they are her mom and dad supporting her, not KISS guitarist and Playboy model giving her more spotlight. She is truely making it on her own, she didnt walk her mom and dad out on stage and say “So your really going to give a no to Gene Simmons daughter?!” They were backstage influencing nothing. If ANYthing, her last name is the influencer and what…really? A stage name? How many hoops does she have to jump through before her obvious good singing voice talent is respected? No it wasnt blow you out of your seat, but it was good enough to pass the first audition.

  7. TiaGata says:

    “he recently debuted a neck tattoo of what appears to be a battered woman, several years after his conviction for assaulting one-time girlfriend Rihanna, who served as LA Reid’s advisor during The X Factor’s first season? Discuss!”

    This is SO NOT in need of discussion. It’s his body, and he explained what the tattoo meant to “him,” so who are you to judge him over what he chooses to call art!!!

    I am so over that Rhianna and Chris had a fight story….it’s so 2009 – get over it.


    • Missie says:

      Actually, if you really think it needs to be given a “rest”, then you ARE dismissing domestic violence. And people will keep talking about it because it’s not something that should be forgotten. #IMMATURITYDOESNOTDISMISSINSENSITIVITY

  8. J. May says:

    I’m feeling a bit nervous that I didn’t see Panda in the opening credits/recap of previous auditions. Others probably didn’t make the cut either, but I hope she’s okay.

  9. Vivi says:

    Chris Brown’s tattoo is a sugar skull that’s associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead. Not the best idea to plant that ish right on your neck for the world to see and (incorrectly) think it’s some kinda ode to Rihanna’s battered face.

    But I did find it amusing that the producers decided to play that song. Like, ‘Here’s who we think can be the next Chris Brown!’

    • Pistachio says:

      Funny how it looks nothing like the “sugar skull” his PR people claim it to be. Funny that. Amazing how you suck up dishonest pr and spew it back at us.

  10. If it’s possible, I think these recaps are getting better. My favorite lines:
    “Call it a case of CTRL+ALT+EVEN+GOD+IS+SICK+OF+THAT+TRACK.”
    “…the kid has chops so serious, they could slip on a robe and take a seat between Scalia and Sotomayor.”
    While I think Daryl has talent, I’m not sure how relevant he’ll seem to the X Factor’s target audience. It was good to see a contestant do something different though. I really like Dinah. She just got better throughout the song. She’s not quite up to par with dome of the other singers in the competition, but I think she could be a contender.

  11. RD says:

    We all know that if Gene Simmon’s daughter didn’t want them to know who her father was she shouldn’t have mentioned him at all before singing.Come to think of it-she could have dropped his name from her double-barrelled surname too.And I believe she was too shaky in her delivery.If they didn’t know who she was i’m not sure she would have made it through.This show is such a set up from start to finish i’m not feeling the love at all.

    • Alex says:

      One of the judges recognized her before she said a word, though, so they would have known who she was whether or not her father showed up or she mentioned him.

      • Mary says:

        Demi never said anything until she told her what her name was. Yes, she might of recognize her but I believe she said I thought I knew you after she stated her name.

  12. TheBeach says:

    Dinah was a real surprise. Her voice was very mature for a barely-15 year old. Very good.
    Daryl gave a terrific audition. Consider me impressed.
    Arin is a great-looking kid with lots of charisma but seems to need to work on his breath control. The more he moved around, the more breathy and therefore pitchy he became.

  13. Karen says:

    LOVED Daryl Black. My personal favourite so far. Gorgeous family, gorgeous attitude and gorgeous voice.
    Also, there’s one too many very young contestants this year

  14. Jared says:

    So excited about Nick the rapper! His Ice Ice Baby had me up and dancing just like Brit!! Love him!!!

  15. Ste ven says:

    XF is really getting boring. It’s just like Idol 2.O. Britney is definitely not worth what theyre paying her. Even though I’m not a fan of the voice, their auditions are much more interesting than simons. And doing the show without a host and all these manipulative sob stories is just too much to deal with

  16. RodMod says:

    “An erstwhile member of Season 1′s Terrifying Children’s Collective (aka InTENsity)”


  17. Shellsea says:

    If there was an InTENsity alum I wanted to see, it’s Ellona Santiago.

  18. Jo says:

    Where is darly black in book camp

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