The X Factor Recap: House Music All Night Long

lyric da queen x factorSimon Cowell might just be a genius. An hour into Wednesday night’s X Factor episode, all I could think was “Just an hour and change till the series premiere of Nashville!”

A mere 45 minutes later, however, the state of my mental health rested entirely in the fates of a lady rapper from Flint, MI, who fancies a sequined eyepatch; a trio of Texas sisters who look like they’ve been perpetually trapped inside a tampon ad; five (possibly six) teenage boys glued together by Simon Cowell’s sweat and Marc Anthony’s tears (it’s hard to keep count when they keep moving around so quickly); and a postal worker with a leopard-print forehead who’s received such a colossal “bitch edit” that it’s kind of hard not to love her just a little.

In other words, the Judges’ Houses portion of Cowell’s British reality import has received a major upgrade in Season 2. Or maybe it’s just the rejiggering of the four major X Factor categories. Last year focused on “Boys,” “Girls,” “Groups,” and the positively ancient “Over 30s.” This year, we’ve got mixed-gender “Teens (12-16),” “Young Adults (17-24),” “Groups,” and the still somewhat dusty “Over 25s.” (People like me who fall into the “40 and over” group can be found in a Dumpster behind L.A. Reid’s mansion.)

Anyhow, let’s rank the performances of the six young adults (mentored by Demi Lovato and a Jonas brother) and the six groups (mentored by Cowell and Anthony) who performed over the course of the two-hour telecast in the hopes of being one of the four acts to advance per division into the live voting rounds.

Young Adults
6) Nick Youngerman: Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” | Look, Ke$ha is no Aretha Franklin. She’s not even Belinda Carlisle. And a small part of me dies inside every time I type the dollar-sign symbol where the ‘S’ in her name should be. But she actually is responsible for singing a melody on the chorus of “Tik Tok,” and that’s something Nick Youngerman absolutely failed to do in his sloppy, spoken-word rendition of “Tik Tok.” Maybe I’m just bitter and baffled that Nick advanced to Judges’ Houses despite completely blanking on his lyrics during Boot Camp, but I found myself nodding my head at the latter half of Demi’s assessment: “I couldn’t tell if I was loving it or super annoyed by it.” If the guy wasn’t super cute, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we? Here’s hoping Demi doesn’t feel the need for gender parity in her division.

5) Jennel Garcia: Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” | I can’t lie and say I didn’t adore her audition to “Paris (Ooh La La),” but everything she’s done since has either come off like a desperate announcement that she’s 18 and sexy and got the booty shorts to prove it, or a slightly aloof response to anything resembling a challenge to who she already thinks she is. Demi was spot-on with her suggestion that Jennel avoid playing with her hair too much, and instead of whining how it shook her confidence right before she strutted into Demi’s living room to perform, Jennel should’ve embraced the note with a smile. Plus, while the subsequent vocal was decent, the most memorable thing about the performance was Jennel’s exaggerated facial expression on that final “Yeah I liked it!” Well guess what? I didn’t.

4) Paige Thomas: Chris Brown’s “Turn Up the Music” | Demi and Nick Jonas seemed disappointed by Paige’s energy level, but I was impressed she managed to keep her eyes open, what with 20 lbs. of false eyelashes spackled to her lids. (Side note: What’s with all these beautiful young women trowelling on the makeup on reality singing competitions anymore? Is the end goal to make it seem like there are more 40-plus types in the mix?) Whatever the case, I liked the way Paige stripped down the intro, and even though her chair-dancing moves were a wee bit contrived, they still came across as sensual and fluid, despite her rocking a leopard bathing suit with crunched-up blue taffeta train. I’m not sure if this young mother has the chops to survive when she’s backed by the full X Factor band and a herd of dancers, but isn’t finding that out one of the things that differentiates the show from Idol and The Voice? Onward, sister!

3) Willie Jones: The Tony Rich Project’s “Nobody Knows” | I haven’t been a big believer in Willie’s talent to date, but I have to give him respect for choosing to repeat the song whose lyrics almost slayed him during boot camp. (In fact, I respect the decision so much that I won’t even complain about Willie pointing skyward on the word “angel.”) Nick seemed perplexed whether Willie fit in the country or R&B wheelhouse, but honestly, wouldn’t it be Demi’s job to steer Willie through the vagaries of major-label pigeonholing? And what’s more, seeing how it’s 2012 and all, isn’t it maybe a good idea that everyone stop gasping and tuttering that the black kid likes to get his twang on?

2) Jillian Jensen: Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” | Jillian’s was far from the night’s most perfect vocal — she hit a couple rough patches on the verse, yes? — but the upper range of her register was pretty breathtaking, and her tone was, to my ears, the most distinctive among the Young Adult category. And seeing that Jillian was actually appreciative that Demi subtly addressed her penchant for pulling crazy faces while she sings, I’m optimistic that she could keep on growing once the show hits the live voting rounds.

1) CeCe Frey: LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” | I’m not going to go on and on and on about CeCe’s supposed former infatuation with acting like a cocky she-beast, or about the “I put up a front because I’m really vulnerable on the inside” angle she’s been playing the last couple edits. I just like that fact that she has repeatedly referenced hard work and a willingness to learn among her arsenal of skills. Better still, though, was the creativity she showed in reworking LMFAO’s indelible dancefloor anthem into a ballad — without losing any of its cheeky humor. Nick was right that CeCe’s “I swear, it’s just for fun, okay?” saved the performance from veering into unbearable territory, and I didn’t really hear a single note that didn’t hit its intended target. If Demi can help CeCe navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining her confidence without being seen as “unlikable,” this modern day “Cheetah Girl” might avoid being stoned in the Internet square, and perhaps win a few (million) fans before the busy holiday greeting-card season hits her former coworkers at the post office.

Groups
6) Dope Crisis: Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” | It was pretty clear from the fact that Dope Crisis got what felt like less than a minute of screen time that they’ll be one of the perfunctory “here’s one of the final cuts you don’t have to feel bad about” eliminations as the field gets whittled down to 16. And while I’m not usually one to let a Simon Cowell type tell me it’s gruel, not Cinnabon cereal, in my bowl, in this case, the distinct scent of soggy, unflavored oats hangs heavy in the air.

5) Emblem3: The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” | If that one dude can’t even be bothered to button his shirt or put on some shoes at Simon Cowell’s mansion, then I can’t be bothered to turn the notes I took during their performance into an actual paragraph. With that caveat on the table, here goes: “The one always has his shirt open.” “Blondie is not wearing shoes!” “Hat’s vocals sound a little labored.” “Young one seems superfluous.” “Blondie lost his place. Rapping???? No!!” “Marc likes that they soaked up the sun.” “Simon: ‘That’s why he missed his cue.'” “Not good enough to be this smug about the competition.”

4) Playback: Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl” | I can’t pretend that any of these teenage boys’ voices were particularly fantastic, but if they make it through to the live shows at the expense of Emblem3, it’ll rank among my Top 10 Feel-Good Reality TV Moments of 2012. Plus, as Simon noted, Playback has something naive and fun and likable (albeit prefabricated) about ‘em. Maybe it was the way Austin Corini bounced around like he was on a pogo stick. (Austin Corini: “What’s a pogo stick, old man?”) Maybe it was Johnny Maxwell’s big grin when he got a minute in the spotlight. Or maybe it was this flawless bit of bitchery during Emblem 3’s performance:

Brandon Hassan: “Is his shirt off again?”
Josh Metzler (or I think it was him, anyway): “Is it ever on?”

These two keep the barbs coming and they might end up joining Melinda Doolittle and me on Reality Check someday. (Side note: Apologies for the two-week hiatus, but we’ll be back with a new show next Monday.)

3) Lylas: Shontelle’s “Impossible” | Okay, so these five chicas didn’t exactly embrace the idea of blending their voices in perfect harmony — instead choosing to individually shine in a way that was all, “Nick Youngerman made it through as a solo act, and all I got was this stupid girl group?” But nevertheless, the sum of their individual parts — Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani Hamilton, and Camila Cabello — make up an act I’d very, very much like to hear breathing new life into some En Vogue, Brownstone, Jade, 702, Zhane, and 3LW jams in the immediate future. (Side note: Can someone please package a reunion tour comprised of En Vogue, Brownstone, Jade, 702, Zhane, and 3LW right about now? Thank you!)

2) Sister C: Shelby Lynne’s “Leavin'” | For some reason, X Factor producers keep trying to tell us this sisterly trio is unlikeable or standoffish or even “annoying,” but how can any of those adjectives apply to an act that has the impeccable good taste to perfectly cover Shelby Lynne’s “Leavin'” as a followup to their equally sublime audition of Pistol Annies’ “Hell on Heels.” I don’t really care if their soundbites aren’t scintillating of if they’re Stepford pretty or their hair never seems to move a centimeter out of place. These gals have got chops, and if they get cut in favor of Emblem3, well, then I’ll probably be referencing them every time I mention Emblem3 for the rest of the season. (I know, I know…I’m both tragic and predictable.)

1) Lyric 145: Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” | Little known fact: Everyone from Flint, MI, ends up either in jail or dead. Oh, or else they tear the damn roof of The X Factor like LYRIC DA QUEEN, who was mashed up with Queens duo One4Five to make up a new trio about which I am ridiculously excited. As Marc Anthony pointed out, Lyric is most definitely a superstar — and her male counterparts offered solid support, too, as they turned Miley Cyrus’ inescapable earworm into something decidedly cooler — right down to the synergistic line “and a Britney song was on.” If that’s not enough for you, Lyric gives a good sound bite, too. In fact, let me let her have the last word on this paragraph: “I’m from Flint, Michigan! A yacht is so far-fetched, it ain’t even funny!”

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

Who were your favorites from Night 1 of The X Factor Judges’ Houses? Anyone you’re rooting against? 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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94 Comments
  1. RodMod says:

    Jillian
    The manufactured girl group.
    And The Eye-Patch wearing chick.

    (Sorry about not knowing their names.)

  2. RodMod says:

    (People like me who fall into the “40 and over” group can be found bludgeoned in a dumpster behind L.A. Reid’s mansion.)

    Always hilarious!

    • allie08 says:

      I’m in the dumpster with you Slezak! LA was a class A jerk last night!

      • BarbL says:

        I concur! If LA can’t deal with getting this group, he shouldn’t have signed on as a judge. What’s THAT all about? I’m hoping it was to rev up ratings, as I don’t want to believe he’s that big a douche.

    • Pearl says:

      Just need to say this: I KNEW IT!! I KNEW IT!!! I predicted that, Teens, Adults, Over 25’s and groups. I got it right very early!!! Iuhu!!!!!!

  3. Christina says:

    Might the groups category actually have a pulse this year?

  4. Krissy says:

    Emblem3 just strike me as complete douchebags. (also, they’re not very good) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Sg.Grant says:

      The first part of your comment is correct. The second part is wrong.

    • Ty says:

      They are mainly insecure, that is why they feel the need to put down some of the others around them. That said, while I don’t think they are fantastic, and the youngest one seems to NEVER sing, at least 2 of the 3 have a future as male models.

      • Lynn says:

        I beg to differ. emblem 3 comprises of 3 confident talented good looking young men who speaks their mind like a normal teen. I just hate the way the show manipulates their comments. They will do best in their own songs. so much potential talent there. You all should be proud of your cali boys! We are admiring from afar.

  5. Chloe says:

    i like janelle garcia dislike cece she seems fake still she forces her emotions.. paige is good but i think her baby story is what got her there ;o sister 3 is unrelateable and mehhh i liked emblem 3 but their song tonight was D; umumum the eyepatch group was good!! better than i thought umumum willie jones is starting to bore me his vocals arent as strong as the other contestants the guy who sang tic tock had good personality! i doubt a group will win this season i think carly rose soneclare will be a front runner!

  6. Chloe says:

    jillians voice feels too raspy for me but shes so sweet!!her and jennnel are so cute as buddies :) i like how jennel is nice unlike cece who was just so rude and now shes trying to cry out her emotions i think its too like for her to win over the viewers :(

  7. Elle says:

    I love you Michael, but I can’t believe you thought Cece was the best. I’m finding it very hard to love her, even just a little bit.

    • Pearl says:

      I’m sorry, but HOW can you NOT love her? A girl that didn’t try to fit on “sobby history” until Demi almost told her to do it. The girl has talent for days. Don’t care if she sounds bitchy, she’s a damn good fighter! I love her take on songs, and love that it’s a TRUE GIRL POWER! You don’t have to be cute and have a sad past to be a damn good singer folks. She’s fighting for her space, something that every person has to do in a daily base. If she didn’t have the talent, you could dislike her, but she can be cocky, if she have the best set of pipes on girl’s side!

  8. Thomas says:

    I thought Cece was amazing tonight! Her rendition of the song was just simply amazing. How she was given the bitch edit, and her “new-found” vulnerability, makes her a lot more appealing in my opinion. Lylas also stood out for me.

    I really like Jennel, but she performed poorly tonight. I hope she still makes it!

  9. Rick says:

    Cece is the only thing keeping this show afloat, expect her to be saved by the judges many times

    • kavyn says:

      Yup, I agree. Cece really is kind of a fresh of breath air in terms of singing comps. Every other competitor has the “oh my life sucks woe is me” while Cece is just there to sing and prove herself.

      And the bitch edit is an extra plus. I always love a little snark as long as they can back it up, and Cece definitely can :)

      • jj says:

        Personally, I always liked Cece, even before the “bitch-edit”. She is an awesome singer, has great stage presence, and is ALWAYS exciting to watch. Who cares if she might be a little bitchy?

  10. BarbL says:

    I loved the Lylas, thought that Emblem 3 tanked. I thought Willie restored my faith in him, and I did NOT like CeCe AT all.
    .
    I thought LA’s distaste for the “overs” was unkind and awkward to watch. What are these poor people going to do after his announcement? Say “hell to the yeah,” it’s great that LA wants no part of me!! Sheesh.
    .
    I sincerely don’t like the fact that, potentially, a 50 year old is supposed to compete with a 25 year old. Right.
    .
    I do NOT like this new format, though I understand the need to move away from boy vs. girl groups.
    .
    I think what should have been done was to raise the age minimum back to 16, then: 16-21, 22-35, 35+, groups.
    .
    If Cowell is smart, he’ll change that up again.

  11. Snow says:

    Its unfortunate that Jennel wasn’t as good as she usually is but I’m sure she will still get through! I love Jillian and Jennel! TeamJ! Aside from them, I didn’t really like anyone else in the young adults group. For being billed as the strongest group, nobody really impressed me. The groups were stronger than last year for sure, but they all seemed so similar. All of the guy groups were trying to avoid being boybands so now they all have rappers in them and sound the same. I do really love Lyric Da Queen though!

  12. lily7 says:

    But seriously what happened to Panda? There has to be a story to explain the disappearance of a fan favorite. Anybody know what happened? Michael & Melinda, can you book her for Reality Check, please?

    • Loni says:

      I was wondering the same thing!

      • Stacie says:

        Yeah, what happened there. And the fact that they didn’t focus on that guy(forgot his name) with his young son, he was great. They let that part down. I can see why L.A didn’t want this group, nobody knows them.

        • KathyB says:

          Agree!!! Michael, I would also love if you could use your contacts to get an answer on what happened with Panda! I guess we know a little more about (Jeffrey Gutt) since at least he was shown, but why did they cut him??? These were the 2 I was looking most forward to seeing! The teen group seems like it might have some talent, but overall I am confused about many of the choices…

        • nhf7170 says:

          It’s ridiculous that Jeffrey got cut when they kept Tina warrior princess (she kinda looks like Lucy Lawless to me).

    • kavyn says:

      On her twitter it sounds like she got cut at the top 60. But I doubt she deserved to, and the fact that she got literally zero screen time during boot camp sounds more like a cover-up than anything considering she was a fan favourite and completely lovable and entertaining.

      • yoyo says:

        no, on her fan fb page she literally says she got cut at the judges house, so i dont understand what happened. they prob dont want her to win the whole thing.

        • TheBeach says:

          I’m confused. They showed the Final 6 in that group at L.A.’s house and she wasn’t one of them. I never even saw her on stage during the final eliminations at Boot Camp. Something just doesn’t pass the smell test.

        • kavyn says:

          She probably meant right when they were picking who was going to the judges house (ie top 60). It’s impossible to edit out a person that supposedly made it to the judges house when there’s only 6 people.

  13. Forwarddad says:

    I disliked Emblem3. I don’t think they got a bad edit. I think they are a legend their own minds. Not fond of CeCe. Voice is okay but in what planet does she think the painted spots work?

    • Gulcho Pesto says:

      I disagree that they got a bad edit. They have snuffed out self-awareness from their repertoire, and this is the result you get. Theyve each worked to cultivate the aura of smug dickholes and it rightfully comes across on camera. They have talent and know it, any feigned intospection or remorse they express is a sham. The bros arent alright.

  14. T says:

    Just curious, since I know nothing about them except they were on “X-Factor” in the UK, BUT does anyone know if “One Direction” came on the show as a group or were they put together on the show? Oh and even though her category didn’t sing tonight, I love, love, love Diamond White. She is absolutely adorable and really good!!

    • Mary B says:

      I believe One Direction was put together by Simon.

    • me says:

      the guys of one direction auditioned for the X factor in the UK separately as solo artists. they were put together in a similar way as the random girl group and random guy group of originally eliminated contestants. having said that, i dont think either one of them was particularly good tonight. especially the girls, wow. they must not have realized they’re in a group now because they didnt even try to blend their voices.

      • nhf7170 says:

        One direction made it to the top 3 on the X factor UK without singing so much as one harmony. One of the girls in Lylas (I don’t know her name, but she’s got brown hair and blue eyes and is drop-dead gorgeous) has one of the best voices in the competition. She must not have had a compelling enough story for a solo spot.

    • SSDD says:

      They were put together on the show.

    • T says:

      Thanks! Just didn’t think the “manufactured” group thing worked but apparently 40 million teenaged girls proved it does.

      • Jacob says:

        The winners of The X Factor UK last season was a girl group, Little Mix, who was “manufactured” by the judges. They’ve already had their first number one hit across the pond.

  15. me says:

    the guys of one direction auditioned for the X factor in the UK separately as solo artists. they were put together in a similar way as the random girl group and random guy group of originally eliminated contestants. having said that, i dont think either one of them was particularly good tonight. especially the girls, wow. they must not have realized they’re in a group now because they didnt even try to blend their voices.

  16. Jared says:

    Emblem 3 is right in saying they’re true artists who eat sleep and breathe music. The problem is that they are original and do have there own style of music and when they are made to cover someone else’s material it does dumb down there unique sound. YouTube them and listen to some of there original stuff. With Simon Cowells touch I could see this band blowing up.

    CeCe is a STAR..if she’s not confident in herself then no one else would be. She reminds me of Cher Lloyd. Cece.. if anything is on trend with current pop music today that’s HUGE on a worldwide level.

    • Lynn says:

      You are so right. I have been listening to their sings and these guys are awesome. They are so humble and easy going too. please please emblem 3. I want you to sing live.

  17. kcostell says:

    Jillian was, for me, just awful. So focused on the rasp and indie vibe that everything else good sort of got left behind. I found myself waiting for a song that I normally love to end.

    • kavyn says:

      Demi expressed her advice in the wrong way, and supposedly she did it on the same day they were supposed to perform so it probably screwed her up.

      But still, Jillian really went a little over the top with the expressions. It’s like she thought she was expressing her way to the top 4.

  18. Kevin Romano says:

    Slezak, I was baffled by your Sister C colored glasses. After tonight I get it. You were right. Amazing!

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      I love Shelby Lynne and her original version of I’m Leavin’ but Sister C were substandard trying to follow in her steps…figured for sure they would be on the chopping block and was totally shocked Simon liked them – but figure since he isn’t very country savvy he is probably unfamiliar with the great Shelby Lynne and doesn’t know how amateurish Sister C was in comparison…on the other hand I hated that Willie got through because his voice doesn’t seem strong enough and he screwed up in the battle round – but really enjoyed his singing tonight; lost respect for LA Reid being off-base and throwing a hissy fit over the over-25 folks – and after that insult felt sorry the over-25 guys got to be mentored by Justin Beiber (maybe he can fine-tune some tips for celebrity hurling and bad haircuts)

      • Gulcho Pesto says:

        I’m willing to bet money that LA Reid’s got-the-news hissy fit was staged reshot last week in a desperate attempt to get headlines from the mainstream press, the same way Idol got for its new judges feud. Its typical Simon, to half heartedly copy what he sees as successful. No adult man, when actually pissed off, gingerly re-inserts a phone into its cradle rather than throw it away, unless a director instructs him to “get mad LA, but not too mad! We cant hurt Pepsi’s Fun America ™ image with your powerful hissy rage!’ So he clumsily acts out, like he has been all season, a scripted bit if fake drollery and attempts to pass it off as reality truth.

        Xfactor the show would be so much better if they stopped pretending and guve us the cruel machinations of reality karaoke television the same way HBO’s Hard Knocks did for football. Have tape of the real discussions, the bored condecension, the vapid yet slimy brand reps waiting in the wings to ensure the good name of Verizon is never besmirched. It would be compelling television and have a hit singing show attached. It would span a wider audience that sugared up tweens. But, since Simon hasnt seen it done somewhere else first, he has no ability to remake his show in that successful image.

  19. Aria says:

    I really enjoy the group aspect of this show, and this year is no different. I liked inTENsity and especially Lakoda Rayne last season, but the quality of groups is much higher this season. I completely agree that Dope Crisis and Emblem3 were easily the weakest. Sister C doesn’t excite me so much yet. Lyric 145 got a bad song for the judges’ house, but they have a TON of potential. The guy group seemed to have thinner voices, but given the limited time they had to prepare, they were quite good, and the girl group was fantastic.

    • Aria says:

      As for the Young Adults, I’ve always had a soft spot for Jennel because she looks and sounds like a star, but she got a garbage song for the Judges’ Houses. I want to hate Cece so much but somehow can’t- lots of potential there. Not sure what to make of Willie- I don’t think he’s quite got what it takes. Paige Thomas is amazing and should fly through to the live shows. I’ve loved Jillian’s voice, but she makes every song into a depressing gut-wrenching ballad- she seems to lack versatility. Nick Youngerman – no.

    • Aria says:

      I rewatched Lyric 145 again. And again. And again.
      It took a bit, but I think I love them. And I dislike rap.

  20. jaxguy says:

    I was shocked that I liked Lylas the best of all the auditions. They were spot on. Where is Panda. And I think the Brock guy could be terrific. Loved his audition. Love her or hate her CeCe was really good. Emblem 3: Did not like at all. Not sure about Sister C, but I think they are good, just a little cool in a bad way. Loved the song Leavin’. Looking forward to the over 25’s and there are a couple of teens, Diamond is going to be great.

  21. Tim says:

    The manufactured girl group is fantastic. I think they could win it all.

  22. TheBeach says:

    All I could think of when the manufactured girl group was singing was wow, some of these girls are much better than a few of those that made the top 6.

    • Tim says:

      I wonder if that wasn’t intentional, i.e. they might have held some of the best singers back so they could form a really good group and avoid last year’s group disaster.

  23. Dan says:

    Lylas dominated the groups. I’m surprised you have them 3rd. They can all flat out sing, which is usually unheard of in groups of this size.
    I thought the teens were unimpressive because of their stupid song choices. Tik Tok? Sexxy and I know it? I kissed a girl? *sigh* Cece sang the best.

  24. yoyo says:

    just bieber instructing the overs is RIDICULOUS! also, panda said she reached the judges house. where the f is she? and how can anyone not be excited about a group with her? she could have won the whole thing if they gave her the chance.

  25. yoyo says:

    i think i know why the edited panda out. i bet she killed it, but they were afraid she’ll win the competition– after all they are looking for a teen idol(s) and amazing as she is, i doubt that she caters to the teen market…

    • Gulcho Pesto says:

      Nail on the head! She served her purpose, which was to star in an ambulance montage to hold attention going into a commercial break. One Direction’s success has made this season pre-fabricated to be a teen idol focused show aimed at gradeschoolers and it wouldnt matter if simon had another Susan Boyle on his hands, she would have been cut no matter how well she sang. Pepsi and the rest of the advertisers probably were the ones to sign off on the effort to skew incredibly young, hence the disapearance of Chevrolet as a sponsor and the new-emergence of Simons crappy headphone brand that made its first wobbly steps into the sales spotlight.

      I feel for her since she had more infautation than delulsion in her head. She got used for her purpose and then was spat out. But she should have known that when she signed her audition contract. Hopefully she can start something musically going to bring her more money and happiness, but Simon and LA wont be there to help her career, and Brit has to spend so much time in the makeup chair and shooting insipid backstage vignettes that I doubt she’d have time to fledge a career.

  26. Lara says:

    I was so disappointed by their selection: what happened to Jeffrey????? pfuuuu… and then Cece went through? sorry but i really don’t like her: she signs as the record, not with her own natural voice and she is so annoying!! Most of my favorites didn’t make it… sucks!

  27. greysfan says:

    The Lylas are absolutely incredible. I was left speechless and that doesn’t happen very often with me when it comes to these sort of contests. I really think Simon could take these girls all the way but the thing is “Will America get behind a girl band?”

    • kcostell says:

      So far Lylas isn’t a girl band though. They’re a bunch of girls who happen to be singing the same song, and the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

      I’ll forgive them for it now because they were just thrown together, but they need to figure something out before the live shows start.

  28. kierankramer says:

    Lyric Da Queen’s act was by far the best.

  29. dj says:

    I was really confused by Panda gone missing and that guy with the little boy not making the judge’s house. I llike Jennel but think she picked the wrong song and did nothing with it. I think she’ll get cut. She had the wrong attitude about the advice she got. Emblem3 are good, but way too cocky. I too lost respect for LA. What a whiny baby and how disrespectful. Simon handled his disappointment much better, simpoly refocusing and readjusting.

  30. Hopeless says:

    If CeCe Frey and Sister C didn’t make it, I swear there’s gonna be a freaking riot in Demi’s loft/studio apartment and Simon’s vacation home no 16. Also, plus points for Lyric 145, best group ever assembled.

    • Max says:

      I completely agree. Lyric 145 is the only manufactured group that I think works well together and that appeals to my personal taste (even though I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop/rap/whatever genre that was).

      I didn’t like CeCe Frey at first and I still don’t like her too much now, but I appreciate that she isn’t the usual emotional/sobbing mess that women usually seem to be on these shows. If CeCe was a guy, she wouldn’t experience half of the backlash they’re giving her.

      I’m really tired of producers on tv trying to edit things to make people look mean/annoying/standoffish. First it was CeCe, then it was Sister C and who knows what else. But people like CeCe and Sister C are people that seem to incredibly real. I’ve met and hung out with confident people like CeCe and shy-but-really-nice people like Sister C before. I can honestly say I can’t remember meeting someone like Paige/Janelle/every-other-girl-‘likable’-that-they’ve-shown and if I did, I would go out of my way to avoid them.

  31. G. says:

    Uum, what ever happened to Panda? Did we get a follow-up to her or was the last image we go when she was being put into the hospital? Sad face…

  32. erin says:

    When Simon said “they are going to be SHOCKED,” I think he was talking about Emblem3. My guess is that Emblem3, Dope Crisis, Paige, and Nick will be the four getting eliminated tonight. While Jennel’s performance didn’t live up to her original audition, she has that “it” factor more than Paige.

  33. John says:

    The Young Adult category was really unimpressive last night, but the Groups shocked me. Playback, Lyric 145 and Sister C all have the goods (I wasn’t impressed with LYLAS like everyone else seems to be). Playback in particular really seemed to gel despite being thrown together, as did Lyric 145.

  34. Blinged Up says:

    I realize that L.A. is very good at what he does for a living, but if they are going to have him do anything again like that ridiculous performance when receiving his “bad news,” can they give him just a couple of quick acting lessons? Any small improvement would be great. That was unintentionally hilarious,

  35. Ash Q says:

    Still bummed out that the rocker guy with the son didn’t make it. I wanted him there so, so bad.

    And while the categories are better than last year, I, too, have issues with the 25+ category. It should be Teens: 13/14 – 18, Young Adults: 19 – 28 (maybe 30 since it’s a cleaner number), and then 29 + (or 30+) and groups.

    This was a really good episode for me.

    While Nick was in no way ‘good’, but he was completely entertaining. Granted, I missed his audition episode, so this was my first time seeing him (while his shtick may be getting old for others), but he’s a lot of fun. Tik Tok probably wasn’t a good song choice by any means. But he has natural charisma for daaaaaays. And a small part of me is really rooting for him to make it through (as long as it’s not at the expense of Jillian or Jennel.)

    Fine, Jennel wasn’t as good as her first audition. But I have a very, very soft spot for her as she was one of my early favorites. Just by the way they’ve been editing her, I have a feeling she’s staying. I may very well be wrong.

    And Jillian has really surprised me. I honestly didn’t think she would be strong enough for the pressure of the competition judging by her audition. But she’s really pulled through, and done an awesome job while at it. Loved her. But I did agree with Demi when she said her expressions felt less genuine after telling her to watch out for her facial expressions.

    Paige Thomas. I’m over her tbh. Her arm gestures were a little distracting for me. Don’t care about her anymore.

    Willie Jones did a good job as well, but I still don’t care for him.

    And CeCe. Ehhhhh. I don’t know whether I’m suppose to hate her or love her, but whatever. I don’t know. Not a fan?


    The groups were a lot more fun than I was anticipating.

    Lots of solid ones.

    Was a fan of Emblem3 from the get-go (Sunset Blvd is on my iPod)
    but I’m so dissapointed with their douchebagary levels. omyy.
    And I was so ready to root for the all the way,
    but they come across as such entitled jerks -which is not the way to go to pine for merica’s vote. Their own stuff is really good, but their covers are just mediocre. (Kinda like Chris Rene in that way. Except Chris Rene was so much more likable and humble.)
    I don’t mind saying bye to them at this point, their egos need a shrinking.

    Playback were ridiculously cute. They were good and giddy, felt like I was watching the disney channel for a second.

    Lylas were great too. Great, great singing.

    Sister C were fantastic as always.

    Lyric 145 were badass.

    PlayDope Crisis who?

    Can’t wait for tonight!

    • Danny Boy says:

      Listen, this show is so contrived and edited, it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going on. But I will say this — I agree with Nick Jonas, Jillian is (subtly) sexy — maybe more than subtly!

  36. Tessa says:

    What about L.A. Reid’s stank attitude? Great way to mentor…

    • raftrap says:

      It’s not LA’s fault, how dare people over the age of 25 still have dreams and ambitions?

      • RT says:

        …or talent. I felt so sorry for them after L.A.’s “I am disappointed to have this group, but I guess I can maybe turn one of you into a contender..” speech to them.

  37. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I look for a new Reality Check every day. Every day.

  38. raftrap says:

    “and if they get cut in favor of Emblem3, well, then I’ll probably be referencing them every time I mention Emblem3 for the rest of the season” You’re great Mike, you really are. Oh and Lyric 145 better be on Simon’s team, or I’ll keep mentioning the fact that Cheryl Cole is still not here (I’ll keep doing that anyway).

  39. bridget says:

    Sister C is incredible, and it’s ridiculous that people are hating on them, and they’re being called “unlikable” especially seeing as how up until last nights episode, they had barely gotten a full minute of screentime and had never been able to talk. Meanwhile, contestants like CeCe and Paige, and numerous others have gotten ridiculous amounts of camera time. Seems pretty unfair. Sister C been spot on every time they’ve been on screen, and seem to be there for the music, and because they want to sing, not to be a spectacle like CeCe. They sing with ease and it seems effortless for them, and Simon’s right, they are contenders for the real world.

  40. Blinged Up says:

    Wow. Marc Anthony sure was a stodgy old grump last night, wasn’t he? I don’t know why he thinks he’s all that….

  41. Cece’s “reworking” of the song was not all that original nor was it HER reworking. It was done this way by a very popular YouTube artist named Noah (with over 13 million views) – http://youtu.be/vsvlsuLau5c

    I just can’t like her. Her voice is good, but her antics throughout the whole competition have made her unbearable. And any sort of “vulnerability” she shows just comes off as “acting like she’s vulnerable” – it’s not authentic or real. Her tears look and feel like those of an actress on a set…. No thank you.

    That being said, she’s still better and less obnoxious than that Nick kid. After rappers like Astro and Chris Rene, this kid doesn’t have any real talent. He can just repeat words he hears on the radio. Nothing original about him.

  42. Stevez says:

    (Side note: Can someone please package a reunion tour comprised of En Vogue, Brownstone, Jade, 702, Zhane, and 3LW right about now? Thank you!)

    From your lips Michael…
    But you forgot to mention Expose’, Eternal, SWV, and Xscape!

    Thank you very much!

  43. Ian says:

    Team Jillian all the way. Don’t think Demi would get rid of her. She is far better then both Willie and Nick. So I would bet Demi picks the four girls and lets the boys go.

  44. Ledif Rellim says:

    They ruined the Judges House performances this year with the back and forth, not good, Last year that was the highlight.

  45. experiment626 says:

    The problem with Sister C is not necessarily that they’re unlikeable but rather that they’re unrelateable. Sure they sing well enough but on this sort of platform you need more than singing ability and to put it plainly, they’re boring.

    They’re also not unique enough to be worth 5 Million Dollars. They’re a distinctly sub par version of the Dixie Chicks.

    If you want to see a sibling group done right on X Factor, look up ‘Audio Vixen’ from the Australian X Factor.

    Also, Lyric 145 is the Act to beat. (Unless Simon trims the fat out of the 1-member-too-many Lylas and they take their queue from the Spice Girls and start adopting individual personas)

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