The X Factor Recap: Mansions of Constant Sorrow

beatrice miller x factorThere were moments watching contestants from The X Factor‘s 12-16 age bracket on Thursday night where it felt like somebody was building a three-story log cabin out of saplings. “But they’re so young!” “How are they going to hold up to the pressure?” “Will this lead to a hideous collapse ending in hospitalization?”

But have no fear: Erstwhile Mouseketeer Britney Spears was on the scene to mentor these impressionable young minds on how to navigate the perilous waters of childhood fame — without bumping into the tricky icebergs of quickie marriages, public emotional meltdowns and dubiously conceived forays into celebreality television.

Oh.

On the flip side, we had what might as well have been scenes from Season 3 of The Walking Dead (at least if you viewed it through the shady shades of L.A. Reid and Justin Bieber). Yes, folks, OLD PEOPLE* were allowed on television, with all their gaping sores, sloughing skin, and inconvenient dreams. HOW DARE THEY? Why should we bother to discuss any of these people when even their own mentor recoils in disgust at the mention of their ages? Monsieur Reid won’t bother to learn their names unless they crack the Season 2 Top 5! (*In The X Factor universe, old people = the “Over 25s.” Eww. Over 25? People live that long anymore?)

Anyhow, let’s rank the performances of the six teens (mentored by Britney and will.i.am) and the six folks destined for the grave (mentored by L.A. and Justin Bieber) who performed over the course of the one-hour telecast in the hopes of being one of the four acts to advance per division into the live voting rounds. Side note: Can you imagine being a grown-ass adult able to drink alcohol and tie your own shoelaces having to endure advice from the Bieb such as “You just have to give it your all”? Um, kid, they have a 4-in-6 chance of performing live in front of an audience of 10 million people: It’s likely they won’t be giving it only 47 percent! Whatevs.

Let’s get to the contestants, but before we do, let me pose a question: Should we assume it’s going to be bad news for that the one contestant in every category who got little or no prior screen time, had his or her Judges’ Houses segment edited down to less than two minutes, and then had his or her performance interrupted with interview clips? And if the answer is “yes,” can anyone come up with a good reason for the show’s producers to strip nearly 50 percent of the suspense out of next week’s Top 16 announcement episode?

Teens
6) James Tanner: Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rock Star” | I rewound my DVR and listened extra carefully to try to figure out if there was any reason to disagree with Britney’s tough take on his performance (“I’m just not convinced it’s strong enough”). But no, James’ lyrical flow never pushed the needle on my ear-ometer past the “ordinary” setting. Anyone else find themselves pondering why the judges chose to weld Dinah Jane Hansen to that pre-fab girl group instead of giving her James’ solo slot at Judges’ Houses?

5) Reed Deming: Plain White Ts’ “Hey There Delilah” | Reed has a solid voice and an impressive ability to hit his notes, but I don’t think America* is ready for a 13-year-old kid who dresses like Tom Cruise on the talk show circuit and says things like “My whole life** has been in preparation for this moment.” Bottom line is he’s simply too young to believably convey the emotion behind any song I’d ever want to hear. (*by “America,” I mean myself) (**Reed is the same age as the BlackBerry!)

4) Arin Ray: Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” | It seems like 90% of Judges’ Houses performances involved taking an uptempo radio hit and turning it into a plaintive ballad. (Call it Drew Ryniewicz syndrome.) Arin’s rendition of “Starships,” however, turned out to be one of the more believable remakes. The former member of Season 1 youth collective InTENsity has a surplus of charisma and a pleasant tone, but it’s his ability to breathe meaning into his lyrics (and, well, his looks) that could make him a serious contender for #TeamBritney. Of course, maybe it was just will.i.am’s truly sage advice — “Spill it out on stage. That’s what I do: I spill!” — that brought out the best in Arin?

3) Carly Rose Sonenclar: Karmin’s “Brokenhearted” | will.i.am compared Carly Rose to a caterpillar that turns into a dragon, and it was probably his most astute observation all night. This young woman has a gargantuan instrument, and yet wields it with such precision that she could cut glass. My one concern about the Lady Sonenclar is that she’s almost too studied, too perfect, to really connect with the speed-dialing audience, but I can’t call her cocky — only honest — for saying she’d be shocked if she doesn’t make it to the live shows.

2) Diamond White: Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You” | Britney and the Black Eyed Peas dude engaged in a little post-performance banter about Diamond needing to work on her choreography and stage presence, but I think it was just a red herring to create some suspense for next week’s show. After all, Diamond actually improved on Avril’s original, with a delicate upper register on the verse, and an effortless but well-timed display of power on the chorus. To quote her pint-sized rival Beatrice Miller, Diamond is “flawless — to the point where it’s not fair.”

1) Beatrice Miller (hell yeah!): David Guetta featuring Sia’s “Titanium” | What I appreciate about Beatrice offstage is that, whether or not she’s been groomed for childhood stardom since she was a zygote — and really, if your vocal training doesn’t begin at the cellular level these days, what chance do you have to make it? — she still comes across as a real life human teen, not a permanently perky robot who’d never frown (on the off chance there was a casting agent on the premises). “Anyone else sick to their stomach?” she asked, before taking a moment to wipe away her tears of nervousness. I’m just not sure why the kid was worried: Her reworking of “Titanium” was completely stunning, with her voice often retracting in places where you’d expect it to explode — and vice-versa. And there wasn’t a single botched note in the mix. Let’s let our resident philosopher will.i.am have the last word: “That was fresh!”

Oldies
6) Tara Simon: Hoobastank’s “The Reason” | Tara wondered before her performance why everyone always says less is more. Why can’t more be more? (Translation: Why can’t I throw every vocal trick at my disposal into a 90-second performance?) But I’ve got some other questions Tara should’ve asked herself: Why were you strutting around making alien trilling noises while your fellow contestants were in rehearsal? Why was the opening verse of “The Reason” nearly inaudible? And how could you be fist-pumpingly thrilled with your performance when you went completely sharp on your big glory note, and most of the chorus sounded pretty strident? I wouldn’t mind Tara’s loopy brand of egomania — “It was a near-perfect performance,” she grinned — but the problem is she’s a generic peanut butter who’s somehow under the impression she’s Jif.

5) Tate Stevens: Brian McKnight’s “Back at One” | Tate has expressed his desire to leave behind his past life pouring asphalt so many times that I’m worried he won’t have a job to go back to should he not advance past the Judges’ Houses round. Unfortunately, he seemed to hit a lot of flat notes on the chorus of his countrified reimagining of Brian McKnight’s unabashedly romantic R&B ballad. Still, Tate’s penchant for tinkering with songs outside his preferred genre may serve him well if/when he makes it to the live shows.

4) Daryl Black: Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone” | The tiny snippet we heard of “She’s Gone” sounded smooth and tuneful, but the way he’s getting edited, Daryl might as well be the first teenager to investigate the clanging noise in the darkened basement at the start of a Halloween slasher movie.

3) Vino Alan: Pink’s “Sober” | Vino’s slouchy, “I’m over this!” body language is that of a fifth grader who’s been forced to stand in front of the classroom and tell us what he did on his summer vacation, but vocally, he might be the most committed performer of The X Factor‘s second season. Sure, the opening verse was a little low for his comfort zone, and yes, his final few lines got a little screamy-screamy, but percolating up through the flaws was an impressive display of emotion, and a rich, distinctive vocal tone. I just wish L.A. hadn’t made such a big deal about Vino scuffing his shoes when he was bidding the mentors farewell. I mean, Vino is a regular dad who’s aiming high and taking one last swing at a major-league singing career, not a turn-of-the-century servant who accidentally got cranberry sauce on the governor’s sleeve.

2) David Correy: Jessie J’s “Domino” | At 26, David is the least likely member of the “Over 25s” to offend L.A. Reid with unsightly gray hairs, creaking joints, and the perpetual smell of Ben Gay. More importantly, though, the tattooed fella displayed perfect pitch and a radio-ready flow that might be enough to score a hit or two before he’s sent to an assisted living facility for a life of shuffleboard, bingo, and liquid turkey dinners. I’d vote him most likely to give L.A. some bragging rights between now and the end of the holiday shopping seasonl

1) Jason Brock: Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” | I can’t lie: Jason could’ve sounded like ball bearings in a blender and I’d have still loved him, if only for correcting the grammar of Fergie’s “I’m gonna miss you, like a child misses their blanket” and changing it to “I’m gonna miss you, like a child misses its blanket.” But almost as important, Jason used his big, robust voice to infuse the ballad with a surge of pure theatricality. Reedy-voiced youths beware: This fabulous fella could be your stealthiest competition!

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

Who were your favorites from The X Factor‘s second Judges’ Houses episode of Season 2? Anyone you’re dying to see in the live shows? Anyone you’re actively 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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86 Comments
  1. Blinged Up says:

    Well, My Goodness!! I don’t agree with everything Michael Slezak said. What the??

    I liked Diamond and Reed and Arin for the young ‘uns. I liked Tate more than Michael did. And even though he put Tara in last place, I’m certain that I dislike her way more than he possibly could. She makes CeCe look modest.

    I love the judges houses episodes. :)

    • Lauri says:

      Oh my God, that’s how I felt yesterday when he picked CeCe as his number one. I’ve never really disagreed with Slezak before, but I guess there’s a first time for everything.

      • Tt says:

        Same here it’s a first ever but this season I’ve been disagreeing with him a lot for example I don’t get his hate for emblem 3 I think they’re Simons best chance at winning realistically they’ve got the artistry the talent an I think the girls will love’em.

        • ben says:

          emblem3 were awful. They couldn’t sing, and they thought way too much of themselves, and they included the only person to screw up AND make it obvious that he screwed up.

          • Liam Tait says:

            I feel like the X Factor gets a really interesting response, especially as we’re looking at ‘the whole package’ instead of just a voice. Micheal tends to look a lot at the vocals more than other aspects however when looking for the undefined X Factor every point is subjective valid and you can’t all be judging the acts on the same spectrum.
            It makes for a very interesting live show and I can’t wait to see who gets through.

    • Michelle says:

      Glad it’s not just me that hates Tara. She’s not that fantastic and she shows off way, way too much for my taste. I feel bad for the “students” that she teaches.

    • Pearl says:

      Right? I’m shocked!!! Usually I can sign on every thing Michael says, but this time I felt so robbed!!! C’mon Michael, HOW THE HELL DID YOU PUTJASON AND BEATRICE AT FIRST??? I wasn’t able to listen Jason finish that song, cause it felt wrong on every single level. It was the worst for me. I get it you love him, but he was BAAAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!! (from a humble watcher point of view, sure)
      Anyway, here is how I’d rank:

      Teens

      6) James Tanner: Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rock Star”
      5) Reed Deming: Plain White Ts’ “Hey There Delilah”
      4) Arin Ray: Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” (I almost gave him the 3 spot, just like him more)
      3) Beatrice Miller: David Guetta featuring Sia’s “Titanium” (Just… Not interested, but she can sing)
      2) Diamond White: Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You” (She needs to cut the cheese from her perform)
      1) Carly Rose Sonenclar: Karmin’s “Brokenhearted” (I love this girl, and she has pipes for days!)

      Oldies
      (Just an observation, viewing the episode I understood L.A.’s despair, I actually like the Groups more than almost every singer on this category, and that is rare. I couldn’t go through half of the presentations, there’s something just too… Wrong about hose guys. I MISS ROCKER DADDY SO MUCH!)

      6) Tara Simon(The girl who got in so the show wouldn’t be criticezed for having only men on this category – Bad, bad call!)
      5) Jason Brock: Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (Maybe is the fact that I love this song so much, and Fergie’s version, but hear Jason sing it was like being shot on my heart. I’m sorry Michael, but this guy belongs on a Vegas Show, he shoud try America’s Got Talent)
      4) Vino Alan: Pink’s “Sober” (There’s something about this guy attitude, and the way he attack those lyrics that I can’t enjoy, he has a unique voice, but I don’t feel him)
      3) Daryl Black: Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone” (Okay, him I just love.)
      2) Tate Stevens: Brian McKnight’s “Back at One” (I love this song, and even if I dislike the country guy, I enjoyed every second of it.)
      1) David Correy: Jessie J’s “Domino” (From his first audition, I couldn’t like this guy, and I’m brazilian,but his version of Domino felt warm, new and special, without being overdone.)

  2. I am not impressed with her as a performer, but Carly Three Names was pretty spot on vocally. I missed the groups tonight tho

  3. Forwarddad says:

    Sorry Michael you have Jason too high. Third at best. Too dramatic. Thought he over sang. I would switch him with Tate. How smart for a country guy to sing R&B. liked Daryll but he barely got on screen. Not sure why they are scripting LA to act the way he is. And the Biebs can’t put a sentence together. Luckily his manager makes up for him. Disagree about Beatrice. You have her too high. Swap her with Arin. Arin has the whole package – voice, looks and humility. We do agree on Tara. When will these wanna be divas understand what they look and sound like? While they might be good fodder America will never vote for her so why waste the spot . Too bad she has a nice voice wo all the runs and riffs.

    • Dan says:

      No, Tara does not have nice runs and riffs . . . the only possible runs she has might be out of her backside and in her nylons, but that’s it. And, Slezak has the teens ranked correctly.

    • ktbanks says:

      The thing is, the R&B songs Tate is singing have been hits for country artists. I grew up listening to only country radio, thinking they were country songs originally. (Of course, I’ve long since expanded my musical horizons and learned they weren’t.) But it’s not as if he’s being super revolutionary with the choice. That being said, he’s a good country singer, and should get through.

    • KathyB says:

      I liked Jason, though agree that 1 may be too high. But Michael… I am not a (huge) stickler for grammar, and I didn’t catch this on the show, but the grammar correction you are citing here is not correct! “Their” is fine (look up “singular they” on Wikipedia if you don’t believe me) but even if it doesn’t sound right to you, wouldn’t you agree that the only possible change would be his/her? Sorry for the nitpicky comment but I feel the need to stand up for the songwriter!

  4. Tess says:

    Loved Beatrice tonight. Thought she was better than Carly and Diamond, who both have been featured far more than her. I also liked what little we did see of Daryl, but since we saw so little of him, I know he’s a goner. Shame because he could do well as a traditional R&B artist and is very likeable that he could do well on the show.

    Tara is a waste of a Judges’ house spot for sure. I think they only put her there because they didn’t want to pick Jeffrey Gutt and wind up with no women in the category. But really does she have any chance on this show? Even if LA is crazy enough to pick her for the live shows, she will not get enough votes to survive too long and the judges’ would have to keep saving her at the expense of better acts to keep her on which wouldn’t go over well with viewers. She does make CeCe look good, doesn’t she?!

    Pretty sure Brit’s going to take the three girls and Arin and LA’s going to cut Tara and Daryl and take the other 4 (though I wish Daryl would get a spot).

    • Dan says:

      I concur on Brit’s selection of the teens (both white boys goners) — at least that’s what I would do. Regarding the over 25s, have no clue. They might in fact keep Tara. The way they have been having LA Reid behave (which is an abomination and an outright affront to those of us in the viewing audience who care about integrity and watch these shows for the sheer talent, and not all of the production hype), don’t be surprised by some wacky selections.

      • Mary says:

        I have a feeling Britney will drop one of the girls and put in Beiber look alike – I hope she doesn’t
        but I have a terrible feeling Diamond or Beatrice will be gone.

  5. Jss0058 says:

    Why do all the contestants take uptempo songs and turn them into ballads? Is that their choice or the producers? Its kinda annoying?!

    • Dan says:

      No “kinda” about it. TOTALLY, I think, is the word. Plus, the judges’ houses performances this year pale in comparison, I think, to many of those we saw from last season. And I’m not even sure the talent is better — initially I thought maybe so, but now not so sure. Time will (shortly) tell if the changing of the categories is an improvement. I am not so sure there, either. Listen folks, people like me only watch these shows because we love the talent — not the hype, mischievous editing, and misdirection. Don’t think for one second, however, that the network and show producers care one iota about the talent, necessarily. It’s ALL about RATINGS and the MONEY.

  6. Amber says:

    I think L.A. needs to be the next person fired from this show. I think he’ll land on his feet.

  7. Princess Adora says:

    1. David Correy reminds me of A.J. McLean. His tattoos and image make him look kinda scary, but then he sings so sweetly it makes me confused – which will probably lead to a solo career just as successful as AJ’s :S

    2. She’s got a beautiful voice, but I thought that song was too old for Carly Rose.

    3. Britney needs to darken her eyebrows <– This is the most important of my 3 points

    *Sorry I had no real intellectual thoughts on tonight's episode, but I DID enjoy it!

    • Edward says:

      The song Carly sang is pretty spot on for her age. I don’t understand what more you can ask of her to sing. At this rate she’ll only be suited to belt out tunes from the disney channel.

  8. BarbL says:

    I love Vino, and think that LA is selling some of the best singers short. The overs may not have a snowball’s chance to win, but I think they’re extraordinarily talented (well, that woman in the overs would have to be a damn sight better to make up for the narcissistic attitude).
    .
    I’m going to harp on LA until the producers choose a different drama to capitalize on; the tension between “mentor” and contestants is just wrong. It can materialize in ways that are unpleasant–like how LA apparently threw that kid Philip Lomax under the bus last year.
    .
    I really don’t want to see that happen again.

    • Blinged Up says:

      LA is an unsufferable ego maniac. He has replaced Nicole as the judge who most gets on my nerves. He’s just such a baby. Quit whining!

    • Amber says:

      Yeah, I didn’t like LA last year and was hoping they’d get rid of him, but after last night’s show, with his temper tantrum about getting the “old” folks, he’s just insufferable. By his standards, he’s way too old for TV, so he should just leave. Now.

      • Rachel says:

        I think it would be a mistake to get rid of LA. He has the most experience out of all of them bringing kids up and helping them to become stars. He may be very annoying this season, but he knows what he’s talking about and he can make a star, which is exactly what Simon wants.

        • asniech says:

          Then he can produce the winner when the show is over. As long as he’s off my screen. Though they act like the mentoring is a big deal on this show, they rarely seem to give useful advice, particularly when compared to the mentoring on The Voice. So basically the judges are there to entertain. Simon is rude at times, but at least he’s entertaining. LA is rude and annoying, and other than some interesting facial expressions (and Britney’s got him beat this season for that), I am not entertained by him.

  9. mia says:

    Vino is my favourite; his voice is incredibly emotional and evocative. And I don’t know what LA was saying about “the package”; Vino is incredibly sexy and then add that voice and daaaaaaaamn. Put him in some nice clothes and you’ve got a winner there.

    • Idolhead Ed says:

      I agree that Vino was great vocally, but this ain’t a blind audition and he looks seriously hideous. Just a word of warning to the young ones out there; this is what happens when you get stone drunk and end up in a Taiwanese tattoo parlor……and the artist is also drunk.

      • Dan says:

        Well, maybe some liberties taken here on how Vito got to look the way he does. Nonetheless, point well-taken. I tell my kids all the time, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and getting tattoos, piercings, etc, doesn’t make you a bad person. People have different stories and reasons for how they got to where they are, and nothing should be outright dismissed or assumed. However, one must live with teh choices they make, and an abundance of tattoos (and/or piercings) are less likely to advance your cause.

    • TheBeach says:

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who thinks Vino has the best voice of the Over25s.

  10. Jobless says:

    The rankings for the teens are totally off base. Carly at #3? She is head and shoulders above any of the others.

    • kavyn says:

      Yup, I agree, And Arin should have been lower for the song choice alone imo.

    • CMac says:

      100% agree !! if you closed your eyes while she was singing, You would swear it was the radio, and not an amature on a talent show (and 13 years old no less) Carley seems to have gotten a raw deal here from fans of the show for some reason

      • kcostell says:

        The reason she doesn’t sound like an amateur is that she isn’t. She’s a plant who’s been singing professionally or semi-professionally for most of her life.

  11. Maris says:

    Beatrice is my favorite too, her voice is so sweet and natural I just love it, I also really like what we’ve seen of her personality AND she’s cute, I’m just scared Jennel didn’t make it through, did they just spoil us with that promo for next week?

    • kavyn says:

      By editing logic, if the contestant is crying it’s because they made it.

      • Tim says:

        Yes, you can pretty much guarantee if the voiceover says “I’m sorry” and they show the contestant crying, that they made it. So predictable.

        • Dan says:

          Don’t know about that. Take that logic to the next level — being hauled away on a gurney in an ambulance surely guarantees a spot on the show. NOT. (Hello Panda).

          • lily7 says:

            Michael, please, please provide a Panda appearance on Reality Check or at least an update! As for Carly, she has starred on Broadway in Les Mis, has performed on Electric Company etc.., I realize a lot of these contestants have been working the circuit but it seems even more contrived to pretend to debate whether or not she has the X-Factor when at 13 she already has a career. It is just more fun to watch someone be discovered, as was case with Panda.

        • Maris says:

          I’m hoping you’re right, she HAS cried in pretty much every promo haha

    • DarkDefender says:

      While I like Beatrice.. Isn’t she really just Drew Ryniewicz 2.0?

      • Dan says:

        No. She’s Beatrice Miller 1.0. Nonetheless, nice plug for Drew, probably my favorite from last year (and even if you just consider her judges’ home performance in front of Simon alone).

        • Blinged Up says:

          Speaking of Drew, I was just saying to my kids last night who were watching with me that I don’t like any of the teens this year as much as I liked Drew last year at this time. They agreed. (They’re teenagers — maybe people are not going to get the signficance of that last sentence. They AGREED with me! That hasn’t happened in quite a while.)

  12. Snow says:

    I really hope that the spoilers are wrong about who makes it to the live shows, especially for the groups and young adults. The spoilers do seem spot on for the teens and overs though, which makes it even more concerning

  13. Tim says:

    Sign me up for Team Beatrice. I thought she had something special while most of the others were just good karaoke. She reminds me a little of Drew from last year.

  14. Jared says:

    Are you people nuts?! Carly Rose was absolutly flawless! She is the one to be vocally (in that category). Beatrice is just ok.

  15. dj says:

    Beatrice was my favorite, too. I didn’t like Tara at all. Even if you subtract her annoying, over-inflated opinion of herself from the equation, I don’t like her. Her vocals aren’t that good, but I’m worried she’ll make it to the live shows for two reasons. #1 She provides bitch drama. #2 She’s the only female in the “overs.” Did you ever find out what happened to Panda? Did she have health problems that prevented her from coming to bootcamp? It would have been so much more fun with Panda there.

  16. T says:

    Carly Rose sang her face OFF! It needs to be Carly, Beatrice, Diamond and Arin. And it’s super refreshing that (so far) none of the kids seem cloying or “juvenile”, they all seem professional and focused. As good as Drew and Rachel were last year, I found their personalities annoying. None of these kids are like that.

    • Dan says:

      Rachel Crow annoying? Yes. Drew annoying, No. I agree with your selection assessment of the teens: white boys gone fishin’.

  17. luli says:

    hold on… what the hell happened to panda???

  18. Dan says:

    Slezak, on the teen rankings, you nailed it (and yes, “hell yeah” to Beatrice). On the rankings of the Ancients, not so much. Brock #1? Seriously? The tone of his voice was like nails on a chalkboard. I would place him at #4 or #5, and everyone else (EXCEPT for the female — won’t even utter her name, she’s so annoyingly bad) shifts upward in rank.

  19. Kelm says:

    David
    Vino
    Diamond
    Arin

    That’s all. I don’t understand your number one spot for the fattier, uglier, queerer but less talented pale copy of Lambert.

  20. John says:

    I think the teen rankings are spot-on. I would put Tate up a notch, but I can’t really argue that one too much. And there was a country version of “Back at One” by Mark Wills around the same time as Brian McKnight’s version.

  21. Lili An-noln says:

    This show needs a new judging panel – it is SO much better than The Voice, but need to be fixed. For me it’s clear that the problem is with the judges they hired. Here’s my suggestions for season 3 (if there is one):

    a) Keep Demi.
    Hiring her was the first right decision the producers of the show has made.

    b) Replace L.A by will.i.am
    Simon was unknown here in the US but quickly became TV’s biggest star. LA, however, is still the man who discovered the artists X, Y and Z. Clearly the weak link, he is just as useless as Randy Jackson, but his comments are not dumb as Randy’s – which means he adds nothing to the panel in terms of entertainment.
    will.i.am would be great because he created one of the world’s biggest groups and had huge hits collaborating with several artists. He is not only a producer, he is a superstar. Not only the success to juge but the knowledge to help the contestants to develop their careers and the personality needed to be on these shows.

    c) Hire a new popstar instead of Britney
    Sorry, Britney fans! but she brought zero viewers to the show. The best alternative is Katy Perry – although not a great singer herself, she clearly has The X Factor. And was an excelent guest judge both on Idol (remember the “This isn’t a Lifetime movie, sweetheart.” comment??) and The X Factor UK (She may have kissed him during the MTV’s VMA, but refused to say “Yes” to Niall from One Direction).

    Put Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry and will.i.am together and this will be the #1 show on television!

    • Danny Boy says:

      Really couldn’t agree with you more (not that it will happen. LA + Britney = useless.

    • Pearl says:

      Actually, I’m kind of impressed that Demi’s advices were the BEST until now!!! Definitelly a keeper.
      I thought L.A. would be an amazing judge, but the guy has not put any industry input so far, very dissapointed. Like Will I Am, but not that much. I’d like to see J.T. The gut went from Boyband to big satr, he crearly knows how to build a career!
      I like britney, but… She doesn’t seems right. Can we get Fergie on? Great songwritter, knows how to do Fun and Melody. Pop and Artristy..

      Fergie, Justin Timberlake, Simon and Demi Lovatto.

  22. Karen says:

    I’m a little surprised at how disappointed LA was about getting the Over’s category, since at least four of them are stellar vocalists, and seemingly good performers as well. And even though my dear Daryl seems doomed by production, I’m really rooting for him to advance.
    All in all, I really hope Slezak’s top 4 performances in these two categories, will be the one’s to advance, but I fear that that might not be the case

    • teatime says:

      It makes it look like he is a hack producer who can only appreciate and market ‘music’ if he is really just selling a young, attractive, performer. He does not need viewer votes to tell him who he thinks that is.

  23. Steve says:

    WHY ARE THE VIDEOS ALWAYS WEEKS OLD? CANT TUNE IN TO WATCH IF YOURE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEK”S SHOWS..CANT YOU ATTEMPT TO BE MORE TIMELY

    • BethT says:

      Geez – chill out! The videos are not *always* weeks old. Michael has explained about 4 times in various places that he and Melinda had a two week break. A new video is due Monday.

  24. Chris says:

    Jason first, the rest nowhere. Tate really stinks, though. He is simply horrible.

  25. erin says:

    In addition to predicting that Emblem3, Dope Criss, Paige Thomas, and Nick Youngerman will be out, I think we’ll also see Tara Simon (HOPE HOPE HOPE), Daryl Black, James Tanner, and Reed Deming sent home on Wednesday.

  26. Brittany says:

    Michael- Please tell us what happened to Panda!

  27. RD says:

    I feel sorry for LA’s group because his douchebag arrogance and attitude will probably go against every one of them in the live shows. Would you really want him to have the winning act? Well,would you? I wouldn’t.

    • STM says:

      He will blame it on the talent levels.. this poor group, they have no chance. I got the vibes of searching for reasons to kick the new adam lambert guy, which is a shame, he is over the top and great.

      I question the obsession of LA with underage kids. I mean, something is really really wrong with him wanting to work only with those and then consulting with his good friend 17 yo Justin Beib. It’s almost as if he is the old man offering candy and kittens to little kids in the park.

  28. Lee says:

    What happened to reality check?

  29. ben says:

    Michael, like a fine wine, your singing competition recaps are improving with age. Honestly, you just get better and better.

  30. JAson says:

    You’re funny Slezak. Worrying about the grammar in RnB songs? I think their meant to be slang!

    • Chris says:

      Seeing that your first sentence is missing a comma, and you used “their” instead of “they’re” in your final one, I’m not surprised that proper usage of the language is a joke to you.

  31. JAson says:

    The talent is so much better then last year. The top 4 kids are leaps and bounds better then rachel Crow and Drew.

    The overs probably aren’t as good as Josh from last year but definitely better then the rest of that crew.

    And the three good groups are so much better then the groups last year it’s not even funny. (If somehow Emblem3 doesn’t make it because of that created One Direction want to be it will be a shame.) Same with the sister act.

    At least they’re attempting at a few different genres.

    • Tim says:

      I don’t agree that the talent is better. I haven’t seen anyone yet that’s as good a singer as Josh/Melanie/Drew. But I do think this year’s crop has more charisma and personality, which means a greater chance of the winner actually having the “x factor”.

  32. bobby says:

    I liked Carly the best out of everybody, and for the young adults I want jullian, jennel, Willie, and paige to make it I hate cece I want her to go home.

  33. EmmaY says:

    watching the show again the Teens is the best category!!! Their voices are amazing!!! I agree with the rankings of the teen six.

  34. teatime says:

    Slezak, very funny article, as usual. Thank you.
    I feel sorry for the over-the-hill group, aka over-25 in X-Factor land. For me, Vino had one of the few memorable performances all week, of any of the 4 categories.

  35. Thank you for making me seriously LOL at the “over 25″ comments…I couldn’t agree more…I felt so bad for those contestants…I’m 27 and was thinking “How did this guy get to be a hot shot music producer if all he’s limited to do is train tweens and teens?” At least Simon is adaptable…c’mon L.A. don’t be such as a&%!

  36. Louis says:

    Daryl was remarkable during the first audition and I actually picked him to win it right then and there. I’m SO disappointed he got the interruptible edit (an interview during his judge’s house performance.) I’m hoping that’s not a sign of things to come. If he makes it to live shows, he could win it all.

  37. T_T says:

    Loved Beatrice. Her voice has a certain uniqueness to it. She is also cute and very pleasant to look at. I’m going to rank Carly 2nd, and Diamond and Arin tied at 3rd and 4th. For the “oldies” (bwahahaha), I’d rank David Correy at no.1. I honestly couldn’t tell who follows. :P

  38. Mari says:

    I’m totally team Beatrice. She was flawless!

  39. 2young2Bwise says:

    Tate Stevens did sing a country song! “Back at One” was a huge hit for Mark Wills. I wasn’t aware there was another version of it. He did seem awfully nervous though. I have to disagree about Jason Brock in the #1 spot. It seems that the singing takes a backseat to the personality and not in a good way. I agree that Beatrice was the best of the teens during this episode. She’s still likable because she hasn’t received any strange edits from the producers.

  40. Nicole says:

    Beatrice Miller is my favorite. She is amazing! AMAZING. I will cry if she doesn’t make it ….AMAZING. PERFECT. FLAWLESS.

  41. Matt says:

    Ifbit was really gramatically correct I would be “his blanket” or “her blanket” not “its blanket.” A person can’t be an it!

  42. FreeHaley says:

    So far I think they made all the right choices for who got to the top 24…. other than for the decrepits where they made a crazy error not putting Jeff through! How did Tate or Tara make it over him? Granted they barely showed him during Hollywood so maybe he flamed out, but the few seconds they did show of him he seemed fine. Still only one huge bad out of 24 is a better record than these shows often have.

    And so far for the picks for the top two teams, pretty good.

    I think Britney got it perfectly (the way they edited it I was actually tricked into thinking she’d do an even 2 guys 2 girls split and it would all go bad, thankfully not, since the girls definitely had the better talent). So great job there. I actually think they got that group 100% perfectly for the top 4, which is refreshing. I had been sort of against the younger category after the Rachel and the rapper kid meltdowns but man the ones this year are GOOD, those three girls, so I’ve changed my mind ad they seem precocious, but in a good and intelligent way. I have a feeling that in this younger bracket they are getting a full go at the top talent before it’s already been a lot more picked over by record companies. There are none whom seem like they will end up turning into a Rachel story. They seem precocious, but in a deep way, not in some programmed little robot way or mimic way or what not, they come across as really intelligent.

    I think LA got it mostly right although I think I would’ve had Tate out of there in favor of Daryl (although I’d rather it had been Jeff, although he was no longer an option). Maybe it’s a bit of my country bias but he just seemed a bit plain to me even considering.

    LA is getting a bit annoying, OK, you didn’t want the decrepits, we got it, the 100th time you said it, now that you are saying for the 3000th time it’s starting to reallly get tiresome and making you sound like an OLD and cranky man. And don’t forget that Madonna, like the biggest pop female star ever, wasn’t really super well known by the general public until…. AFTER she was 25 (I think she was a few weeks from 25 when her first album came out and then it was a number of weeks until it became more known so she was a bit over 25 and nobody considered her old and decrepit upon her rush into fame)!

    I think Jason Brock doesn’t belong as #1. I actually wasn’t blown away by his performance for LA, top 4 OK, but Vino and especially David definitely seemed ahead of him to me, I gotta drop him to 3rd (And 4th if Jeff was still around).

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