After last night’s talent-tastic premiere, we’re primed and ready for The X Factor auditions, round two, and tonight’s episode begins in Miami. Caliente!
...Or maybe not so caliente. Our first auditioner, Ashley Sansone, is a 27-year-old “starving artist.” She sings Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” and just... GIRL. Ouch. L.A. says the performance makes him want to slit his wrists. Needless to say, Ashley’s not going through.
Chanel Simone Dixon is awful, unintelligible, and totally shocked that the judges don’t like her. Three cowboys called Kanan Road are slightly less painful but still not getting through. A mother-daughter duo calling themselves Dreamgirlz unsuccessfully attempt Heart’s “Barracuda,” and their family backstage is furious when Simon says they wouldn’t sell records (they wouldn’t, though).
Gloria Estefan hopes the rhythm is gonna get someone! She shows up — because it’s Miami, and what is Miami without Ms. Estefan? — to give the crowd a pep talk. Will it work for Caitlynne Curtis?
Caitlynne, 16, is cute in your basic high school girl kind of way, rocking a yellow dress and coordinating ginormous yellow earrings. She sings Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and while she’s not completely terrible, she’s also clearly not good enough. She breaks down sobbing, Paula goes on stage to comfort her, and a very sad Taylor Swift song about life not being a fairy tale plays over the whole drama. Meanwhile, it’s 22 minutes into the episode and so far not one person has gone through, so there’s that.
Okay, Nick Voss! Nick Voss is 21 and from Hialeah, FL. He has a complicated early 90’s hairstyle with lines shaved into the side of his head and one eyebrow. It’s the kind of thing that could go either way — if he’s talented, it’s quirky and cool and badass, but if he’s not, it’s completely ridiculous. We’re due for a good singer by now, though, so he’s gotta be good, right?
Argh, commercial! Finally, at 8:29, we get Nick’s audition, a performance of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble.” It’s kind of weird — Nicole Scherzinger describes it as “Jim Carrey meets Jerry Lee Lewis with a little sprinkle of Elvis” which is actually pretty accurate. His voice is about a 7.5, but his stage presence is a 10, and Simon tells him he absolutely loves him. Four “yes” votes for Nick, and it’s about time someone went through!
Having finally shown us a good audition, the show gets all coy again and we have to see Ashley Decker, 14, who sees ghosts and sings Jessie J’s “Price Tag” badly, and a delivery guy named Kevin who sings the Bee Gees badly.
Marivana Viscuso is a 55-year-old ex-music teacher who sings “Summertime” and is scary. Her singing is very screamy and drawn-out, and she has wild witchy hair and clothes and... she gets through? With four yes votes? What? “This is gonna sound odd, but it’s meant as a compliment — when I hear you, I think of wolves mating in the forest,” Simon tells her. Which isn’t untrue, the wolves part, but we’re not so sure it’s a good thing.
Next we get some rapid-fire good auditions: a four-member girl group called 2Squar’d, a teacher named Kendra Williams, a hot bearded music teacher named Brendan O’Hara and a male soprano named Jeremiah Pagan all get put through. Where were all these people at the beginning of the episode? GOSH.
The final Miami audition is Melanie Amaro, 18, from Sunrise, FL, who’s singing “Listen” from Dreamgirls. She starts out good and gets progressively better as the song goes on, until by the end the entire arena is losing their minds and Nicole is crying. Simon tells Melanie she’s the reason he wanted to bring the Factor to America, aw! In the least suspenseful vote ever, Melanie gets four yeses.
After a commerical break, we’re on to Dallas, where Nicole is hoping for some “down-home real talent.”
Jonny Rogers, 17, has blond Justin Bieber hair and claims to have had said ‘do since before the Biebs became popular. Suuuure, dude. Anyway, he sings an original song, and although his voice isn’t great and his dancing is pretty awkward, the song is kind of catchy, so maybe he’s got a future in some aspect of music. It won’t be as a contestant on the Factor, though, as Simon awesomely tells him he’s like a Justin Bieber doll gone wrong. Ha!
18-year-old Dillon from “the boondocks” of Kentucky sold his truck to get to the audition, and says he’s going to “demolish it” up on stage, which he proceeds to do almost literally, screaming and flailing around and swearing up a stom. It’s insane and ends with him face-planted on the stage, and he milks it forever and just... no. A world of no.
More terrible people: Wesley is a super-shouty rock singer. Michael and Michelle are a couple and are awful (as singers, not as people; they’re probably perfectly nice). Curtis Lawson, aka Phoenix, is bad and weird, with a dreamcatcher on his belt and some bizzaro robot-sounding throat singing.
Dexter Haygood (which is an awesome name), 49, claims to have Mick Jagger, James Brown and Elvis all mixed up in him. He performs “Sex Machine” by James Brown, and it’s good, but it’s also mostly just a James Brown impression. Simon asks him to sing something else, and Dexter looks emotional, and... commercial! Argh. Stop it, show.
When we get back from the commercial, it turns out Dexter’s house was foreclosed on and he’s living out of his car, and we see him pulling clothes out of the trunk of his car. Back on stage, he sings “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” — which is also by James Brown, by the way — and tones down the antics, and the crowd just falls in love with him and it’s pretty cool to watch. Dexter’s teary-eyed as he receives his four “yes” votes.
Caitlyn Koch, is a very pretty blond 21-year-old rugby coach from Buffalo, NY, and as soon as she appears on screen you just know she’s going through. Her audition is a stripped down, slowed down version of “Stop! In the Name of Love.” The arrangement and Caitlyn’s charisma are better than the vocals themselves, but everyone loves her and she easily gets four “yes” votes.
The last auditioner is the crazy guy in the hot pink trucker hat we saw in last night’s preview. His name, it turns out, is Xander Alexander. He’s 27 and totally obnoxious, and also hilarious. “I wanna be the next Donald Trump meets Martha Stewart without the jail time meets Britney Spears meets Beyonce, without the ugly husband,” he says. He gets on stage and sasses Simon, who gets annoyed, which turns Xander into a nervous basket case. He gets through a couple of lines of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” before Simon cuts him off and asks him to sing something else. Xander babbles for approximately forever before he starts singing a different song, and it’s better, although still not great. Ultimately, he manages to win over Simon and Nicole, but L.A. and Paula both vote “no.” Xander tells them he’s sorry as OneRepublic’s “Apologize” plays, which: hee!
Sort of a bummer way to end the episode, but the preview for next week cheered us right back up — we saw lots of people who looked interesting and a number of enthusiastic responses from the judges. We can’t wait to see more!
What did you think? Did you find your favorite tonight?
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