The final night of The X Factor auditions is upon us, y’all! The episode starts out with a montage of our previous faves like Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene, in case we’d forgotten that they were awesome (we hadn’t).
Ooh, shots of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty as “Livin’ on a Prayer” plays in the background. But, uh, they know Bon Jovi’s from Jersey, right? Oh, they do -- these auditions are in Newark. Fair enough! After a review of the rules of the show and a reminder of who our judges are (Nicole, instead of Cheryl, which will be the case from now on), we’re off!
Brian Bradley is 14 years old and from Brooklyn. He’s got a fedora and big headphones around his neck and refers to his stepfather as his step-pops. He’s gunning for Jay Z and Kanye, no big deal. “It’s politics, man.” He does a weird bit in which he gets in a (fake?) fight with Simon, then launches into his rap. His song is about how we’re not supposed to look at his mom, who is actually kind of hot, so it’s understandable that it’s a problem. By the end of the performance, the crowd is totally on board. L.A. talks about his years running Def Jam and how he was looking for Brian all the years he worked there. Four yeses!
Medley of Goodness: Kelly Warner is perky and cuts hair in a nursing home and sings “Hallelujah” and they show her singing the line about cutting hair. How clever! Four yeses for Kelly! Aaron Surgeon has long hair and a big hat and sings “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith, and Simon doesn’t like him but the other three do, so he gets through. More people, including a dude in a blue shirt with some seriously blue eyes, are apparently good and all get through. Liliana Rose Andreano is 26 and has an office job. She sings a pretty version of “You Are My Sunshine” and gets through.
Next up is Andy Silikovitz, who’s 43 and has glasses and a ginger beard and wants to be on an episode of MTV Cribs. He’s there with his mom and he’s never kissed a girl. We’re cringing already, and it gets worse when Simon asks if he’s married and he talks about how he’s been single all his life and maybe if he does well on the show he’ll get a girlfriend. “I promise you, if you win, you’ll get one,” says L.A., and for a second we hope that he’s going to be like Susan Boyle and be amazing. But he’s not. He’s bad. It goes on forever. Make it stop!! And finally it does stop, and the judges are really nice as they tell him “no,” at least. Plus, he scores a hug from Paula, which is probably the most action he’s seen in a long, long time.
Mixed Salad of Terrible: Cashmere is an office worker/karaoke enthusiast from Philly. During her pre-performance chat with the judges, Simon has the giggles for no apparent reason. Within, like, two seconds of her performance of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” it’s clear that she’s awful. Four nos. Nouf Taraman, up next, is also awful, and admonishes the audience for booing her. Well, try not being terrible, girl! Four nos. Awesomely-named Jean Loup Wolfman is a life coach and a bad singer. Four nos. Maya Lehmann is 58 and does hideous things to “We Are the Champions.” Four nos.
Cari Fletcher is a pretty 17-year-old blond who’s taken classical vocal training since was 6, and will be singing “Alone” by Heart. It’s... okay? A little low for her to start off, presumably so she can bring it up and belt it when it gets to the good part. Ah, there it is! Huh. This song should be more exciting; she sounds nice but it’s a little bland. Nicole thinks she has great potential, Paula likes her, and L.A. likes her, but Simon didn’t find her voice distinctive. She gets four yes votes anyway for being marketable, probably.
More good people are happy to have gone through, but we’re not supposed to worry about them so we only hear them sing about three notes each. Well, okay then!
Next up is an aggressively adorable pair of 15-year-old besties named Austin and Emily who perform under the name AusEm. “If we can be at the Grammys and go up against Lady Gaga and win, we’ll know we’re on top,” says Emily. Yeah, that’d probably be a pretty good sign that you’re doing all right! They sing “Jar of Hearts” and it’s not amazing vocally (he’s better than she is), there’s some cheesy high school talent show “choreography,” but whatever, they’re cute. Simon says something that basically means “I think we can make money off of you,” and then none of the judges really like Emily, which is awkward and sad for everyone, especially Emily. The judges wonder about splitting them up, and Nicole agonizes for one thousand years before voting “yes.” Which is nice, sure, but all of the other judges voted “yes” anyway so it didn’t really matter. And with that, we’re peacing out of Newark and heading to... nowhere in particular! It’s time for a collection of the best auditions from around the country.
Tora Woloshin has platinum Marilyn Monroe hair and purple boots and tattoos and a septum piercing. She’s a racecar enthusiast and the most blatantly rockstar-looking auditioner we’ve seen so far by a mile. From the first note, her performance of “I Want You Back” is flat-out awesome, as she stalks around the stage and lets it rip. Simon can’t stop smiling. The crowd loves her, and Tora gets a little emotional from all the love. It’s really sweet, and just like that we’ve got a new TV Girlfriend! Four very enthusiastic yeses for Tora, of course.
Potpourri of Bad: Jor-El Garcia is inspired by “all the pop goddesses.” John Duff is “a male Katy Perry with some Nicki Minaj and some Ke$ha.” Darlene & Sherone made Paula “a little uncomfortable.” Rick White sings “Land of a Thousand Dances” and is on uppers.
Next comes a group of five dudes called Stereo Hogzz, one of whom had a baby girl (well, his wife/girlfriend/whatever, obviously) that morning. They’re from Houston, which host Steve pronounces as “Who-stun” because he’s Welsh and nobody bothered to correct him. Anyway, Stereo Hogzz. They’re like... an R&B boyband? Their whole thing seems a little early-90’s dated but it’s not bad, if you’re into that sort of thing. The judges are into that sort of thing, apparently, and they get four yeses.
Brennin Hunt is from Nashville and is like, SCORCHING HOT. Like, he models sometimes, cheekbones, perfect hair and stubble, completely soul-crushingly unobtainable hot. Sort of Jared Leto-esque? He knows he’s smoking hot, which makes him like 10 percent less hot, but this guy at 90 percent hotness is still... pretty hot. (Hot no longer seems like a word, we’ve used it so much in this paragraph!) Is he going to be terrible? Please don’t be terrible. Stay on our TV, please. Be our TV Boyfriend! His original song, “How We Make It,” isn’t bad, and his voice is really nice, lightly raspy like his pretty, pretty stubble. Paula is drooling. All the judges are drooling, actually. Four yeses for TV Boyfriend! Uh oh, looks like TV Boyfriend has an Actual Girlfriend, who greets him backstage. Oh well. Our relationship was short but sweet, Brennin!
Grab-bag of Good: Paige Elizabeth is 18 and adorable and willing to take out Justin Bieber to succeed. We love her already. She sings Lady Gaga fabulously and gets four yeses. Leroy Bell is allegedly 59 (and looks about 40, maybe) and sings “Lean on Me” and gets four yeses. The Brewer Boys are 13 and 17, cute as can be, and sound great together. Four yeses! Nick Dean is 14 and sings “[his] first single” and has obvious popstar appeal. “Four big fat yeses” for Nick, Simon says.
Devon Talley is 21, from New York, and will be singing “Seasons of Love” from RENT. It’s bad, and not in a funny or interesting way, so let’s move on.
The final audition of the night is Jazzlyn Little, 16, and she’s super nervous. Don’t worry, Jazzlyn, you’re the last audition of the episode, you’re going to be awesome! She posted a video of herself singing on YouTube and it only got around 500 hits, she admits to Simon. And then the song starts -- Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down” -- and she’s great. Terrific voice, fantastic stage presence, the whole deal. The judges lose it over her and Jazzlyn tears up, “you don’t know what this means to me,” she says. Aw! Four yeses, obviously, and then: the auditions are over!
The episode closes with a montage of moments from the auditions, which have been spread over the course of a whole whopping two weeks, so we probably didn’t need to see them again, but whatever! Next week is BOOT CAMP! We see everyone learning choreography and looking stressed as hell, and learn that from the slew of people there, only 32 acts will go through. Those are some serious cuts! THERE WILL BE BLOOD, Y’ALL!
So what did you think about the final auditions ep? Have you picked your favorite yet?
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