With the auditions over, the 162 individuals and acts moved on to Boot Camp on Wednesday’s “X Factor.” When that’s complete, we’ll find out the 32 acts that will advance to the next stage, where they go live with the judges and fight for a spot in the live shows.
Of course, we didn’t get that far on Wednesday, since this was just the first of two episodes. Rather, what we got was an uneventful cut to 100 that eliminated 62 acts you don’t remember, as well as the beginning of this show’s version of Group Day.
Of course, it’s not called “Group Day.” It’s “Ensemble Day,” which as any thesaurus will tell you is totally different. But that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves....
Wednesday’s show spotlighted several performers that didn’t get significant airtime during the initial fortnight, but two in particular bear watching.
The first is Audrey Turner, widow of the late Ike Turner. She’s looking to make her own way in the business, and from what the viewers saw in this episode is a likely bet to advance. Nothing says “buzz” and “drama” like Ike Turner’s widow, after all.
The other is Gina Rene, older sister of Chris Rene. Chris was one of the stars of the audition stage, a good bet to make the live shows assuming he stays on the straight and narrow path. But one of the nice moments of the episode was when he was anxiously scanning the crowd to see if his big sis also advanced. She did, and much smiling ensued among the judges. Or at least Paula.
Simon’s ego probably needed a boost after the show’s disappointing ratings (based on expectations), and he got it with Tiah Tolliver. Tolliver, who Simon had to browbeat Nicole Scherzinger for her vote just to get her into Boot Camp, nailed her part in her group’s rendition of “Feeling Good,” notably sung by Nina Simone and used zillions of times since on “Idol.” And if you think it was a coincidence that Tolliver got into a group that offered her ample opportunity to use her power, you probably also believe in the Easter Bunny.
Simon also loved Paige Ogle, good news for her considering that the show appears to have more than its fair share of young blonde women among the remaining hopefuls. Again, if you think the number of young blonde women is a coincidence, you probably shouldn’t open e-mails offering you millions of dollars to launder money in exchange for your social security number and banking information.
Brian Bradley, who doesn’t kowtow to Simon and (as we found out Wednesday) doesn’t dance, also doesn’t know his lyrics, which he botched in his ensemble effort. He would have seemed to be a prime candidate to advance, but L.A. Reid told his fellow judges “Let me give it to you purely from a rap perspective -- he’s just too young.” Also, he was out-rapped by Tatiana “Reina” Williams.
Jazzlyn Little also forgot her lyrics. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to her -- she’d be a natural candidate for “American Idol” if she washes out here. And Nick Dean was awful on “Superman,” and looked like he wanted to throw up after his part was finished.
Also on notice: Pretty much all the groups. None are terrible, but is anyone really going to give The Anser a $5 million deal? Or The Stereo Hogzz? Most of them seem to be more “Star Search” than superstars.
For those worried about poor Brock Wade, who expressed his unrequited love for groupmate Makenna Sullinger during their initial auditions, fret no longer. Sullinger told the cameras that now she’s hoping that a relationship blossoms as well.
So if nothing else, “X Factor” is the modern version of “Love Connection.”
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