Did YOUR favorites make the cut?
The X Factor succeeded once again at keeping me totally enthralled through another “audition” episode, the sixth, to be exact! On tonight’s show we witnessed the tail end of boot camp in LA, the picking of the semi-final 32 contestants for each of the four groups and the dividing of the groups between the judges. It’s hard to believe the producers managed to squeeze so much into an hour and a half!
The first group of the night sang Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On” and featured brother and sister solo acts, Chris and Gina Rene. Unfortunately, Gina, a 36-year-old stay at home mom, failed to deliver as well as her brother, the recovering addict. Over all, the group had some weak links, but still managed to have a lot of fun on stage.
Group two was made up of of a bunch of white country-sounding singers who treated the song — “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts — like a bunch of mini solos, with each member walking out onto stage alone singing. Out of the bunch, 29-year-old beer distributor Tim Cifers was by far the standout. Simon Cowell said he thought he had just watched “a star.”
The third group managed to completely butcher one of my favorite songs, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. Pretty much everyone — The Brewer Boys, Hannah Jackson, Emma Henry, Christa Collins and more — sounded off key the whole song. Maybe we weren’t hearing the right sound mixing…or maybe they all need the boot. I’m not sure.
After all the groups performed, a third of the lot was cut, leaving approximately 65 people for the third round, which consisted of a solo song in front of the judges and an audience of 3,000 people.
Rachel Crow, 13, was up first and KILLED “If I Were A Boy” by Beyonce. I had chills, tears, the whole works. If anyone has the X factor, it’s that little girl. Josh Krajcik, the 30-year-old burrito maker from Ohio, sang a bluesie rendition of Kelly Clarkson‘s “Up to the Mountain” that had the crowd on its feet. “Such a great song,” Simon said to his fellow judges afterward.
Despite being a USC alum, I cannot get behind Simone Battle, the cocky college student who tried to change up Elton John‘s famous hit, “Your Song,” and completely messed it up and forgot every single word — and the melody! She’s been overly confident to the point of obnoxious from the very beginning, so it felt a little like redemption to see her fall apart at the seams. That said, her talent still carried her through to the next round.
(Also, can we just talk about how great Leroy Bell looks? He says he’s 59-year-old, but with his sleeve tattoos and beanie, he looks easily 30 years younger than that!)
One thing I appreciated about The X Factor over other talent competition shows is how prepped I felt for the judges to pick the final 32 contestants. Usually I don’t know half the people they choose, but this time around I knew almost every single person and his or her back story. It was refreshing. Plus, it also made it more emotional — I felt so attached to each of them!
Below I’ve listed which people are going to which judge’s house to work privately with their mentors:
Girls, mentored by Simon Cowell: Caitlin Koch, Tora Woloshin, Simone Battle, Drew Winowicz, Rachel Crow, Jaslyn Little, Melanie Amaro, and Tiah Tolliver
Boys, mentored by L.A. Reid: Brennin Hunt, Bryan Bradley, Skyelor Anderson, Nick Voss, Tim Cifers, Phillip Lomax, Marcus Canty, and Chris Rene.
Groups, mentored by Paula Abdul: The Stereo Hogzz, 2Squar’d, 4Shore, The Brewer Boys, Illusion / Confusion The Anser, and two groups created from eliminated solo singers.
Over 30s, mentored by Nicole Scherzinger: Elaine Gibbs, Tiger Budbill, LeRoy Bell, James Kenney, Josh Krajick, Christa Collins, Dexter Haygood, and Stacy Francis.
I cannot wait to see these groups battle it out next week all around the globe. What did YOU think of the judges’ final decision? Are you pleased with who they chose? Did anyone not make it who you were dying to see? Sound off below!