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'X Factor' Recap: Brian 'Astro' Bradley & Drew Ryniewicz, Both 14, Shine — But Will They Make The Cut?

Fri, October 14, 2011 2:52am EDT by 15 Comments

 Only four contestants from each group will go through to live performances — who do YOU think will make it?

The X Factor is continuing to become my new favorite vocal reality show on TV. On the Oct. 13 episode (which was delayed a night due to baseball), the four groups of contestants — the over 30s, the girls, the guys and the groups — all traveled around the world and met their mentors and guest judges. The girls freaked out when they realized Simon Cowell was their mentor in France. The over 30s didn’t seem thrilled to be placed with Nicole Scherzinger, but their eyes certainly lit up when Enrique Iglesias walked out the door as the guest judge. The groups with Paula Abdul were guest judged by Pharrell Williams; the boys got Rihanna (lucky!!) and the girls were supposed to have Mariah Carrey, but she couldn’t make it because of a hurricane. (Buzz kill!)

Side note: According to Steve the host, all the contestants got tours of the judges’ gorgeous mansions before singing, and I wish we could have seen more of that. Fox should do a Cribs-esque episode just of those bomb houses…I cannot believe how over the top they are!

The contestants who performed on this episode were as follows:

Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley, 14, blew me away with his rapping. Even though he has more confidence than Justin Bieber (which can get a little obnoxious), his talent, focus and drive is endearing. Rihanna ate him up. I think it’ll be hard for him to compete in this competition of singers, but he nailed his audition. There’s nothing he could have done better.

Simone Battle certainly looks the part of a pop star, but her rendition of The Beatles‘ “Help” was slow, over indulgent and boring. However, Simon was completely enchanted with her…so what do I know?

The Anser is a group of three guys from Salt Lake City. They are cute, but forgettable.

I started tearing up when Dexter Haygood gave his monologue before his performance. “I thought I was done,” he admitted, crying. Unfortunately, he screwed up his version of Beyonce‘s “Crazy In Love.” I’m still baffled as to why he got this far to begin with, but I think he sealed his fate with that unfortunate audition.

Skyelor Anderson‘s goal is to be the youngest black country singer. He’s sweet, but as Rihanna said, he needs to be polished. There are so many strong guys in this competition, I don’t think they can afford to hand hold Skyelor as he tries to catch up.

I cannot even imagine getting this far in the competition and then screwing up because I couldn’t remember lyrics, which is what Tora Woloshin was nervous would happen. Thankfully, she nailed “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and I thought it was awesome, but Simon wasn’t sold.

No one had ever heard Lakota Reign sing together before since they were all solo artists that were thrown into a country group — and it was obvious they weren’t as connected to each other as some of the groups that have been together for years. I thought their voices blended well, but most of them seemed uncomfortable moving. Overall, the performance was awkward.

When Stacy Francis first auditioned, she had me sobbing — and her audition song, “Purple Rain,” at Nicole’s house almost had the same effect. Although I wouldn’t ever be able to listen to a full album of Stacy’s belting and runs, she gives me chills every time she opens her mouth to sing.

Seeing the look on Pharrell’s face when The Brewer Boys performed Rihanna’s “Only Girl” was priceless. They are clean cut and precious, but I feel like they should have a Disney Channel show…not a major record deal with L.A. Reid.

Poor Phillip Lomax had the challenge of performing a jazzy rendition of a Rihanna single, “Don’t Stop The Music,” to Rihanna herself. I would have shriveled up and died, but he rocked it. I love the tone of his voice. Unfortunately, Rihanna and L.A. were nervous he wouldn’t sell commercially. However, I think he’s cuter than Michael Buble and there’s certainly space in the market for another crooner.

Elaine Gibbs, 53, puts me at ease when I watch her. She’s eludes happiness and confidence. Sadly, I think Nicole has to choose between Elaine and Stacy, otherwise they’ll cannibal themselves.

Simon loved Caitlin Koch, the rugby player, but she bored me to tears. She’s pretty and her tone is good…but zzz.

Nick Voss has a unique tone and look. He intriques me, but his performance was a little over the top and I don’t think Rihanna or L.A. were sold at all.

4Shore knocked their song out of the park! They were all in sync with their moves, plus, their harmonies were intricate and dead on. Paula would be nuts not to send them through.

Out of all the over 30s, James Kenney is probably the most commercial. He’s handsome, talented and charming. I’d put him through for sure.

How Drew Ryniewicz sang “It Must Have Been Love” with such depth and emotion at 14 years old is baffling to me. From her connection to her tone, everything about Drew is mature…except her obsession with Justin Bieber. My only complaint about Drew is her last name — I can’t spell it to save my life! I don’t envy Simon’s position at all. With so many talented girls, I don’t know how he’s going to choose only four.

Who did YOU think shined the brightest at the judges houses? If you were the judges, who would you eliminate and who would you send through to the live performances? Sound off below!


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Check out some of the best auditions on The X Factor premiere! Click here!


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