The judges wasted no time narrowing the competition down to 24 contestants who went on to sing at their luxurious homes.
The Oct. 10 episode of The X Factor brought about major changes, including the addition of special guest mentors will.i.am, Nick Jonas, Marc Anthony and — wait for it — Justin Bieber! (I love him, leave me alone.)
Let’s Break It Down:
These were the finalists who made it through:
CeCe Frey, Willie Jones, Jennel Garcia, Nick Youngerman, Paige Thomas, Jillian Jensen
Jason Brock, Daryl Black, David Correy, Tara Simon, Tate Stevens, Vino Alan
Sister C, Dope Crisis, Emblem 3
Beatrice Miller, James Tanner, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White, Reed Deming, Arin Ray
Not So Fast:
After the finalists were announced and tears started flowing, they brought some people back out to form three brand-new groups. And while I thought they did an awful job of this last year (remember InTENsity?), Simon Cowell is responsible for One Direction, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The judges waited for the “big call” to find out who they get to mentor this season. Britney Spears and Demi Lovato got exactly who they wanted — the teens and the young adults, respectively — while Simon got the groups. But oh no, L.A. Reid wanted nothing to do with the over-25’s! Needless to say, he was NOT happy. It all seemed pretty staged as he slammed down the phone and stormed out. Regardless, Editor Dory Says what L.A. told his group — that he was disappointed to have them — was incredibly rude.
Spicy Jennel sang “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry and it was certainly solid, but a little boring if you ask me. She’s typically very colorful, but Demi told her to tone it down prior to her performance. Demi worried the advice she gave may have hurt her.
Up next was Willie Jones with “Nobody Knows,” which is the song he completely bombed at boot camp. He did a much better job this time around and even remembered all the lyrics! Nick called him a star, but worried that he has yet to define his genre as country or R&B.
My absolute favorite from the auditions, Jillian Jensen, powered through her version of Sara Bareilles‘ “Gravity.” I didn’t think it was her strongest performance, but Nick called her sexy. (OMG!) “It’s the voice tied with the passion,” he said.
Nick Youngerman was daring enough to take on “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha, and I’m sorry, but it was awful. I didn’t get it at all. “You guys are beautiful” he said as he walked away. Nick [Jonas] really liked it and Nick himself thought he “killed it.” I have to agree with Demi in that it was borderline annoying. (Or just plain annoying.)
The ever-sweet Paige Thomas sang a ballad version of Chris Brown‘s “Turn Up The Music,” and Demi made a face most of the way through it. Paige is much better than that. It was just blah, complete with a blue tutu frock sticking out of her butt the whole time. What was that?!
My favorite moment was when Demi flat-out told crazy-pants CeCe Frey that her confidence comes off as unlikable. YES. Someone finally got through to this girl! She took on “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO, which was a really strange song choice. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually enjoyed it! Demi’s advice couldn’t have come at a better time.
The newly-formed boy band, Playback, was up first with “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates with some sort of rap thrown in the middle. Some of the guys were good, but there were some definite weak vocals in there too and you could tell their harmonies weren’t refined yet. Simon liked them, but Marc Anthony “found himself looking for planes.” (Whatever that means.)
Fan favorite Emblem 3 was pretty confident going in as they took on the Police classic, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” But wow, it was a bit of a trainwreck. The one dude even lost his way and missed his verse! This was probably the biggest disappointment of the night for me. “I like them,” Marc said. But can Simon see past their mistakes?
Sister C is the trio of siblings who Britney once called “annoying” and I couldn’t help but agree. They sang “Leavin'” by Shelby Lynne and it was much better than I expected. “I think they’re a homerun,” Mark said, while Simon worried if anyone would vote for them. (Probably not.)
The next Simon-made group consisted of One4Five and Lyric Da Queen (now Lyric145, get it?) and they sang a very loud version of a personal favorite, Miley Cyrus‘ “Party in the USA.” Simon thought it was a bit sloppy, but Marc called Lyric a “superstar.” I don’t know about that.
Next up, Dope Crisis did their own version of “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj and it was shown for all of about three seconds, which doesn’t look good for them. Editing was a dead giveaway on this one. I’d be shocked to see them make it through.
The last group to perform was the five young girls who were thrown together by the judges They actually chose the name LYLAS (love ya like a sister), because apparently it’s still 2003? I’ll bite my tongue on that one, though, because they absolutely blew me away with their vocals on Shontelle‘s “Impossible.” To say I was impressed is an understatement and they were easily my favorite of the night. Marc and Simon were also left speechless. “That was unbelievable,” Simon said.
Tomorrow, we’ll see the teens and the over-25’s perform, and we’ll find out who made it through to the live shows!
(Sidenote: They totally stretched Biebs’ appearance over both nights! I see what you did there, Fox. Well-played.)
Let’s talk favorites, HollywoodLifers. Who are yours? Did you love the girl group as much as I did? Drop me a comment!
— Sharon Tharp
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