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03 October, 2013 7:36 PM
Published by Chris T
Another week, another round of contestants both good and bad. So far the ones who've been good have been really good in my opinion though, and we could well be on our way to a very strong season. Let's hope that Simon, Demi, Kelly and Paulina can continue the trend with tonight's show. ... It's time to face the music!
Recap after the jump ...
Recap after the jump ...
After a bit of padding, an obligatory One Direction plug and a bit of insight into how bootcamp is going to work this year (That one promises to be interesting, looking forward to talking about that one) We get to our first contestant. Melanie Wright, a 49 year old from Maryland, who's been waiting for this moment her entire life and share a love of gloves with Paulina. Before she starts singing I do find myself wishing she'd crack a smile to be honest. She seems intense. She sings a very bizarre version of 'Titanium', and now I just find myself wishing I didn't feel obliged to listen to everyone for the sake of this write-up. Simon makes some comparison to Cinderella working at the Playboy Mansion and I just become more confused, though apparently so does Melanie. I don't think anyone understands Simon's similes. She leaves without a single yes.
We're on to a montage of bad acts now. In a way I don't mind so much. Might as well get the bad over with now. I'd type up their names, but let's be honest here. There's not much point. It goes from a Ukrainian woman and ends with a guy in a tiger costume singing 'Like a Virgin'? I don't know either.
Up next is Emery Kelly, a 15 year old from Long Island. He's gives us a bit of generic backstory about himself and how he loves singing and making people smile. Probably the most noteworthy pre-performance comment is a friend of his saying she could see him in a boyband. Oh gee, I wonder why they left that in. Foreshadowing as subtle as a sledgehammer this show sometimes. He's singing 'I Won't Give Up' by Jason Mraz. He's decent, but far from the best boy that's been shown up to this point. If they were to put him in a boyband though he'd probably do a pretty decent job there. The judges all love how cute he is, as they generally do with the male singers who are just ok. They talk about potential for a bit, and he gets 4 yes's.
We're changing direction completely now and focusing on the strength of the girls category, and I will agree, it's a tough one. It's a little intimidating for our next contestant anyway, 15 year old Khaya Cohen, who's a bit nervous at being compared to all these other girls. When the music starts I immediately find myself a bit confused by her song choice. She's singing 'Love You I Do' from Dreamgirls. I appreciate that there's a different variety of acts, but when you're auditioning for something like this, I don't feel the best way to sell yourself is by coming across so old fashioned. She's not sounding great so she's stopped and asked for a second song. She goes with 'I Put a Spell On You' by Nina Simone, and I'm having the same old fashioned problem. She shows her positives better through this song, those mainly being her strong chest voice and unique tone, but her lower register is really quite weak. She falters noticeably on the last big note as well. I think she's good, but honestly I don't think she's one of the better girls so far, and I kind of worry that she'll be given preference over stronger girls based on the fact her voice is a bit different, and end up flopping in the live shows (Think Shiane Hawke from X Factor Australia here). She gets 4 yes's anyway and gets through to bootcamp. She needs to step it up though.
Apparently her voice wasn't different enough though for Simon, so up next is Joseph Tolve next. A sort androgynous looking guy with a very naturally high pitched voice. You can tell pretty quickly this isn't going to end well. He sings 'Skyscraper' by Demi. Sure enough, singing isn't his calling. The judges let him down gently, with Kelly suggesting maybe he should do something like voice acting and Simon quickly agreeing. He actually seems to like the idea, so he goes away without a yes, but looking forward to the day he can be an animated anteater. It's nice that he still aims high.
Next up, 35 year old James Kenny from Portland Oregon, who wants to change his life for himself and his family. He's also noteworthy in that he made it as far as Judge's Houses back in 2011. He's singing a really bizarre version of 'Summertime' with an odd beat in the background. I don't love the version of the song at all personally, but for audition purposes it does show off his voice well. Thankfully his voice is nice to listen to. He throws in a few impressive riffs for good measure. Looking back on his Season 1 auditions, I'm liking him a lot more here than I did then. The judge's and crowd love him, and he also gets through to bootcamp with 4 yes's and his family running on for a hug at the end. Aww.
Up next we get a bit of a deviation from the singing part of the contest. Great... Auditioning now is David Grey, who's auditioning for his girlfriend Lauren Waguespack, who's also here auditioning! They're auditioning as soloists. I don't see why to be honest. Could've saved a few minutes if we'd just had them on stage at the same time for the proposal. Oh he's nervous about proposing. I haven't mentioned that yet so I suppose I should. He's shown getting her dad's permission before the performance, during which he sings an Usher song, and he's not good. He seems to kind of know this himself though. He's putting it across that he wouldn't bother at all if not for Lauren. He gets no's across the board and gets sent home. Lauren is up next, and after her bit about how much she loves him, she sings 'Teenage Dream' by Katy Perry. She's actually quite a bit better. She's not the level of most of the girls who've gone through, but she can hold a tune. As she finishes, out comes David, who tells her he'll love her forever, gets down on one knee and proposes, causing mass hysteria among the female populace of the audience and judging panel. She accepts... and gets a no from Simon, but she's too happy with the whole thing by the end to care it seems. Well that was cute. Can we get back to the singing now?
Coming off that distraction, we have Tim Olstad from Minnesota. He's 23 year old server in a restaurant. From the first few seconds he comes across as terrified at the prospect of singing in front of the judges. He confesses he's overwhelmed and doesn't know if he can do it, despite the fact Simon's not here for this one. Before he sings Demi starts pestering him trying to get to know him more. To be honest, I'm sure they do this to everyone and just edit it out most of the time, but they leave it in here to really play up the awkward angle. The judges conclude he's kinda boring before he starts singing. When he does start singing though, they change their minds pretty quickly. He sings a nice rendition of Christina Perri's 'A Thousand Years'. His voice isn't the most technically impressive, but it's still got a good balance of softness and power, and I suppose it's very easy to listen to. His hand does noticeably shake a bit though during the performance which I felt I could hear a few times in his breathing, and I wish he'd gone falsetto on the 'One Step Closer' part. The judge's are quick to heap praise onto him now, with comments of being lovable being particularly reoccurring. He gets a yes from all 3 judges present. Hopefully he gets the nerves together a bit for bootcamp.
Continuing on for the boys, we've got Wesley Mountain. He's 19 years old and from Capitol Heights in Maryland, and he's completely obsessed with Kelly Rowland. Seriously. He goes into a long monologue about how she's a Goddess and blah blah. Let's focus on you now Wesley. He goes out onto stage with a big smile on his face and stares at Kelly. The judge's catch on quick, and I honestly, the whole thing becomes really unnerving as he starts panting and sweating and kissing her hand. She acts flattered, the other judges look disturbed. He sings Wanted by Hunter Hayes. Directly to Kelly. He does nothing for me personally though. I found it dull and unimpressive, plus he hit a few noticeable bum notes, usually when he was ending a line. Nonetheless he can sing fairly well. The judge's admit they were a bit freaked out at first, and still sort of are, with Simon comparing him to a ravenous dog, and Demi asking him not to eat Kelly. They do praise his vocals though. He gets 4 yes's.
Girl montage now, starting with 16 year old Celine Polenghi. She's singing 'When You Believe'. Dull song choice in my opinion, but it's a good version for a 16 year old, if a little uncontrolled and over the top with the hand movements. She seems like one who could get thrown in a group to me to be honest, especially considering the judges seem to be going on more about her potential than her abilities as they stand. 4 yes's and she's through. Following her is 20 year old Bree Randell singing 'Treasure' by Bruno Mars, and she seems to be doing a good job. She works the stage very well, but in my opinion she sings 'o' sounds irritatingly. We've got Primrose Martin, singing Jessie J's 'Nobody's Perfect'. She sounds a bit messy, but pulls off a bit of impressive belting at the end that makes me wish we could've seen a bit more. Finally now we've got Summer Reign singing 'Impossible'. Kind of generic in my opinion but she's decent too. All of the above get through easily, and leave the judges wanting the girls, though the edit has shown them all saying they want a certain category so much that this has lost all meaning.
And back to the boys. We have Ricky Clark Jr now, a 19 year old who comes out in suit and sunglasses. Honestly my first impression of him, from both his attire and his on stage antics is that he's trying too hard to portray a 'cool' image and it's a little embarrassing. If nothing else take off the sunglasses. Seriously. You're not a member of the Men In Black. He's singing Superstition, which again furthers my cool image theory. He sings a bit, and honestly the whole thing is quite weak. The vocals weren't good, and his movements seem like they're trying to be smooth, but it all looks a bit mechanical. He doesn't really get to sing that much before Simon stops him. Comments now and Simon kicks off saying he doesn't like his voice and found it flat. Kelly tries to give him a pep talk about struggling before making it as an artist, but ultimately it's a no from everyone and Rickey's X Factor 2013 journey is over. Bringing him to tears and prompting Kelly to go backstage and give him a hug and tell him to never give up, which he says he never will.
We're down to only 2 judges now! Simon and Kelly, and for an act to go through they need a yes from both. Hoping she can do that is 34 year old Lorie Moore, a female professional football player. Quite a transition in career paths! She's been a championship player and is proud enough in her achievements to wear a football jersey to her audition. She says having achieved in sports, she now wants to do the same in music, the other part of her life growing up. I'll admit that I admire her work ethic, but let's see how she performs. She's singing I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston and I'm trying not to roll my eyes. Can we blanket ban Whitney songs from these contests? Particularly this one? She gives a powerful rendition, hitting all the high belted notes with a nice vibrato. Her falsetto at the end is a bit dodgy though. Kelly likes how she came out and sang. That's sang, with an a by the way. Simon agrees, and she gets a yes from both.
Last up, we've got a group, Secondhand High made up of Brianna Thomas and Alan Glen. They consist of an overconfident girl and guy who're going to sing an original song and aim to blow Simon and his 'little smirk' away with it. They used to be engaged apparently, though something happened to end the relationship. Possibly the fact that she seems like the type of person you want to shut up after 11 seconds. The song, I'm assuming is called "You Better Ask Me To Dance". It's mainly just Brianna rapping badly with little inputs from Alan. Objectively, this is pretty awful, but it is sort of catchy. It's kind of like Friday by Rebecca Black. A song I know is awful, but I still occasionally found myself occasionally going 'It's Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday' a bit when that was still a thing... Oh screw it. I like this, and I hate myself for it. Kelly gets really into it, deciding to get up and dance, including a little grinding against Simon for a while! Kelly has the same reaction I do. She's embarrassed that she likes it, but she does. They get 3 no's, probably for the best for the sake of my sanity. They don't seem to mind though, they think it's all up from here after exposing their song to the nation... Well I suppose they are more relevant now than they were pre-audition so good for them. The episode ends with a minute of a short 'music video' featuring Kelly and Demi mouthing along to the song and Simon... rapping? More likely he just spoke the words and they edited it together. It is pretty funny though.
Overall this was an alright episode, but no one stood out to me the way that people had in the previous ones, Let's hope tomorrow can deliver a star for when we get to bootcamp.