Top 32!

So with all of the craziness of Baseball vs. X Factor schedulings, this week’s double dose of X Factor was split up.  I just finished watching part II of the top 32, and I am busy writing a recap.

I just wanted to pause for a moment to reiterate my love for the small changes this show has made over idol.  I will elaborate  (you better believe I will), but all of the manufactured drama of Idol that was eliminated is an enormous welcome change.  Right now, my love goes to X Factor.  Nigel and Ken, I hope you’re paying attention!

I’ll post my review as soon as I can put it together.

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A Twofer

So tonight, you will get two, two, two episode summaries in one!  I was too distracted by the MLB craziness and excitement last night to actually finish the post, so here you have it: Two nights in one!

Oh, yeah, and GO BREWERS!  Whew, now that that is out of my system…

From last night in Chicago:

Brock and Makenna sang “Colder Weather” by Zak Brown Band – They are pretty cute, but I think the guy is better than the girl.

Robin Royal (clad in black lace) and a host of other bad auditions followed.  They all sucked.

Skyelor Anderson – His backing track cut off, but he kept going! I like him, but Paula is right, he needs to work on the vocals a bit. But the kid has potential to grow.

Mark Inman is getting a PhD in Philosophy… Kids, this will one day be your college professor. He “sings” Radiohead’s Creep. Paula tells him that she has been where he is a few times in her life. Paula, BEST. RESPONSE. EVER. The problem is THEY ACTUALLY SAY YES.  Seriously? Simon, say it isn’t so! Canon Fodder.

Arin sang Aint No Sunshine, and a few other good auditions snuck in there.  Some of these go way too fast.

Josh Krajick, the burrito slinger, sang “At Last” and he even cracked a approving smile from Simon! He is good. Really good.  And he will be a great “before” That they can mold.

The second half of the episode we are back in Seattle.  Weren’t we already here?  And what is with the Cheryl, Nicole, Cheryl, Nicole…I am getting confuzzled.

The Good Girls sang Marvin Gaye.  I didn’t write any notes about them, so clearly they were not noteworthy!

Drew Ryniewicz (14) sang Justin Bieber’s Baby, and I actually loved the arrangement!  Like, it was crazy good!  Her voice is decent but needs some refining.  I hate to be a skeptic, but I doubt she put together the arrangement herself, so I wonder who the mastermind was behind that?

Peet Montzingo sang “Billionaire” but instead of billionaire, he changed it to famous.  Not so good, Peet. He is sort of likable, but like the judges said, acting or comedy is probably the way for this one.

4Shore sang Boyz II Men, and while they are good, they are not really that original.  It pretty much sounded like a BIIM tribute band.

Elaine Gibbs is 53 year old wedding singer and sang You Got a Friend.  She is pretty freaking awesome, why did they not show more of this!

Francesca (17)-  Her voice was pretty good, but not great>  However, she was so stinkin cute, that she made it!

Tiger Budbill – Simon gave him the deciding 3rd yes. Not sold on this one whatsoever, but I will attempt to reserve judgement until I see more.

Phillip Lomax (21) sang “Fly Me To The Moon.”  He has some ok chops, and hopefully he can be taught the rest.

Tiah Toliver – Simon LOVES this girl, but I have to agree with the ladies, that she needs some SERIOUS vocal work.  And I think when compared to some of the other girls, she will get ousted right quick.

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Tonight we saw our Jersey episode!

Brian Bradley – “Stop lookin’ at my mom!” – This kid is good! His schtick is a bit precocious for my liking, but I can see why he would be EXTREMELY marketable.  That said, you can tell that the kid is still just a kid, and his act is just an act. He can be molded, and I think that’s what LA sees in him.

Kelly Warner sang Hallelujah and looked refreshingly normal, and sounded great.  I am looking forward to seeing more from her!

Aaron Surgeon sang Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.  I agree with Simon, he was average.  Meh.

Lilliana Rose sang You Are My Sunshine.  She has a throwback neo soul voice a la the Adele.  Hot right now, and therefore, she is in.

Andy, who is the same height as Paula, is 43 and never had a girlfriend. Awww…But his voice is clearly terrible, so they really didn’t have to make us listen to the whole song.

Cashmere – Mariah Carey murdered! Alert the authorities! Cashmere sang Always Be My Baby. But clearly, not well.

A host of other bad contestants performed, well, badly.

Cari Fletcher (17) sang Alone. You know I can’t hear this song without thinking of my beloved Carrie. This Cari’s voice was very controlled, but correctly noted by Simon, it wasn’t that memorable. That said, she is a cute girl and maybe tv or movies would work out for her, too.  She might do really well with some pop vocal coaching, too.

AusEm – These kids are not good enough. The guy is better than the girl, and that is why I think Nicole had issues putting them through. They need to find another girl for this Austin kid to sing with, and then maybe….

Tora Woloshin – Wow – this is a serious star. Love her! She sang Jackson Five, and she rocked it. A few slight pitch issues, but those can be worked out. She has a great base to work with!

Jor-el, complete with Bob Fosse hand snapping, sings Madonna’s Lucky Star. Yikes and a half.

The Stereo Hogzz – Meh, they were just ok. Nothing special.

Brenan Hunt, from Nashville, thinks he has the X Factor. He is singing an original song. He has a great voice, but his attitude seems a little too snobby for my liking. People on twitter were calling him a douche, and douches don’t tend to do well on talent reality shows.  Meh…maybe I will grow to like him.

Paige Elizabeth (18) sang some Lady Gaga, (but not as good as Haley).  Another pretty good, but kinda meh.

A few more good quickie auditions: LeRoy Bell, Brewer Boys, and Nick Dean.  All of them I would like to see a full song.

Devon Talley sang a painful rendition of Seasons of Love.  Poor Jonathan is rolling in his grave.

Jazzlyn Little (16) is from Cape Coral, FL .  She sang I’m Going Down by Mary J. Blige. I don’t get the whole “I’m overly unconfident in myself” act. She’s good, but her shy act was not at all endearing to me.  Well have to see if this was made up, and if so, how she really is.  Because her voice was pretty fantastic.

 

Two weeks and the auditions are already over?  Yes please!  X Factor, this is why I love you.  Next week, is Hollywood Week Bootcamp. It kind of sounds like a infomercial workout video series.  I am really excited to see the process and what types of shenanigans they make these people go through.  It was disclosed that there will be a top 32, so I would guess 8 in each group of: guys, girls, 30+, and groups.  I don’t even think we saw 8 groups get through, so I hope they have a better pool to work with.  Next week shall be exciting!

When do the live shows start?  I am hoping to see some drunk!Paula 🙂  But in all seriousness, I want to emphasize again how vastly awesome this judging panel is.  LA Reid makes me loathe Randy Jackson even more than I already did.  This is what Idol could have been, people!

Until next week…

X-ing in Miami and Dallas

Tonight, the auditions visit Miami (whatup!) and Dallas. I was supposed to go the the Miami Auditions, but I got lazy and didn’t want to drive an hour and a half through rush hour traffic to the UM campus. I probably should have gone.

First up is Ashley Sansone (27) — OMG Ashley. Shut it and sing, already. Wait. Nevermind. Don’t sing, just leave.

After Ashley is an assortment of contestants: Chanel Simone, Kandan Road, and Dreamgirlz–all rejected.

Caitlynne Curtis (16) sang Firework and she’s not terrible, but she gets a “not ready” from the judges. Paula puts on her mommy hat and comforts her. She was way better than a few of the crazies Simon let through last night.

Nick Voss (21) – Um, is this guy supposed to be good? He looks like a good dancer, but his vocals are terrible. Lounge act at best.

Ashley Deckard (14) from Davie (of course) can see ghosts. She cannot, however, see past the audition rounds.

Marvuin (?) — Simon said her singing was like wolves mating. She still got through, however.

The we get an assortment of good performances: 2Squar’d, a group of four girls in all white, Kendra Williams, who is awesome, Brendan O’Hara, and Jeremiah Pagan. I think everyone of these guys got through.

Then…Then we get something amazing. Melanie Amaro (18) sang Listen by Beyonce. She is effortless! What a great natural talent…love this girl. An audition performance has never moved me to tears, but this one did. Wow…she is going to be a huge star. What unbelievable talent!

After Miami wraps up, we move onto Dallas.

Johnny Rodgers, is jealous of Justin Bieber. Dude just needs to get off the stage.

Dylan Lawson (18) from Kentucky “performed” and the only words I caught from that performance was “check your bladder.” LOL. Goodbye Dylan.

A few weird performances including Michael and Michelle, and Phoenix who sounded like a lawn mower. Neither of these acts got through.

Then there was Dexter from Memphis. Dude’s a little crazy, rocking his Memphis jean jacket and wooden platform shoes. But he showed some serious passion at the end, and I can see why the judges wanted to see him again.

We get a quick assortment of good performances: Kyle Corr, Hannah Jackson, Ma’at, and Austin, all of whom we will see again.

Caitlin Koch (21) sang “Stop In The Name Of Love” and I LOVED the arrangement. Her vocals were just ok, but the arrangement was amazing…where did that come from?

We end the night with Xander Alexander (age 27/undisclosed), a self described “Britney Spears plus Lady GaGa” on crack. Sooo, dude needs to take his front down on stage. Simon’s analysis was exactly right–you can’t win when the audience hates you. Adios, Xander.

With that, the first week of X Factor wraps up. The most notable performance tonight was Melanie, for sure. I cannot wait to see her again.

My mom made a great observation about the reduced role of the host…he sort of blends into the background. Honestly, I don’t even know what his name is, and his voiceovers blend in so well, that I don’t notice that he is even there. I like that the judges and the host fade to the background, and it is really about the contestants.

I am slowly starting to like this show…see you next week for more fun!

Getting X-ed

Helloooooo Idol fans! I said I would do it, and I am doing it. For the next 3 months, this site will be XFactorReview.

(It doesn’t exactly roll off the tounge like Idol Review, but I will adapt.)

There will obvs be a bunch of Idol comparisons, hearting Simon, and laughing at drunk!Paula.

We begin the audition rounds in LA…

Rachel Crow sang “Mercy” by Duffy – She is pretty cute for being 13, but, she needs some refinement. I would like to see where she can go from here…

There were sniffets of a few others…Muscle dude, Ellona (14), and John Lindahl, who sang some CeeLo.

Siameze (30) sang…something.  Not quite sure what was up with the sheer mesh shirt…And Simon giving that fool a yes? Guess he must have watched Idol last season and got too many pointers from Steven.

Dan(70) and Venita(88) sang “Unchained Melody,”  and might be successful in Branson, but not on national TV.  But props for getting on stage at age 88!

Simone (21) sang the Pussy Cat Dolls, and while she is confident, and kind of blew the first audition, she slightly redeemed herself a capella.  Still, she wasn’t all that.

Stacy Francis (42) sang Natural Woman got a STANDING O!  She had some amazing soul!  There were some pitch issues, but as J Lo would say, she was “emotionally perfect.”

After the LA auditions, we head on up the coast to Seattle!

Geo Godley, who calls himself an “Internet Blogger,” gives bloggers a bad name. He made Paula sick with his naked, crotch-thrusting motions.  In tye dye.

Marcus Canty sang  “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder.  He kind of has the same vibe as Kris Allen, but a more soulful voice. LOVE. HIM.  Some tweets were saying that they thought he was underwhelming, but finding a cute young black guy with a clear soulful voice seems few and far between these days.  This guy could be awesome.  And he has a pretty amazing voice.

The Anser gets minus one for spelling and minus, well, three for bad harmonies.  While they are pretty cute guys, they basically suck at singing.

Chris Rene is a recovering addict, who is actually pretty talented!  I like him, but hate the sob story.  However, I think he has a bunch of potential and the right producers could mold him into something really current.  I can’t wait to see more from him.

That wraps up the premiere!  So I can’t finish this post without some commentary on comparisons…duh!  I loved Simon and Paula!  Paula seems sober! I loved Nicole way better than Cheryl Cole.  And I love, Love, LOVE LA REID!  He is everything I always wanted Randy Jackson to be, and then some.  He is attentive, serious, and seems to give good feedback.

Additionally, the auditions in front of the live audience is an interesting change.  It is very “AGT,” and honestly I can see the advantage of both Idol style and X Factor style.

I like the variety in age that is allowed.  I am not yet sold on the groups, but perhaps that is because we have not seen many noteworthy groups.  I’ll reserve judgement on that.

Overall, the premiere was exciting, although honestly, I wouldn’t be as thrilled without the Simon/Paula draw.  There are many other talent reality shows on that I don’t blog about, and this is the first non-idol show that has made the cut, obviously due to Simon/Paula.  I hope it loves up to the hype.  And I hope you will continue watching/reading as the season goes on.

I’ll be back tomorrow!