Welcome to the live blog and recap of The X Factor USA Auditions #2 for September 12, 2013!
The auditions continue!
After last night’s headline-making audition from 13-year-old Rion Paige, the rest of the auditioners will have their work cut out for them! Can anyone rise to the occasion?
Let’s get this show on the road!
8:00 PM ET
-So we get a brief recap of last night, including the killer performances from Rion Paige and Alex & Sierra. Mario then reveals that we’ll be heading to Long Island, New York and Denver, Colorado tonight. We basically get the same promo that aired at the end of last night’s episode, promising an angry Demi and a song from Simon.
-We get a skit in which a bunch of singers jam out to “Walking On Sunshine” in the shower. Phillip J. Fry was not among them.
-We see some of the Denver auditioners formed into four separate parts of an X to represent each of the four categories. We then are reminded of who each of the judges are, which I suppose is only really necessary for Paulina among U.S. audience — although one of the auditioners is SUPER psyched to meet her.
YOSSELIN MARQUEZ, 21, is up first!
-Our first auditioner compares herself to Paulina. When she walks out onstage, Simon apparently likes what he sees. This is because she’s a model. However, when Simon asks her if she thinks she can win the show, Yosselin asks who he is! She blames not knowing Simon’s name on having an accent, for some reason. She then whips out her iPhone as her music starts, in order to bring up the music for her song. Simon turns to Kelly and declares Yosselin “nutty as a fruitcake.”
-Yosselin jumbles her way through “Only Girl (In the World)” by Rihanna as the Denver crowd boos her out of the arena. Yosselin swears that Denver loves her, despite the boos. She gets a no from each judge, prompting Yosselin to trash Simon backstage, saying he only rejected her because she didn’t know his name.
THOMAS WEIDERSPON, 19, is up next!
-We meet Thomas, who has never sung in front of anyone but friends and family, although he claims the response has been good.
-Cue up “Your Man” from Josh Turner, and it’s a horribly wooden performance. Baby lock them doors to the next round so Thomas doesn’t get in.
CARRIGAN BRADLEY, 15, is up next!
-Demi identifies her as a pageant contestant from her earrings. I have no idea what this girl was singing, because all we got was one long, shrill note.
AMBER FERRARI, 41, is up next!
-She sings “Piece of My Heart” from Janis Joplin. Simon does some other tortured analogy about animals. Why is he convinced we’re all obsessed with outrageous acts? Sure, Rylan Clark made it pretty far, but has any ridiculous act in the US made it that far?
K + B, 22-23, are up next!
-A Puerto Rican group! Mi gente!
-Unfortunately, they immediately disappoint by singing a version of “Livin’ La Vida Loca” that’s dead-on-arrival, prompting Simon to compare them to children with the flu.
SEAN HARRIS, 28, is up next!
-Sean sings “Amazing Grace,” and it leads to Kelly throwing it to Demi, who does a Simon comparison while rejecting him.
After that painful grouping of acts, we get our first decent singer…
RYLIE BROWN, 15, is up next!
-Rylie remands me of Jannel Garcia from last season from both looks and voice. However, when she queues up her slowed-down rendition of Zedd’s “Clarity,” she forgets the lyrics. But she recovers pretty damn well, and even if she hadn’t, her voice is good enough to excuse it (just this once, anyway).
-Simon doesn’t care that she forgot the lyrics, saying she’s one of the best 15 year olds he’s seen.
-Demi loved the vocal, and can’t believe how young she is. Paulina echoes those sentiments. Kelly, meanwhile, says they’ll help Rylie grow through the competition, since that’s pretty much what they’re here for.
-She gets a yes from all four judges and breaks down crying.
RYLIE BROWN advances to the next round!
-While Rylie celebrates backstage with her mom, Simon gushes about how much he loves her to the other judges.
-You can watch Rylie’s performance here: Rylie Brown, “Clarity”
-Back from break with our next auditioner, a man whose wife just gave birth to their daughter. He says he’d love to be able to do music for a living, as many people have told him he just needs a break. He seems like a really cool, down-to-Earth guy. Other contestants in the audition room are gushing over pictures of his daughter.
JEFF BRINKMAN, 36, is up next!
-He’s from Denver and says he’s here with his best friend while his wife recuperates in the hospital with their daughter. He apparently runs a doggy day care, which immediately endears him to me since I friggin’ LOVE dogs.
-Jeff sings “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker, and this is more like it. It’s kind of ridiculous that we had to wade through six joke acts in the first fifteen minutes before we got to Rylie and Jeff here, and the sooner the people at FOX take a cue from The Voice and recognize that the era of the joke act has mostly passed in America, the better these programs will be as straight-up engaging television.
-Kelly loves Jeff’s sincerity, saying that he has such a genuine personality.
-Paulina loves his raspy voice and thinks his performance was beautiful.
-Demi thinks Jeff has a wonderful recording voice.
-Simon says it was a brilliant vocal, and says he has a naturally great voice. “That was a brilliant audition,” he tells Jeff.
-The judges vote, and it’s a yes from each one.
JEFF BRINKMAN advances to the next round!
-Jeff celebrates backstage and says it still hasn’t sunken in. He calls his wife and tells her the good news. I like Jeff. Seems like a really cool guy.
-You can watch Jeff’s performance here: Jeff Brinkman, “You Are So Beautiful”
-Back from break in Long Island, New York, as this is the biggest turn out in the history of the show.
JOCELYN HINTON, 34, is up next!
-She says she in her backstage interview that she has no formal training, but knwos she can get up there and “Whitney Houston,” marking the first time I’ve ever heard someone use “Whitney Houston” as a verb.
-Onstage, she says she reps Pittsburgh (“Black and yelloooow!”) before saying she knows she’s going to win this competition. She talks about her man, who couldn’t be here because he’s off working (“gotta make that bacon!”), prompting Kelly to remark that nothing is cuter than a man who works.
-Jocelyn starts singing Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and honestly, it’s not the worst thing in the world. But then she goes and forgets the lyrics, and unlike Rylie, she doesn’t have a good enough voice to excuse it. Worse, she gets to the chorus and struggles to hit the notes.
-Simon tells her that the best part of the audition was when she forgot the lyrics. Jocelyn then pleads for another song, and goes on to start singing anyway. When Demi pleads with her to stop, she goes into a third song. Simon stops her and they get into an argument, as he tells her that there’s no way she’s going to get through to the next round. He says he likes her, but he just doesn’t think she can sing well. Jocelyn starts singing a FOURTH song, so Simon gets onstage and escorts her away, drawing cheers from the audience.
-In the photo/video booth, Jocelyn complains about the judges not hearing everything she had to offer, which leads us into a montage of rejected contestants bitching about the judges. This entire segment is set to “Caught Out There” by Kelis, prompting me to wonder what ever happened to Kelis. Was her milkshake insufficient in bringing the necessary amount of boys to the yard?
RACHEL POTTER, 29, is up next!
-OH MY GOD, I’M IN LOVE. Ahem, okay, now that that’s out of the way, back to the show.
-So Rachel wants to be a country singer, but fears that she’s no spring chicken. Rachel says that in a music industry where 15-year-olds are getting signed, execs might overlook someone her age.
-Kelly immediately objects saying “Why try to be a spring chicken when you can be a fine wine?”
-Rachel sings “Somebody to Love” by Queen, and she really makes it look effortless. It’s a killer audition, and Simon has a big, goofy grin on his face, made all the more ridiculous by the silly, un-Simon-looking glasses he’s wearing.
-The girls give Rachel a standing O, while Simon gives polite applause.
-Paulina says Rachel has a future, while Kelly proclaims Rachel “a beast.” Simon says he felt like Rachel wanted to give this performance for a long, long time, and says she proved a point. Demi says she has the look, and the best voice she’s heard. “This industry is ready for you!”
-The judges vote, and Demi says this is the easiest vote she’s given in both season of The X Factor, because I guess she was on season 1 now? Hey, fine by me if it means we’re just forgetting about Nicole.
-All four judges say yes, of course.
RACHEL POTTER advances to the next round!
Rachel celebrates backstage with her loved ones and says, “Those four people just made me feel like it was all worth it.”
-You can watch Rachel’s performance here: Rachel Potter, “Somebody to Love”
-Back from break with a montage depicting Simon’s struggles in working with a panel of three women. Kelly to Simon, when he interrupts Demi: “You wait your turn, boo! Don’t interrupt my Demi!” The three female judges set up a Simon pinata backstage, which is whacked by prospective contestants.
-Up next is a young, would-be heartthrob who drives an ice cream truck and flirts like it’s going out of style. With the way he’s doing it, it just might be.
JORGE PENA, 22, is up next!
-Before coming out, he admits to be a huge flirt, and says he wants to attract Paulina, although he’s in love with Demi. Onstage, he says he’s from Colombia, but also from Long Island. He tries to flirt with Kelly, and she’s not having it. Simon asks if he eats the ice cream he sells, Jorge reveals he’s lactose intolerant. Someone get this man a sitcom on CBS!
-He sings in Spanish, and it’s really not half-bad, but he immediately kills the good vibes with his obnoxiously conceited attitude, telling Demi to “Tell me, woman!” Demi does NOT like hearing that, and says that humility is actually a lot sexier than whatever the hell it is Jorge is doing. Kelly says she was actually enjoying the audition due to the Spanish, saying he could have been calling her a donkey for all she cared. But when he started going in on her girl Demi, she felt he actually became a donkey.
-Paulina then laces into Jorge in Spanish, telling him to cool his attitude and to come down from the stars, since he’s not a star himself yet.
-The judges vote, and they all give him a begrudging yes, as nobody really wants to put him through, but they can’t deny he actually has a good voice. Demi: “I hope I don’t have the boys category.”
JORGE PENA advances to the next round!
-You can watch Jorge’s performance here: Jorge Pena performs
-Back from break with a quirky girl named Simone who loves to speed rap and do funny voices. I like her personality a lot. God, I hope she can sing.
SIMONE TORRES, 19, is up next!
-Simone comes onstage, then has Simon question whether her parents are really happily married in one of the most random prompts I’ve ever seen from the guy.
-She says she’s going to sing “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett, and Simon asks if she’s going to be amazing, and Simone says she certainly hopes he’ll think so.
-Well, whether Simon does or doesn’t, I certainly think she’s great. She works the stage like a total pro, and she really has a terrific voice (and good taste in music, to boot!). But then, a “yes” from me doesn’t really take you anywhere, so we throw to the judges…
-Simone breaks into tears after the response she receives from her performance. Paulina and Demi gush about her, and Kelly adds to the accolades as Simone’s family cries backstage. Simon, however, brings the party to a close by saying he disagrees with the assertion that it was one of the best auditions of the day. But it’s just another Simon fake-out. “It’s not a question of whether I think it was one of the best auditions. It WAS the best audition.”
-She gets a “yes” from each judge.
SIMONE TORRES advances to the next round!
-In a touching moment, her father says he must have done something right in life if he gets to call himself Simone’s dad.
-You can watch Simone’s performance here: Simone Torres, “Mustang Sally”
-Back from break with Mario once again reminding us for what feels like the umpteenth time that what makes X Factor different is the separation of contestants into four separate categories. That’s all well and good, but we’ve seen hardly anything from my personal favorite category, the groups. Hopefully that changes soon. But until then, we meet our latest contestant, a classically-trained singer who’s a stock trader by day…
RUSS POULIOT, 56, is up next!
-Russ identifies himself as a crooner and says he’s going to “bring back the love song.”
-Once onstage, he gushes about what an honor it is to meet Simon, prompting Simon to thank Russ and then exclaim that a lot of people have told him that over the years.
-Russ sings “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley, and the crowd cheers despite the rocky beginning. The thing quickly goes off the rails, and Simon raises his hand to stop the song. But the music doesn’t cut off, and Russ keeps going, winning back the crowd while Demi struggles to hide her fit of laughter.
-Kelly says as long as Russ had fun, that’s all that matters. Simon, meanwhile, says that he likes Russ for trying, but likens his voice to the sound of someone drowning. Demi says that if Russ had a British accent, he’d sound the way she imagines Simon would sound when he sings. This leads to a huge detour in which the other three judges try to convince Simon to sing a line or two. The music starts up (prompting Russ to start singing again, in a funny little touch), and Kelly runs up onstage and grabs the microphone, rushing back to Simon, and stuffing the mic in his face as we….go to a commercial? Okay, FOX.
-Back from break and Simon sings…except, his “performance” is simply an imitation of Russ’ performance, with the guttural voice. Well, that was…a segment, I guess.
ROXXY MONTANA is up next!
-Finally, a group! (You know, other than K + B) Hopefully, they’re good.
-They’re three sisters from Detroit, Michigan, and their ages are 20, 21, and 22, prompting Demi to remark how busy their parents must have been. They talk about how they’re lying to their parents about where they are and what they’re doing right now. They then launch into their performance…
-They sing “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls, and I wonder if they wouldn’t have been better off auditioning as solo artists. They have good voices and all, but the harmonies aren’t really as strong as they should be. Simon singles out one of the sisters, Temperance, for having the best voice of the three. Kelly then asks if they have anything else prepared, and they offer to perform a gospel song acapella.
-This is…better. But they really, really need to pull back on all the crazy runs. Then again, the crowd seems to love it, as they give the girls a standing O.
-Kelly talks about how special the performance was, particularly when the girls brought the harmonies together. Paulina says they blew the judges away.
-Simon says it was a good performance, but declares they have a secret weapon in Temperance. Simon says the mentoring process can help them work on their vocals and harmonies, before saying potentially the most ridiculous thing he’s said in three seasons: “Apart from the groups I’ve put together, this is potentially the best group we’ve ever had on The X Factor.”
-I’m not saying they were bad or anything. Far from it. The three of them have real talent. But best group ever? Really? Come on now, Big British.
-The girls get a yes from all four judges, naturally. Funny that we haven’t had any split decisions yet.
ROXXY MONTANA advances to the next round!
-The girls gush about their audition while Simon gets into it with Kelly over who will get the groups category, since they both want it.
-You can watch Roxxy Montana’s performance here: Roxxy Montana, “One Night Only”
-We’re back with a montage of people from all different jobs, including a male stripper. Lord, I wish I had the willpower to get a six-pack like that.
AL CALDERON, 19, is up next!
-He’s a host in a restaurant, and he’s the designated “Happy Birthday” singer there. However, he doesn’t want to work there anymore (well, then I hope he gets through, or he’s going to be out of a job when he gets back).
-Kelly immediately compliments his hazel eyes, while Demi picks up on his enthusiasm. Al relates stories about his job, and then reveals that he’s currently single when asked (prompting the girls in the audience to scream).
-He sings “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates (I LOVE Hall and Oates), and it’s everything Jorge Pena’s performance was going for but completely failed to be. Super slick.
-Kelly says if she were 18, she’d love to have him singing to her, prompting Simon to comment that Kelly would need a time machine. Demi says Simon is the last person who should be talking about time machines. “I don’t think there’s a time machine that goes that far back.”
-Simon says that while there were tuning issues, he chalks that up to nerves, and says that he has huge potential.
-Al gets a yes from each judge.
AL CALDERON advances to the next round!
-Al is thrilled, saying his days of singing “Happy Birthday” are over.
-You can watch Al Calderon’s performance here: Al Calderon, “Sara Smile”
-Back from break with a woman named Denise, who busks on New York subways for money in order to provide for her kids. She lost their father when the kids were young, and she’s hoping this audition will mean the end of her days singing on subways.
DENISE WEEKS, 41, is up next!
-Denise reveals that she decided to stay single after the death of her kids’ father. Now that her kids are grown and in college, she plans to focus on her career.
-She sings “The Greatest Love of All,” and it starts out pretty shaky. Simon stops the song and says that Denise is rushing the song, meaning that we’re missing out on the emotion of the song. He asks her to sing the song again, but without a track this time, to “let it breathe.”
-Denise sings the song without the track, and it’s immediately much better. The crowd really responds to it, as does Kelly, who stops just short of throwing up a gospel hand. After she performs, Simon realizes he never asked about her career, and asks if she has a job. Denise says she sings on the subway, surprising Simon, as he feels that somebody should have told her by now that she should be doing something more. He asks her why she hasn’t done more with her singing, and she says “I was waiting for The X Factor,” prompting Simon to say, “Good answer. The X Factor was waiting for you.”
-Demi relates a story of a friend who used to live in Grand Central Station who went on to become “something incredible,” and predicts that Denise will one day be singing in front of a lot of people.
-The judges vote and she gets a yes from each one of them.
DENISE WEEKS advances to the next round!
-Denise says this is her moment, while the judges all gush about her spirit.
-You can watch Denise’s performance here: Denise Weeks, “The Greatest Love of All”
-We get a preview of next week’s show to close out the episode. Baby Destiny’s Child! A marriage proposal! A gospel choir? And angry, heartbroken contestants all over the place. Oh, and Demi calling the winner. Hopefully they don’t have as many joke acts as promised in the preview, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.
That’s it for me! Check back for more videos as the night goes on! Thanks for chilling with me! Goodnight!
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