Definitely not your dignity. Leave that in the car with the windows cracked.
Oh, America. Your dream has morphed from being able to make a decent living through honest work to avoiding panhandling destitution by desperately grasping on to the get-rich-quick schemes of reality television. After all, if Kate Gosselin, Snooki, and Sarah Palin can make it big, why can’t we?!?
Clearly it’s not about talent, which is good since night two of The X Factor makes American Idol‘s season 9 winner Lee DeWyze look like the second coming of John Lennon. It’s more about that elusive – you guessed it – X FACTOR. That thing that reaches out from behind your eyeballs and wraps its long, scaly fingers around people’s hearts. Or intestinal tracts, depending on how thoroughly unlikeable you are.
For those who think they have what it takes, Simon Cowell was only too happy to provide yet another path to possible fame and fortune…and I, sadly, was all too happy to WATCH this nonsense, along with only about a third of American Idol’s viewers, which is sort of sad, considering THIS show has Simon Mother-lovin’ COWELL in all his scathing glory. All that other washed-up whore has is a rocker who hasn’t put out a decent song in two decades and that bitch who’s REAL lucky that eyebrow waxing exists. I’ll let you decide if I’m referring to J-Lo or Ryan Seacrest.
The main difference I can see between the two shows, outside of the judging panel, is that The X Factor auditions take place in a giant arena in front of an equally giant audience. I guess that’s to help the judges weed out the less experienced folks, those who can’t get past their nerves by remembering what an AWESOME DOUCHEBAG they are.
Oh, and we also have a much more attractive and manly host. ‘Manly’ in that he doesn’t frost his hair tips or talk very much. He begins episode two by introducing us to the Miami crowd while wearing Alec Baldwin’s shirt from Beetlejuice.
He reminds us that The X Factor is for solo singers OR groups, but who wants to share FIVE MILLION DOLLARS with a bunch of other dweebs? Seriously, five million doesn’t go very far these days. That’s, like, half a one-bedroom house in L.A.
A lot of attention is being given to the judges on this show – they even get their own shadowy Iron Chef-style intros. I guess someone thought doing this would make the judges look more INTIMIDATING and PROFESSIONAL CHEF-Y.
Cheryl Cole is officially OUT by episode two, probably because there wasn’t enough hair spray and Bumpits in the budget for both her AND Paula Abdul. She’s replaced by Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzzzzzzzzzzzzerwaggerwinger (seriously, does anyone know or care what her last name is???).
Speaking of Paula, girlfriend needs to hold up on the plastic surgery. She’s starting to turn into MC Skat Kat, or a gelfling from The Dark Crystal, I can’t decide which.
L.A. Reid, aka Black Lex Luthor, is DEF going to be fun to watch, because he is clearly absolutely batshit insane. Or just an egomaniacal d-bag, take your pick. And Simon…well, we ALL need a little Simon in our lives, do we not? With that weird hair that looks like a dying Chia Pet and a wardrobe small enough to make MINE look like the Shops at Caesar’s Forum, it’s commendable that he still possesses enough self-love to consider himself way, WAY above the rest of the human populace.
But enough about the judges – let’s get to the competish (thanks, Glee).
The producers try to make us think that this first gal, Ashley Sansone, is gonna RAWK the house by throwing a little extra back story and camera work her way, but I know she’s a dud as soon as she says that everyone mistakes her for a pop singer because of her ‘fun outfits’ and ‘in shape’ physique. SURVEY SAYS??? RWWWWAAAAAAAAN!!! Before going on, Ashley claims she’s ‘afraid I’m gonna toot or something.’ Unfortunately, she does. Out of her mouth-hole.
Practicing her mouth farts.
She prattles ON and ON to the judges, thoroughly exhausting Paula – quick, someone get her her uppers Pepsi! By the time Ash sings, she’s apparently used up all of her words, ‘cuz every third one that comes out of her mouth sounds like ‘nnnnrrrrrmmmmm.’ But maybe that’s just her homage to Janis Joplin’s raging alcoholism.
Surprisingly, Mouth Fart doesn’t make the cut. And neither does the next contestant, Chanel Simone Dixon, who is such an amazing singer that the audience actually boos her request for ‘one more try.’
Kanan Road, a trio of portly wannabe cowboys, get the boot but claim ‘this isn’t the last time you see Kanan Road, that’s for sure.’
…because they’ll be peeking into your bedroom window later tonight.
Next up is the Dreamgirlz, who look more like twins than mother/daughter, and sound more like the karaoke lounge on an old folks’ cruise than Ann & Nancy Wilson. They seem like nice ladies and take the rejection well…but the same can’t be said for ANGRY CHAD, a relative of some sort who can’t stop screaming obscenities about how unfair this whole show is.
LIFE is unfair, Chad. Just look at your polo shirt.
Oh thank God, a commercial break. There’s a Pepsi ad that’s made up of a bunch of clips from old Pepsi ads, like that one where Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire or the one back when Britney Spears was a Hot Young Thang. Seriously, I’m straight as an arrow and I TOTALLY would’ve lezzed out for 2001-era Brit Brit.
Speaking of lesbians, non-lesbian Gloria Estefan shows up after the break to give the crowd a little pep talk. Because they live in Miami. That humidity BLOWS.
After twenty minutes of searingly bad auditions, the producers have us convinced that the next wannabe, Caitlynne Curtis, is the One to Watch. With her perky yellow dress and her perky smile and her perky attitude, she looks like the elusive Total Package. She tells us that her mom’s a ‘pharmacy technician’ and her dad’s a printer, but that’s not what she wants to do. Really? Most teenage girls I know are DYING to be pharmacy technicians.
It doesn’t go well for our little yellow bird, who starts off rocky, flies into a few bars of surprisingly good warbling, then immediately crashes back to earth with a bunch of incredibly flat notes. The poor darling has a breakdown on stage when she gets her verdict.
Part of me feels bad for this girl, but the other (and much larger) part of me wants to scream at her, ‘YOU ARE SIXTEEN FUCKING YEARS OLD. Take some classes, get better, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, you dick.’ (My apologies, that’s the mean spirited middle-aged witch inside of me, rearing her ugly head.)
L.A. tells us that ‘it’s moments like these that create champions and winners.’
And also serial killers.
Now the judges take a moment to reflect on just how awful Miami talent is. Because it’s not just the producers fucking with you, right Simon? I’m sure there’s at least a few decent crooners in that crowd of thousands, the producers just like to see you sweat a little. Simon vaguely threatens to leave, until Nick Voss struts onto the stage.
Nick Voss is what would happen if Chris Isaak and Vanilla Ice had a baby, right down to his unfortunate predilection for eyebrow waxing.
Some trends shouldn’t be revived.
All of Nick’s drama about living with his great big family in his itty bitty house must mean he’s going to be good, right? PLEASE tell me he’s going to be good, because I might have to walk out with Simon if this hell goes on much longer.
Nick bursts into an Elvis song, which I think sounds only middling fair, but I guess I’m wrong because the ladies in the audience LUV it, and the judges seem to as well – but wait! OH NO! Nick’s having some sort of FIT, shouldn’t someone call an ambulance or something??
Oh wait, he’s just Seizure-Dancing.
I think Nick’s a weeeeeeeee bit much – he reminds me of Adam Lambert’s bad days on American Idol (yes, he had a few, trust me). He seems to be trying WAY too hard. His Happy Feet seem a little more like Desperate Feet to me, but who am I.
Not record producer L.A. Reid, who basically admits that the music industry is bullshit nowadays, because this isn’t ‘purely the singing business,’ it’s ‘really the entertainment business.’ So you don’t have to be that talented, see? You just have to ENTERTAIN. Ugh.
After the break we get a little host segment, assumably to remind us that there IS a host. I’m gonna have to look up his name again, because for the life of me I can’t keep it in my brain. Oh, there it is – Steve Jones. No wonder I can’t remember it.
Our next contestant, Ashley Deckard, is more interested in telling the judges about her ghost-seeing capabilities than singing for them. And of COURSE, Paula says she knows exactly what she’s talking about. After all, she can still see the ghost of her career floating around sometimes. BAM!!!! Oh Paula. You don’t see ghosts, you see tracers, honey.
So Ashley Venkman isn’t that great at singing, but I guess she’s good at ghost whispering because once she leaves, weird shit starts happening. The judges all freak out as the lights flicker and the audience shrieks.
That sums up a lot, actually.
We have a spooky montage, and it looks like the only HIT SONG they couldn’t get the rights to is the original Ray Parker Jr. version of ‘Ghostbusters.’ Ouch. We fly through a bunch of other cruddy non-singers whose angry spirit animals keep turning off the lights, including some guy who I’m pretty sure is the Superman impersonator on Hollywood Blvd.
Or one of those creepy corpse pictures from the 1800′s.
Marivana Viscuso is up next, and girlfriend most DEFINITELY looks like the crazy type. But she’s actually not half bad for a Skeksi.
OMG, what happened to Carole King?!?
Another commercial break, where we get an ad for Dolphin Tale, which is sure to be the absolute most schmaltzy film ever made. And which I will totally be seeing, because it stars a MOTHERLOVING DOLPHIN, YO. Dolphins are RAD.
Back on the show, we are STILL IN MIAMI, God help us all. The girl group 2 Squar’d gets a gold star, and Nicole says she loves ‘the message of the beauty’s from within.’ Which means even more coming from a bunch of girls in belly shirts and booty shorts, right? Ridic.
The judges also like Kendra Williams, who didn’t sound that great to me, but she’s wearing the exact same earrings that Little Yellow Bird wore earlier, except in green.
The lady judges go all drool-y over Brendan O’Hara, who looks like a Just For Men box. Nicole makes bedroom eyes at him.
So you wanna win this thing, do ya?
And then the ladies exchange a creepy ‘let’s tag team him’ look.
SHARING is CARING!
Male soprano Jeremiah Pagan sings, and he’s boring. NEXT.
Pretty and sweet Melanie Amaro starts off by talking about her big family, and I find myself hoping that we’re not about to sit through yet another sob story about sharing bedrooms, etc etc, blah blah blaaaaaaaaah. Thankfully, we don’t, but I just realized this must be a different day of auditions because now Nicole’s wearing a studded dog collar and Paula looks like a deranged ’50s housewife.
I’m about to be consumed by the dots on Paula’s puffy sleeves when Melanie saves me with her ASTOUNDING voice. I mean, this girl is for REAL, y’all. She’s so good, L.A. starts darning invisible socks for their future babies.
You can tell how good this chick is by the simple fact that they let her sing the ENTIRE SONG. This NEVER HAPPENS. She even gets a standing O – and only halfway through the damn performance!! Um, can the show just end NOW? I mean, for God’s sake, she’s put L.A. into a trance!
L.A. can smell the music, you guys!
Nicole tells Melanie, ‘this is why I do this.’ What, judge a reality show? For like the third day?! Puh-leeze.
Okay, we’ve FINALLY made it to Dallas. We’re gonna start off with a bang. A long, shaggy blonde bang with legs.
Just lots and lots of bangs.
Jonny Rogers claims he HATES being compared to Justin Bieber and that he TOTALLY had that haircut first. Sure, kid. You’re also popular and straight.
Jonny tells his mom that he wants to dance when he performs for the judges, to which his mother adamantly replies, ‘you can’t dance here.’ If only Jonny’s mother could’ve given this speech to every contestant on this show. Of course, they’d probably listen just as well as Jonny does, because of course, he DANCES. But surprisingly, he makes an even WORSE decision – to sing his own song.
A young Ed Begley, Jr.
This boy is godawful, but for some reason the girls in the crowd go wild. I am now officially old enough that I think I’m allowed to say, ‘I just don’t get kids these days.’ Jonny’s weird jerky dance moves and hair swishing are bad enough, but now I’ve got that stupid ‘There Ain’t No Substitution’ song stuck in my head and it’s NOT LEAVING. Maybe this kid DOES have what it takes.
We find out that Dallas is making Nicole GO COUNTRY. She keeps saying ‘y’all’ without even realizing it, y’all!
She’s also wearing a blouse from the ‘Young Barbara Mandrell’ clothing line.
Next up in Dallas is Kentucky boy Dylan Lawson. He’s got a real sad story about having to sell his truck so he could buy a plane ticket to Dallas for the audition…hey, couldn’t he have just DRIVEN his TRUCK? Dude, I Google Map’d that shit and it would’ve only taken you 15 hours, bro. Grow a pair.
Dylan is all weird with the judges, barely able to mumble his name at them. Simon can tell talking isn’t his strong suit. Well guess what? Neither is singing.
This kid starts screaming something that sounds like the music they’d play in the seventh circle of hell – you know, the really bad one where they keep the Klan members. There’s a lot of bleeped swearing, and he finishes by collapsing to the stage.
And then he died.
Of course he didn’t die. But it takes a lot of begging from the panel before he finally gets his ass off the floor and leaves. Wait, wait – you’re telling me this douche was smart enough to fool all of the producers? I’m sort of amazed by this dickweed, I have to admit – he seemed like such an idiot, did he really have enough cunning to pull off this sham ‘I wanna be a singer’ bit? If he did, that’s sort of astounding – he’s like an idiot savant of pranks. I hope it’s that, because otherwise that guy actually believed that was music that he just performed, and we should all be frightened (and maybe check his internet history for scary shit while we’re at it).
Dylan marks the first of our requisite string of crazy nutballs in Dallas. First up is yell-singer Wesley Kemball, who I’m pretty sure is Rick Springfield’s less attractive cousin.
Or maybe a Will Forte SNL character.
Then we have Michael & Michelle, who are so creeptastic I can barely stand it. I’m so skeeved out by his strange touching of her that I can’t even bear to post a picture of it. He says he’s a personal trainer, which gets a good hearty laugh because his physique is a little more reminiscent of Bob’s Big Boy than Bob Harper.
Curtis Lawson looks like he’s wearing a dreamcatcher on his crotch – oh, that’s because he’s wearing a dreamcatcher on his crotch. He starts his song and I am promptly forced to wonder whether he’s having a stroke or if my DVR has begun to slowly rewind the show. Are those even words? I think if you play it backwards it’s actually a hidden ad for Terra Nova.
We have now reached a gentleman by the name of Dexter Haygood, a sprightly 49-year-old from Memphis wearing a bedazzled jean jacket that belonged to a girlfriend of mine had in the 8th grade.
And some mighty fine Pee Wee Herman platforms.
Dexter thinks this is his last chance. He used to be in a band called Xavion that toured once with Hall & Oates – BIG TIME.
Olivia Newton John was in that band too, right?
He goes on stage ready to do ‘Sexy Machine’ by James Brown. Oh, of course, SEXY Machine. It is exactly the sound-alike performance Simon predicts it will be, but the audience likes Dex so much that Simon decides to give him another chance. He tells him to do 15 seconds of a cappella starting…NOW!
So of course we cut to a commercial break. We then have to spend a good ten minutes finding out more about Dexter’s life story, like how he’s homeless and has been sleeping on friends’ couches.
And rocking on complete strangers’ porches.
Once Dex finishes rocking, he gets back to the business of that OTHER kind of rocking, and he does it well. Some emotionally charged background music plays as the judges tell him he has FOUR YESES. Actually, I’m pretty sure this song was used in the trailer for some crappy Anne Hathaway movie. God I hate Anne Hathaway.
Now we finally see what the host’s role is – he’s there for contestants who didn’t bring anybody with them, if they need a hug or a shoulder to cry on or the other shoulder to sweat on. Well that’s sweet, but I hope that shirt is waterproof because I saw Contagion and that is a LOT of bodily fluid being spilled near your face.
We now get our requisite montage of GOOD contestants, who flip by so quickly I can barely register their existence…Kyle Corr, Hannah Jackson, Ma’at Bingham Shango, and Austin Simmons, who I think is just Blake Lewis from American Idol season 6.
Remember? The beat-boxer who came in 2nd? No?
A little more time and attention is given to Caitlin Koch, probably because she’s STUPID hot. I hate her a lot because she’s so ridiculously attractive. She coaches rugby, so that means she could also take me in a fight. Life is so unfair.
See? Not fair. God hates me.
She’s pretty good, but I can’t spend one more second thinking about her or else I’m going to be convinced that no woman except her should ever have children again, so that the human race can all be blessed with those genes and then peace, love, and prosperity will reign supreme over the entire planet.
But I digress. Our final contestant of the night is unfortunate Silly String accident victim Xander Alexander, who likes to warm up in public restrooms.
Guess it was just number one.
This guy’s got so much confidence it’s making my head hurt. He aspires to be everyone from Mariah Carey to Martha Stewart (um…..), but he knows he’s already better than all of them and just needs everyone to acknowledge that. Man I hope he’s a train wreck on stage.
Xander meets the judges and proceeds to give Simon a good bit of sass, which makes everybody laugh but sort of hate him anyway because he’s so damn cocky about it. Finally, it’s time for him to sing.
Uh, what’s happening with those pants?
Oh thank GOD – he’s terrible!! Whew. I knew I couldn’t watch the rest of this season if this doink made it through, so let’s all breathe a sigh of relief, shall we? Xander fake cries, then real cries, then fake cries some more, before blaming his failure on having ‘never been in front of a stage before’ and not having family there to support him. Right.
Well, that’s it for the second episode of The X Factor, folks! I hope you were as let down as I was, especially for being teased with Baby Huey at the beginning of the Dallas segment and then never getting to see him audition.
See you cats next week!