Wait – what?!?
That’s right, ladies and gents, we’re back for week two of The X Factor auditions, and after a pleasant reminder of what we learned last week (black girls can SING, yo!), the producers throw a curveball at us by re-introducing ridiculously round-headed judge Cheryl Cole back into the mix.
Not exactly sure why we couldn’t have just seen all of her episodes back-to-back, since I’m assuming that not even the devious brains behind The X Factor would be so cruel as to kill off an unimpressive judge and then zap her back to life just to fill in for one day while Pussycat Nicole is on the rag or whatever.
Well, whatEVER the reason, Cheryl’s back for the Chicago round of auditions, where all of the contestants are outside huddled under umbrellas, assumably because it’s raining and not because they’re doing a group rendition of that annoying Rihanna song.
We get a little teaser of a judge fight, but let’s all rest assured that they’ll save it for the very last few minutes of the episode, just to keep us hanging.
Every time I say ‘judge,’ this is what I think of.
For the first time, we’re clued in on how the rules will work once we get past the audition phase…the finalists will be split into four groups: girls under 30, boys under 30, duos/groups, and the deadly leper category of OVER 30. Because everyone knows that in the entertainment industry, once you hit the big 3-0 you better put down your rock anthems and/or pop hits and start brushing up on the adult contemporary slow jams, because there’s NO WAY the much-desired Gossip Girl crowd is gonna wanna watch a wrinkled up OLD PERSON sing Demi Lovato songs. EW.
The four judges will each mentor one of the groups. My money’s on Nicole snagging the duos/groups, since she’s in one herself…L.A. and Paula splitting up the young folks, with Paula likely getting the girls (to avoid potential lawsuits from the young studs she insists upon undressing with her eyeballs)…and Simon ending up with the 30-plus-ers, because he’s the only one with the cojones to take them on.
The contestants will also have to endure some sort of ‘boot camp,’ which I’m sure consists of a lot more piano scales and jazz hands than rope climbing and sit-ups. Which is unfortunate, since I’m sure I’m not the only one that would rather see some of these bitches be forced to run through a muddy field rather than flip their goddamn hair one more time.
So with all that BORING crap over, let’s get on with the meat and potatoes of this show, shall we?
Our first contestants are Makenna and Brock, a sugary-sweet country duo that everyone assumes is a brother-sister act because they’re both young and have blonde hair.
It’s like I’m looking at the SAME PERSON.
They come complete with a convenient unrequited love story (awwwwwww) – Makenna keeps insisting they are JUST FRIENDS, but every time Brock says Makenna’s name he gets all flushed and mopey. He seems like a sweet kid – he says he’s in love with Makenna but she doesn’t know it. I think HE doesn’t know women very well. This gal’s playing him like a GD violin. There’s no WAY she doesn’t know how he feels.
Cuz he’s REAL SUBTLE.
They introduce themselves to the judges and tell them that they’ve been singing together for four years. Wait a second…that means Makenna would’ve been 18 and Brock a wee 14 – does anyone else find that sort of disturbing??? No wonder she can’t find the dude sexually attractive, she knew him back when he was practically wearing Underoos. I bet she used to babysit him. SKEEVY.
They do a pretty good job, but Makenna’s REAL lucky she’s paired up with her TOTALLY PLATONIC friend Brock, cuz he makes her sound way, way better. They’re good enough to get a yes from Simon, Paula, and Cheryl…
And a white man’s overbite from L.A.
I’m sure the producers will be pushing Makenna and Brock’s awkward love story all season, forcing them to sing super romantic songs to each other and encouraging other girls to flirt with Brock to see if it makes Makenna jealous (I’m going with ‘no.’). I hope Brock eventually realizes that he can do better than a girl who wears matching outfits with her mom.
I bet they have a couch in this pattern, too.
To counter all of the squishy feel-good-iness of Country Thunder, the next contestant enters the stage wearing a tiny velvet toga.
Well at least she got her hair done.
Kim says she’s gonna sing ‘Firework,’ so if her outfit wasn’t clue enough already, now we KNOW that she’s goin’ down in flames, because if there’s one thing this damn show has taught us, it’s that NO ONE can sing this stupid song. If Katy Perry HERSELF auditioned with that song she’d explode into tiny fragments of whip cream and booby shirts.
Kim kinda sounds like Tiny Tim when she sings, which reminds me of that super creepy movie Insidious because they use his song ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ in EXACTLY the freaky-deaky context that I always envisioned it in. (Side note: You should really see this movie if you enjoy things like public whimpering and pants pooping.) She blames her dulcet tones on not being able to hear herself, to which Simon responds, ‘you were lucky.’
Tim Quinn is up next, and if Hollywood ever decides to do an remake of Frankenstein in which the monster is re-imagined as an angst-y teenager, this is their guy. Simon tells him it’s a bad idea to do ‘Kiss From a Rose,’ but Tim goes right ahead anyway. You guys remember when Danny Gokey killed this song on season 8 of American Idol? This sounds completely the opposite of that. Tim’s out.
Next up is Batman super-villain Robin Royal.
Catwoman meets Frank-n-Furter.
Her song starts, and the music sounds really, really strange. I think maybe she left her 8-track in the hot car all day. That’s a no, darling.
We get a few quick shots of some other not-good-enough contestants.
Hey it’s Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde from Pac-Man!
There’s also Charlesia, who doesn’t want to sing – she wants to join the judging panel. She’s under the impression that Simon is looking for an ‘unknown’ to be a judge, but he tells her she’s about six months too late…because clearly he’s already found his totally unknown majorly successful record-producing-megastar judge. It’s just SO nice to see an up-and-comer like L.A. Reid getting his big break judging on The X Factor.
Speaking of L.A., can someone please explain to me why he’s dressed up like Fred from Scooby Doo?
The mystery of the crappy contestant.
The show finally slows down again in order to throw some focus on Skyelor Anderson, a young black country singer who wants to buy his mom a house (awwwwww part II). Before going onstage, he mumbles a token ‘GIT ‘ER DUN’ and ‘yee haw,’ which is as awkward as hearing a white person use the words ‘gangsta’ and ‘homie.’
Skyelor’s music cuts out a few bars into the song, but after some panicked looks offstage he keeps singing. He should consider himself lucky that the CD player broke, cuz boyfriend sounds MUCH better without the backing track.
The judges go GAGA over the fact that this kid kept singing. Paula says, ‘you have a commitment that is unparalleled,’ which I’m pretty sure is a MILD exaggeration. The Wright brothers had a commitment that was unparalleled, all this kid did was sing a song a capella, dude. Gimme a freaking break.
Anyway, the judges LURV the unique-ness of a black teenager singing schlocky country ballads, so Skyelor’s through to the next round. Before he leaves, he stops by the X Factor post-audition interview pod to let us know how happy he is…
…in the afterlife.
Seriously, can we take a second to discuss this pod-thing and why the lighting inside of it makes everyone look like they’ve died? I’m officially re-naming it the Spirit Box.
During the commercial break, we get the supreme pleasure of seeing J-Lo hawking yet ANOTHER product, her GD clothing line. SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR STUPID BLOCK, J-JO!!!!! Ohhhhhhh my GOD, is anyone NOT sick of this woman?!? Thankfully, we quickly get back to the show where we see that there’s some kind of dance party happening in the Chicago holding room.
Lamest rave EVER.
Our next contestant, J. Mark Inman, is a graduate student working on his degree in philosophy from a school in Europe. So I guess getting a highly useful degree in philosophy results in auditioning for a lot of reality television shows, and ‘a school in Europe’ is code for ‘taking online classes from the University of Phoenix.’
J. Mark says he’s always had both sides of his brain working simultaneously, and proves it by scribbling down some mad-looking equations whilst simultaneously staring forlornly out the rain-streaked window, wondering what touching a girl’s boob feels like.
He doesn’t want to be a cookie cutter artist, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Cookie cutters tend to be a bit more symmetrical.
He spouts off some more smart-person-words before heading out on the stage, where he proceeds to talk in a creepy sleezoid voice to the judges. Paula asks him what brings him to this audition, to which he very honestly replies, ‘money.’ She then asks him what he BRINGS to the competition, and he says that he’s bringing what he’s got.
Stalker tendencies and a wicked Sloth eye.
J. Mark’s song choice is ‘Creep,’ everyone’s favorite karaoke mood-killer. Seriously. It’s a great tune, but whenever I’m out for karaoke night, inevitably someone picks this song and you can literally see the color drain from the room and people start contemplating whether jumping off a cliff or setting themselves on fire is the more tragic way to go.
As soon as his personalized backing track begins to play, I begin screaming into my empty living room ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?’ It’s ‘Creep’ as if it were sung by a Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, if he also happened to have a collection of human fingers in Ziploc bags in the freezer. J. Mark’s also doing some sort of odd movement with his feet that reminds me of a dance recital I was in when I was six.
The lyric ‘I’m a weirdo’ has never been more apt.
The whole performance is just sort of fascinatingly nauseating, and the judges are so tickled by the thought of bringing this guy back for further otherworldly antics that they actually vote him through. I guess every show needs its William Hung.
Paula says that she thinks she visited the wacky place that J. Mark is from (insert drug addiction joke here), and accordingly the next string of contestants are all from ‘Paula’s world.’
Including a Dr. Seuss character and a Transformer.
But my FAVORITE is this chick, who has ‘cautionary tales’ about ‘psycho fairies,’ so apparently she’s hung out with Paula before. SLAM!
‘If Celebrities Lived in the Midwest’ version of J-Lo.
But Duane’s pretty great, too.
And he shall henceforth be known as ‘The Scare-Ho.’
All of this camaraderie is enough to make the Paula Abdul stand-in robot experience a major malfunction.
Or maybe it’s just that outfit.
During the next commercial break, we see that Artie from Glee can walk after all, and millions of young girls are disillusioned for the rest of their lives.
The producers follow the break with a brief clip of some completely forgettable dude that makes it through – I think we can all safely surmise that we won’t be seeing much more of him this season. And then, a human-Wookie hybrid named Josh enters the scene.
Josh Krajcik looks like he was just used to clean the floor of a hot wings restaurant, and his kooky mother helps solidify our image of this guy as the next mental institution escapee to audition for the show. The audience is also convinced they’re about to witness a train wreck.
EW, he’s like all GROSS and stuff!
Once Josh starts to sing ‘At Last,’ however, all of our assumptions go right down the toilet alongside Josh’s collection of discarded shampoo. This guy is excellent, right down to his Joe Cocker School of Hand-Singing moves.
This guy just redeemed this entire show, y’all.
The judges fall all over themselves to praise Josh, with Simon saying that after all these years of judging nationally televised talent shows he never thought he’d be surprised again, until Josh blew him away. Yep, Josh Krajcik has definitely changed the game, folks. He got my vote even before he walked offstage and asked where the bar was. I LOVE THIS GUY.
After a quick break we’re ready to switch up cities and head to…Seattle?!? Wait, weren’t we just in Seattle last week? Seriously guys? I KNOW you didn’t go to the Pacific Northwest for a second try, so obviously the editors have just decided to take plenty of artistic license with the way they cut this crap together. I can’t keep all this jumping around straight in my head. The timeline for this damn show is more confusing than the final season of Lost.
At least we’re back to our regularly scheduled judge programming – Cheryl Cole has once again been dumped unceremoniously through some hidden trap door beneath the judges table and replaced by Pussycat Nicole Sham-a-lam-a-ding-dong. Next week I’m fully expecting that SHE will be replaced by the Geico gecko.
Our first Seattle contestants are a mother-daughter team that must be distant relatives of Marjory the Trash Heap on Fraggle Rock.
The judges immediately spot the crazy when these ladies walk onto the stage, and I mean, you’d have to be blind to miss the pure nut-job-iness emanating from their very pores.
It’s like the pile of unwanted shit in the dumpster at Goodwill just rose up and started to sing.
‘The Good Girls’ sing ‘What’s Goin’ On,’ and they are NOT GOOD, okay? Do I really need to tell you just HOW bad? I mean, if I say even one more nasty thing about these ladies I’m probably stamping my own ticket straight to hell.
I hope Marvin Gaye’s grave is REAL comfy for rolling around in.
Yep, that’s it, goin’ to hell. I’ve gotta go give myself seven lashes before I can continue, but luckily it’s time for some commercials.
Okay, are we all back? Thank goodness, because we’re about to be exposed to a fourteen-year-old girl who’s in love with Justin Bieber. I know, it’s pretty hard to believe, but she DOES exist. Her name is Drew Ryniewicz, and yes I had to look that name up four times before I could spell it correctly. Girlfriend’s gonna have to seriously consider changing that monstrosity if she really wants to be famous.
Drew dreams all day, every day about Justin Bieber.
I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with this.
Luckily, Drew can also sing her butt off, which has the producers screaming like…well, like fourteen-year-old girls at a Justin Bieber concert, since they now have an opportunity to push this chick all the way to the finals where they can pressure the Biebs to come on the show to do a duet with his biggest fan. Cuz if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to help this show’s ratings, it’s a brief glimpse of Justin Bieber.
Simon tells Drew that she was the easiest yes of the day. She breezes through with four yeses.
The L.A. is pleased.
This girl is so sweet and honestly excited that it’s actually making me tear up a little. Please don’t tell anyone that The X Factor made me cry. It’s not like it’s that difficult, anyway – whenever a goddamn Google Chrome ad comes on I start bawling like a giant mascara-streaked baby.
And how am I NOT supposed to cry, when sweet little Drew’s sweet father has a total happiness meltdown backstage??
Commercials!! Including the one with the little kid dressed up as Darth Vader who thinks he has the power to turn on his daddy’s car with the Force. Yes, I’m crying again.
Forgettable and way too into themselves girl group Jada gets the ax for being ordinary. Then we reach Peet Montzingo, the 6’1″ son of dwarf parents. This must be the only family like this to not already have a reality show on TLC.
Peet is sweet and charming and the judges like him, but sadly he doesn’t have a voice to match. I’m not gonna dig into this guy, because he seems nice and I really will go to hell if I start making tasteless dwarf jokes.
Next up is boy band wannabes 4Shore, or Four Sure, or Fo Sho, or whatever. They sing ‘End of the Road,’ and they’re a’ight, but I’m not sure how much material they’ll be able to pull from the Boyz II Men and/or Color Me Badd catalog before everyone decides they’re boring. But for now, L.A. loves them for singing a song that he wrote, and Simon thinks they could be a group that America can be proud of, I guess because they’re black and their success would prove that 64% of the country is no longer racist.
Elaine Gibbs auditions next, and she must love the ’80s, because she shares a name with Marla Gibbs from the hit sitcom 227 and sings like Nell Carter. If they ever do a movie version of Gimme a Break, this woman’s already in line to sing the theme song.
Seventeen-year-old Francesca Duncan sounds like a frog to me but gets four yeses. Tiger Budbil doesn’t sing so much as he holds one note for a really long time, but apparently that’s enough to get him through…even Simon relents and says yes. What is UP with him being so GD NICE on this show?!? And speaking of nice, why are we being inundated with all of these nice, decent-sounding peeps – what happened to all of the nutjobs?? Even the mediocre singers like Peet aren’t meeting the cuckoo quotient for this episode.
‘Where have all the crazies gaw-aw-awwwwnnnn?’
(Sorry to remind you that Paula Cole does indeed exist and wasn’t just a terrifying figment of your acid-fueled 22-year-old imagination.)
Hipster Phillip Lomax is up, but identifying yourself as a hipster is the most UN-hipster thing you could possibly do, which of course automatically makes you a hipster again and OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THE HIPSTERS DOING TO US, PEOPLE?!?!? Can we all agree to hate them? How about just Phillip?
I mean, he looks like THIS, you guys.
He does a weird sound-alike version of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ that I find really annoying, though not as much as the way he keeps saying ‘Shee-attle.’ He’s not great, but Simon says self-belief is a big part of being a star. I guess that’s why most famous people are raging a-holes.
So yeah, Phillip gets four yeses and the world becomes a slightly darker place. We find out that the lady judges are having trouble passing any chicks through, which they insist is due to lack of talent but Simon thinks is because of things like this:
A clearly very talented tranny hooker.
Simon and L.A. decide to term this phenomenon ‘D.O.A.’ since the female contestants have absolutely no way of getting a yes from Nicole or Paula since they have a younger vagina than they do.
Oodles of scantily dressed lasses get dissed before we stumble upon Ivana Steelman and her sequined boy shorts. She’s fucking awful, so Simon knows full well why she’s not getting the green light…but he decided to stir up the pot anyway by saying she reminds him of a young Nicole. Furious, Nic pulls out her rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You.’
Spirit fingers help with the high notes.
Girl can actually SANG, which kinda depresses me since someone took her and her talent and wadded it all up and shoved it inside the slut-box known as the Pussycat Dolls. And hey, doesn’t she realize that her VERY OWN GROUP and the image they project is half the reason some of these little girls are coming onstage dressed in stripper clothes? Physician, heal thySELF, am I right?
Nicole’s showing off does NOT sit well with Ivana.
Boy that’s an unfortunate face.
Well, we’ve reached the point where my eyeballs have started to bleed, so it’s lucky that we’re down to our final contestant – deli clerk Tiah Tolliver. Simon is convinced Tiah is D.O.A.
Turtlenecks are SO slutty.
Tiah does okay, but Simon is head over heels for her – he claims she’s got steel coming out of her eyes, and I feel bad for her because that’s exactly what I feel like is happening to me right this very second. Hurry UP, judges.
L.A. also says yes to Tiah, so it’s down to the lady judges…uh oh. Simon literally BEGS them to pass her through, but after much deliberation and many bitch faces, both ladies give Tiah a big fat no and Simon throws a cup.
L.A. decides that Tiah should have one last chance to sway the bitches and get at least one more yes, so she busts out another so-so song. It makes some people happy…
…like Tiah’s boyfriend, Young Ludacris.
But SOMEBODY still looks like it’s day nine of their hideously overextended menstruation period.
You’d be pissy, too, with cramps like these.
It’s Simon’s (and Tiah’s) lucky day, however, as Nicole decided to give her a shot and her third yes. Simon’s so overjoyed, he forgets who he is for a moment and gives us the single most amazing ‘Simon Cowell, Male Cheerleader’ pose we will ever see.
SOMEONE is a happy unicorn!!
We finish the show by getting one more speck of Paula’s temper tantrum over Tiah making it through to the next round.
Paula, please stop tossing Simon’s berries.
This is the second to the last audition show – REALLY?!? We’re honestly already going to boot camp? Well, color me happy, because that’s the best news I’ve had all month. Here’s to next week, where all of the Goobers will already be weeded out of the goodie bag, leaving nothing but sweet, sweet Kit Kats. See you then!