The X-Factor: Auditions No. 5
Welcome to the final week of X-Factor auditions! Tonight the judges started off in Providence, RI. After Britney’s manager told Wade, one of the show’s assistants, to get her a straw hat, and Simon came in with police escorts on a motorized scooter, it was clear it was going to be a very interesting day of auditions.
And Adonis & John certainly proved that. The duo called themselves the “Original Greeks,” and compared their talent to Michelangelo’s. They sang “Hello” by “The Great” Lionel Richie, though John really just added a bunch of “uh”s to the mix. Britney giggled, and Demi bounced along. It was hard to believe they were actually serious, and the audience agreed. L.A. said “the good news is that you have a day job” (they work at a diner together), and Simon told it as it was: “It really, really isn’t good.” Demi said “Peace out, yo. It’s a no” and the judges shared a laugh.
After A LOT of awful performers and some more messing with Wade, 15-year-old Dinah Jane Hansen from California took the stage. She lives with 21 of her extended family members, and said Britney was one of her first idols. When she began singing Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy,” she sounded very throaty and deep, but I was shocked when she began to belt it out and hit the higher notes. L.A. said she took the song to places even Beyonce couldn’t, and Britney said “I felt like I had a connection with you.” Demi added, “I got the chills several times.” Simon said, “This is why we came to Providence. Your family will be very proud of you.” They all gave her yeses, and her mom and uncle cried backstage.
A returning contestant, Arin Ray, 16, from Ohio was up next. He made it to the top 12 last year, but got cut as part of a group. He sang an original song, “Count on Me,” and sounded sort of like Usher-meets-Chris Brown, which I really liked. L.A. said, “You embody X-Factor all day and night,” and Demi said, “Your confidence is really, really hot.” Simon said “You’re a different person [from last year]. It was a great audition.” He got “four very well-deserved yeses.”
And he was just the first of some very young people sent to boot camp. This included One4Five, another male duo. They rapped and ran into the audience, working the audience, and Demi was “completely sold” on them, despite the weird contacts one of them was wearing, which gave him what Simon called “a zombie look.”
Changyi Li is a 52 year-old fairly-recent Chinese immigrant who wants to be a superstar. She sang Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” which explained the sailor costume she was wearing. She had a very, very unique voice, and really hold a note…so much so that Simon had to ask her to stop more than once. He said, “If they ever remake [Titanic], you could replace the iceberg. Just sing the song and down it goes.” Britney added, “I think you should start dancing or something.” So she got some very kind, but firm nos.
Then we jumped back to Greensboro, NC. Austin Corini, 16, is from small town in California, and wants to have his voice heard all over the world, ala Justin Bieber and One Direction. He was certainly making fans like them: Two girls from the audience approached him before he even performed and asked for his autograph. He sang “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes, and he knew how to work the stage and the crowd. Britney said she liked his platinum blonde hair and thought he had “the whole package.” Demi said, “I can see that sparkle in your eyes,” but Simon said, “I kind of want a bit more. I think that was like 80%. You need to be remembered for your voice, not your hair.” The girls said yes, and the guys said agreed, but only because they believed he could be better.
“Jaime” was the name of a disgustingly cute male and female engaged couple and singing duo. The pair hailed from Florida, where they met just last year. They sang an original song they wrote together called, “Will You Be My Baby,” complete with choreography. The judges cringed, obviously experiencing the same secondhand embarrassment I did. Simon summed it up: “It was so corny.” People in the audience yelled for them to get off the the stage before they even got their four nos.
Excessively-tattoed David Correy, age 26, was adopted from Brazil because his 14 year-old birth mother wanted him to have a better life. If he wins the show, he plans to meet her. David sang Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” and Britney had tears in her eyes. After the crowd gave him screams and thumbs up, she told him, “You have the most amazing stage presence.” L.A. simply said, “You can really sing, man,” and Simon said, “You thoroughly deserve what you’re about to get: Four yeses.”
Back to San Francisco, Sophie Tweed-Simmons, was up first. The 19-year-old daughter of KISS singer Gene Simmons, Sophie said she wanted to “be her own person” and not get help from her dad. In fact, she looked sad when Demi told the other judges who she was. She sang Adele/Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” in a very classical, lovely voice. Demi said it needed to be “a little more controlled,” and L.A. said, “I didn’t quite get the chill bumps I wanted.” However, Britney said “You have an amazing voice,” and Simon liked the tone of it, and the way that she “made it [her] own.” L.A. said no, but the others all said yes, so she was on to the next round.
But Tara Simon wasn’t threatened by the daughter of a celebrity. A vocal coach who has sang in many capacities, she already considered herself a star, and told the judges she wanted to take one of their places in five years. She sang “Without You” with many, many more flourishes than necessary, and her voice went up and down like a rollercoaster. Simon said, “I think you over-sang the song. But you’ve got the talent,” and Britney added, “You’re a true performer.” Demi said “I think you’ll get better,” but L.A. said it was “A little too theatrical for me.” Somehow she still got four yeses, so the drama queen will be at bootcamp.
37 year-old Daryl Black has a wife and five kids, and wants to “provide for [them] in a much bigger way.” He sang Gym Class Hero’s “Stereo Hearts,” and really made it his own. He had a lot of stage presence and charisma, and even Simon smiled. Demi said, “What an amazing voice,” and Britney added, “You took over.” Simon said, “You remind me of Nat King Cole. If you keep doing something that’s unique and different from everyone else, there’s a place for you.” He of course got all yeses.
The final contestant, Trevor Moran, 13, is a singer and dancer who makes videos of himself to build his confidence. He made a friend while waiting, and they danced together. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if he’s any good though, because when the episode ended, he was white as a sheet, lying on his mom’s lap, and an ambulance was on its way. To be continued…