Note: Top 16 to be announced Tuesday evening (tonight)
We finally have our Top 32 in place. After this stage, we will be left with 16 acts that will move on to the live shows... Or so we are lead to believe. We shall see if the XF producers have any twists up their sleeves soon but for now, let's see how the Judges Houses went. Who will make it to the live shows? Who will fall just short? Will your favorite make it? And who will win a recording contract with Epic Records worth 5 million dollars? ... It's time to face the music!
Recap and videos after the JUMP ...
Recap and videos after the JUMP ...
Boys - L.A.
Girls - Simon
Overs - Nicole
Groups - Paula
- Are sent to the Hamptons with Rihanna as L.A. Reid's helper. Weird choice.
- Brian Bradley/ Astro Kid is singing a mash-up of "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash. I've never heard this song before, I'm just not a fan of the rapping or his attitude. Rihanna can't get over how "cute" he is. L.A. wonders what it would be like to put a rapper into the live shows, 'cause it hasn't been done in the U.S. before and notes that he is "not a singer".
- Skyelor Anderson sings "Nobody Knows" by Babyface. For a Country singer, I think he has a really weak voice. Very amateurish and nothing special. Rihanna thinks he has a lot of material to work with but needs to be polished. L.A. wonders if he's an authentic Country singer or just chose it as a genre. I suspect this guy is J.H. fodder.
- Phillip Lomax performs "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna. He worries that his style of singing is not what L.A. is looking for. He slows it down and jazzes it up, I like it. He needs to work on his higher register. I'm not sure Rihanna like it very much, she calls it "very charming". L.A. notes his originality but questions if it works commercially.
- Nick Voss is singing "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" by Tears for Fears (one of my favorite songs). We see that he actually forgot the words when he performed at Bootcamp. This performance was a shaky towards the end but I still really liked it and I still think he has potential to be a great vocalist. Rihanna asks how Nick was in past performances, L.A. says he has seen him better.
- Brennin Hunt sings "Like a Star" by Corinne Bailey Rae, he talks about how he's getting old for music standards and really wants to make the next round. it's a solid performance with some nice gravelly, raspy notes. Rihanna says "he's a little bit corny..he..he gives me like 90's Boy Band" L.A. asks "does he sing like a star?", "that's what I'm not convinced of" she replies. Puh-leez Rihanna, Brennin sings way better than you live. I'm seriously sensing some white guy with guitar (WGWG) discrimination. Lol.
- Tim Cifer talks about wanting to teach his son how to hunt and fish. Coincidentally, he sings "Dance With My Father" bu Luther Vandross. Seriously though, this guy looks like Scotty McCreery's dad. This guy rocked in bootcamp but tonight, he sounds like a generic Country singer but it's still a good performance. Rihanna likes him and calls him "a real Country singer", L.A. says he wanted more. MOAR... With the Country fiasco that was American Idol Season 10, this guy is surely fodder.
- Marcus Canty is amazed to be in the Hamptons. He sings "All My Life" by Casey and JoJo. I liked his audition but after this performance, I truly see his potential. The best we've seen from him so far. He definitely charmed the crap out of Rihanna. She says she contain herself, L.A. got chills.
- Chris Rene performs "People Everyday" by Sly and the Family Stone. He reiterates that he just wants to be a good example for his son and having financial stability as a result of his music would be amazing. I really liked this performance, he seemed shaky in parts but I love how he sang the chorus. Rihanna says there is something special about him, L.A. notes he's never seen him so uncomfortable. I still think this guy is a shoe-in for the live shows.
- Are sent to an undisclosed location in France with Simon, whose helper, Mariah Carey, couldn't make it there as a result of Hurricane Irene. So he has a few advisers in her place.
- Simone Battle sings a slow piano version of "Help!" by The Beatles. She remembers the words this time. It's nice to hear her sing a slow song and this is actually pretty good. In my opinion, she's had a terrible run in XF with plenty of bad performances but Simon loves her confidence and see's her as someone he can mold and sell.
- Tora Woloshin is seen having trouble memorizing the words to her song. She is nervous. She is performing "Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. I really like the arrangement on this, especially in the intro and chorus. Tora sounds good but it's not her best. I hope she makes it. Simon says she sounds like a little rock star but he thinks she's missing something.
- Caitlin Koch sings "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by Carol King. I really like her version, her tone here is nice and sweet. This is also the best I've seen of her thus far. Finally, we see her sing a big note. Very nice, but does she have that "X-Factor"? Simon loves her pitch, tone and phrasing.
- Drew Ryniewicz performs "It Must've Been Love" by Roxette. She talks about how amazed she is to get this far and wants to continue. Holy crap, this is amazing. I love how much she breaks her voice into a falsetto. This was beautiful, mesmerizing and chilling. By far, one of the best girls. She better advance to the next round. Simon is amazed she's only 14 years-old.
- Jazzlyn Little, the nervous wreck, sings "I Will Survive" by Chantay Savage. I can't stand this song but I love Jazzlyn's version. Nice and soulful, I'm not sure it was enough though. I liked her audition better. Simon thinks she put herself back in the frame, one of his advisers compared it to a highschool talent show.
- Rachel Crow, the youngest contestant left in the contest, sings a slow and dark version of "I Want It That Way" by The Backstreet Boys. Not a good song choice. She starts rambling about the stuff she would like to have if she has 5 million dollars. I don't really like this at all, the only part I think she sounds good in is the "tell me whyyy" in the chorus. Vibrato is still annoying. Simon calls it unbelievable, she likes how she takes risks and enjoys her deep tone.
- Tiah Tolliver performs "No Diggity" by Blackstreet. Her complaining about the wind appears to be pissing off some of the other girl contestants. It's not amazing. I think Simon is keeping her around the same reason he's kept Simone 'til this point, they are controllable and marketable. Maybe they're both fighting for one spot in the finals. Simon still thinks she has the "it" or "x" factor but calls her performance a bit off kilter.
- Melanie Amaro is last for the girls, she sings "Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson. This is absolutely amazing and beautiful. I teared up and was emotional for a few minutes afterwards. One of the very best performances of the season, so far. I really hope she advances to the live shows now. Simon pretends to faint on the couch, his advisers wonder if she can sing more contemporary songs and still deliver in a contemporary style.
- Are sent to Malibu, where Nicole is kicking it with Enrique Iglesias.
- Dexter Haygood sings "Crazy In Love" by Beyonce. Weird song choice but I like it a lot better than the original, not that that says much at all. Nicole wanted to hear the song a little more, Enrique thinks he's entertaining and thinks he could kill it if he has a song if given a song in his element. Dexter realizes he missed some lyrics and cries in Steve Jones' arms.
- Stacy Francis sings "Purple Rain". Good song choice. I'd like her a lot more if she didn't always over-do everything... Jeez. She starts crying again, like she does every episode she is in. They love it but Nicole thinks she is limiting herself with her fears and insecurities, Enrique wonders if she is relevant for today's music market.
- Elaine Gibbs sings "Stop Crying Your Eyes Out" by Oasis. She talks about being a wedding singer and how amazing it is to be here in Malibu so close to living her dreams. I don't really care for her version, but I've previously expressed she's not my cup of tea. The Judges wonder if she's a super star. She has a nice gospel voice but I think Nicole would rather go with Stacy.
- James Kenney talks about having 5 jobs and wanting to provide for his wife and children. He's singing "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna. His voice is weird and I don't really like it. Nicole questions whether or not he's better as a solo artist or in a band, Enrique sees him in a Maroon 5 type of environment. Fodder.
- Josh Krajcik performs "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. He has a daughter, apparently. Simply another solid performance from him. It's haunting and beautiful, his voice sounds fantastic in this song. Nicole asks if he is a star, Enrique says he's not your typical star.
- Leroy Bell talks about pretending to be 40 years-old for the last 10 years. He just turned 60, did this guy find the Fountain of Youth or what? He sings "Make You Feel My Love", the same song he sang in Bootcamp. He sounds alright, it's not a very strong vocal song. Nicole thought he was very nervous and it held him back.
- Tiger Budbill performs "Don't Give Up On Me" by Solomon Burke. I love this guy but he won't win, and it's hard to see a specific market for him. This performance was very soulful, I like the high note. Nicole wonders if there is a market for him, Enrique says "I don't think there should be any rules when it comes down to music. Anyone can get in with the right song." Good point, Enrique. Damn, I wish you were a Judge instead.
- Christa Collins sings "No Surprises" by Radiohead. We learn that she was the first child solo artist signed to Disney Records. She says she was the prototype for what became Britney and Christina... Very interesting. It's alright, she's not one of my favorite vocalists here but her performance was heartfelt. Enrique says he felt it, Nicole wishes she saw more pain and emotion behind the lyrics.
- Are sent to Santa Barbara to be judged by Paula and Pharrell Williams. Woot.
- The Anser sings "Perfect" by Pink. This is actually the best I've heard of them. I liked how they slowed it down. Weird harmonies, a little pitchy, but I still like. Pharrell says that the one with the glasses is the monster in the group (compliment).
- Lakoda Rayne is next. We see how they originally didn't like the idea of being manufactured into a group and one member almost quit but they decided to give it a go. They do a Country, over-twanged version of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. I don't care for it, I think it's a little sloppy. Basically 4 Lauren Alaina clones. Pharrell says it must be tough going into the show as a solo artist and then being put into a group. The group itself thinks something was off in their performance, they share a group hug, which looks insincere to me.
- The Brewer Boys are next. Finally these guys are getting some decent air time. These guys are silly as hell in their interview. I wonder if they will become XF US' Jedward. They sing "Only Girl In the World" by Rihanna and countrify it. As weird as the song choice is, I actually like how they perform this. Nice harmonies as usual. Pharrell says they are good, Paula says that good is a difficult place to be because sometimes, just good isn't good enough.
- 4Shore is next. They're singing "If You Love Me" by Brownstone. This is a grand improvement from their clusterfuck Bootcamp performance. I dunno, they are kind of generic, maybe even more than The Anser. Paula and Pharrell agree that they are a bit refined and need to dirty up their style. Lol.
- The Stereo Hogzz are next and they perform "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye. They love the grass on the lawn and roll around in it (lmao). The lead vocals are very good and the choreography is also good. Solid performance, I'll be surprised if they don't make it to the live shows. Pharrell says the lead singer is like an old motown guy, Paula says that is who they are.
- 2Squar'd sings "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Another weird song choice. Even the group thinks that the choice is a bit weird. This proves to be a horrible song choice for them. The lead singer is pitchy and it is hard to hear the others over the weird backing vocals coming from the track being played. I'm disappointed. They're probably out. Pharrell wishes they put more soul into it but they both agree they can definitely sing.
- Illusion Confusion is next. They sing "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. What we hear sounds decent. For some reason they play their interview over parts of the song. Pharrell is impressed by their drive. They got little to no air time. These guys are likely fodder.
- InTENsity performs a mash-up of "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings and "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates. They haven't had much time to audition since they are from over the Country but they had some Skype meetings. I wonder if this performance is going to be a Kidz Bop disaster... Surprisingly, it is not! But the name thing they do in the first part is sorta confusing and awkward.. Ellona, Nick and Austin definitely were the highlights. This group made me smile big-time. I thought the mash-up was brilliant, I hope these guys make it. They definitely left an impression. Pharrell said there were some little stars in their group, Paula says they are extremely talented. That's a wrap!
Boys - L.A.
Girls - Simon
Overs - Nicole
Groups - Paula