The X Factor Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: 24 acts advance to Judges' Houses
Oct 11 2012 12:31 am ET
On Wednesday's The X Factor, we learn which 24 acts make it to the Judges Houses. Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, and LA Reid also learn if they work with the Teens, Young Adults, Over 25s or Groups. The Groups and Young Adults perform for their mentors.
Previously on The X Factor: Voiceover Guy is back to remind us that thousands auditioned to be on the show. 120 acts made it to Boot Camp, but half of them were cut after the first day. The remaining 60 acts were paired off for singing duels were one, both or neither may survive. Yay drama for drama's sake. Tonight, 24 acts will advance to Judges' Houses via four categories as we get one step closer to the main competition.
After extensive recapping of the last several episodes and clips of the remaining contestants awaiting stays of execution, we finally get down to the nitty gritty. The categories have been completely rejiggered from last year: Teens, Young Adults (17-25), the Over 25s and groups. Also, only six acts will advance to Judges' Houses. Yay, efficiency. Here is how the categories broke down:
Young Adults: CeCe Frey, Willie Jones, Jennel Garcia, Nick Youngerman, Paige Thomas, Jillian Jensen.
Over 25s: Jason Brock, Daryl Black, David Correy, Tara Simon, Tate Stevens, Vino Alan
Groups: Sister C, Dope Crisis, Emblem 3
Teens: Beatrice Miller, James Tanner, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White, Reed Deming, Arin Ray
As you have probably noticed, the Groups are looking a little thin compared to the other categories. Five of the females from Teens/Young Adults have been assembled into the group LYLAS. Five of the boys from the same categories merged to form Playback. The duo One4Five added Lyric Da Queen to become Lyric145. Sadly, my dream of InTWENTYsity shall not come to pass.
With the categories created and fully stocked, it's now time for the judges to find out their assignments for the remainder of the season. LA Reid doesn't want the Groups or Over 25s. Demi Lovato wants the Young Adults since that would be her category if she were on the show. Britney hopes she gets the Teens. The former teen star is first to get called by the producers and gets her wish. Simon Cowell is next to get called and learns he will mentor the Groups. "Umm," he stammers. "I'm happy for them," he adds. Groups is far and away the most difficult category, but his mentoring of One Direction on X Factor UK seems to have paid off. Demi geeks out when she learns she got the Young Adults. "I have the winning team," she gloats. LA gets his phone call and is not pleased. "The what?!" he asks when the producers call. LA slams the receiver down a couple times and leaves the set in a huff.
The four categories journey to their respective mentors houses. Simon Cowell will be working with the Groups in Miami along with guest mentor/zombie Marc Anthony. Demi Lovato has rented a deluxe loft in Los Angeles to work with the Young Adults alongside Nick Jonas. Britney Spears has all of the "students" in the Teens category in Malibu with her assistant will.i.am. Lastly, LA Reid has gathered the Over 25s at his house in Beverly Hills. LA opens with a pep talk about how disappointed he was in receiving this category because, to him, there are no standouts. To further de-pep this pep talk, LA introduces his guest mentor: Justin Bieber. Jason Brock is the only one who seems even halfway interested.
Jennel Garcia: Before her performance, Jennel receives some advice from Demi about the excessive hair-flipping. Demi says she knows it comes from a place of nervousness, but it tends to get distracting. THANK YOU! Jennel has only a few minutes to process the note before her audition. She sings "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry. Unlike last year, the other contestants are able to hear the performance while waiting in the wings. Jennel's rendition of the track has a slight Carrie Underwood vibe that tickles the ear. Jennel finishes the song and waits awkwardly for feedback. She leaves when she realizes the Demi and Nick won't be saying anything to the contestants. Hehe. Nick thought Jennel was really good, but Demi's concerned that Jennel lost a bit of her spark after receiving criticism.
Willie Jones: Willie attempts to redeem himself after botching "Nobody Knows" at Boot Camp by performing the song again. He uses a stool in his performance, but remains seated throughout, not standing up at the key change. Also, I can't tell if he is doing the Brian McKnight version or a country cover. Either way, the song does not sound contemporary, despite a solid performance. Nick thinks Willie is a star, but also isn't sure if Willie should be R&B or Country. Willie is heading down LeRoy Bell's path, which does not bode well.
Jillian Jensen: Demi gives Jillian a note before her performance about her tendency to pull faces while singing. Jillian knows exactly what Demi is talking about, comparing her tic to something John Mayer does, and appreciates the bluntness of the advice. Jillian sings "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. Excellent song choice. Jillian delivers emotion and a solid performance, as if the song were her own. Nick thinks Jillian's combination of voice and passion are sexy, though Demi is concerned that Jillian took her advice to close to heart. I'm not 100% sure what that means.
Nick Youngerman: The freestyler from Ohio takes on Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" for his performance. Ugh, this is dreadful. I find his whole schtick, particularly with this song, to be super-cutesy and not as engaging as he seems to think it is. He's not rapping enough to make that his identity and his vocals are run-of-the-mill karaoke. Nick says he thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Demi says she can't tell if she was loving it or super annoyed. I'm 100% sure what that means.
Paige Thomas: Oh, honey, what are you wearing? She has on a black and white leopard print mini-dress with oversized blue ribbons creating a fake skirt. It looks like a figure skating outfit. Although Paige has made herself up to look like Rihanna, she decides to sing "Turn Up the Music" by Chris Brown. I'm not familiar with the track, so I don't know if the original is as boring and repetitive as this performance. This was not a good audition. Demi feels confused, explaining to Nick that Paige started so strong but seems to be fading with each step of the process. Nick asks if Demi can get Paige back to where she was. Even if Demi could, that's not what this competition is about.
CeCe Frey: CeCe has continued talking smack about her fellow "roadblocks" throughout this part of the process. Girlfriend is going to be the Wendy Pepper of this season and I'm kind of excited about it. As CeCe recalls Demi's declaration of a girl-crush at the initial audition, the mentor comes in with a note. Demi acknowledges CeCe's confidence, but it sometimes borders on unlikable. CeCe starts to tear up, saying she knows the leopard print makeup and her persona is just a front. Demi tells CeCe to tap in to that vulnerability. CeCe goes in to perform "I'm Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO. "It's just for fun, I swear," she says before the music starts. The arrangement has a hint of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" and it gives the song some credibility. CeCe gives an understated performance, which is exactly what she should do. Nick is impressed with how well CeCe took direction from Demi.
Demi says she doesn't know how she is going to eliminate two people from her group. I think CeCe and Jillian are solid finalists, but it's a real toss-up with the other four. I would like to see Jennel advance and I think Willie has the most potential for growth out of the other three. Nick seems too one-note and I fear Paige could become melancholy like Drew Ryniewicz. We shall see.
Playback: This is one of the manufactured groups, composed entirely of "cute" boys. Twink Squad probably would have been a better name for the quintet. Before they perform, Simon Cowell and Marc Anthony decide to spook them by saying one bad vocal from any of them could sink the group entirely. The group performs a modernized version of "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates, including some rapping most certainly NOT by Hall & Oates. The vocals are fine, but as of right now there is nothing distinct about this group. Marc didn't get the performance at all, but Simon thinks there's something naive, fun and likable about the group.
Emblem3: Simon asks the Tank It bros about their level of ambition. The guys says they are all-in, which is good because Simon says, "if you shake hands on a deal and renege, I kill you." There is no chuckle, and I can't tell if it makes the statement more or less menacing. The trio does 311 version of "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" by the Police. The semi-shirtless bro biffs the intro to the second verse, which Simon calls out at the end of the performance. Marc liked the group, but had individual critiques for each bro, such as Semi-Shirtless getting easily distracted by things like sunlight.
Sister C: This trio of sisters has only been vaguely mentioned in montages up to this point. During Boot Camp deliberations, Britney called them annoying. Simon tells the trio they can sometimes come off as standoffish. The girls say they need time to warm up to people, which is a huge liability in a popularity contest. They sing "Leavin'" by Shelby Lynne. They can harmonize and are significantly more functional than Lakota Rayne, but I find their voices to be shrill. I'm not saying that as a taste issue – I think they just happened to be tuned to a frequency that does not agree with my ears. Simon thinks they could make it in the real world, but will an audience vote for them?
Lyric145: Although this group was formed at Boot Camp, Lyric Da Queen found an instant camaraderie with her new partners. They commiserate about their experiences growing up. "People don't get out of Flint," Lyric says, "I've been to more funerals than weddings." The guys ask Simon "How is it even possible you found a female version of us?" Simon chuckles. The performance begins and Lyric blasts out the first few lines of "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. I think the beat might be from the "Party and Bullshit" remix, but the trio does not bring Notorious B.I.G. into the song. This is one of the few performances to really catch my attention this evening. Simon and Marc agree that it was sloppy in parts, but they both loved it.
Dope Crisis: As this duo does an awkward rendition of "Superbass" by Nicki Minaj, we get their entire backstory. This segment lasts for 25 seconds. Don't get your hopes up, folks.
LYLAS: The final group is the female quintet created at Boot Camp. They also get the not-so-pep talk about not screwing up the vocals. "Impossible" by Shontelle is the song choice and they do a fantastic job with it. The song is designed to be shouty, but the girls manage to keep it musical while adding in some sweet-sounding harmonies. This was the best performance of the category and possibly the night. Nice matchmaking, judges.
Thursday on The X Factor: LA Reid hears what the Over 25s have to offer. Britney Spears gets real with the Teens. Justin Bieber and will.i.am help with SEO boosting (thanks, guys!).
Mike McComb – TVLatest.com
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