The X Factor Season 2 Episode 10 Recap: Britney Spears and LA Reid at Judges' Houses
Oct 12 2012 12:01 am ET
On Thursday's The X Factor, we check in with LA Reid and Justin Bieber as they evaluate the Over 25s. We also watch as Britney Spears and will.i.am listen to what the Teens have to offer. It's the second half of Judges' Houses.
LA Reid and Justin Bieber - Over 25s
Jason Brock: Before his audition, Jason, along with David Correy and Daryl Black, is told he is one of the underdogs in this category. This is despite his first audition where LA Reid gave him a standing ovation (thanks for that reminder, show). Jason covers "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie, which is an interesting choice. Jason's voice gives the song a smoky quality and he doesn't change the gender of the song, which I approve. Overall this was a good way to start tonight's show. LA Reid and Justin Bieber confer and agree it was a strong vocal performance. Justin says he isn't sure if Jason is "the one."
David Correy: This performance sets the theme for the rest of the evening: slowing down an otherwise up-tempo track to make the song more emotional than it actually is. In this case, David slows down "Domino" by Jessie J. If this were a movie, David's rendition would play over a montage of the hero in a romantic comedy staring out the window while it rains after the breakup/major misunderstanding. I found everything about this performance insincere. LA says he got "chill bumps" and the Beebs thinks David could go far in the competition. LA wonders about David's viability in the marketplace, which is a laughable critique given the viability of about 97% of reality show contestants, including winners *coughMELANIEAMAROcough*. Excuse me, I'm battling a cold.
Daryl Black: While Daryl sings "She's Gone" by Hall & Oates, we get the abridged version of his backstory and he's off the screen in about 25 seconds. Do not bet on Black.
Tate Stevens: Although Tate is a country artist through-and-through, he has an affinity for mid-to-late-90's R&B. He sang "Nobody Knows It But Me" with Willie Jones at Boot Camp and tonight he opted for "Back at One" by Brian McKnight. I was about to make a joke that he should do TLC's "Waterfalls" but that would actually be kind of awesome. Tate's rendition of "Back at One" is rather straightforward, which is probably for the best because I think it's a dumb song. Scooter Braun, JB's manager, thinks Tate is someone you could root for. Justin thinks Tate has charisma and a great voice but wouldn't hand him a check for $5 million just yet.
Vino Alan: We learn a little bit more about Vino's backstory, specifically that he grew up in a physically and mentally abusive environment. This sets the tone for his cover of "Sober" by Pink. I wouldn't call the original version upbeat, but Vino managed to take the track to an even darker place, adding a growl that forces you to pay attention. I want to hear Vino take on "What It's Like" by Everlast – that could be hot. Justin thought the performance was great, despite Vino's nervousness before and after the song. LA agrees for the most part, but packaging Vino could be incredibly tricky, what with the scalp tattoos and such.
Tara Simon: "I want to be America's darling," Tara tells us during her pre-performance interview. Unlike last night, we don't see the contestants receiving notes from their mentor, which is a shame because Tara's lack of self-awareness will lead to several poor decisions. For example, choosing "The Reason" by Hoobastank for this performance. Never mind that the song is not a good showcase; Tara adds runs and trills that cause the other contestants to roll their eyes as they listen from the wings. After she finishes, Justin says Tara has a big voice but needs to find the sweetness in some of the notes. In short, she Hoobastunk.
LA says he came into this category with favorites, which is a lie, but let's humor him. Now he thinks his world has been turned upside down. I doubt that, also. I think Vino is safe, as are Tate and Jason. Daryl's a lost cause, so it will come down to Tara and David for the last slot. Oof, that's a coin flip.
Britney Spears and will.i.am - Teens
Diamond White: Diamond reminds us about her tiny apartment and bed-sharing with her mom before taking on "Damn Cold Night" (which I think she changed to "Damp Cold Night") by Avril Lavigne. The vocal is solid, but Diamond's performance is proof that this category could just as easily be called Team Doesn't Know What to Do With Your Arms. will.i.am thought she did an amazing job singing but is too concerned about how she moves. Britney agrees, saying Diamond needs to work on her performance and her confidence. Huh, the confidence note is an interesting observation – I don't think it's wrong, but I didn't pick up on it during this performance.
Reed Deming: Reed does a slowed down, overly-emoted version of "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's. Maybe it was the replay of Reed's audition where he did "Grenade" predisposing me to dislike this, but I hated this rendition. It reeks of try-hard, much like what David Correy attempted. Britney could tell the kid was nervous and assures will.i.am that he can delivery better than what they just witnessed. will.i.am wants Reed to sing the way he speaks, describing Reed as "like a little emperor kid."
James Tanner: James wants to "Party Like a Rock Star." That's it.
Arin Ray: Okay, I'm going to get this out of my system now – I think it's unfair Arin gets to be on the show again. Yes, InTENsity was a terrible, terrible idea, but they did make it to the live shows and made it to public voting. Is the show really that hard up for talent that they have to draw from the alumni? Anyway, he does a guitar ballad version of "Starships" by Nicki Minaj. Arin's vocals are fine as he tries to take the song to a Ne-Yo place. So far it's the best overall performance for the category, so Arin will likely make it to the live shows again. Britney and will.i.am don't think Arin is ready out of the box, with both saying he has a lot of work to do.
Beatrice Miller: As far as I can tell, if Beatrice was featured on the show previously it must have been in a montage sequence that I glossed over (read: ignored). Beatrice has major butterflies in her stomach before she performs David Guetta's "Titanium." Beatrice demonstrates she can sing despite choosing a song that is more yelling and autotune than a vocal showcase. will.i.am thought the song choice was right on the money. Britney thinks Beatrice needs to control the loudness of her voice, which could be a side effect of this particular song.
Carly Rose Sonenclar: The final performance of the night is a slowed down version of "Brokenhearted" by Karmin. Oy, if The X Factor live shows are going to be wall-to-wall fake ballads, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to last through the finale. Although the arrangement is annoying, Carly delivers a fantastic vocal. She still doesn't know what to do with her arms, but Britney will be able to offer guidance. will.i.am calls Carly a caterpillar that will turn into a dragon. Britney agrees Carly is talented, but wonders if she will be able to cope with the pressure of the competition.
My guess is Carly, Diamond and Arin are shoo-ins for the live shows. James Tanner is a non-starter, so it's between Beatrice and Reed. Although Reed has had a little more narrative exposure, I think Beatrice has a more developed voice.
Next week on The X Factor: we find out which 16 acts will advance to the live shows. Which Young Adults did Demi Lovato select? Will Simon Cowell select the right Groups? And how will the 8 eliminated acts take the news?
Mike McComb – TVLatest.com
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