'X Factor': Xander Alexander caps off a terrible episode
We did love, love, love Chris Rene, though.
Bienvenido a Miami
Ashley Sansone is our first audition. She's a little crazypants, so I'm not optimistic about her vocal stylings. I do fully expect her to bust, "No time! There's never anytime! I don't have time to study! ... I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so [sob] scared!" Seriously, lay off the speed, girlfriend. Predictably, her singer is awful. Moving on.
She leads into a whole montage of crazypants Miami folk. "Feisty" is not the word I would use, L.A. Reid.
Randomly, Gloria Estefan is there to work the crowd. Maybe she can come be Steve Jones' warm-up host in Los Angeles when they get to the live shows.
The first "good" audition (or "not bad" audition) is Caitlynne Curtis, a 16-year-old little cutie who sings "Firework" and it's a little iffy. She definitely needs work, which the judges diplomatically tell her as she cries. Aww. Sorry, sweetie, but that wasn't very good. So she really starts sobbing and kind of begging and that's a little gross - you think you're tough enough to work in show biz? Paula runs up on stage to hug her, which is thoughtful. Or Paula's just at the "huggy" stage of drunkenness. Heh.
What is up with the post-audition interviews in front of the blinding white light? Like they are "Ghost Whisperer"'d off to the other side right after they sing.
Next is Nick Voss with his hipster-meets-Vanilla-Ice hair. But he seems nice, so good luck to him. They ratchet the drama up to 11 as Simon has to take a moment and be despaired at how much Miami apparently sucks. So Nick is the savior, come to lift Simon's spirits. He sings "Trouble" by Elvis and it's great, which it had better be after all the build-up for this guy. He's got some Taylor Hicks-ish affectations happening (though he can actually dance too), but clearly, he's going through. Nicole in particular looks ready to ... give him a golden ticket, ifyaknowwhatimean.
Watch his audition here.
Ashley Decker the ghost hunter is up now - and oh my god, she's Shane Botwin in drag! That's amazing, she even talks like him. Paula totally identifies with her ghost-seeing ability. Of course she does. She sings "Price Tag" and it's pretty bad. Sorry, ghostie. And then they show her glaring at Simon and make some creepy sound effects. Just don't let her get her mitts on a croquet mallet.
Another bad audition montage. So by my count, we've seen 10 bad auditions, one "not bad" audition and one good one. I do not like that ratio, show. I am so sick of this crap. And stop pretending like ghost girl is raining down the ghostly smack. Nicole pulls that patented stupid girl move, "Guys. Guys. I'm getting freaked out." in that valley girl accent she has. Also, one of the bad ones was totally Burt from "Raising Hope." There's a lady at the end named Marivana Viscuso who really scares me - because she's scary, but also because she's actually kinda good under all the trappings.
Finally we get a good montage. There's a pretty good four-part girls group called 2Squar'd; Kendra Williams with a decently big voice; Brendan O'Hara, who has a total throwback sound; Jeremiah Pagan, a male soprano, so he sounds very Kurt from "Glee" but he's good. His falsetto is not very strong, though - he needs to work on being louder in his high voice.
The next full audition we see is Melanie Amaro on "Listen" by Beyonce. She's ... well, where has she been hiding all these years? She's fantastic, she is the first really, really good audition of the whole episode. The first make-your-arm-hair-stand-up audition. Her runs are perfect without being overdone (coughChristinacough). Well done, sweetie. You've got me crying at home, I'm so happy for you.
I can't believe that didn't cap off the second hour tonight - like they should've done Dallas first and then Miami so they could end with Melanie. Click here to watch her amazing performance.
Going through the Big D
We start it off in the Lonestar state with Jonny Rogers, who, as Simon puts it, "looks like Barbie's boyfriend." He sings one of his own songs and it's a little creepy. He's like one of those squeaky clean guys who hands out church pamphlets door to door, but then has heads in his freezer or something. The judges agree - Simon calls him a Justin Bieber doll gone wrong.
They pull a switcheroo with Dylan Lawson, making us think he's some poor Kentucky boy who is going to wow us and instead he's like a foul-mouthed first grader on crack. Moving on.
Moving on to a horrible montage, apparently. Oh my god, make it stop. As Dan Fienberg points out on Twitter tonight - after the not-so-awesome ratings on the premiere last night, this is NOT the episode "X Factor" wanted to go with next.
The next apparently crazy person is Dexter Haygood of Xavion, who (he says) toured with Hall & Oates. Um, that's awesome if it's true. He sings "Sex Machine" by James Brown and Simon is steeling himself for "Pants on the Ground" shenanigans. It isn't bad, but also this song doesn't show off vocals. He's just doing a lot of sing-screaming. Simon asks for something else, something that's not crazy. "15 seconds, you, a capella, go." No pressure, though.
It totally seems like he's going to choke and then we actually leave the audition sequence to go into Dexter's sad homeless backstory. *sigh* After all this, if he sucks? I'm outta here.
He launches into "This is a Man's World" and it's OK, but it's still not awesome. It's a lot of grunting. He gets through, though. Of course he does. Paula astutely advises him to come back not as James Brown, but as Dexter. She wants to know who Dexter is.
This leads us into a good montage: Kyle Corr, a hog farmer who looks like a boy band member; Hannah Jackson, who looks like a "Mad Men" secretary (mean that in a good way); Ma'at Bingham Shango; an adorable little girl; Austin Simmons, whose got the plugs that freak me out but is certainly a good singer.
Caitlin Koch is the next one up, she's a rugby coach/player. Wow. Awesome. Scherzy is blown away at the concept of girls and sports, apparently. Anyway, Caitlin does "Stop (In the Name of Love)" as a slow jam and as she struts her fit little blonde body around and actually sings very well, the dollar signs emanate from Simon's eyes. And yes, she's very good and the arrangement is great. She is obviously through.
Our last guy, Xander Alexander, is quite a sassypants fellow who thinks very highly of himself. Let's see if he can put his money where his mouth is. Simon immediately puts him in his place with some talk about his real name versus his stage name, then Xander tells Scherzy she's beautiful as Paula chimes in "She is. She is." in a not-at-all stab-Nicole-in-her-sleep kind of way.
Xander gets in one good slam on Simon by calling him "Simone," but then totally ruins his one good joke by acting like they're going to fight outside.
Anyway, so sassypants sings "I'll Be" and Simon stops him after one line. They ask for one more and he nervously checks the piece of paper in his pocket as Simon gets closer and closer to hitting the button that opens the trapdoor that drops Xander into the crocodile pit under the stage. His next song is "A Fool in Love" and it's terrible. Seriously, this guy? After all his pomp and circumstance and then not bringing it shoudl NOT go through.
But then Simon hilariously puts him through, saying he "quite like[s]" Xander. As Xander starts to cry. I feel like maybe this is Simon setting up sassypants to fail? There's no way this is Simon just being nice.
Paula immediately starts calling him her "hero" and some such nonsense. It's totally stupid. And then they vote and L.A. and Paula both say no, as Simon tells him he blew it and calls him a "b****y, nasty diva." This is now just gross and uncomfortable to watch. We fade to black as he cries and cries.
This was a terrible night. If this show wants to bring in better ratings than its premiere, it has to put up better offerings than this episode, where really only Melanie and Caitlin were good.