Tonight two hundred contestants, or 162 acts, face The X Factor
bootcamp. I'll wait for all the oohs and aahs to subside.
As Steve Jones warned us last week, "it gets serious." Was it not serious before?
These two hundred contestants will be squeezed down to 32.
Whoa, wait. From two hundred to 32 acts? The requirements must be to imitate Nicole Scherzinger, perfectly! We better get right down to business.
New Cast Members
June Ambrose will be taking care of the contestants' style. Yes, they'll be judged on this too. I'm sure that tosses out at least a hundred people. Also, Brian Friedman will be teaching choreography and Claude Kelly is our resident vocal coach. Drive-By Dancing/Singing Montage
Choreography is first. Brian Bradley, of "stop looking at my mom" fame, refuses to dance. "You don't see Jay-Z dance," is his argument. Is this an omen of things to come?
Next come vocals. Those of who still manage to impress are Marcus Canty and siblings Chris and Gina Rene, just to name a few. Many of the acts the judges have loved for the past couple of weeks are quickly shot down during this round. Stacy Francis holds a more than awkward note. "Less is more" says Simon Cowell. That's extremely upsetting after her explosive audition with "Natural Woman."
One humongous group splits into three. From the second group we lose Brennan O'Hara, who attempts and fails to remember the words to Jessie J's "Price Tag." First of all, why would you ever pick this song to sing for any public event?
This also means a farewell to J. Mark Inman's oh-so-weird moves. Remember his performance to Radiohead's "Creep"? Right, well, this guy goes out with a screaming hissy fit, yelling something that sounds like "I have no life." Sorry, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.
The Dreaded Curse of the Group Selections
In almost every talent competition, the group selections end up going terribly wrong. L.A. Reid explains that everyone will now be put into groups and assigned song selections. This can't be good!
Drew Ryniewicz kicks Group One's performance of Radiohead's "Creep" off to a good start. Unfortunately, Dexter Haygood follows with his lame attempt at moves like Jagger. Caitlin Koch, luckily, pulls everything together in the end. Over in Group 2, Stacy Francis is still struggling to sing her part of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2. Jazzlyn Little isn't doing any better, forgetting the lyrics as the song starts! Thank God for Melanie Amaro; she saves the day.
How many times can we forget lyrics this season? Let's find out!
The Eagles hit "Desperado" brings some surprises to the stage by way of Group 3. Known contestants Paige Ogle, Cari Fletcher and Skyelor Anderson, who forgets his lyrics and then looks around for use of a lifeline (sorry, wrong show), are out-performed by Leroy Bell and Dani Knights.
"Reina" Williams may have slipped under the radar the past two weeks, but she becomes a front-runner in Bootcamp. In Group 4, she assists Brian Bradley with rapping to Jay-Z's "Wishing on a Star." Brian flubs the words and interjects in everyone's solos. He won't dance and he's forgetful at only 14 years of age? It's not looking good, kid.
Josh Krajcik and Tiger Budbill shine in Group Five's performance of "Superman" by Five for Fighting. A beautiful song given new life by two powerful voices ... I am all about this!
The lioness is tamed?
Group 6 greets viewers with Tiah Tolliver, the controversial act that split the judges right down the middle. She sings "Feelin' Good" remade by the Pussycat Dolls, and let's hope the queen of failed girl groups doesn't lend her own vocals: the big fuss Nicole initially made over Tiah is now replaced with smiles and an admission to Simon that Tiah was one of her favorites.
Rachel Crow and 4shore are the only buzz-worthy acts in Group 7, taking on "I Have Nothing" by the one, the definitely only Whitney Houston. Rachel struggled to find her voice in rehearsals, but soon found her bearings. Yet I'm not for sure that 4shore will be around much longer.
Makenna and Brock are figuring out their romantic relationship in the middle of rehearsals. How do I know? They were spotted near a big romantic fountain having an awkward yet romantic moment. Duh! This may have been the highlight of Group Eight's performance and it didn't even happen onstage. Leona Lewis's "Run" is a beautiful song, but I will most likely forget the performances by the lovebirds, the Stereo Hogzz and the others.
Whew! That was pretty intense, kiddos, but we made it through the first two days of The X Factor
bootcamp. Tune in tomorrow for the remaining acts -- we'll learn who the lucky 32 will be and which judge will mentor which group.Jilliane Johnson
(Image courtesy of FOX)