'The X Factor' Auditions: Did Tiah Tolliver Deserve to Make It Through?
'The X Factor' Auditions: Did Tiah Tolliver Deserve to Make It Through?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Tensions mounted during the third auditions episode of The X Factor last night, as it appeared that our four judges couldn't agree on what, exactly, "the x factor" actually is.

Is it straight-up, pitch-perfect singing talent? Or is it a sort of magnetic presence and charisma, "a star quality"? Obviously, the ideal X Factor winner will have both. But what if an auditioner takes the stage and the star-quality is there in spades, but the singing talent ... well, it's got some room to grow?

Last night we learned, much to Simon's chagrin, what happens then. Tiah Tolliver tried to impress the judges with her track-less rendition of Shontelle's "Impossible," but Nicole and Paula, the two singers in the group, just couldn't get past the fact that Tiah couldn't stay on key. Meanwhile, Simon and L.A., more focused on Tiah's confident and aggressive stage presence, thought sending her through was a no-brainer.

Who's right? Watch Tiah and decide:


Unfortunately for Tiah, I think Nicole and Paula were right -- or at least justified -- in their initial rejections. First and foremost, this is a singing competition. Tiah didn't have the basics down. Even though Nicole cracked and Tiah made it on to the next round, she has a tough road ahead, going up against all the experienced, full-package singers the judges let through. The ones who can stay on key, and who did so while blowing everyone away with their talent and charisma.

Part of me was disappointed that Nicole didn't stick to her guns, because Simon's been going out of his way to make her look like a fool during these auditions, and she had a valid point. But another part truly hopes that Tiah goes on to prove the lady judges wrong, because good ol' TV and me, oh how we love a comeback story.

Perhaps the most troubling part of this audition has nothing to do with Tiah. It's that Simon Cowell takes it as a personal affront, born out of some sort of catty prejudice, that two of his judges would say no to a singer who can't stay on key. In a singing competition. With a five million dollar prize.

It could be that Simon just has a special feeling about Tiah. But if he's going to approach this judging panel like his vote counts more than everyone else's, and that anyone who disagrees with him isn't just wrong, but offensively wrong, he better be damn sure about those special feelings. Especially when he gets them about singers who can't exactly, you know, sing.

Read our full recap of The X Factor auditions last night -- and make sure to play X Factor Auditions Bingo when the final auditions episode airs tonight, Thursday Sept. 29, at 8pm on FOX.



(Image courtesy of FOX)