During the X Factor
auditions, we learned that our judges have a favorite term for when a performer is doomed from the start: "DOA," or "dead on arrival." Morbid, but it certainly gets its point across. Which is probably why we saw them repeatedly whispering the word to each other throughout auditions. No doubt there were way too many DOAs during those long days.Last night, X Factor Bootcamp began,
and while no original DOAs remained from auditions, the stakes and pressure turned a few seemingly solid performers in that direction. After making their first cut down to 100 acts, the judges split the acts into eight assigned groups, then assigned each group a song to perform together. The challenge tested each performer on a variety of levels: How quickly they could learn and master a new song (in some cases, a new, unfamiliar AND outside-their-territory song), how well they could work with others, and whether they could shine under that kind of pressure and in that group scenario.Who was each group's MVP, and who ended up looking more DOA? Here are our picks -- plus the videos of each performance, so you can watch again and make your own. Group 1: "Creep" by RadioheadMVP: Drew Ryniewicz.
This was a strong group for girl power, with Elaine Gibbs, Audrey Turner and Caitlin Koch each having shining moments on stage, but Drew started the song off strong and showed vocal and stage presence maturity beyond her years, especially with such a difficult song.DOA: Dexter Haygood.
He's moved from imitating James Brown to imitating Mick Jagger. His voice is solid, but this was Dexter's chance to show the judges he's his own man, not a derivative cover artist.Group 2: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2MVP: Melanie Amaro.
While Stacy's confidence seems shaken and Jazzlyn choked a bit under the pressure, Melanie had no trouble standing out simply by letting her big, beautiful voice do its thing. DOA: Anyone who wasn't Stacy, Melanie or Jazzlyn.
Jazzlyn Little may have forgotten the lyrics, but her voice still sounded great. And at least we got to hear it. How bad must Heather Gayle, Aaron Surgeon, Arin Ray and Special Guest have been if we didn't even get to see them sing?Group 3: "Desperado" by the Eagles MVP: Paige Ogle.
We didn't see much (if any?) of this 18-year-old in auditions, and now I want to know why! Her performance was emotional without getting cheesy, and powerful without trying too hard.DOA: Skyelor Anderson.
There's something so endearing about 16-year-old Skyelor, but nerves and a lack of confidence seemed to get the better of him on this one. It's hard to tell if he's holding back because he doubts his voice or because his voice isn't strong enough, but either way, it's not a great sign. Groups 4 and 5: "Wishing On a Star" by Jay-Z and "Superman"by Five for FightingGroup 4:MVP: Reina Williams.
Brian Bradley definitely dominated the number, but Reina carried the melody and gave a convincing rap performance without showboating. DOA: Jennifay Joy Nichols.
It's not her fault that they asked her to rap (or did she volunteer?) but that didn't make it any less painful to watch her try and fail, especially in her cute little sundress and cowboy boots. A valiant effort, but stick to your strengths next time.Group 5:MVP: Josh Karjcik.
He IS Bob Seger, right? Bob Seger wearing a mask or after some sort of Face/Off operation? Yeah, that's the story I'm going with.DOA: Nick Dean.
Ohhhh, Nick! You lost it. Did you ever even have it? Maybe once, way back in auditions. But this flailing, off-key performance was the definition of "DOA," unfortunately.Group 6: "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone MVP: Tiah Tolliver.
If Nicole and Paula doubted her stage presence and performance ability, that should have shut them right up.DOA: Phillip Lomax.
This was a challenging song and we really didn't get to see too much of anyone besides Tiah, but out of all the performers, Phillip's section felt the most unnatural and hokey. I understand why he'd want to show off his signature jazzy style, but when that doesn't fully fit the song, you've got to meet the song halfway.Group 7: "I Have Nothing" by Whitney HoustonMVP: Rachel Crow.
Our spunky little Rachel bounced back with a vengeance after struggling to learn the song. I love when she growls!DOA: Joshua Maddox.
I don't know who he is, and sadly, this song was so out of his element and reach that I'm pretty sure I won't need to know after tonight. Group 8: "Run" by Snow Patrol MVP: Emily Michalak and Jeremiah Pagan.
She sang the song stronger and more convincingly than performers twice her age, and he basically made
the performance with his amazing male soprano flourishes. Love them both!DOA: Siameze Floyd.
The novelty has worn off. And without that, I'm not sure there's much reason to keep Siameze around, besides to see what else he packed in his suitcase.
After taking into account these group numbers and the
performers' final test, which we'll watch tonight (learn a new song
overnight and perform it in front of a huge audience), the judges will
narrow the field down to a final, tight 32 total acts. We hope our MVPs stay strong, but a lot can change when the pressures of a brand-new song and a live, unforgiving audience come into play.Find out who makes the cut when The X Factor Bootcamp Night Two airs tonight at 8pm on FOX. Until then: Who do you think absolutely, positively MUST be in that final 32? (Image courtesy of FOX)