This Thursday’s episode of The X Factor was like two episodes in one. The first half wrapped up the audition phase of the competition, and the second half had the judges whittling the list of contestants down from 218 to 40, with 10 singers in each category.

You can read our our recap for all the details on who made it to the Top 40 and which categories were assigned to which judge, because I want to focus on the audition portion of the episode.

[Videos] The X Factor Auditions Part 5: The One Singer to Watch >>>

There were, of course, some bad singers: Santa took a break from preparing for Christmas up at the North Pole to come down to the United States and audition for The X Factor.

And then there was Keith Beukelaer. We all remember him as the guy from American Idol season 2 who auditioned and performed Madonna’s Like a Virgin.” He’s back and now a rapper, I guess, because he did “Baby Got Back.” (By the way, both of them got yeses from the judges.) I’m not even going to go into because it’s is just ridiculous. Moving on…

The One Singer to Watch: Victoria Carriger

Out of all the good singers we saw in the episode, only one was featured with a full performance and backstory and everything. Victoria Carriger has eight kids — wait, what? No way. She looks no older than 30-something. And to add to all of that, she’s a single mom.

Victoria performed a stripped down version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You.” There’s a slight rasp to her voice. It sounds a little raw, but she’s a natural. And that comes through clearly. She’s very likable and I hope she does well.

What did you think of the final round of auditions? How far do you think Victoria Carriger will go in the competition? And what do you make of Keith “Like a Virgin” Beukelaer making his return to the singing competition scene?

The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.