The strength of any given X Factor audition episode rests heavily on who’s featured more: the good singers, the bad singers or the good but not great singers. The season 3 premiere, for example, was heavy on talent. But last night’s fourth audition episode, which zipped around from Charleston to New Orleans to Los Angeles all in one hour, focused too much on mediocrity for my liking.

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There was Andrew Scholz, who was given the chance to sing something else and ended up going down the country route, which the judges preferred much more. I, on the other hand, still wasn’t sold on him.

Then there was Stone Martin, the kid with the Justin Bieber hair who made all the young girls in the audience scream and cry as if he was just as talented as the Beatles. (That’s scary — and these are probably the same girls who would say the same thing about Bieber.) I say put him in a group with a few other boys so we don’t have to hear him sing on his own and then maybe he’ll do better; otherwise, he’s just going to get swallowed up by the competition.

And I don’t even want to go into Blake Shankle, who thinks he’s all that; Christina “If Beyonce and Rihanna had a baby” Harris and that Pig Latin lady.

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But there were a couple bright moments during the episode. Ellona Santiago auditioned back in season 1 and was put into a group, InTENsity. (It was a mistake to make that large of a group to begin with, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.) She’s back as a soloist, this time performing “Wings.” She’s got a nice tone to her voice, but I feel that the upbeat number made her voice not always be on point. I want to hear her again in the next round with a different song to see if she really does have potential or not.

The One Singer to Watch: Ashly Williams

The big sob story of the night was very heartbreaking and emotional. Ashly Williams’ mother was murdered when she was 14. You know with that type of story, she’s obviously going to be a good singer. But man, did she blow me away! I got chills at least three times.

Performing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” her voice is beyond strong, and powerful enough to take on this song. Her voice isn’t completely identical to Whitney’s, which is good because it allows to be just distinct enough to not sound like a copycat or trying to impersonate her. Hopefully, she can live up to this hype that’s now thrust upon her once she’s outside of Whitney’s shadow in the next round, unless of course she continues and does another one of her songs.

What did you think of the fourth round of auditions? Do you think the mediocre singers were featured too much? And were you glad Ashly Williams was there to save the episode?

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.