X Factor Auditions, Part Three: The Good Girls Go Bad

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Night three of ‘The X Factor’ auditions promised more great singers. Would this be the case? I wasn’t so sure from the top of the show. I found it incredibly hard to believe host Steve Jones would ride shotgun across the country in a semi-truck. Then again, I guess Fox needs to cut costs where it can. The prize is $5 million dollars, after all. But can’t Fox at least spring for a Yugo or something like that for Steve to drive?

Enough of that. The first audition city we checked out was Chicago. For the auditions, we were joined once again by Cheryl Cole. Which makes me think: perhaps it’s time for a Cheryl vs. Nicole blog? I think the answer to that is a resounding yes, so be on the lookout for that soon. It will be incredible.

The first audition in Chicago is from The Show Me State. Let’s make sure we give a lot of support to Brock and Makenna from Springfield because not only are they from Missouri, but they are also really good. In their back story, we learned that Brock and Makenna started singing together a few years ago. We also learned Brock is in love with Makenna, but she doesn’t know it. Well, Brock, chances are she has seen the show and knows now. I wonder how that will affect the chemistry between them when they come back. Brock and Makenna sang “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band. This is a direct quote from my show notes: Amazing harmonies. I love them. It’s true. I do love them. And Makenna needs to love Brock back. They have done Missouri proud.

Sadly, not all auditions can go as well as Brock and Makenna. Enter 35-year-old Kim Terek. She claimed to have taken ten years of voice lessons. But after she opened her mouth, I wondered if those lessons were from Miss Piggy. Kim’s version of “Firework” was reminiscent of Miss Piggy’s “Never Before, Never Again” from The Muppet Movie.

However, Miss Piggy’s vocals were better and she was able to hit the high notes. Kim? Not so much. As Simon put it, “It was like two people singing at once.” Translation: not good.

More bad auditions were to come, with a 21-year-old model guy, a 45-year-old dominatrix (I assumed from her outfit), and Charlesia Heard, who said she was there to audition to be a judge for ‘The X Factor.’ I think she was confused. And not even in a humorous way. Sigh.

Up next was 16-year-old Skyelor Anderson, whose mother drove him to Chicago from Mississippi. If you aren’t up on your geography, that’s not a short drive. Skyelor said he loves country music and wants to sing that and nothing else. Before Skyelor’s audition, all I could focus on was how sparkly Cheryl’s outfit was. Sparkly things distract me. What can I say? I guess I could say more about Skyelor. He decided to sing Billy Currington’s “Must Be Doin’ Something Right.” His vocals weren’t great to start off the song, but right before the chorus, his backing track shut off for some odd reason. Most people would have panicked and quit singing, but Skyelor proved he might have the X factor when he kept singing. No freaking out. He just kept singing. It was determination that won him over with the judges. He went through with four yeses from the judges, and almost won me over by the end. Almost.

Then we were introduced to J. Mark Inman, who is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by a mystery. Or perhaps he’s just weird. During his introduction, he kept saying things I didn’t comprehend. Now this could be because after all my years of keeping up with the Kardashians I have lost a few brain cells. However, J. Mark was just talking about scientific things, which considering the fact I was distracted by Cheryl’s sparkly outfit, chances weren’t good that I was going to know what he was talking about. Then he had some equation about how J + Mark + X + Factor = $5 Million. I don’t remember that being in the quadratic equation. When Simon asked J. Mark where he saw himself in five years, his answer was, “Pretty much at the helms of a Renaissance.” I was about to fast forward through the rest of J. Mark, but luckily he started auditioning and stopped talking. He had dance moves. Of some sort. The robot, maybe? His singing? Not so hot, but as a whole package, I can’t deny that he was interesting to watch. Paula told him, “You’re in a different jurisdiction. I think I’ve been there once or twice before.” LA Reid responded, “It sounded so bad, but felt so good.” And Cheryl Cole gave him the Star Trek Vulcan salute. J. Mark went through. Which means we will see him again.

J. Mark then segued us into a segment called “Welcome to Planet Paula,” which is a place I really want to visit. Perhaps the Kardashians and I can go on a tour. I think it’s a land where MC Skat Kat lives and constantly takes two steps forward and two steps back. On Planet Paula, we learned at times Paula didn’t know what show she was on and that Simon thought everyone had gone to la la land. Especially the guy they showed in the clips who looked like Grace Jones.

Sadly, we had to leave Planet Paula and return to auditions with 31-year-old Josh Krajcik, who I referred to in my notes as “The Burrito Guy.” Josh slings burritos, and the way his package was produced, the show wanted you to think he was going to be horrible. He didn’t have the look, his Mom was a little too confident of his talent, and he just didn’t seem to have what the show was looking for. But then he opened his mouth, and I was reminded of the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Josh, The Burrito Guy, was incredible. He ripped into Etta James’ “At Last” like there was no tomorrow. A. Ma. Zing. Yes, so good I had to break up amazing into three words. Ooh. He gave me chills. Good chills.

As my chills subsided, we said goodbye to Cheryl once again and welcome back Nicole for more Seattle auditions. We also witnessed Paula get her arm caught in her bracelet while she was getting dressed. I think her QVC jewelry might be slightly deadly.

Paula survived her jewelry scare just in time for The Good Girls, a mother daughter duo from Seattle. When these two treats stepped off the bus, my initial thought was, “Sheer fabrics are not your friend.” Things didn’t get much better when one of them started speaking Chinese because she wanted to take China by storm. They performed Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On,” which was fitting. It left me wondering what was going on with their audition. The mother said she was an old hippie. I thought she was Dr. Teeth and her daughter was one of the Electric Mayhem members (yet another Muppet reference). I’m not sure if The Good Girls were serious or just had a bad trip before they auditioned. Either way, they did not progress to the next round.

Someone who would advance though, was 14-year-old Drew Ryniewicz. I didn’t love Drew to start out with. Mostly because she wouldn’t shut up about Justin Bieber. It was Bieber this and Bieber that. I was like, “Get over it, Drew.” Then she talked about how she wanted to duet with The Biebs. Ooh, Drew. Selena Gomez is going to come after you if you don’t lay off her man. But when Drew took the stage and started singing her jazzy version of Justin’s hit, “Baby,” I was won over. She made the song her own and showed some real promise of being a great competitor on the show. I still think she’s a little cuckoo for Bieber, but she was really good.

Peet Montzingo was next. Peet’s goal in life was to be a teen heartthrob. Even though he admitted to being 21, he still had the dream of being in Tiger Beat and on Drew Ryniewicz’s wall. We were also introduced to Peet’s parents, who were dwarves. He said his father is the world’s tallest dwarf, which is pretty cool. Peet, however, was over 6 feet tall. He was the only one in his family who wasn’t a dwarf. It made for a very interesting story. Sadly, Peet’s voice wasn’t so hot. The judges gave him positive feedback and basically told him to be an actor. Maybe Peet can start up a revamp of Nickelodeon’s old show, “Pete and Pete.” It can be called “Pete, Pete and Peet.” Just a thought.

Following Peet was a string of four pretty decent auditions. First up was the group, 4Shore, from Virginia Beach, Virginia. They were a group who had been singing together for three years. They reminded me of JLS from the British ‘X Factor.’ They were gutsy in singing a song LA Reid wrote, but they were pretty good. They had fantastic harmonies. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them again. 4Shore is a group to watch. You know, like, for sure. Then we had 53-year-old Elaine Gibbs who was perfection. She was like a combination of Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Holliday, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. All women you’d want to sound like when you sing. I can’t wait to hear Elaine sing more. Then we saw a brief clip of Francesca Duncan singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” She went through, but she caused me to issue this warning: don’t sing a Mariah Carey song for your audition. Ever. It can go terribly wrong. Stick to things you know you can sing well. Rounding out the quick draw of auditions was 42-year-old DJ Tiger Budbill, who had some amazing pipes on him. This episode of the show definitely had a lot more good singers than bad, which gives me hope for the rest of the season.

Following Tiger was 21-year-old part-time waiter Phillip Lomax. Phillip told the cameras that hats were coming back into style. Old 40’s style hats, apparently. I don’t know if this is true. After all, Scott Disick tried to tell Kourtney Kardashian that pimp canes were coming back into style. What’s the lesson here? Just because someone on a reality show tells you something is coming back into style doesn’t make it true. Maybe someone can bring back the petticoat. Now that would be the cat’s pajamas. Back to Phillip, who I noticed had really good teeth. Like Crest commercial good. When he finally started singing, Phillip took on Frank Sinatra’s classic, “Fly Me To The Moon.” I can’t say I was that impressed. Phillip didn’t really have his own voice. It just sounded like a Branson-show version of the song. In spite of my thoughts, the judges put Phillip through to the next round. Hopefully he does better next time. I did like the jacket Phillip had on though. Time to go shopping!

Then we saw clips of female contestants who were DOA to Nicole and Paula. What does this mean? Basically that Nicole and Paula seem to be jealous of the young female contestants who tend to wear clothes that are possibly too small. Time after time, a girl or group took the stage to glaring eyes from our two female judges. Those eyes were shooting daggers sometimes. Especially when Simon compared one contestant to what he thought Nicole would have sounded like when she was 20. Nicole was not having any of that and proceeded to tear into Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Apparently she sang that song when she auditioned for her reality show several years ago. Really, Nicole? Prove it.

Ok. Yeah. Nicole can rip it up vocally. She shut me up for sure. Even though I already knew she could sing like there was no tomorrow.

But our DOA segment led us into the final audition of the night, 19-year-old deli clerk Tiah Tolliver, who caused quite the dispute among the judges. She sang Shontelle’s “Impossible” a capella. Simon and LA loved it. Paula and Nicole weren’t so convinced. Paula thought Tiah was having trouble staying on pitch, which I agreed with. Nicole didn’t think Tiah should sing a capella when she’s trying to win over audiences. Once again, I agreed. But they Simon started yelling about how Nicole and Paula had to be deaf. He offered Tiah a chance to sing again to win over either Paula or Nicole, since she needed a yes from one of them. As soon as Tiah lifted the microphone to sing again, we went to commercial. You’re killing me here, Fox! However, the commercial gave me a chance to think about nicknames for Paula and Nicole when they take on Simon and LA. Should I call them Paulacole or Nicola? Hmm. Decisions, decisions. And then we were back. Tiah’s second song choice was “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” I’m pretty sure she wasn’t singing the correct lyrics. I’m also pretty sure she went off key several times, but Tiah was able to change Nicole’s no to a yes, so she went through. Then Paula hit Simon’s nuts. Seriously. He was eating a bowl of nuts and she hit them out of his hands. Get your minds out of the gutter.

So there you have it. Another round of X Factor auditions complete. What’s your take? Did Brock and Makenna prove Missouri has the X factor? Did the judges make the right decisions on who they advanced to the next round?

There’s only one more audition round before we move on to the next phase. So don’t forget to tune in every Wednesday and Thursday at 8ET/7CT for all new episodes of ‘The X Factor.’

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