The X Factor: Squiddly and Diddly Make Simon Squirm

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Perhaps one of Paula’s groups? The good thing about these live ’X Factor’ shows is that they are low on the filler and high on the performances. I like it! The Stereo Hogzz were first up for Paula. She picked a version of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” for them, and it was pretty good. Though they were dressed like Next (I really wanted them to do a mash-up of “Too Close” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”), The Stereo Hogzz were definitely their own entity. They were a little bit Motown, a little bit Black Eyed Peas, and a whole lot of talent. It was the best I had seen them up to this point. The judges all agreed and had to give Paula credit for doing a good job with them. I really thought Paula’s group selections were going to be pretty bad, but The Stereo Hogzz proved me wrong. Would this hold up?

It would with The Brewer Boys, who were second for Paula’s category. During the package before their performance, Hanson’s “MmmBop” was playing in the background, which gave me a small hope that The Brewer Boys were going to sing it. Alas, they did not. Paula made them sing a mash-up of George Michael’s “Faith” and Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl.” Did it work? Kind of. The result was more like a Kentucky High School Talent Show production. The choreography around The Brewer Boys while they did their thing was out of place, and I would have liked to have seen them move around a bit more. They were playing instruments, which was cool, but they just weren’t at the same level as The Stereo Hogzz. Simon and LA agreed with my assessment, saying they weren’t blown away and the performance didn’t shine. They were still good, though.

InTENsity was third for Paula, giving her a chance to continue to confirm her ability to coach groups. The main problem I have with this group is that there are too many of them. I’ll never remember all of their names. I just know that little Oksana Baiul doppelganger is in the group. Ten is just too many. Even the S Club knew to stop at eight members. Regardless of my confusion over who was in the group, they did a pretty decent job with their mash-up of Shirley Ellis’ “The Clapping Song” and Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose.” While it was a little High School Musical (where was Ashley Tisdale? Is she a member of InTENsity?), it was a good performance for the most part. One girl in a red coat stood out as the star of the group. The judges liked them. Nicole seemed to want to eat all ten of them when she said, “You’re like my lil’ pumpkin patch of yummy pumpkins.” Hmm. Albeit timely with Halloween right around the corner, I’m not sure Nicole was on the up and up with that statement. Whatever was in her strategically placed Pepsi products cup, I want her to share with me. It must be some goooooood juice. Simon told InTENsity they were like the new young Glee. After this performance, I had to Spotify “The Clapping Song.” It’s a pretty good song. It made me want to run around clapping.

The final of Paula’s groups to perform was country-pop girl group Lakoda Rayne. The last time I saw them, they were having trouble reining in their need to be solo artists. It seemed like Paula really worked with them to stifle this need. She picked “Come On Eileen” for the group to sing. You know, the one American hit from Dexy’s Midnight Runners? Look it up If you don’t remember. Great song. As soon as they stepped on stage, my need for Ashley Tisdale was met, as I forgot one of the group members looks exactly like her! Aside from The Tiz’s look-a-like and more hair extensions than a Kardashian wedding, Lakoda Rayne pretty much tore up their performance. The judges all liked them, with LA and Simon telling them they would sign them immediately. Lakoda Rayne really stepped it up from their Judges’ House appearance. They did NOT make Paula’s job in eliminating a group easy.

After seeing all four groups perform, I must say Paula did an incredible job mentoring all of them. I thought she had the weakest category, but she turned each group into a viable competitor for ’The X Factor.” I really had trouble picking out the worst of the groups, but my gut told me The Brewer Boys would draw the short end of the stick. Was my gut instinct right? Yes. Paula picked the other three groups to go through and sent The Brewer Boys packing. One of them referred to her as Ms. Paula, which I’m not sure is the correct thing to call her. She’s not exactly in the same category as one Ms. Patti LaBelle, but I guess it’s an etiquette thing. Ms. Paula did do a good job.

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