The next category to perform was Nicole’s Over 30’s. Upon introducing her first act, Ol’ Scherzy (that’s what I call her sometimes) seemed very confused. Must have been that “juice” cup. Share with the class Nicole! She introduced Dexter Haygood with, “Dexter Haygood, y’all,” and a raise the roof motion. She also managed to sound like Maya Rudolph’s impression of Whitney Houston, which made my night that much better. Dexter’s task was a mash-up of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” and Britney Spears’ “Womanizer,” which may have been the weirdest combination of songs known to man. But whatever works. However, Dexter didn’t really work it that well. He just kind of screamed on stage. It was like watching Macy Gray when she was on ’Dancing with the Stars.’ You knew it wasn’t good, as was potentially on some sort of mind-altering drugs, but you had to watch anyway. The judges were mixed on Dexter’s performance, as was my mother, as she texted me, “Dexter’s brain is fried.” Quite possibly, Mom.
60-year-old LeRoy Bell had the pleasure of taking the stage after Dexter. I still have trouble believing LeRoy is 60! He is aging better than anyone I have ever seen! Nicole reminded us that LeRoy “represents that dreams never die.” I like that quote. I’ll put it on a board and sell it at Hobby Lobby. Nicole selected Pink’s “Nobody Knows” for LeRoy to sing. And let me tell you: his voice was smooth and hit my soul directly. If I was able to cry, I would have. But I didn’t want to get tears on my grilled cheese, so I sucked it up and didn’t cry. LA and Simon weren’t so sure LeRoy connected with the audience and questioned Nicole’s song selection, but Paula and I were on the same page (scary!) when she said, “Your voice is like velvet,” to him. Then Nicole’s head spun around and she got all sassy with Simon while defending her choices. Sassy Scherzy! I LOVED IT!
Speaking of sassy. How about we talk about Stacy Francis. Her task for the first live week was to take on George Michael’s “One More Try,” and did she ever. First of all, Stacy stepped on the stage and looked hottttt (that’s 5 t’s, which is an indicator of extreme hotness). For me, Stacy’s performance hit my emotions like Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Holliday did when they sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” in Dreamgirls. Yeah. For me it was that good. Stacy tore. It. Up. LA and Paula had nothing but supportive things to tell Stacy, but Simon told her she needed a “massive shift in the right direction.” He thinks she needs to be a church singer, while Stacy wants to be a pop star. I think Simon was just out to get Nicole, since Paula isn’t fun to pick on anymore, but Nicole more than stuck up for herself.
The final act for Nicole was former burrito slinger Josh Krajcik. The thing I like most about Josh is that his appearance and progression on ‘The X Factor’ haven’t changed him. He still has the same look and same amazing voice as the first time we saw him audition. However, for the first time, I wasn’t really digging Josh’s performance. He took on a version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” but I didn’t really feel any ebb and flow or any discernable climax in the song. Maybe that’s what he and Nicole were going for: an understated performance. Either way, I didn’t think it was his best. Luckily, I wasn’t on the Judges’ Panel because I would have been booed out of the building. The judges all loved it with Nicole telling Josh it was “soul stirring.” Maybe my soul was still too stirred up from LeRoy, but I just didn’t feel it.
When it came time for Nicole to eliminate a contestant, I thought it was a pretty easy decision. Get rid of Dexter. But Nicole made faces and moaned about how hard it was going to be and she was just going to wing it. Steve made her cut short her back and forth. The show was only 2.5 hours after all! So Nicole made the right decisions and put through Josh, Stacy and LeRoy, thus eliminating Dexter, who went on to tell America he was stuck in a “21st Century Twilight Zone.” Well, duh, Dexter. That was the most accurate statement I’ve heard in a long time.