The X Factor: Squiddly and Diddly Make Simon Squirm

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After three categories and three eliminations, it was finally time for the category I was most looking forward to: Simon’s girls. Why was I looking forward to it most? Mainly because it contained my favorite contestants, and the two I loved most to hate. So which girl did Simon pick to perform first? One of my love to hate victims, Simone Battle. Simon told the cameras, “This is where the talent starts.” Really, Simon? With Simone? After her performance, I’d think again with that statement. The first problem: Simone was not looking fierce, as she has told us time and time again is her major concern. Being fierce. Perhaps her version of being fierce includes channeling Rainbow Brite in her outfit selection. I guess it could double up as a Halloween costume for when she’s eliminated, but come on. Simone was not sounding so fierce, either, on her version of Deborah Cox’s “Just Be Good To Me.” In fact, it may have been the worst I’d ever heard her sing. Caitlin got eliminated to keep this in? Blasphemy! The judges weren’t so complimentary toward Simone, either. Which made me very, very happy. She was absolutely awful.

The girls took a turn for the better, though, with Simon’s second act, Rachel Crow. Obviously, the real talent started up again AFTER Simone. Simon’s song choice for Rachel was a mash-up of The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” I must say Rachel was pretty incredible. For being 14, she definitely knows how to work the stage and can sing with the best of them. However, I wish Simon would give her a song to better show off her range. She can obviously sing, so I want to hear it! All the judges had nothing but nice things to say to Rachel, though they wished Simon would have given her a better song. This is when Simon started fighting, calling Nicole and Paula “Squiddly and Diddly,” which led to a fight between all three. So much drama on ‘The X Factor!’ I can’t get enough of it. It’s almost as fantastic as the cattiness on ‘Project Runway.’ In fact, it may be neck and neck in the amazing category.

Third for Simon was 14-year-old Drew Ryniewicz, who is now just going by Drew. It’s probably because no one can spell Ryniewicz. However, I think she should keep her last name, as Americans need to learn to spell Eastern European names. If I can spell Ukrainian last names that only have one vowel in them, you can learn how to spell Ryniewicz. You can also practice with Polish tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska’s name. Anyway, Drew took on an all-ballad version of Irene Cara’s Academy Award winning song, “Flashdance…What A Feeling.” Let me tell you this: I absolutely LOVED Drew’s version of the song. She was just like a little Diana Vickers up there on the big American ‘X Factor’ stage. LA, Nicole, Paula and Simon all sang Drew’s praises while I clapped like I was in the live audience. Whew. After Rachel and Drew sang, it was clear to me the horrid Simone would be going home.

Someone else who needed to go home long ago? Tiah Tolliver. She was fourth on stage. Simon dedicated her performance to Cruella and and de Vil (Nicole and Paula). I think Simon isn’t aware that they aren’t the only ones who aren’t fans of Tiah. Has he read The Josh Factor blogs? There’s not so much love for Tiah over here, either. Tiah’s song choice was “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These).” It saddens me to say that Tiah was all right, though she was nothing compared to Rebecca Ferguson when she sang the song on the British ‘X Factor.’ Tiah was only all right because I think her vocals were turned down lower than the backing track, which hid her inabilities to stay on pitch and in the same key. Also, her staging was really creepy. I know Halloween is right around the corner and all, but I already have nightmares about Tiah, so creepy staging is the last thing I needed. LA, Nicole and Paula saved their least happy comments of the night for Tiah, which angered Simon even more. Those three are just saying what the people want to hear! Tiah needed to get kicked off right after she sang. Like Simone, she was awful, as I knew she would be.

The final performance of the evening was truly a case of saving the best for last. Melanie Amaro was brought back after the other judges got mad at Simon for eliminating her. So in order to prove to everyone the mistake he made, he gave Melanie the opportunity to sing like no one else with Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” And Melanie brought it! She can sing so much better than anyone else left in the competition. I still have no idea what caused Simon to send her home during the Judges’ Homes round. Really? She’s worse than Simone and Tiah? I think not. I could listen to Melanie sing 24/7. And then some. The audience applause was louder and longer for Melanie than anyone all night, which was well deserved. The judges sang her praises, but would Simon keep her?

The first girl Simon put through was Drew. Then Rachel. Which left Melanie with Tiah and Simone. I had my remote ready to throw at the TV, just in case something awful happened. Simon drew out his last choice and made me think he was going to pick Tiah. My blood started to boil as Simon spoke, and I could feel one of my eyes start to twitch uncontrollably, but then he said Melanie’s name and a huge outburst of negative emotion was averted. Then we bid adieu to Simone and Tiah. Tiah babbled about how it was just the beginning, and Simone announced the launch of her new music video, “He Likes Boys.” That Simone. She’s nothing but a class act. A class act who needs to be expelled and never allowed back in the building. (I watched Simone’s music video, just to give her the benefit of the doubt. Don’t waste your time. It made me dislike her even more, and her penchant for hats needs to end.)

And that brought the first live episode of ‘The X Factor’ to a close. What do you think? Did the judges make any blaring mistakes in their choices? I think for the most part the right choices were made, although I would have exchanged Chris Rene for Phillip Lomax.

Next week, ‘The X Factor’ returns to it’s usual Wednesday and Thursday schedule, so don’t forget to tune in each of those nights at 7. Next week also starts your opportunity to vote for your favorite act! I know I’ll be voting for Melanie Amaro. She’s my choice to win the whole thing. If she doesn’t win, I’ll have to do something…like sing a Christmas song on the Fox 4 morning show the week of the ‘X Factor’ finale. Yes, I am THAT confident Melanie will win the whole thing. Although Drew, Lakoda Rayne or Marcus Canty could sneak in there, too. Who are your favorites so far? Any picks to win?

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