Allow me, your All Access Pass host Laura, to guide you through what Boot Camp was like for our X FACTOR hopefuls in three stages I like to call: The "Happy Happy Joy Joy" Stage, the "I Hate Myself and Want To Cry" Stage and The "Leave It All On the Stage" Stage.
Stage 1 - "Happy Happy Joy Joy": This is the fun part. The contestants were flown into Miami, FL, and then put up in one of the raddest hotels in South Beach, the Mondrian Miami South Beach Hotel. Mr. Nice Guy, also known as Simon Cowell, decided he wanted to reward the contestants for making it this far, and dropped an extra half a million to make that happen...but hey, you can't put a price on happiness! Happy Happy Joy Joy!
When I walked into the overwhelmingly swanky lobby, I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman! This place was, like, WOAH! White marble floors you could eat off of, a never ending sea of swimming space, and rooms that could fit Dinah Jane Hansen's 20+ family members! Not that I'm a creeper (okay, maybe just a little), but I even overheard one contestant say, "This is where they put us and we haven't even won yet? How does it get better than this?" Well, as they all gathered around the pristine pool they hoped to buy with their $5 million X FACTOR winnings, they found out how it could get much, much worse. Instead of enjoying the pool they were drooling over, they were hard at work learning a new song, rehearsing it with vocal coaches, and perfecting their performance for their one shot in front of the judges. Their Happy Happy Joy Joy soon tuned into Hard Hard Work Work. #buzzkill!
Stage 2 - "I Hate Myself and Want To Cry": Now that the contenders were down to work, the reality set in that soon more than HALF of them would go home. Some would totally blow it. Some would nail it. Some would be so devastated akin to someone telling that them One Direction has broken up. (WHAT?!) Between the grueling schedule, lack of sleep, and their nerves starting to get the best of them, everyone was on edge.
I watched as contestants worked through sore vocals, last-minute changes, and emotional ups-and-downs. Others just broke down...and I'm not talking on the dance floor. I found out first-hand that Boot Camp is not for the faint of heart. For some, bonds were formed as they tried to pep each other up, and for others, rivalries began as they fought for their spot in the judges' hearts. It all came down to this moment. And now, ready or not, it was time to bring it or say buh-buy, but for many they just hated themselves and wanted to cry.
Stage 3 - "Leave It All On the Stage": As the time came for their final singing challenge and their last shot to make it through to Judges' Homes, everyone was in what one contestant dubbed, "a very weird state of mind." Little sleep and lots of doubt wreaked havoc on our hopefuls' harried little heads. They were pushed to their limits, but hey, that's why we're all here! Some called in for back-up (you'll see who I'm talking about on the video below), some tried to use accessories to hide their tired eyes (find out who in the vid), and others went into full-on battle mode ready to sing another day.
The stakes were high and so was the tension, but I can assure you this was an experience none of them will soon forget! But fear not, as we learned from little Jordyn Foley at auditions, we should always look forward to tomorrow. And, for the contestants at Boot Camp who will leave it all the stage, they are betting their bottom dollar that their name will come up tomorrow!
Who can stand the Miami heat? Who will crumble under the pressure? There's only one way to find out. Tune in WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY at 8/7c on FOX for our first two Boot Camp episodes.
Click here to watch my All Access Pass behind-the-scenes tour of Boot Camp!