We started this episode seeing the hopefuls leave the comfort of their homes to head to Miami to perform for the judges for a place through to the Judges' Homes. Knowing how brutal of a competition it will be, Simon Cowell decided to put them up at one of the swankiest hotels in town, the Mondrian Miami South Beach hotel, to give them a taste of the lifestyle they could afford if they win the $5 million prize at the end of the season.
After enjoying a little poolside fun in the sun, it was down to business. The competition is tough and the judges are even tougher. "Oh, this is going to be a fight," said Simon Cowell of this phase of the show. "No second chances. You either stand out or you go home," said Britney Spears. "Come on! Entertain!" yelled L.A. Reid.
Up first was Task 1, solo performances. The acts chose a song before hand and had to sing it onstage with their peers sitting right on the floor beside them. Talk about pressure! The judges didn't give critiques, so the acts were left wondering whether they had done enough.
Well, here's a look at some of the night's most memorable Boot Camp moments...
Diamond White, 13, Los Angeles: Simply put, she owned Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." L.A. called it a " great version" and nodded his approval. Demi Lovato said, "She's amazing." Her performance even made Paige Thomas intimidated. "Our styles are very similar so I'm a little nervous about that one," said Paige.
Austin Corini, 16, Gilroy, CA: Taking on Adele's "Make You Feel My Love," he got mixed reactions from the judges. "I didn't think he nailed the song," said L.A. Simon, however, thought, people would like him.
David Correy, 26, musician, Riva, MD: He had us beggin' him for "Mercy" all right! It was damn good. L.A. thought it was "entertaining" and put that finger of his way up in the air. Simon liked him and thought he had a really good voice.
Dinah Jane Hansen, 16, Santa Ana, CA: L.A. Reid thought her rendition of Mariah Carey's "Hero" was "really good." Simon said, "I like her voice." Well done.
Lyric Da Queen, 26, musician, Flint, MI: We haven't seen much of this badass rap chick yet, but we liked what we saw tonight. L.A. danced in his seat and Simon said, "She's a rapper I'd buy," said Simon, adding, "I love her."
Jason Brock, 35, tech support operator, San Francisco, CA: Oh boy! He sang this to Simon: "Simon. I want to get closer to you/I know you do too. " Not sure Simon was digging those lyrics, but he thought he had a "really good voice" L.A. thought he was amazing. Yay for Jason!
Carly Rose Sonenclar, 13, Westchester, NY: First, how cute was her little hat and scarf combo! Loved it! When she was done singing, Simon asked, "Do you think she's too old for her age if that makes sense?" L.A. replied, "Better than any 13 year old I'd seen!" (Even Justin Bieber at that age?! Hmmm!)
Jessica Espinoza, 22, unemployed, San Antonio, TX: Backstage she admitted to being a bit intimidated both "vocally, physically" by her competition and hoped that winning THE X FACTOR would put an end to her family's struggles. Demi even paid her a great compliment in saying that she's the only contestant whose first and last name she remembered. But her performance of "When You Believe" left the judges not so impressed. "I'm pretty disappointed. She's not as good as I remember," revealed Demi.
Jennel Garcia, 18, Rochester, MA: Jennel brought the fire back to the stage in another hip-swaying, hair-flipping, crazysexycool performance. She once again worked the crowd and judges on her performance of Gavin DeGraw's "Sweeter" during which Demi whispered to Britney, "crazy sex appeal." L.A. was overheard saying, "very spicy." Spicy indeed! Muy caliente!
Vino Alan, 40, musician, Waynesville, MO: Vino truly brought the Tough Factor to the stage with a rockin' rendition of Bad Company's classic rocker, "Bad Company." While Simon thought he had a "very good voice," he was just a "maybe" for Britney.
Tara Simon, 27, vocal coach, Atlanta, GA: She fancies herself an original and declares that originality will keep her here. Did it? Performing Queen's "Somebody To Love," she got down on her knees and though we don't see it on camera, Simon's statement makes clear what happened. "When you watch that back you're going to find that you showed us a little bit more than you expected there. I'm afraid so...Okay follow that," he said. That's what we call, leaving it ALL on the stage, folks!
Several acts let their nerves get the best of them. Johnny Maxwell forgot his lyrics. "He lost it," said Simon. "I felt bad for him," said Britney. Simon called 12-year-old Jordyn Foley's performance "just dreadful." Manny Acosta was so off-key that Demi said, "Oh my God. What happened?" Trevor Moran's take on "Starships" by Nicki Minaj disappointed as well. "I thought he was going to be a lot better," said Simon. Nick Perrelli didn't live up to his song of choice, "Feeling Good," when he nearly froze onstage. "His nerves got the best of him," said Simon.
But the prize for the contestant who blew it the most goes to poor little 12-year-old Jake Garza, who just a few words into Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" forgot the lyrics and then said to the judges, "I messed up... Sorry." He broke down backstage crying. "I froze. I forgot the words. I forgot the melody. I forgot everything," he wept. But the most heart-breaking quote of the night from him was this: "I want my mom." Awww. Let's all give a big virtual hug to Jake!
The montage of groups was another fun moment as we got to watch Emblem3, the three "dudes" from Huntington Beach, CA, chime on their competition. Of Jetset, one Emblem3 member simply said, "WHAT?" Of, Santa Monica's Citizen, he said, "It's pretty ballsy, man." What was ballsy? We're not sure. "Looking around at the other groups. I don't feel like we really have anything to worry about," said the Emblem3 member. As for their performance of the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris," Britney was feeling it but L.A. asked, "Will you love them 20 songs from now?" Will you, America?
All right, onto arguable the biggest showdown of the night: Paige Thomas vs. CeCe Frey. The two just happened to pick the same song, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and just happened to perform one after the other, prompting L.A. to declare, "It's a sing off!" Truly, they both nailed the song. But at the end, Simon said, "one of you actually nailed it." Which one do you think he meant?
Both Paige and CeCe thought they were the better singer. Paige said, "I gave a better performance, but I don't know what the judges are thinking." CeCe was bolder in her post-performance statements. She said, "They ain't seen nothing yet because I'm about to bring the CeCe thunder here at Boot Camp." And, she also said, "On a scale of 1-10 how confident and I feeling? Uh. How about 25? Is that good?" Well, that's confidence for sure!
Okay, let's get down to business. Who went through? Who is simply through? Three groups were called to the stage. Two made it. One did not.
Group 1 made it through and included Diamond White, James Tanner, Jason Brock, Vino Alan, Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas, Sophie Tweed-Simmons, David Correy, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Lyric Da Queen, and others.
Group 2 did NOT go through and included Rizzloe Jones, Jessica Espinoza, Quatrele Da'an Smith, Jordyn Foley, Trevor Moran, Ben Westphal, and others.
Group 3 got yeses and included Jeffrey Adam Gutt, Tate Stevens, CeCe Frey, Nick Youngerman, Willie Jones, Freddie Combs, Jillian Jensen, Ally Brooke, Emblem3, Julia Bullock, Tara Simon, Lauren Jauregui, Owen Stuart, and others.
Tune in tomorrow at 8/7c on FOX to see what singing task the judges have in store for the contestants next on the second Boot Camp episode.