A few of them have been pretty vocal about what category they do want and what they don't want. Before the producers gave each judge their fateful call, L.A. Reid said, "There are categories that I absolutely don't want. If you told me that I had to choose between the Groups and Over 25s, I would have to say I have no interest."
Demi Lovato "really, really" wanted the 17-24-year-olds. Britney Spears was hoping for the younger ones, the Teens, and Simon Cowell was strangely silent. Well, the girls got their way (Demi has the Young Adults and Brit has the Teens), Simon was pleased with the Groups, but L.A. was downright pissed for getting the Over 25s. When he heard the news on the call, his first reaction was, "The what?" He then slammed the phone down a few times and declared to his peeps, "Everybody's got to leave I don't want to talk to y'all... Not the overs. Everything else I would've been happy with."
The fight is on, as Demi said, and it's onto her posh loft in Los Angeles with Nick Jonas for the first of the Judges' Homes performances. Here's how it played out...
Judges' Homes: Demi Lovato
First, Demi sweetly tells her acts, "I promise you that I will devote everything to you guys." Awww. We believe her! And, they, in turn, are thrilled to have her. "We were hoping and praying it was you," said Jillian Jensen to Demi while hugging her new BFF Jennel Garcia, who is first up to bat.
Jennel Garcia: Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl": Pre-performance, we got our first taste of Demi's mentor style. She likes to give specific notes and advice to each act right before they perform. Unfortunately for Jennel, whose main note was not to flip her hair so much (hmmm, didn't notice!), it seemed to throw her off her game a little bit. After she delivered a sexy performance of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" (great song choice, eh?), she just stood there thinking she would get a critique, but didn't. Awkward. "It was really nerve racking. I lost so much confidence but I did everything I could possible do," she said. Demi's opinion? "I feel like her light was a little dimmed after I gave her advice," she said.
Willie Jones: The Tony Rich Project's "Nobody Knows": Redemption time! He picked the song he totally blew at Boot Camp to prove he could do it. And, he did it all right! Demi and Nick loved it. Nick said, "He's a star, there's no doubt." But he wondered if he was country or R&B and advised that he choose a path and stick with it.
Jillian Jensen: Sara Bareilles' "Gravity": Demi's pre-performance notes to Jillian were a bit rough to hear. She basically told her to watch her facial expressions. Jillian didn't disagree saying, "I do the John Mayer" and then making an ugly face. Yeah, don't do THAT is what Demi was basically saying. And she didn't. But was it enough? Nick said, "Maybe it's out of line, but she's kinda sexy." Demi thought she might have taken her advice a bit too much and then said this was a difficult one for her "because I feel so connected to her." Wonder what's going to happen?!
Nick Youngerman: K$sha's "Tik Tok": The best way to sum up this performance is in the words of Demi after he sang, rapped, dance, and swagged through the song: "I couldn't tell if I was loving it or super annoyed by it," she said. The Jonas Brother said he "thoroughly enjoyed" it, though. Nick Youngerman boasted that he nailed it. "Solid! I killed it! I knew I would." But, did he?
Paige Thomas: Chris Brown's "Turn Up the Music": Paige turned up the heat for sure when she took this dance hit and made it into a slinky little slowed-down number. (But, hello! She was wearing leopard! Isn't that her rival CeCe Frey's thing?!) After she left, Demi made a face and said, "This just got really confusing for me. When she first auditioned, everyone was blown away. But as she's gone on, we kind of see more of her insecurities. You have to be able to not crack under pressure. I don't know if she has that." Ruh-roh!
CeCe Frey: LMAFO's "Sexy and I Know It": Another brutal pre-performance chat from Demi went a little something like this. Demi: Your confidence and attitude, "sometimes it borderlines a little bit unlikeable." Well, then choosing LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" might have been a bad choice, but a funny thing happened. CeCe worked the song in a sweetly humble mode that got her mad props from Demi and Nick. They dug it. Oh, and news flash: CeCe said that she might not be painting on leopard spots any more!
Judges' Homes: Simon Cowell
Playback: Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl": "Hi, boys," said Simon Cowell to the boy band he newly formed, which features Josh Metzler, Owen Stuart, Austin Corini, Brandon Hassan, and Johnny Maxwell. They put a fresh spin on a classic song complete with some rapping parts by Owen and Johnny. But Simon and his guest mentor Marc Anthony did not agree on how it went...at all. "I found myself looking for planes," said Marc. "It's funny, I disagree," responded Simon to a thoroughly surprised Marc. Oh, boys!
Emblem3: The Police's "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic": They were pretty confident before they sang ("I don't even feel like we're in a contest," boasted Wes Stromberg). But after Drew Chadwick lost his place in the song and came in late on a verse, the tone turned south. "I screwed up. You can punch me in the face 1,000 times," said Drew. Think they did?
Sister C: Shelby Lynn's "Leavin'": Showing off those great sisterly harmonies, the girls shined in the Miami sun, and that was after Simon told them that he fears no one will like them because they come off a bit "standoffish." Loving these pre-performance notes, by the way! Finally, Simon and Marc could agree on one thing: Sister C hit it out of the park. "They are contenders for the real world," Simon said. "I think they're a home run. Magic," agreed Marc.
LYRIC 145: Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA": Has a rap super group been formed? Looked like it when Lyric Da Queen was paired up with ONE4FIVE. "She's a superstar," said Marc after they delivered an urban-fied version of this little pop ditty. "I love it. I think she'll eat 'em alive." So, how did they feel about being grouped together? Jemelle Joseph, formerly of ONE4FIVE, said, "It's weird and scary like how is this possible. You found a female version of us."
Dope Crisis: Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass": This Philadelphia duo, who both rap and sing, did their best on this Nicki hit, but Simon and Marc weren't so sure. They both felt it was a good audition, but wondered if this is the best they had, what more could possibly come? Time will tell...
LYLAS: Shontelle's "Impossible": The third group formed on the show features the stand-out ladies, Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani Hamilton, and Camila Cabello, who were more than thrilled to be grouped up. "We're like the same person in five different bodies," said Normani. The five gals nailed it. Both Marc and Simon called them "unbelievable."
"There's one clearly great group here," Simon said at the end of the show. Which Group do you think he meant?
For Episode 9 Recap Pt. 1: Boot Camp Ends in Tears, click here.
For more on the Top 24, click here.
Tune in TOMORROW at 8/7c on FOX when Judges' Homes continues over at Britney Spears' home in Malibu, CA, with will.i.am for the Teens and at L.A. Reid's Beverly Hills' pad with Justin Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun for the Over 25s.