After his performance, Neal said about Demi, “She's like a cute little poodle. I just love her.” Run, Demi! Run! In a flash, Neal got four enthusiastic rejections and lost the respect of his own inner-child forever.
There were some great groups to come through at the final auditions including GLAMOUR from Atlanta, GA. This girl group performed an a cappella version of “The Star Spangled Banner” and totally blew the judges out of the water! As Kelly Rowland said, “I feel like I'm looking at a baby Destiny's Child right now.” Girls United also impressed our judges with a cool version of “Price Tag” by Jessie J. Demi was totally in love with the girls saying, “You're so pretty it's just stupid.” Rockin' duo Wild Thingz also got four yeses and an easy ride into the next round.
Christmas came early for Denny “Santa Claus” Smith whose perfect rendition of “Stormy Monday Blues” was lauded by the judges. Other standouts? How about Victoria “I Got My Body Back After Kids” Carriger, a 41-year old mother of eight, surprised Simon with her rendition of Kelly Clarkson's “Because Of You.” “Victoria, I had genuinely written you off before you started singing,” said Simon. “I was not expecting that. I thought that was extraordinary.” Our resident Grumpy McGrumperson went even further saying it was “the easiest yes I've given today.”
Our next contestant, Keith Beukelaur, definitely had a point to prove. This artistic genius had auditioned for Simon Cowell 10 years previously on American Idol. His performance of “Like A Virgin” prompted one of the meanest comments from Simon to date, “Last year I described someone as being the worst singer in America. I think you're possibly the worst singer in the world.” Most people wouldn't come back from that, but Keith Buekelaur showed he had tenacity. Dressed head to toe in tie-dye, complete with a feather boa, Keith walked on the X FACTOR stage and rocked the audience to a rousing rendition of “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-lot. The crowd went wild! Demi, Kelly and Paulina all shook what they got as Keith performed. It was a no brainer then when they enthusiastically sent Keith through. But could Keith vanquish the Simon Cowell demons in his mind? It turns out sometimes dreams do come true. “I also like big butts so I'm going to say yes,” said Simon. Beukalaur's Got Back!
With Keith's meteoric comeback, the Season 3 auditions came to an end. Fast-forward to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where all 218 contestants have gathered expecting to go to boot camp. Surprise! Simon announces there is no boot camp and the judges are immediately cutting the playing field down to forty. Here's who made it through in each category, and their assigned mentor:
Demi will oversee The Girls: Khaya Cohen, Bree Randall, Jamie Pineda, Simone Torres, Rion Paige, Danie Geimer, Rylie Brown, Primrose Martin, Ellona Santiago, Ashly Williams.
Paulina will supervise The Boys: Carlito Olivero, Chase Goehring, Timmy Thames, Isaiah Alston, Tim Olstad, Alberto Calderon, Josh Levi, Isaac Tauaefa, Carlos Guevara, Stone Martin.
Kelly is captain of The Over 25s: Lillie McCloud, Jeff Brinkman, Rachel Potter, Kristine Mirelle, Victoria Carriger, James Kenney, Allison Davis, Denny Smith, Lorie Moore, Jeff Gutt.
Simon is handling The Groups: GLAMOUR, Good News, Yellow House Canyon, Alex & Sierra, Roxxy Montana, Wild Thingz, and Girls United.
Three cheers for second chances! With three open spots in the Groups category, Simon and the ladies took some of the boy and girl solo artists and combined them to make three new groups. With a new lease on their life on The X Factor, all they need now is a name.
Tune-in next week for the start of the 4 Chair Challenge Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.