THE X FACTOR auditions are moving on! First stop: Los Angeles. Get ready X FACTOR fans! Los Angeles is a city full of dreamers, wannabes, and real, raw talent.
A sister duo known simply as “Shirley and Cynthia” were up first. Creativity sparkled from the fingertips of these girls who started to sing together because "it was fun." Simon was right on the money when he responded to their origin story with, “wow, what an incredible story.” Could these ladies of few words hold the judges' attention with their rendition of the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back?” Uh, nope. Sorry, singing sisters!
14-year-old charmer, Josh Levi is ready to be a star. Fresh off the bus from Texas, Josh took a risk and chose Selena Gomez's “Come & Get It” for his audition. Turns out that risk paid off big time! The ladies fell for Josh when he serenaded and winked at Demi Lovato during his performance. Even Simon Cowell was smitten with Josh who he called a “future little star.”
Drama Drama, a group of twenty-something women who felt the need to recapture the youth of their teenage years hit the stage next. They're hoping to become the next Spice Girls, but they didn't get the memo. That ship sailed in the 90s and Simon wasn't on board. Mr. Cowell noted, “It's like you've been locked in a room from 15 years ago. Everything about you I just find unbelievably old-fashioned.” Turns out Drama Drama was the first in a long line of old-fashioned talent that got the old-fashioned hook. Retro wasn't working in the LA metro!
Could the Scott brothers stop the time wallowing time warp? The brothers who have formed the group, AKNU, which stands for “A Kind Never Understood,” are admittedly a “classic group.” These smooth guys apparently went far enough back in time, and added just enough charming cool to be a breath of fresh air. With their synchronized dancing, superior vocal skills, and matching outfits, AKNU looked like they walked out of the new millennial Motown. Kelly Rowland said, “First of all, you guys are so refreshing. Ya'll make everybody want to dance.” Even Simon Cowell had only praise for the men of AKNU, “It's like watching Motown all over again. Normally that's the part I hate, but I think you might be on the forefront of something new here. It was refreshing. I thought the dancing worked incredibly well. You know what? I could actually watch this whole audition all over again. I loved it that much.”
THE X FACTOR took its leave of Los Angeles and moved onto Charleston where we met Brandie Love. No, her name isn't fake, and neither is her talent. This orthodontic assistant killed her performance of Patty Griffin's “Up To The Mountain.” People in the audience were crying, the judges were swaying, and Brandie was lost in her song. Simon Cowell praised her performance saying, “Brandie, you just took us to church.”
The sleepy southern city on the coast just kept delivering the goods with the talent of Millie Thrasher, Timmy Thames, and girl group Yellow House Canyon. What was unexplainable, however, was the force of nature that is Vincent Crisostomo. This bagel store employee is already a celebrity in his hometown, has an entourage, and brought his bodyguard to auditions. How big of a commodity is Vincent in his hometown? Well, his "fan base" seeks him out at the bagel shop for autographs. But this is LA, bagel boy, and you better be good. This budding star, who lists his musical influences as Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and Method Man, did a gangsta assault on LeAnn Rimes' “How Do I Live Without You.” And by assault, I mean killed the song and by killed, I mean, uh, the song barley survived. The king of cream cheese, was not the king of the Charleston crop and the judges, decided they could live without him.
After the disappointment of Vincent Crisostomo, we needed a pick-me-up. That came in the form of Carlos Guevara. Carlos has Tourette's and struggles daily with motor and vocal ticks, but as Carlos says, “you can't let things hold you back.” This amazing young man gave a nearly perfect performance of John Mayer's “Gravity,” prompting Simon to declare it was the best audition of the day. Carlos earned about a million fans with his “this is awesome” aside while he was singing. Way to go, Carlos!
Carlos Guevara's stunning performance was answered by the inexplicable group of Chloe J & CJ. These hairdressers met last year in hair school and now they have arrived at THE X FACTOR to prove they are stars. While they really did have good hair, their performance of “River Deep, Mountain High” was less than stellar. “I don't know which one was the worst singer,” said Simon. “Your face says it all, that's how I was feeling through the whole performance.” Then in a bizarre television moment Simon and Chloe J had what could only be described as a sexy stand-off ending in Chloe J rushing the judges' table and covering Simon in kisses. Despite the flattery, they still got the X FACTOR kiss-off.
Bad boy, Colton Pack, probably won't have to wait forever for his true love. A man that shows up to audition with a bus carrying his entire town has got the charisma to make anything happen. This young man with the deep country voice stood out to our judges with his rendition of “Hicktown” by Jason Aldean. Paulina Rubio was enchanted by Colton. “I like you baby. Rrrrrr.” And yes, that is the official spelling of Rrrrrr. Watch out, Colton.
Danie Geimer isn't your typical rising star. She wears glasses, loves to read about neuroscience and isn't good at talking. Danie hit the stage as a shy kitten, but once she started singing, she turned to a tiger! This young lady's performance of “House Of The Rising Sun” sure impressed our judges. Kelly sang her praises, “Miss thang, you are it!”
We closed the show with Season 2 returner Jeff Gutt's audition. Jeff got cut at the end of boot camp last year and he's back this year for his final shot at stardom. The judges were thrilled to see Jeff again and genuinely excited for his performance. However, Simon stopped his performance of “Don't Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith early. “It sounded to me like you were trying to impersonate Steven Tyler,” Simon announced. Luckily for Jeff and for us the judges let him perform another song. This time Jeff knocked his audition out of the park singing Radiohead's “Creep.” Could this be Jeff's time? Simon thought so, “Jeff, you are the one who got away last year. You're not getting away this year. It's four yeses.” Simon sez, Jeff! You're moving on!
Who will make it through tonight? Tune-in to THE X FACTOR Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.