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The X Factor recap: Who are these people?

Simon and Co. have apparently nothing up their sleeves. Two more hours of auditions — where is the talent?

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X Factor

The X Factor

TV Show
Current Status:
Reality TV

I don’t get it. Where is the talent? Two freaking hours of more auditions and they were mostly terrible. I’m not even talking about the joke auditions, like the 56-year-old poor man’s wizard who claimed to have “a buttload of natural talent,” or the “model” from Denver who gazed cross-eyed at some sort of low-functioning karaoke app on her phone to remember the words. I’m talking the people they put through! I’m flummoxed! They are just not good. I can barely believe I’m about to describe them. Or that I’m really recapping this. No one seems to be reading or watching.

“This is the worst session,” Simon drawled at one point in Denver. Check!

Rylie Brown, 15: Nice, bubbly girl from Missouri with — seriously, am I missing something here? — nothing remarkable about her except that she forgot the words to “Clarity” by Zedd, that crazy song that always makes me wonder if I have lit-ruh-lly forgotten the definitions of clarity and remedy. Most of her segment was close-ups of Rylie wincing in pain to remember the rest of the words, not sure if they’d dribble out. At one point they showed two girls in the audience, vaguely nodding along in boredom. “She’s singing again.” “Oh. True.”

“Your life is about to change forever!” drooled Paulina Rubio. “You don’t sound 15,” said Demi. “So you messed up. But who cares, when you’ve got a voice like that? I absolutely love you,” lied Simon. “He doesn’t ever say that,” said Liar Lovato. HE ALWAYS SAYS THAT.

Jeffrey Brinkman, 36: This guy! He runs a doggie day care in Colorado and just had a baby girl arrive six weeks early — two facts which were supposed to hypnotize us into a stupor of admiration, I guess, as he croaked through a way too dramatic “You Are So Beautiful” complete with so, so many uncomfortable pauses. Was anyone into this guy? I felt like he was a Will Ferrell character on an SNL sketch… but the sketch got thrown away, and Will Ferrell’s stand-in was actually the one rehearsing it. Ho, hum.

“You’re fresh and original” (?!?!?!) “and I really enjoyed your performance tonight,” said Paulina. Simon, who’d been crinkling one side of his face in apparent discomfort, agreed: “That was a brilliant, brilliant vocal. I really, really like you, Jeffrey.” Double words double lies!

I mean, this guy would’ve been a fine, sweet addition to the lineup at 3 a.m. in a karaoke bar. Dude sounded a little drunk, and that can be very soothing in the right situation. But multiple other songs from him? On TV? What is going on?!

NEXT: Finally, one bright spot, salty and sweet