The X Factor recap: What's Going On?
Boot Camp continues, bitch! Task two: Sing a song with another person. “Oh, it’s a nightmare, this tahhhsk,” Simon nonchalanted. That’s a verb I just made up. It’s when Simon Cowell says anything, anything at all, on the U.S. version of The X Factor. He just doesn’t give a crap. But he showed up! Well done, you.
We don’t know any results following Night 2 in Miami, and all we saw were short clips of the performances — mostly, tragic moments of sadsters forgetting their lines. I’m sure some genuinely good numbers took place, but why would they show those on The X Factor? What are you, nuts?
Tara Simon vs. Jennel Garcia: “I’m not the girl that has to try hard every single time and kill you,” insisted Tara before doing exactly that. Enough with the “Landslide” of Mariah runs, weirdo. We get it. Your’e into yourself.
Beatrice Miller vs. Carly Rose Sonenclar: The two tiny tots took on “Pumped Up Kicks” and I preferred Beatrice’s soft and unassuming first half. What’s your damage, showboaty second-halfers?
Vino Alan vs. David Correy: Why must David Correy deliver a motivational speech (to himself) for the judges? “Every time I look at you, I see the four roadblocks that keep me from almost getting to my dream,” he announced to zero interested parties. Lucky for David, Vino forgot the lyrics of “What’s Going On,” threw his cap on the ground, engaged in a passionate fistfight with an outdoor wall, then probably spent some quality time ruminating over all of the poor choices in his life, like the scalp tattoos. “He scares me a little bit,” piped up Dreamkiller Spears.
Diamond White vs. Dinah Jane Hansen: Both sang well on a super slow, stripped-down rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” but Diamond was a little too impatient with the lack of rhythm and looked desperate to bop around. As a compromise, she sat down at the foot of the stage, which L.A. loved. Dinah forgot a tiny bit of her lyrics. “You fixed it, though,” Diamond cutely reassured her. It’s so stunning when people are nice.
Sister C vs. Lauren Jauregui: I’m not sure why they put a trio against a solo artist, but whatever. Simon attempted to set up a similar scripted war between the male and female judges just as he did last season. L.A. thought their harmonies were “so special,” but Britney found them annoying. “You two girls don’t want them,” Simon finger-wagged at Britney and Demi, “and they don’t want you.” I liked Demi Lovato’s conviction in her succinct shut-down: “That’s not true.”
Brandon Hassan vs. Reed Demming: All I got from those few seconds was that here are two cute young boys who could sing. One of them was the Bieber lookalike. L.A. loved the passion and seriousness they both brought “and the fact that they’re competitive with each other.” We’ll have to take his word for it.
Julia Bullock vs. Ally Brooke: Punky Julia was pretty frantic and more desperate to sound unique than her counterpart, who kept up season 2’s leopard print theme with the hot pink brim of her fashion hat. Britney reacted in a very real way at Ally’s final series of “oohs” as if to say okay, now here’s a real singer.
Jeffrey Gutt vs. an unnamed male who resembled a scruffy Rick Moranis: Jeffrey sounded okay, a little terrified and fervent. Rick Moranis probably sang too but there’s no way to know for sure! Simon thinks Jeffrey has “had his moment.” Oh well. Sorry, Jeffrey’s son.
The ‘Pepsi X’ segment vs. my will to live: Pepsi killed it. Farewell, everyone.
NEXT: An ‘X Factor’ teenage love connection? Willie Jones vs. Tate Stevens: Demi was really insistent that Tate — “Over” alert!!! — pulled a fast one on Willie by making him sing a ’90s song he’d never heard before. Why don’t these teenagers, who clearly possess enough ego to audition for The X Factor, stand up for themselves against their partners? Infuriating. Willie messed up the lyrics and didn’t sound “country” even in the slightest when he was singing. Is it creepy to say I really loved the close-up of Willie’s tears slowly rolling down his cheeks? He’s just a sweet teenager. The whole segment made him much more likable. X Factor, you evil mastermind!
Arin Ray sitting’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G Normani Hamilton: This one was more like a love connection than a head-to-head duel. I’ve never seen such genuine chemistry in such a silted, manufactured setting such as The X Factor‘s red planet. “If I grab your hand, you gotta be ready,” Arin warned his new crush (but NO girlfriends until AFTER he’s won the $5 million, mind you). Sadly he didn’t attempt any such move onstage. But that only made the whole thing cuter! I seriously love them. L.A winked at them during “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” as if to suggest yes, yes he does. “I like [Arin, formerly of season 1’s InTENsity], but I can also see him in a band as well,” said Simon. Here’s a solution: Make Arin and Normani a team!
Because seriously, ugh, the groups. WHAT ARE YOU (NOT) WEARING, lead singer of Emblem3?
Jillian Jensen vs. Latasha Robinson: This was the first we’d seen of Latasha, another victim of forgotten lyrics tonight. But the segment was really about Jillian, the bullying victim who appears to have received a makeover or at the very least, a spray tan. She gently sang along in Latasha’s silence to pique her memory, then vouched for her partner/opponent: “She really did a great job with it,” Jillian told the judges. I’m digging the Melissa Etheridge quality to her vocal on Sugarland’s “Stay.”
Freddie Combs vs. Jesse Bryant: Obese minister vs. blond mohawk. Both forgot the words. “All my eggs was right here, man,” Jesse wailed, slumped against a wall. Bye?
Leopard Face vs. Paige Thomas (reprise): Surprise, surprise: Once again the producers pitted these two against each other. CeCe Fry painted special leopard paws all over one leg for their duel on One Republic’s “Secrets.” Her secret is that she’s not really an animal. Paige didn’t know the song and Leopard Face steamrolled right over her and of course gave herself the second part with the big “AWAYYYYYYYY” finish. Can they please just put both these ladies through and stop annoying me? Great.
“I’ve never seen anyone look so tired in my life,” nonchalanted Simon. Maybe he should watch some of my videos.
‘Til next time! I don’t know if you believe in me yet but I WILL MAKE A BELIEVER OUT OF YOU.
Video reply time! Ask Annie anything about ‘The X Factor’ — or whatever — below.