X Factor
Auditions #1

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Speared

I guess that's it for Austin, and in the absence of a host, the transition to San Francisco is facilitated by some local drag queens instead. The judges are entouraged to the San Francisco venue with all the accompanying Secret Service-style pomp, and we get to see them enter another venue all over again. Simon assures the screaming crowd that they're going to find a star. It's just going to take a while, as we first have to sit through a crazy screaming island girl, a pelvic-thrusting psycho bartender, a creepy old guy who looks like a drunk Mr. Weatherbee from Archie comics, a possibly male Beyoncé impersonator, a masked Usher who does bad comedy rather than bad singing, a nutty lady with a Simon voodoo doll and a slew of other horrible howlers. Then we cut to the parking lot, where this gross guy is ogling all the ladies. Imagine his (bleeped) chagrin when one hottie in booty-shorts and a bridal veil turns around and ends up being a dude. This would be Quatrele Da'an Smith (I know, spellcheck, settle down), who seems more than confident. By the time he hits the stage, the judges are pretty much over the Bay Area, but Britney and Demi are at least somewhat amused by him. He sings "Born This Way," like there's anything else a man could possibly sing while dressed like that. Unfortunately, he's not a terrible singer, which makes it a little more difficult to dismiss his whole overdone shtick. Difficult, but not impossible. The judges indulge him, but the audience seems to sincerely love him. Britney says his singing was a little off key, but "really entertaining." Demi just says she loves him and his lipstick color. Simon thinks he's like the offspring of Madonna, Bobby Brown and Dracula. "But in a weird way, I quite liked it," he admits, cracking himself up. L.A. votes no, Britney gives him a yes and so does Demi and even Simon, laughing like he doesn't have anything better to do. L.A. is left sitting there in frank amazement. Don't worry, L.A., I don't think the five million dollars is in any danger from Quatrele.

Lest we forget that this competition also includes groups (like I've been trying to do) we next meet Emblem3, a three-boy group from Huntington Beach who kills time skateboarding in the parking lot. Apparently they're also brothers, "basically." They meet backstage with an "actor" named Vincent Thomas from Los Angeles, whose already diluted masculinity next to these three alpha-bros is not exactly highlighted. Apparently Vincent was in a boy band of his own, and they were huge in England five years ago. For about three days. He talks to Emblem3 about being in a band and gives them some advice from his wealth of experience, which they don't care about. In fact, they assure us that they are not a boy band. Seriously, they're totally not. While they're waiting to go on, Vincent goes out and sings "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." Kind of pretty but very boring... much like Vincent himself. Simon tells Vincent that he's like the boy band member who doesn't sing, which is going a bit far. In the wings, Emblem3 celebrates the humiliation of another competitor, and then heads out right after him, pronouncing him "super lame" almost before he's out of earshot.

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