But perhaps they can put aside their differences when Charlie Cruzer, a 28-year-old boxer in an alien costume, comes out to sing "I Feel Good." But no, after L.A shoots him down, Simon just says he would have said yes, but he's only saying it to mess with L.A. "I've definitely met my match," Simon interviews, and then we see them trying to out-slurp each other from their soda glasses. Can we keep this moving, please?
Nope. First there are more ads, and then some interviews with people talking about how this would change their lives. We meet a young woman named Stacy Francis, who turns out to be 42 and a single mom, with a very bad relationship in her past and some very powerful motivation to improve her life. She hits the stage, where she doesn't exactly downplay her history of trying to make it while being told for the past twelve years that she's too old. Simon wishes her luck, and there's a long, tense pause before she goes into "Natural Woman." And clearly there's something to be said for being 42, because she knows how to start slow and build, and build she does. She sings that sucker like she means it, dude. The judges are clearly blown away, giving her four standing ovations along with the audience. L.A. gushes that she has what it takes, Paula tells her it's her time, Cheryl says she was blown away and Simon says, "That was one of the best auditions I've ever heard in my life." So Simons, counting the members of the audience, tells Stacy that she's earned "4,304 yeses." And Stacy looks like she could write them all in the mascara currently streaming down her face. Okay, good for her.
We see the X Factor trucks driving through the mountains, and suddenly Steve is talking to us from Seattle. Or perhaps the backdrop from the set of Frasier. The Space Needle is behind him either way. Okay, yes, we're in Seattle. More dream-porn, and Steve reminds us of the 12-and-up age requirement for soloists and groups, as well the $5 million prize, as though this is the second episode instead of the second hour. We should be so lucky. We're reintroduced to the judges and everything, but with Nicole Scherzinger replacing Cheryl Cole. Nicole tells us how she herself got her start on a show like this. And yet we're still watching this one.
Geo Godley, looking like the heir to Tiny Tim in his silver velour PJs and tie-dyed t-shirt, is the first to take the stage in Seattle, talking about his classical training and how he's going to sing a "feel-good" song that he wrote. The music starts and we learn from the onscreen caption that he's 43 and an "Internet blogger," which, it's news to me that there are other kinds. Not only is his "song" a random collection of tuneless rhymes, but when he gets to the chorus he drops his pants. A big "X" is edited in over Little Geo as he keeps dancing around with it, singing (unconvincingly) about how he's a stud. Paula and Nicole are horrified in the girliest possible way, and we see audience members heading for the exits as he covers up for the second verse and then does it again on the second chorus. Paula actually leaves the room, and when the nightmare ends, Simon yells over the boos, "What the bloody hell was that?" Geo offers some "gentle ballads," but Simon says he doesn't know what Geo was thinking. Simon obviously doesn't know how hard it is for "Internet bloggers" to come up with topics sometimes and how difficult it is to fight the temptation to do something stupid just so you can write about it. L.A. calls his performance "offensive, disgusting, distasteful, upsetting," which he does not mean as a compliment. Nicole says she's traumatized and adds her no, as does Simon, while Paula dry-heaves in the ladies'. Geo is ushered into the white losers' box, where he acts like he has no idea what went wrong. Paula eventually recovers and returns to the judges' table, presumably with a restraining order.