A frumpy, bespectacled mother-daughter team comes out, but unlike Simon, I can't tell which is which. They're T for Two, and they "sing" a Steve Wonder medley, badly. Simon makes some mean comments about them as they leave. Nici's still in denial in the white box. Next is an annoying, sawed-off 40-year-old Steve Earle wannabe who emits a gross cackle as he tells the judges that his "girl" has so far sunk a hundred thousand into his singing career, and whose tasteless rendition of "Like a Virgin" makes it difficult to imagine a worse use of a hundred grand. He cackles right up until they give their nos. More denial from Nici. And now there's a group of about a dozen college girls without shoes called The Sonnets, who sing what Simon compares to the music he hears when he's getting a massage. Nos all around. The judges head out for a break, only to be waylaid by Nici, protesting that she sings regularly, so how could she be bad? Simon's nicer to her than I probably would be, but I hope he's learned his lesson about never saying things can't get any worse.
Back to the auditions, we see Simon giving a yes to the love child of J. Lo and Blake Lively, who we got to hear singing all of three syllables, and then there's a 28-year-old trash man named Chris Rene. He's also got a 2½-year-old son. I'd be rooting for him more without the hat he's got on. But then he gets onstage and tells the judges about how he's fresh out of rehab, and then he does a whole interview about his addiction and recovery before we're back with him onstage, telling the judges he's been clean 70 days. He's singing a song of his own called "Young Homie," which is a very ominous sign. But the melodic slow jam he performs is actually quite good, and the audience and judges are totally with him, giving a slo-mo standing ovation when he finishes. Nicole says his talent is indescribable, just like the X factor itself. Paula gives one of her little homilies about talent and bright lights. L.A. says the people he's worked with would be proud to hear him say, "You are the truth." Simon says his favorite feeling is when he meets a star for the first time, and adds, "Maybe you need the show, maybe we need you." Chris is tearing up even before he gets Paula's yes, and L.A. warns him to stay straight before adding his. Simon makes a deal for a yes as long as Chris stays on the right track, and Nicole makes it unanimous. Chris's brother is proud of him backstage with Steve, and Chris interviews, "My son's gonna see that." Aw. That's priceless. Just make sure you fast-forward past Geo, though, mmkay? He white-boxes that this was the third best day of his life, after the birth of his son and the day he got clean and sober. And he's got Coldplay's "Fix You" playing just to underscore it.