Backstage on what could be the second day of the Providence auditions or the first day of the Providence or not even in Providence for all I know, the judges are presented with the X Factor cake backstage. They graciously act impressed, and Simon graciously smears a little on Demi's face. She acts as shocked as though he just blasted her with a fire extinguisher. In the holding room, Carly Rose Sonenclar, 13, and from Westchester, New York, has such an uncomfortable conversation with her parents that I can only assume someone forgot to give them their lines before the cameras started rolling. Eventually she makes it out onstage and immediately charms Britney, mainly by being 13. But then she says she's going to take a shot at "Feelin' Good" by Nina Simone, and all the air goes out of the room. L.A. asks some pointed questions about how ready she is for that. But then she starts singing it a capella, and he's all, "What?" Literally he hollers, "What?" in the middle of her performance. This is one of those songs I hardly knew at all before I started covering singing shows and yet am now sick of, but she's pulling it off... as long as you don't look at her and see it coming out of this innocent little tween. Her big finish gets a standing ovation from the judges -- even, finally, Simon. The auditorium and holding room are busily going apeshit as well. When things settle down a bit, Britney calls her a "little diva," L.A. says her soul is old, and Simon flatly says, "That's not you singing." He says she's a star, and Demi wants to buy her music right now. The vote takes way too long considering we all know it's going to be unanimous yeses (which it is). Back to her proud parents backstage, and L.A. tells the other judges that she was the best they've heard yet. That appears to be it for Providence. And it for the competition, as far as the judges are apparently concerned. But of course we're treated to a high-speed, high-tension montage of more highly dramatic moments yet to come this season. My God, how much more of this punishment can San Francisco and Providence take?
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.
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