X Factor
Auditions #3

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Lucky Louie

After tonight's pre-credits sequence (which are all about last week's triumphs and the coming week's meltdowns, basically) and the actual credits, we're in Kansas City, Missouri. "They're supposedly doing X Factor auditions in Kansas City," a girl in a diner tells her friend, like the camera filming their conversation wouldn't be a dead giveaway. We're joining the crowds outside the arena, where yet another guy is claiming to be worried about being compared to Justin Bieber, and a chick named CeCe Frey with leopard-spots painted on her temple like a Star Trek: Voyager day player shows up and calls it "Just another day at the office."

In Britney Spears's hotel room, she's being primped while telling fellow judges Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid that Simon Cowell is calling in sick, but a guy named Louis will be filling in, whoever that is. If it's Louis C.K., I'll never complain about this show again. L.A. leaves and Demi trolls for more Britney-approval by suggesting plans to do something for L.A.'s birthday, which is today. Later, in the contestant holding room, a producer breaks the news that Simon's too sick to come to auditions today, and a party breaks out. Completely spontaneously, of course. And then an actual Louis shows up at the judges' green room and introduces himself to them and us as Louis Walsh, a boy-band manager from the U.K. He's got the accent and the self-aggrandizement of Simon, at least.

So now that we've met all the judges, let's meet another contestant. Rizzloe Jones is 18 and from here in KCMO, and with that face he should really be auditioning for The Eminently Punchable Teen-Movie Douchebag Factor instead of this. But he claims to be a rapper, so here he is. CeCe from earlier goes over to strike up a conversation and learn that he's going to make up a rap on the spot. CeCe struts confidently back to her boyfriend, having satisfied herself that Rizzloe is no threat to her. Rizzloe's ready for his big moment, insisting he's more excited than nervous.

He comes out onstage convinced of his awesomeness, but when the judges and the audience learn that this blond suburban shitkicker is not only a rapper but plans to improvise, they're going to take a lot of convincing. And he gets started, and I'm the first to admit that no judge of rap whatsoever. Which I can tell because I thought that was horrible (stock phrases strung together with a few topic suggestions from the judges mixed in like corn in a turd), and L.A. described it as "really good." Rizzloe's bro-corps are jumping up and down backstage as Louie, Britney, and Demi gush about how impressed they all are. Four yeses for Rizzloe, and the only thing the judges said about him that I agree with is L.A.'s pronouncement that "it is your lucky day."

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