X Factor
Auditions #3

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Lucky Louie

Elsewhere in the Cow Palace, a five-member boy-band calling themselves "Citizen" take over the men's room to primp their already-overprimped hair while the self-described "heartthrob" of the group polls his bandmates on whether the collar of his Elmer Fudd jacket should be up or down (results of the poll: down. The collar: up. I think we now know everything we need to know about this kid). After irritating everyone else backstage with their toolishness, they make it out onstage to face Simon and the other judges at last.

They're going for an En Vogue song, which they don't mess up totally, but you don't take on En Vogue unless you have better chops than these guys. Their choreography is dull enough that they'd be better off without any at all, but Britney, Demi, and L.A. seem to dig them. A visibly irritated Simon stops them and listens to the other three talking about how much they liked it, and then flatly declares, "I didn't get it." He says it was ten years out of date and out of tune, and gives them a no. But the other three say yes, so they're through, but not without a parting putdown from Simon to take with them. Cue the mean-Simon montage, as he insults a couple more groups and girls and calls it "constructive." He's back, apparently.

And he's still raining down nos after the ads, while people backstage are getting more nervous. Adrianna Lemus, 14, walks into the jaws of the beast with a clueless optimism about her plan to sing "Rumour Has it." Simon shuts her right down and she gets four polite nos and leaves the stage crying. Diamond White, 13, sees Adrianna coming back from that experience more dead than alive, and gets even more nervous. Diamond tells us about the "shoebox apartment" (and bed!) she has to share with her supportive mom, and about her absent dad, but she's willing to face Simon to make it all better.

In front of the judges, Diamond starts to tell them what she's going to sing, but extra-grouchy Simon rudely cuts her off saying it better not be Adele. Diamond gives him a look that says it was totally going to be Adele, but fortunately she's also got "This Is a Man's World" as a backup. She goes into it, and although the song choice is more impressive than her actual voice, she gets cheers from the audience, and even wins over Simon -- gradually. All the judges compliment her, including Simon, who says she blew the roof off. Four yeses for Diamond, which Simon milks for maximum suspense (which is to say none). Diamond just took a big step toward changing her life, but the really important news is that Simon's now in a better mood.

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