X Factor
Auditions #3

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Simon Says

And it looks like they're staying there for a while, as we see auditioners coming out dressed as hang-gliders, and robots before a Goth chick comes on and starts yammering about faeries and centaurs and shit. Simon sets her up, asking if anyone on the panel has inspired her, and of course she says Paula. Montage of Paula herself being weird, on at least four different days, and then some dude comes out made up like Grace Jones in the Outback, and when he says "Hello" it's like a chipmunk on helium. More of Paula being weird, then a flaky chic who introduces herself as a "crystal child." Backstage, Simon blames all this silliness on Paula, who provides a bit more of her own.

After the ads, a 15-year-old named Arin Ray earns four yeses with "Ain't No Sunshine," and then there's a 30-year-old guy named Josh Krajcik from Columbus Ohio who looks like a tubby slacker from Central Casting. He brought his mom, or rather she brought him, having done all the driving. She's pretty tense about what Simon's going to do to him, and assures us that Josh is a great songwriter. I'm starting to worry about Josh myself. She gets more camera time than he does, at least until he hits the stage. He's going to sing "At Last," by Etta James, and Simon is skeptical at this song choice, if not preemptively annoyed. Josh makes everyone wait through the long intro when we all know he's going to suck and then he...doesn't. In fact, his singing sounds like what Michael Bolton was trying for all those years, even as he just paces shlubbily across the stage. The whole audience loves him, and his mom is flipping shit backstage, she's so happy. After Josh is finishes, Simon talks about how he never expects to be surprised, but Josh blew him away. L.A. says he's not fooled by Josh's "before" look, saying. "You're too good." Cheryl and Paula are also impressed, and all four of them say yes, Paula adding a thanks to his mom for driving him there. "3,335 yeses," Simon says. Josh happily heads backstage to get a big, happy hug from his mom, talk about how this is the first step, and wonder where the bar is. So I guess he'll start on his "after" look later. Might as well enjoy being the male American Susan Boyle while it lasts.

After the ads, we're back in Seattle for some reason, for a whole new round of auditions. Not sure what that's about, but Nicole is going to be taking Cheryl's chair back. Montage of the four judges getting ready before the auditions, including Paula pinching her arm in her giant bracelet. It goes around your wrist, Paula, you dingbat. The judges take their seats, and we see the "first act," two heavyset, overmade-up women in hats and sunglasses supposedly just getting off the bus. It's another mother-daughter team, and mom clearly does all the talking. And when the daughter does talk, it's to show off some Mandarin she learned for when they play in China. Getting ahead of herself a bit there, I think. They take the stage, and it's the Good Girls, who Paula remembers form somewhere. "You wrote a screenplay about Simon." Which Simon has totally forgotten, probably because so many people are always writing screenplays about him. Simon asks why they started a group, and when the mother tells her story about being an old hippie, Simon realizes, "So you're the mother." Simon Cowell: saying things out loud that nobody else says since 2002. In fact, mom is 70 and the daughter is 31. They expect to be "global superstars" and "household names" in ten years. Mom tells her, "Sing," and they attempt "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye, a capella and so badly that Simon asks, "Was that serious?" They assure him that it is, and Simon says, "It was the worst group I've ever heard in my life." Nicole adds that she likes her music with "life," rather than whatever that was, and they're sent off with four nos and Daniel Powter's "Bad Day," which, what took so long? In the White Box, they seem to think the audience was on their side. Go on thinking that, ladies. Check back in ten years when you're global superstars.

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