X Factor
Auditions #4

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Newark and Everywhere Else

The winning streak stays broken after the ads, with a squat 22-year-old guy growling "House of the Rising Sun" while Paula eats out of Simon's hand, just biding their time until they can shoot him down. Next we meet Clarissa Cheatham, a.k.a. "Cashmere," an office worker who is 27 but has the hair of a 47-year-old, so it's going to be tough to know which category to put her in. She goes out onstage and gets a pretty standard interview from the judges, until suddenly Simon gets the giggles for no apparent reason, which inevitably spreads to Paula. Simon gets Clarissa to talk about her experiences at karaoke, where people screamed and cheered for her. Then she tries to sing "Always Be My Baby," and before she even gets to the actual words, it's apparent she's awful. Which is not helping with Simon and Paula's giggles. Or those of the audience, for that matter. Paula puts a stop to it before the first chorus. Simon can't even keep a straight face as he says, "When you said that people [uncontrollable giggle] screamed [snort] after karaoke, I don't think that was a compliment [guffaws]." Nicole is the only one at the judges' table not laughing now. Poor Clarissa has to stand there and wait for them to get their shit together enough to all say no. Which, you know, eventually they do, but at least they had a good time with her.

More losers: Nouf Taraman, a 21-year-old walking cameltoe, trills weakly and protests when the audience boos her. Backstage, she defiantly tells the camera, "If you're looking for tears, you're not going to get it." Fair enough. What about the guy who comes out with a hula hoop? "When you're not singing or being annoying, what do you do?" Simon asks Jean Loup Wolfman [sic], 42. He's a life coach, so it sounds like he's never not being annoying. He monotones "Think," and in addition to his being completely tone-deaf, Simon observes, "For someone who does therapy, you're really uptight." Nos all around. A 58-year-old named Maya Lehmann does "We Are the Champions" as performed by the Bride of Frankenstein. Even Nicole's diplomacy fails her as she says, "It's hard, because I really like that song." Four nos, but that doesn't stop Maya from making more noise in the White Box.

Next is Cari Fletcher, a 17-year-old blonde prom queen type who says she's been singing since she was six, and calls this a once-in-a-lifetime chance. She's going to sing "Alone" by Heart. She starts out low and shaky, with her large family watching backstage. But when she hits the prechorus, it's clearly her sweet spot, and that's what the audience was waiting for. After Simon stops her, Nicole says she has great potential, which, coming from Nicole, is like peeing on her shoes. Paula thinks she's talented, and L.A. was impressed. Simon says she's boring. For the vote, L.A. says no, Nicole surprisingly says yes, Paula warns her that she'll "get eaten alive if you don't' come back with all the belief that we have in you" and says yes as well. Simon also gives a yes, claiming it's because he thinks she'll listen but secretly because he wants a hot young blonde on the show. Looks like he's got one. But how do all those people who came with Cari fit into that little White Box? That leads into a montage of White Box joy featuring Joshua Blaylock, 30; Emily Michalak, 12; and Dorit Yehudai, 48, whom we may or may not ever see again.

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