X Factor
Auditions #5

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Wade In Deep

Oh, look, we're changing cities! And here we are in... Greensboro, again. Contestants hang around backstage, but among them are "Camryn & Alexandra, audience members," who decide to approach a bleached, faux-hawked kid named Austin Corini. His parents are church people, so it's probably just as well that the girls only ask him to sign their arms and not something else. He's there with his dad, who sends him out onstage with a hug. The girls from earlier give him a standing ovation as soon as he comes out. He's singing "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes, and turns out, unsurprisingly, to have a perfectly serviceable boy-band tenor voice. And the amazing thing about this song is how many other, totally different songs it sounds like, all at the same time. The judges pick up on the vibe in the room and talk about how cute he is. L.A. says he's seen a lot of kids like him, and Simon says it was about 80 percent when the competition calls for 110 percent. Whatever, they all tell him yes, even if L.A.'s is mostly on faith and Simon's is mostly on hope. Enjoy the semifinals, Austin.

Coming back, a 20-year-old janitor named Nick Youngerman does an energetic version of "Ice Ice Baby" that gets Britney on her feet. And yes, that song came out before he was born. Four yeses for Nick.

Time to meet a duo named Jaime, a redhead, and her Puck-looking fiancé, both of whom I hate on sight. They're all PDA in the holding room, and, they would have us believe, all the goddamn time. They have a whole dream where they win five million dollars and then use it to pay for their wedding, at which Simon will officiate. Oh my God, they are going to suck. When they get onstage, the judges are equally un-charmed by them. Including Britney, who makes a face at these young, smitten idiots like she's never heard the name K-Fed, let alone the show Chaotic. They launch into their own cheese-pop composition, which makes Rebecca Black's "Friday" sound like Bob Dylan. Simon stops them and stumbles through an explanation of how corny it was until some audience members help him out by shouting, "Cabaret!" Nos from all four of them. Kind of a shame. After all, they weren't terrible singers, just terrible people.

David Correy, 26, is here with his two brothers and a shitload of tattoos. Backstage, they hear another lucky contestant celebrating his approval, and David tells us that he's hoping this competition will somehow reconnect him with his birth mother, who placed him for adoption after having him at age 14. We have to root for him now, don't we? Out onstage, he pimps his adoptee story to the judges and sings "Just the Way You Are." And nails it. Now I just feel bad for this 40-year-old woman in Brazil who's going to think she gave birth to Bruno Mars. The crowd loves him, and Britney's moved nearly to tears. L.A. appreciates the power of David's upper register. He wants him to work on the lower, but gives him a yes. The other judges make it unanimous, as always, but not without Simon making him sweat for it a bit. As almost always.

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