X Factor
Boot Camp #1

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Hustle in Florida

Tara Simon, the self-impressed vocal coach, oversings Queen's "Somebody to Love." Everyone's face is like, "Okay, that's a bit much." And Simon alerts her that when she watches the playback, she's going to find she showed off more than she meant to. Fortunately the editors were discreet about that, but not about showing Britney's, "Boy, have I been there" face.

Willie Jones gets up with his string tie and sings "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," which is good because it's not quite in his vocal basement like what he sang at his initial audition. The novelty has clearly worn off for Britney though, even as Simon agrees with me that he was better today. I'd say I hate it when Simon agrees with me, but it's not like it's a rare occurrence.

Coming back, Paige Thomas is outside during a break, talking to Diamond White and CeCe Frey (the chick with the stupid leopard spots painted on her temple) about how the judges are going to have the toughest time with the girls' category. Has anyone even said anything about categories this season? For all we know the finals are going to be fought out Hunger Games-style, which if nothing else would explain the way CeCe Frey keeps looking at people. Paige tells us she's doing "I Will Always Love You." And guess what? So is CeCe. Back in the auditorium, Paige is called to center stage to sing her song, which may be extra tricky with CeCe's Manson lamps on her the whole time. She does well with it, though. "The only think that could potentially get in the way is a comparison to another performer that looks similar," L.A. remarks to the other judges before we get one last good gander at Paige's Rihanna-like profile.

Now it's CeCe's turn, and she gets up and immediately starts power-flirting with Simon, whom she never met thanks to having auditioned in Kansas City when Simon was sick. That may also be the reason CeCe is here in Miami, but whatever. Since she's doing the same song as Paige, L.A. calls it a sing-off. I so want her to land on her stupid leopard-spots, but as much as I hate to admit it she nails the chorus. Paige knows it, too... you can tell by her face (which we're seeing a lot of, thanks to the editors' insistence on trying to gin up some kind of conflict between these two). Unfortunately, so does CeCe. Simon says one of them did, but isn't saying which of them just yet. And that's the end of round one.

After the ads, there's a suspense-building montage alternating between the four judges in the cavernous auditorium and the 100-plus contestants crammed into the hallway outside. The judges talk about contestants without letting us know who they're referring to, while the nervous singers (except CeCe) discuss their nerves over their prospects. Producers start calling out names who will be sent onstage in groups. The first of these include Diamond White, Jason Brock, Vino Alan, Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas, Sophie Tweed-Simmons, David Correy and a shitload of others. Simon lies that they won't delay it any longer and gives them the "bad news" that they'll have to work hard tomorrow, being through to the next round.

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