X Factor
Boot Camp #2

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Putting the "Boot" in "Boot Camp"

After previouslies and previews jam-packed with stuff you already know, and another long shot of Paula crying (this time holding someone that I'm a little worried is Dexter Haygood), It's Time To Face The Music. Which is one of those phrases like "out of this world" that's so overused as a pun it's completely lost its original meaning. Actually, was there an original meaning?

Oh, after the title sequence, even more recaps. Top 162 to top 100 last night, top 32 tonight, four categories, judges, judges become mentors, judges become party hosts at their homes. You know all this. We keep seeing choreographer Brian telling everyone, "Let's kill it!" Yes, let's. A bunch of competitors complain about how hard Boot Camp is, and we're reminded that last night, the top 100 were thrown together into groups to perform one song together each. And there are five of those groups left. Seriously? Last night wasn't all of them? Is this happening? Am I in recapper Boot Camp?

Tonight's first group is hot guy Brennin Hunt, a group called Equality (I'm amazed there's a group in this bunch who can still spell), Marcus Canty of the two-year window, some people named Matthew Johnson and Ma'at Bingham Shango, and the two Rene siblings, Chris and Gina. Their song is "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye, and they couldn't be happier about it. We're reintroduced to Marcus Canty and the Renes, "who are both here as soloists," Steve feels it necessary to remind us. Today is Chris's 94th day of sobriety, and I'm sure all the pressure of the competition is doing wonders for him. But at least his sister's there for him. We see part of her first audition for the first time, where she did some decent rapping but L.A. said she needed more conviction. She can't borrow some of her brother's? After five hours of rehearsal, they're ready to go onstage. They all head out and pose motionless on the risers, then go into this totally contrived mass greeting as soon as the backing track starts up. Ma'at, the 12-year-old girl, takes the first solo while everyone else provides backing "oohs" The solo baton is passed, and most of them do really well, particularly Marcus Canty and Chris Rene and Brennin Hunt. The judges are totally into it, and it ends up with everyone singing together on the very edge of the stage like they've been a group all along. "We got a star here," Paula says after they've left the stage, although she doesn't say who. Just one? Simon was impressed with Marcus, but of someone else, he decrees, "She's gotta go." He's referring to either a 12-year-old girl or a freshly sober guy's support system when he says this, mind you.

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