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 the ads, it's a short run of Simon's little girlfriends. Tiah Tolliver is up, aware that it might be her last performance. But she's got the bangs back, so she might be okay. Cari Fletcher (she's still there?) sings dressed like Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember and does okay. Drew Ryniewicz, who I'm not pinning on Simon because she's 14, does very well. Caitlin Koch comes out in a slinky minidress and does "Cry Me a River" while Simon watches her in a way that screams out for a hand-check.

Then it's Leroy Bell, 59, who interviews about how he got into the competition because he didn't want to get old and bitter not following his dream. Well, bitter. The audience (and the judges again) marvel at how good he looks for his age. We never see him without his hat, though, which for all we know conceals a tiny, white-haired puppeteer. After he sings well yet again, that's the last of the top 64, and we're out.

No we're not, dammit! Steve and the onscreen text tell us, "After The Break," the final 32 will be named. And then we'll be done, right?

It's the next morning, and the last day of Boot Camp, when everyone finds out if they're going to the judges' houses, and people are pretty stressed about it. Like Symphony Howlett. Who the hell is Symphony Howlett, and how are we still meeting new people at this stage? And then there's poor, homeless Dexter Haygood, who is desperate for this big chance. A little tasteless to cut from that to each of the judges being caravanned to the auditorium in the back of his or her own personal SUV. Give one of those things to Dexter, damn! He needs a bigger vehicle to live in! Simon says he's been dreading today, because he knows he's going to have to fight for those of his favorites who no one else likes. Or he could just defer to other people's opinion once or twice? Ha ha, I crack myself up.

Once again, we're reminded that there are going to be four categories that each act will fit into, and the top eight from each category will go home with the judges. Steve tells us that they still don't know which judge gets what category, so there's no stacking the deck. Simon wants to start by eliminating boys, and the first one he reaches for causes Nicole to gasp, "No!" "Here we go," Simon sighs, because he's the only one allowed to have favorites no one else likes. We hear a lot of negative comments over a montage that features Nick Voss, Brennin Hunt, Marcus Canty, some kid, and Skyelor Anderson. Moving onto the girls, Simon shocks everyone by holding up a photo of someone he used to like, although we don't see who she is. Simone Battle (who still expects to move on after last night's faceplant)? Paige Ogle? Drew Ryniewicz? Caitlin Koch? Rachel Crow? As for the groups, they like four or five of them, which is not good news considering they need eight. Are they talking about The Anser? Makenna & Brock? Stereo Stereo Hogzz? 4Shore? 2Squar'd? 10Shun? I made that last one up. Now for the over 30s, and Paula is refusing to take her hands off the photo of one person Simon wants to cut. It gets a little contentious over this category, with Simon calling Paula a hypocrite until she's finally overruled.

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