Is The X Factor selling itself short with this "special night" stuff? Isn't every night that The X Factor is on automatically special?
The previouslies look like what it must be like to watch this show in Heaven: everything is glowy and fuzzy and is over in just a few minutes. As you recall, we're down to the final 32, 16 of whom sang for their individual judge/mentors at their homes, with the "Boys" at L.A. Reid's house in the Hamptons, the "Girls" at Simon's place in France, the Groups at Paula's digs in Santa Barbara, and the Over 30s with Nicole in Malibu. We're reminded of how Jazzlyn Little was all nervous at her first audition, then blew everyone away. And then she made a nervous mistake at Boot Camp, so of course she's all nervous about singing in front of Simon. Which, I don't blame her, with Simon sitting all creepy on that couch on his pool deck with his shades on and his shirt half-unbuttoned. During rehearsal, the vocal coach is giving her tips on keeping her cool, but when she appears in front of Simon, she's so nervous she can barely breathe. At least not until she goes into a slow R&B version of "I Will Survive," and actually seems to be enjoying herself by the end. Simon seems satisfied with her performance, but the same vocal coach who was helping Jazzlyn earlier describes her as "a little high-school talent show." Harsh!
Over to the Reid Ranch in the Hamptons, where pretty boy Brennin Hunt is about to perform for L.A. and Rihanna. We flash back to Brennin's first audition, and catch up with him as he makes world-weary pronouncements to the other "Boys" from his advanced age of 26. He interviews that he wants to be the biggest star in the world, bigger than Lady Gaga. Why doesn't anyone ever say they want to be bigger than Rhett Miller or Neko Case? Anyway, he gets up on L.A.'s back deck and sings in a way that shows he can either sing or be good looking, but not both at the same time. Rihanna tells L.A. that Brennin's "a little bit corny." Agreed. But as he rejoins the other boys in the living room, he says he'd be even happier with his performance if he weren't such a perfectionist.
More X Factor on Tuesday? The hell?
Over to Villa Abdul, where the Stereo Hogzz from Houston are about to perform for Paula and Pharrell. They sing a rock version of "Heard it Through the Grapevine," mostly showcasing one of the singers while the other four pretty much keep themselves busy dancing and harmonizing now and then. They're very tight, though. After they leave, Pharrell nails down his interpretation of the lead singer as an "old Motown guy meets Ginuwine," impressing Paula so much that she jumps out of her chair and literally won't let go of his hand. Pharrell's thinking, "How many more of these?