X Factor
Judges' House #1

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Singing for Their Supper

Back to the Reid Ranch in the Hamptons, and the 16-year-old African-American country singer Skyelor Anderson is next. We're reminded how he kept singing when his track cut off during his first audition, which was a show of gumption more impressive than his actual singing, if you ask me. Skyelor tells us about watching his father die of cancer, and losing a brother in a robbery shooting, all of which is tragic, and then adds that he wants to be the youngest black country singer. Dude, you're there. He joins L.A. and Rihanna on L.A.'s deck, perching on a stool to sing "Nobody Knows it But Me." He's got live musicians this time, and unfortunately he didn't tip them to stop ten seconds into it to cover what I still think is kind of a weak voice. But after he leaves, Rihanna and L.A. seem impressed, although L.A. wonders about Skyelor's authenticity as a country artist. Is that why he made him sing a Babyface song? To flush him out?

Back to France, where it's Tora Woloshin's turn. She's the tattooed mechanic from Tucson, as we're reminded by clips of her clambering around a giant pickup. She's having a little trouble learning the song Simon picked for her, though, and seems pretty nervous about it in an interview. Turns out she's doing a techno remix of "Satisfaction," like, who doesn't know "Satisfaction?" and she's too busy trying to remember the words to put on much of a show. Afterwards, she confesses to Steve that she forgot some of them anyway, while Simon and his flunkies agree that Tora has some star quality, yet somehow fell short of awesome. Maybe if they let her sing while working on a truck.

At Paula's house, it's time for the first Frankengroup. Paige, Haley, Cari, and Dani (like you remember them all individually either) came in as soloists, got the boot at the end of Boot Camp, and then got hauled back to be thrown into a country pop group. For the first time, we learn more about their actual reaction to that news. Paige, for instance, wanted to drop out right away rather than let the others down (or, more likely, split the prize). But then they all converged on Cari's house in New Jersey to practice and take a lot of grainy home videos of it. And their band name, Lakoda Rayne, apparently means allied and blessings from above. So there you go. And they're about to give their first performance ever as a group. We'll see how it goes. They take the stage (actually a shiny parquet patio that looks rather slippery to dance on) and sing a country version of "Born This Way." You heard me. Their choreography isn't exactly in sync, but they don't sound actively bad. Once they're done, Paula thanks them, but before leaving, one of them gives a speech about being thrown together and not having much time and wanting to keep going. Of course they do, there's 1.25 million dollars in it for each of them. That's still 1.25 mill more than they were going to get the first time they lost the competition.

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