The second week of THE X FACTOR auditions included some very interesting auditions along with some runaway talented memorable ones. Three of the days left the panel of mentors with three instead of four when Paulina Rubio was gone for two days because on one she had a concert, and for the other day she was sick. Simon was also missing on another day. Even so, there was no shortage of harsh critiques by the mentors with Demi and Kelly picking-up pointers from Simon’s typical truthful statements as they delivered some of their own brutal honesty – starting in Los Angeles, CA.
Cynthia and Shirley – NO vote
First up were Cynthia (24 years old) and Shirley (16 years old) who sang “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five. The girls may have possessed the star appearance, but their voices fell flat, as Simon chewed them out for being “one of the worst groups we’ve ever had on the show.” Simon said, “It was like a competition for who could sing the worst. You both win.” What Kelly said may have been more hurtful than Simon’s comment. She told one of them to “come back without your sister.” Simon left things with “I’m going to have to officially break-up Shirley and Cynthia.” The sisters were upset and said that they would not break-up their twosome.
Watch Shirley and Cynthia sing “I Want You Back” HERE
Josh Levi – YES vote
Next up was Josh Levi (14 years old), a recent transplant from Huston, Texas, singing Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It.” Levi had the style and swagger with vocals to agree. Confident and on pitch, the judges agreed Levi possessed enough “X factor” to make it to the next round. Kelly Rowland deemed him “A star!” Simon agreed. His move to sing to mentor Demi was not un-noticed. She said, “When you started singing to me, I wasn’t prepared for that. Thank you! Not only can you sing, but you are an artist.”
Watch Josh Levi sing “Come and Get It” HERE
Drama, Drama – NO, NO vote
Next up, the group Drama, Drama consisting of Michelle, Natalie, Madison, and Jordan (ages 20-24) suffered through a dramatic experience on-stage, unable to coherently explain the meaning behind their group’s name, and then embarrassing themselves through a painful cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” They said they’d like to be like the Spice Girls. Simon pinpointed it as,”Everything about you right now screams ‘old fashioned’ and it just doesn’t seem real.” Simon said “No” on behalf of all of the judges.
Watch Drama Drama and Forever Young are TOO OLD! HERE
Aknu – YES vote
After more then a few groups went up and “old fashioned” seemed to be the theme of groups that couldn’t do much more then stand together we ran into Aknu. The Scott brothers from Los Angles singing ‘Valerie.’ The boys got the crowd going instantly and also could dance and sing surprisingly well. They described their group as “classic” but don’t want Simon to think they are ‘old fashioned’. Demi told them she had the chills, and Simon said it was like watching Motown all over again. Best performance thus far. Simon told them, “I think you may be on the forefront of something.”
Watch AKNU sing “Valerie” HERE
NORTH CHARLESTON S. CAROLINA
Brandi Love – YES vote
Moving south to Charleston, Paulina is back and we’re in full swing. First-up meeting Brandi Love, 21-year-old Orthodontic Assistant who seems very down to earth singing ‘Up To The Mountain.’ The kind of girl I want to root for, Love has a great voice, but I wasn’t in love with her song choice. Paulina told Love “You’ve got the X Factor honey!!” Kelly told the singer it was great to see her “get lost in the song,” and Demi saying “My favorite thing that comes together is when someone is able to bring Country music and add soul to that. I’m from Texas, you took me home!” Simon said she has sincerity and she is “real.” The mentors voted with Four BIG YESES
Watch Brandie Love sing “Up to the Mountain” HERE
YES votes went to: Millie Thrasher, Timmy Thames, Yellow House Canyon, along with other singers who all had brief auditions, and all got four yeses! Simon told Millie “I see huge potential in you.” He told 13-year-old Timmy Thames “I just got this feeling about you right now,” and said he is going to become a star. On “Yellow Hot Canyon,” Simon said, “I like you. I think you have a great spirit.” The other mentors agreed and said they are great people.
Vincent Crisostomo – NO vote
Now moving over to Long Island. Vicente Crisosotomo a 29-year-old Italian from New York who has a bodyguard and works at a bagel store. Vincent felt the need to sign autographs backstage. After telling the mentors that he looks-up to rappers Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.) and Tupac Shakur, he confused them by choosing to sing LeAnn Rimes “How Do I Live Without You.” This whole audition seemed to be a joke. I’m ready for it to end, he can’t sing and I’m pretty sure he’s aware. The mentors agreed. Kelly asked him, “did you rehearse that song? Did someone listen to you?” Simon said that he’s been doing this for a really long time and Vincent’s voice is “one of the worse” he’s ever heard. Demi keep it real and told him to get new friends. “Just the people that you are surrounding yourself with that are telling you that you’re good. You need new friends.”
After the smack-down the mentors gave him, Vincent was still confident with himself and said “By Simon saying It’s horrible makes me want to hit him. Someone else will take me in and Simon will miss-out on the money.”
NORTH CHARLESTON S. CAROLINA
Carlos Guevara – YES vote
Sixteen-year-old Carlos from Lexington South Carolina has turrets, but he’s not letting it hold him back. He sang “Gravity” by John Mayor. Carlos can sing better than half the contestants that aren’t battling turrets. His energy is contagious and he can defiantly hold a tune. Paulina spoke to Carlos first, “I don’t know you, but I feel really proud of you. You have an amazing voice and great energy.” Kelly said she was so happy to be in that room to witness the performance. Simon told Carlos, “You’re not a victim. You have this issue. Most important is you haven’t let that stop you from doing what you’re doing. You have a great voice.” Four yeses.
Watch Carlos Guevara sing “Gravity” HERE
Chloe J and CJ- NO – Majority Vote (One Yes from Simon)
A Party in the Atmosphere!
Best friends Chloe and CJ, met in hair school. They have big personalities. I really wanted them to blow me away, but unfortunately not much happened and they really couldn’t sing. Surly no one has told them they should pursue a career in singing. While standing on stage after their audition, Chloe told them that she was nervous and “It ain’t easy coming up in here singing in front of you people.” Simon said “You are both absolutely awful. I don’t know which one is the worse singer…and your face says it all” (he was referring to Chloe’s angry expression). The mentors agreed. Chole starred Simon down, then walked over to him and kissed him all over his head and neck. When she was done, Simon then said, “I’m going to say Yes!”
Later in THE X FACTOR booth, Chloe sent Simon a personal message, “I’m in Cleveland if you want to come get it Daddy!”
Watch Chloe J and CJ sing ”River Deep – Mountain High” HERE
Four or Five more contestants with fast auditions also got to move onto the next rounds.
Colton Pack – YES vote
Colton Pack was next up, from a small town in West Virginia called Danese. The town has only one stop sign. When they heard of his X Factor audition, they rented a charter bus for the whole town to come to support him. Colton claims he’s somewhere in between a good boy and bad. Simon decided bad. Colton dreams of being a country star. Singing ‘Hicktown’ by Jason Aldean. The boy can defiantly sing. Paulina seemed smitten by him. She said, “I like you baby. I love your presence,” then growled at him as if she is a cougar. Demi told him it was pitchy at times but that he has a “natural stage presence.” Simon on the other hand said, “I really, really, really, like you.” He also told him that there is a market for someone like him now and that they mentors can help his vocals get better. Four yeses.
Watch Colton Pack sing “Hicktown” HERE
Simon is missing from the next audition.
Danni Gimer – YES vote
Danni Gimer, from northern California, says she’s a big reader, and seems really awkward. Singing ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ by The Animals. I almost fell over when I heard her sing, because I was really expecting this one to be a joke. I enjoyed this whole audition and actually want more. Girl can sing. Demi Said, “YOU ARE IT.” One mentor said, “You did really great and I’m going to tell Simon that he missed it.”
Danni reacted by stating, in school she doesn’t get noticed, and “now I’m here. No one’s ever treated me like this. It’s nice!”
Watch Danie Geimer sing “The House of the Rising Sun” HERE
Jeff Gutt – YES vote
Jeff Gutt, back from last season came on the stage refreshed. Jeff has the cutest kid whom all the judges seem to love, and I’m pulling for him before he even starts his song. Singing ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ by Aerosmith the mentors stopped him half way through. Simon told him he sounded like he was impersonating Aerosmith vocal lead Steven Tyler. “That’s not a good thing. I’m really disappointed in you.” But, Simon gave him a chance to redeem himself. Simon asked Jeff what else did he have. Jeff then sang ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. This performance resulted in a standing ovation from the audience and from Demi. Paulina said, “You own it. Just the fact that you came back and you love what you do. I completely understand where you’re coming from.”
Simon told him that after Jeff’s many years of doing gigs, that he’s picked-up some bad habits along the way such as not pronouncing the words. But, the way he hit the high point at the end of the song impressed Simon. “The end was sensational” said Simon. Demi said to Jeff regarding his comeback, “Timing is everything. You weren’t suppose to be here last year. You’re suppose to be here now.”
Watch Jeff Gutt sing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” HERE
Overall, the night showed us some disasters, but also a lot of talent and this season is shaping up to be an interesting show with a lot of competition.
Night two of week two’s auditions started in North Charleston, South Carolina.
NORTH CHARLESTON S. CAROLINA
Andrew Scholz- Yes vote
Good Thing Simon Was There
All of the female mentors disliked Andrew’s audition and were ready to give him the boot. But, luckily, Simon was there and wanted to give him another go. Simon said, “I disagree with all of these guys. You have charisma which is part of the X Factor.” He turned to the other mentors and said, “We would be crazy to let go of something like that. I genuinely believe that.”
Simon asked him if he had anything else. Yes, he did. Andrew sang a country song. Magically, the mentors that were against him, were now for him. Demi said, “I’ll start it off by saying that totally changed everything. That made more sense than the first song” Paulina said “yes.” Simon told him, “I’m glad you had that second song. I would go country with you. You are lucky to have me on the panel today. I’m going to say yes as well.”
Watch Andrew sing “Too Close” and “A Little More You” HERE
Blake Shankle – NO vote
He’s a 19-year-old student, pretty boy Blake looks like a much younger version of David Beckham said he wants to be “the most famous person in the world.”
After he proved to the mentors that he didn’t have any singing talent, Demi said, “You have a look and the girls love it. It was really, really theatrical.” Paulina agreed, “I feel you pose a lot. You study every move.” Simon said, “What kind of singer do you want to be? Blake answered with “R & B”. Simon was perplexed and gave-up on him. They sent him off with a “no” vote.
Watch Blake Shankle sing “Jar of Hearts” HERE
Chrissy Harris – NO vote
Ready to Call it A Day
Harris is from New Orleans. She described herself as “If Beyonce and Rihanna had a baby.” Okay, someone needs to tell her that, that just isn’t possible. It was a foreshadow to her audition. Because after Harris sang ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna, Demi said, “If you could hear yourself, you probably wouldn’t want to.” It was a “no.”
Other auditioners tried to stand-out in lew of having solid talent. Ashylyn got out of a cake. Another contestant sang in Pig Latin. There were so many “no” votes coming from the mentors that Simon wanted to leave and call it a day.
Paulina missed another day on her new job when she fell ill. The panel is temporarily left with only three mentors.
Ellona Santiago – YES vote
The Girl in the Red Jacket
Santiago is a 16 year old student from San Lorenzo, Ca. She sang “Wings”. It was all quite and cute coming from her while speaking to the mentors. But, once the music started, Ellona had a totally different personality which showcased calm and confidence.
“I thought it was so cute how you were “yes, not, and really shy. Then it was ‘oh my word, who is this person. Whoever that girl was she came out and did business.” Said Kelly
Simon said, “Ellona you are the girl I think I want to work with the most now in this competition.” She asked Simon if she remembered her from season one. She was in Paula’s group. Simon did not recognize her right away. But, Ellona told Simon that she was in group Intensity during season one and they were in the Top 12 but were booted off of the show. Simon did finally remember her as “the girl in the red jacket.”
Demi told Ellona, “Had I been here your season, you would have gone through. We are going to have fun this season and make sure Simon never ever forgets you.”
Watch Ellona Santiago sing “Wings” HERE
NORTH CHARLESTON S. CAROLINA
Paulina is back!
Simon ruined another non-singing, non-talented young person’s dream by telling him, “When someone I hate gets married, I’m going to ask you to perform.”
Stone Martin - YES vote
He Has a Way With the Ladies
14 year old from Hartsville, SC. During his audition, the young girls in the audience was responding in a positive way by swooning and oohing and ahhing over him. After his audition, more women responded positively – the mentors! “Wow, wow, wow! I love you. I think since your 14, you’re still getting to know your voice. You only scratch the surface,” said Kelly. Demi responded with , “these little girls over here are dying. I think that’s really powerful.” Paulina said, “There’s something very special about you. I think your life is about to change forever.”
Simon said, “I think you have an incredibility likeability about you. But you also have this star glow about you. I really, really like you.”
Watch Stone Martin sing “Little Things” HERE
Ashly Williams – YES vote
Just Scratched the Surface
The most impactful audition of the night came from 24 year old Ashly Williams from Los Angeles whose Mother was murdered when Ashly was only fourteen-years-old. She sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” in a way we are sure was dedicated to her mother.
Kelly told here, “Its funny you are saying thank you to everybody. But thank you baby girl for spilling your heart out in that vocal.” Paulina reacted with, “That was an amazing performance.” Demi was speechless and said she had, “chills all over my arms and legs. There’s a place in the market for you said Demi.
Simon rejoiced in his American market by saying, “This is why we brought the show to America is to find someone like you. I think we just scratched the surface with you. Because you are seriously good.” Demi called first debts on Ashly when she said wants to mentor Ashly.
Watch Ashly Williams sing “I Will Always Love You” HERE
- Reported by: Ryland Adams
NEXT UP Check out the singers from THE X-FACTOR USA’s third week of auditions in our article Going to Be Classic! THE X FACTOR USA – 2013 Auditions Week 3