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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

X-Factor, Sept. 28 – My Kind of Town


This sets off a display of odd auditions, including a woman who announces she has cautionary tales to talk about that include aliens, mythical creatures, unicorns, half men/half horse, and psycho fairies. She loves Paula Abdul. This sets off a collection of Paula’s weird talking bloopers. Also included in the weirdness is a person who looks and sounds female, but named Dwayne, and a young woman talking about a crystal child.

Arin Ray, 15, a student, sings Ain’t No Sunshine, and sounds questionable, but gets through.

Josh Krajcik, 30, couldn’t possibly have the same fate. He just doesn’t look like it will go well. His proud mom announces she drove him here. She is sure when Simon hears him sing, he’ll say, “Where have you been?” She thinks he’s gifted and cool and is worried about how her hair looks. He works in a burrito restaurant and smells like onions afterwards. Cheryl is astonished he drove this far. He sings At Last and is surprisingly good! Wow. It’s my favorite performance of this song next to Etta James’.

As Josh’s mom says he killed it, Simon adds he has always said after all these auditions throughout the years, he was never going to be surprised again, but he started singing and blew him away. What he loves about him is that he’s honest and didn’t come out here with any gimmicks. L.A. gets why he’s dressed like that, and he’s not fooling him for a second. It’s his before look, as he’s just too good. Cheryl calls it electric, and Paula says there are just some voices, and the second he opened up his mouth to sing, it got into their skin with that energy. She calls it a treat. L.A. tells him to give the slinging burritos job to someone else. Paula wants him to thank his mom for driving him. He gets four yeses, or 3335 yes, as Simon counts the audience as well.

We move on to Seattle, with Nicole now replacing Cheryl on the judging panel. She’s excited to find some amazing talent, as Paula kills herself with her own bracelet. I understand, but it’s those things that give her a certain rep.

First up is The Good Girls, mother and daughter, and …. there just isn’t anyway to explain them. Trust me on this. Sheree considers her daughter her biggest inspiration, as she got her back into singing. At one time she sang in coffee houses. They spend a lot of time together, yet this audition is the most important thing they’ve ever done. Darwin wants to perform in China, and even studied Mandarin in preparation for it. They want to become legendary figures like Lady Gaga. Paula remembers that the two of them once wrote a screenplay about Simon. It’s shocking to hear that Sheree is 70; she looks much younger.

The Good Girls sing What’s Going On, which is the same thing most of the audience is asking. Simon asks the two if it’s serous. He’s not being rude of course, but calls this the worst group he’s ever heard, and there was no movement. Nicole agrees, saying she likes her music full of life, and this felt kind of lifeless. They hear four noes. They believe the audience was getting into the song.

Drew Ryniewicz, 14, loves Justin Bieber. She thinks he’s so cute because of his hair, and knows that his favorite colors are purple and red. Her dad is a custom carpenter, and her mom does his paperwork. The things she builds are cool, but singing is her passion. Her mom asks if she thinks someday she could sing with Bieber. She hopes so. For that she needs to impress L.A., the music exec responsible for giving the world Bieber. She thinks she might just throw up or pass out. She’s singing Baby of course. She’s excited to sing it for L.A., and doesn’t mind that he might be extra critical. She’s actually pretty good, and puts a slower spin on the song.

After a standing ovation, Nicole tells Drew it’s hard for her, as she’s a real Justin Bieber fan, and she likes the original version of the song, yet it’s interesting, as she prefers her version to his. Simon admits he does too. Paula tells her it was commendable, daring, and bold, and she likes her a lot. Simon thinks this is exactly what he wants a 14 year old to do, as people her age would buy it. He likes her a lot. L.A. calls it original, and liked how she made it hers. It was soulful and believable. He calls her special. For Simon, it’s the easiest yes so far today. She gets four altogether.

Jada, ages 24-31 sing only a few lines, and are stopped right away. L.A. tells them it’s the home of great, great talent, assumably meaning Seattle, and they can’t come out and do that. They get four quick noes. Wow. Cut throat.

Peet Montzingo, 21, a sandwich maker, admits his biggest dream is to be a teen heartthrob. He’s six-foot-one, but the rest of his family are all little people. His dad is the second tallest dwarf in the world. His mom explains he was teased for a long time about his parents, and when he was young, he wanted to be a dwarf, too, feeling like the oddball of the family. The audition is important, as he wants to be so big to prove he can do anything and fit in somewhere. He doesn’t want everyone to know his age, because he’s still wanting to be a teen heartthrob. Simon loves that. Peet feels like this is his moment. He sings Billionaire and isn’t the strongest, but is infectious.

Nicole likes Peet’s rendition and that he has big dreams. He tells her he had to be honest. Simon is kind of with Nicole, but says the singing was terrible. He didn’t like the change of lyrics, but it was horribly honest. L.A. isn’t sure the singing measures up, but thinks he could be famous someday. Paula liked his timing. Simon is fascinated by Peet. He likes people who are ambitious and talented, yet Peet only has one of those. Nicole says no to the singing competition, but could see him in TV and films. L.A. says no as well, but could also see him famous someday. Paula agrees. Peet’s mom thought he sparkled.

After Paula went in the wrong bathroom, 4Shore, ages 20-23, from Virginia Beach, discuss their dreams of being the biggest boy band ever. They want to leave their mark on the world and plan to sing a song that L.A. Reid wrote. They’ve been singing together for three years and when asked if they can sell records, they respond “For Sure.” They announce they’re singing End of the Road, and Simon reminds them it’s an L.A. Reid song. They do pretty well with it in tier harmonies, and L.A. is definitely loving it. Separately their voices aren’t as good, though.

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