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X-Factor, Sept. 28 – My Kind of Town


L.A. tells 4Shore that BabyFace and Boyz would be just as proud as he is. Nicole thinks their harmonies were beautiful together. She appreciated the little concert they did for them. Paula found their harmonies impeccable and spot on. Simon has always wanted to find an artist who could be a success all over the world and that American’s could be proud of. He thinks they could be proud of 4Shore. They get four yeses.

Elaine Gibbs, 53, a wedding singer, looks at least twenty years younger and not like a grandmother at all. She’s a great soulful singer with You’ve Got a Friend. It’s why Nicole loves this show. She gets four yeses.

Francesca Duncan, 17, a high school graduate, is called adorable by Paula. She sings Hero, and does very well. She gets four yeses as well. A bunch of other people are shown singing fantastic and make it through as well.

Tiger Budbill, 42, a wedding DJ (he needs to get together with Elaine), sings What’s Going On, with one fantastically long note. Nicole says yes, because she likes his name. So does Paula. L.A. votes no, as they’ve seen some great talent, and he’s not sure Tiger qualifies. Simon puts him through with his third yes.

Phillip Lomax, 21, a pat-time waiter, sees himself as a bit of a hipster and thinks hats are really coming back in style. Music has always been there with him. He loves performing and is absolutely going to seize this moment. As he shouts out to the crowd that he loves Seattle, Washington, Simon cracks that he needs a little more confidence. He sings Fly Me to the Moon with the same confidence. Paula seems to love his swagger, while L.A. sizes him up. Nicole and L.A. finally get into it, and Simon warms to him as well.

Simon tells Phillip he thinks part of being a star is self-belief. He has a certain charisma, although there is an issue with his voice when he pushes it. He’s interesting, though, and he likes him. L.A. thinks Phillip could be a star, and that he does have the X-Factor. Paula agrees he has that natural thing that happens onstage. Nicole found him to be charming. Simon notes his voice is still way off, but votes yes anyway, along with everyone else. As Phillip leaves the stage, Simon tells the others he hasn’t listened to a word they’ve said.

With Paula and Nicole rejecting many of the women, to which Simon starts announcing “D.O.A.” when they just walk onstage, the Pink Stilettos, a group of girls ages 19-24 takes the stage and sings Bye Bye Bye. They’re all wearing read high heels and shorts and capris. It’s a no-go.

Ivana Steelman, 20, a student wearing black hot pants and spiked heels sings Hey Big Spender. Simon remarks she reminds him of Nicole and what he thinks she’d be doing auditioning at 20 years old. She corrects him, saying she was actually in a show called Pop Stars at that point and auditioning with I Will Always Love You. She tells him to look it up online, then launches into a great rendition of the song, to Paula’s pure enjoyment. Ivana just walks off.

Tiah Tolliver, 19, a deli clerk, has a dream to be known worldwide. She notes people are constantly complimenting her on her lips and noticing her lipstick, which is bright, bright red. She brought one supporter with her, her fiancé. Paula thinks she’s a little firecracker. She explains she’s unique because she loves to be in front of people and wants to go double and triple platinum. Simon thinks she looks like a killer. Singing Impossible, she’s not really singing as much talking the words, yet the audience starts to get into it.

Paula remarks Tiah doesn’t stay on key. L.A. thinks she has a wonderful thing about her, but wishes he could hear her singing with a track instead of just a cappella. Simon has a wonderful feeling about her and thinks she has something. Nicole brings up that Tiah can’t stay on key, and that’s why they’re looking for something with a track. Simon tells her they don’t need a track to be able to tell if she has it. Paula reminds him you can choose whatever key you want, but you have to stay in that key. If she can’t see this, Simon thinks she’s deaf. Nicole informs him he’s not making any sense. They’re just trying to help Tiah out, because what she just did didn’t convince her. Simon knows “this girl was dead on arrival” the minute she walked out.

In a vote, the girls vote no, and the guys vote yes. Simon tells them they’re not giving the girl a chance. L.A. asks if there’s anything she can do to turn the other two around. Tiah comes back with It Don’t Mean a Thing and seems to have something more with this song. It’s a much better audition than the last song. Simon begs Nicole and Paula, and asks the audience for their input. They are affirmative. Nicole remembers when Tiah first came out, Simon said she had “steel in her eyes.” And when she performs, she sees it, but she needs her to work on her vocals. She gives her a chance and says yes. Paula doesn’t seem happy.

Afterwards, Paula argues her point, saying they can all see Tiah is a star, and Simon reminds her she said no. Paula gets upset with him and hits his hand that’s holding a cup of peanuts, spilling them. Simon calls her mature, but she just wishes it were juice in there.

Maybe it’s a male/female thing, as I’m on Nicole and Paula’s side with Tiah. We didn’t see quite the show of talent we saw last week, and that’s a puzzling thing since I know the talent was there in Chicago. There were a few acts that I couldn’t wait to see, and only two iffy ones from the audition day I attended were included. This means that just like like Idol, they’re holding out on us, waiting for the next step in the auditions before pulling out some of the best talent.

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