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

X-Factor, Sept. 29 – Boot Camp Ahead


Brennin Hunt, 26, a graphic designer, plays music, and has been doing modeling on the side. He wishes he was 25. He knows he already has a strike against him for looking the way he does. Image is important, and if another guy had on what he does, people would think he was someone important. He definitely believes he has the X factor. His ultimate goal is to rule the world. He prepared for this by playing arenas and small venues. Simon wonders why he doesn’t have a deal since he has so much going for him. He sings an original tune, and is much better than I was ready for. I wanted to hate him, but can’t. He’s totally hot and sings really smooth as well. He could really be big.

Simon tells Brennin he has a brilliant voice and a great charisma. It’s about decisions and song choices. He can understand why he hasn’t had a deal yet, as he’s been getting bad advice, but he knows he could work with him and make him into a great artist. Paula notes the tone of Brennin’s voice struck a chord in her heart, and she thinks he’s primed to be on this show. L.A. asks the ladies in the audience if he’s hot. Paula tells him real men can say another man is hot. Simon can do that as he says, “I’m hot.” Back to Brennin, as he gets through with four yeses.

Paige Elizabeth Ogle, 18, a secretary, is willing to take out Justin Bieber so she can have her own place. She sings You and I and has a very unique voice and a look similar to Jewel. Simon tells her it’s the easiest yes for him so far. She gets three more yeses to add to that. Leroy Bell, 59, a songwriter, definitely does not look his age. He sings Lean on Me a cappella and gets the crowd into it. He gets four yeses. The Brewer Boys, ages 13 and 17, students, sing My Heart Beats Like a Drum and get through. Nick Dean, 14, a student, sings what he calls his first single, Walk Away. The male judges nod along with him. Simon found it absolutely terrific, and Nick gets four “big fat yeses.”

Devon Talley, 21, a sales associate, sings Seasons of Love, and not only doesn’t sound good, but doesn’t have the timing down either. He won’t stop as he just keeps singing the chorus over and over again. He announces he has a second song, but Simon quickly gets him away from the idea of singing it. Simon jokes he did like the song, but it was kind of catchy at the end. He asks for the time again of 525,600 minutes, and this just starts Devon singing again. Nicole likes that he brought them all together, but isn’t convinced his version of the song is the best one. Paula likes his spirit, but notes he’s not there yet. It’s a no.

Jazzlyn Little, 16, a student, admits she’s freaking out. She feels like someone just opened up a humongous cage of butterflies into her stomach. She’s afraid of letting her family down. She usually has more stress in the rest of her life, and this is usually an escape from reality for her. She admits she posted one song on YouTube, but Simon tells her it’s terrible she only has 500 hits. He asks if it’s her or the song, and she says her, which brings him to say she’s not selling herself very well. She sings I’m Goin’ Down, and is quite good, surprisingly so. She has no reason to doubt herself so much. I’m guessing the number of hits on that YouTube video just multiplied into six digits tonight.

Jazzlyn gets herself a standing ovation, this girl who doubted herself so much. She says they have no idea what it means to her. L.A. tells Jazzlyn she has a superstar name with a superstar voice. She came out with this shy thing, but is the real thing. Nicole started crying and was feeling it, like she was going down with her. Paula calls Jazzlyn a little gem and a star. Simon wonders what she’d be like with confidence. What he likes about her is that she loves music, takes it seriously and wants to get better, and that’s why they made this show, to give people like her a platform. He believes she can be a star. Simon tells her at the end, “You’ve got four yeses, Kid.” Afterwards, she can only say to her mom, “Simon clapped for me.”

What a great way to wind up these auditions. We left on a real high note, the hope that someone who lacks such confidence could make something of herself. She moves onto Boot Camp, with the rest of the hopefuls. In the previews, we see who I recognize to be choreographer Brian Friedman from So You Think You Can Dance working with them. Only thirty-two acts will survive. Each judge will be assigned a category at that point, and mentor the acts from that group. After watching the auditions these past two weeks, I’m excited.

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