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

X-Factor, Oct. 13 – Showing Up a Day Late


Paula and Pharrell address the groups, telling them it’s going to be difficult to decide which four acts to keep. She tells them, “Damnit, just bring it.” First up is Anser, who have grown up as best friends. They were at the back of a cattle call line, but have made it this far. They all feel like fish out of water, growing up in the Mormo-heavy Salt Lake City. They are setting out to prove the recording contract belongs to them. 

Pharrell points out that one of them has decided to not wear his glasses that he thought was cool. They sing Less Than Perfect. It changes the whole feel of the song to be done a cappella and a group. Pharrell says the kids with the glasses, or lack thereof, is the monster.

Enrique tells the Over 30s that he’s in his 30s, and knows they’re at the point where they’ve seen it all and lived through the rejection. Now it’s time for them to just go for it. First up is Dexter, 49, a bar singer from Memphis. He has struggled some in that he always has to be emulating someone else. He’s struggled in his life, but music has always been the thing that kept him alive. He came from that to here, and thought it was gone and that he was washed up. it’s why he gives it his all. He mixes up those James Brown and Mick Jagger personas this time.

Nicole mentions Dexter made it his own, but she would have liked to have heard the song a little more. Enrique calls him entertaining, and figures he could kill it if in his element. Dexter knows he missed some lyrics, but thinks he’ll be moving on, yet cries to host Steve Jones, saying he wants to be the best. Steve tells him it’s not over yet.

Skyelar, 16, of South Haven, Mississippi, is the next to face L.A. and Rihanna. He had his music cut out in his original audition, and just kept going, not missing a beat, impressing the judges. He’s been through a lot – watching his father die of cancer, then losing his brother when he was shot nine times during a robbery. His dream is to be the youngest black country singer. He sings Nobody Knows It But Me, and could be better, but L.A. seems to really be feeling it.

Rihanna feels the dimensions of his voice are incredible and that he has a lot to work with and just needs to be polished. L.A. wonders if he chose country as a genre, or if he’s an authentic country singer. 

Next up in the Girls under 30 is Torah, 21, a student from Tucson, Arizona, who  is working on getting her automotive technology degree, thought singing is definitely her focus. She wants to eventually build race cars on a race track as well. This has been her dream, though, since she could walk and talk. She’s having a little bit of trouble memorizing the lyrics and feels like shes’s losing it. She sings (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and does well with it, not messing up the lyrics.

Simon nodded along with the performance, and can I just note that he looks kind of cute sitting in his jeans and barefoot on a couch outside? He tells the other guys she sounded like a little rock star, yet for him, there’s something that just doesn’t quite get to him.

Next up in front of Paula and Pharrell is Lakoda Rayne, a group put together from four solo acts. They panicked when first finding out they were becoming a group, and one girl walked off saying she wasn’t going to do it, because her heart was saying no, but she felt like she was letting them down. Thinking about it more, she changed her mind. They all flew in and got together at Cari’s house and worked on their group. Lakoda means allies, friendship, and unity, and Rayne means blessings from above. They’re worried today, as it’s their first performance together.

Lakoda Rayne sings Born This Way and really do sound like a solid group together. The struggle for them will be to be a group and not just four solo artists singing together. They’re all cute girls, though, and could do really well as a girl group. It’s too bad Nicole isn’t mentoring them, as she’d know how to get that done. Pharrell knows it must be tough to be thrown together like this. Paula mentions they were believable as the sum of all parts.

Stacy Francis, 42, a stay-at-hom mom from L.A., is next to sing for Nicole and Enrique. She had a little bit of hope after her crowd-pleasing audition, and realized she might just have a shot. This has shown her the possibilities of what life can give her.  To think she could actually belong in this environment is baffling, as she borrowed the dress and shoes she’s wearing. She needs to make it happen. She sings Purple Rain and sounds like she’s already a professional. Enrique looks like he might be getting tears in his eyes, and I think I saw a “what” or “wow” come out of him. Nicole’s neighbors must be loving this concert. 

Stacy breaks down after and says this is everything to her and she doesn’t want it to end here. Nicole tells Enrique she doesn’t understand, because she has all this talent, but will only be as great as her fears and insecurities.


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