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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 are going to hear The Brewer Boys next. The older brother is more like the goofy guy and social butterfly, which the younger brother admits is the complete opposite of him. They sing at local events. They’re singing a Rihanna song, Only Girl in the World, interestingly enough, so it’s a shame they’re not at L.A.’s place. It’s definitely a different take on the song, but I have to admit, it’s my favorite performance of theirs.

Pharrell tells Paula the Brewer Boys are good, but there are people coming in there where the harmonies are a prerequisite. I’m not sure if he means that in a bad or good way for them. Paula notes it sometimes isn’t good enough. 

Phillip Lomax, 22, a student from Seattle, is also doing a Rihanna song, except he’s actually performing for Rihanna and L.A. He’s rearranged Please Don’t Stop the Music completely, which makes him a little nervous. He’s worried that his Sinatra-type style isn’t something L.A. is looking for. He finds his place with this song, but I do prefer him on the Sinatra-type hits. 

L.A. notes the Sinatra rendition of Rihanna’s song, and she admits it was very charming. Phillip was very sure about what he was doing with this rendition. Phillip tells Steve the only thing he can do is his absolute best. L.A. knows he’s attempting to do something that’s original, but he’s not sure if it will work commercially.

In Malibu with Nicole and Enrique is Elaine Gibbs, 53, of L.A. She sings for birthday parties, weddings, corporate events, etc. She finds being here in the judges’ homes gives her confidence, as it’s almost at the forefront. She sings Stop Crying Your Heart Out, and is another that makes you question why she is 53 and has this huge talent, but has never gone anywhere with it. Nicole asks Enrique if he thinks she’s a superstar, and he thinks her confidence could make her a star.

Caitlin Koch, 21, a rugby coach from Buffalo, is up next at Simon’s house. I don’t know what it is about her, but she’s always surprising to me. She started singing in church when she was young, and this could be a huge life-changing opportunity. She sings Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow with a definite pureness. She just has a quality that makes you love her, even though you expect to be able to just pass her by. Her performance ends up being naked somewhat as she ends it in near tears, pulling some emotion out. Simon tells the other guys her performance was fantastic, and that he loved the phrasing and the way she brought the song up.

Nick Voss, 22, forgot his lyrics in Boot Camp, but still made it here. He wants to show them he can overcome it. He’s been told it’s too hard, and that he’ll probably never have the opportunity to do what he wants to do, but he can’t do anything else. He doesn’t belong anywhere else but on the stage. He sings Everybody Wants to Rule the World and starts it very weakly, but finds his place with it in the chorus. It’s definitely not an improvement on the original.

Rihanna asks L.A. how this performance stacked up to his others. L.A. admits he was better before. He notes they have a $5 million prize, so he needs to be of that caliber. Nick tells the others, though, that he was hitting it in his zone.

4Shore, ages 21-13, of Virginia Beach, are up next to perform for Paula and Pharrell. L.A. had originally told them that he was proud of them, and Boyz II Men would be as well, after they performed their hit. They’ve shared this dream since they were kids. It’s extremely important for them to make it to the last shows. The worst thing possible would be for someone else to run in front of them and win the race. They sing If You Love Me and sound great while pulling off some good choreography.

Paula wanted more, and wanted 4Shore to keep going. She notes they sound so refined, she wants to “dirty it up a little bit.” Pharrell sees that as the only con, that they need to dirty up their style. They’re very technical, but they need to bring songs to life. The group tells Steve they laid it all out there. 

It’s back to Malibu with Nicole and Enrique to hear James Kenney, 34, a waiter from West Hollywood. He compares performing to breathing. It’s something he needs to do. He has five jobs to make a living right now, and is also a daddy and husband. There have been some moments in the competition when he’s about to crack, as one word could change it all. This is not just about changing his life, but about getting the life that his children and wife deserve. It’s yet another Rihanna song, Russian Roulette. He has a lot of passion when he sings. The question is if it’s for his music, or his desire for a better life.

Enrqiue sees James in a Maroon 5 type of environment and totally sees him being like a rock star. This makes Nicole question if he’s a solo artist, and if he can do it without a band. James tells Steve he was emotionally connected on every level and did the best he could with what he has.

Last up for the night is Drew Ryniewicz, 14, of Chino Valley, Arizona. She’s the big Bieber fan. She loves France and is so excited to be here, as she’s from a small town. This is so important to her and she wants it so badly. She has been praying her butt off. For Simon, she sings It Must Have Been Love, and there is something so pure and simple and sweet about this performance. It’s almost uncomfortable to see this young girl so … naked.

Simon tells the other guys it was amazing that she’s only 14 years old. Savan, the vocal coach, notes they need to define that special tone in her voice. One of the producers says that he believes Drew is still too young. Simon just says, “Yeah, it breaks your heart.” Well, what does that mean? Good or bad?

We’ll see the rest of these performances at the judges’ homes in a special Sunday night airing. This is because of the baseball playoffs that delayed Wednesday night’s show to Thursday night. Make sure those DVRs are set!

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