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

X-Factor, Oct. 18 – Simon and His Plus One


Skyelor Anderson, 16, Southaven, Mississippi, is known as the black guy that sings country. He likes that genre becuse of the story it tells. Nick Voss, 22, of Hialeah, Florida, has wanted to be a star since he was 5 years old. He needs the opportunity for himself and his family. Brennin Hunt, 26, a graphic designer from Nashville, again mentions his age, feeling he’s getting too old for the industry standard. He may seem confident, but he’s really insecure. Phillip Lomax, 22, of Seattle, is worried that his style of singing is so particular and could be considered old-fashioned. These four guys are up next to hear their judgements from L.A. 

L.A. tells Nick there are moments of brilliance that he loves, but he struggles with thinking he hasn’t quite found his place as an artist yet. He tells Skyelor he thought his performance here was particularly good, but to be so specific about country, he finds limits him. Brennin hears that L.A. thinks his voice is amazing and that he really is a star. At the same time, he feels it’s a turbulent ride. L.A. found real moments of beauty in Phiillip’s voice, but he can’t have him giving him Sinatra every night. Nick, Skyelor, and Brennin won’t be moving on. Phillip is going through, because L.A. believes in him. Phillip promises to make him proud, and walking away, collapses a little.

It’s back to France with Simon. Up next to hear her judgement is Jazzlyn Little, 16, of Cape Coral, Florida, who knows confidence is her biggest obstacle. It’s terrifying to her, but throughout that, she still wants it. Simon explains that what he first loved about her when he first met her was her grit, yet that ended up being polished off in her time with the show. She’s here because of her potential, and because when she gets it together and believes in herself, she’s a great singer, and he thinks people will like her, because he likes her. He has to let her go, though. He wraps her up in his arms after giving her the news. Simone consoles her.

Leroy Bell, 60, a songwriter from Seattle, notes that each time the stakes get higher. yet that makes him want it more. He doesn’t want it any less than the younger people there. He’s not even close to thinking of retiring. Tiger Budbill, 42, a wedding singer from Bothell, Virginia, knows this show is giving him another chance to do what he loves. He’s not working as much as a DJ, and his house is about to be auctioned off. They get their decisions next from Nicole.

It isn’t possible for Nicole to hide her feelings as she doles out her judgements. She wears them on her sleeve, on her face, and all around her. There is no faking out on her part. She tells Leroy he has a really beautiful voice, and not only is he amazingly talented, but an amazing artist, yet she doesn’t know if he wants it enough. She tells Tiger she was blown away from him in the beginning, and has felt like she has seen him grow in the process. He’s a talented singer and amazing spirit and energy. On the other hand, she doesn’t always connect with him, and she wants more. Tiger isn’t going through, and she cries after she hugs him and he leaves, because he told her he felt his heart drop. Leroy, though, is “so going through.” She claps for the situation and hugs him. 

Chris Rene, 28, a trash collector from Santa Cruz, is next to hear his judgement from L.A. He had told Chris at his audition that Jay-Z and Kanye would be proud of him telling Chris he was the truth, but he had to stay straight. Chris experienced his darkest days in the hospital barely hanging on a few months ago and knew he needed a change. L.A. tells him now that he’s liked him from the beginning, but knows he’s had some struggles. He found his recent performance good, but has heard him better. He wonders if he’s the performer he felt he was from the beginning. L.A. has a better poker face than Nicole. It’s a yes. Chris calls his sister Gina, the one who was cut before making it to the judges’ homes.

Two more groups are up to hear judgements from Paula. They are the two groups created by the audition leftovers. Lakoda Rayne feel everything is on the line. Intensity feels the same, and no one wants it to be over. Paula tells the girl group she sensed an energy that was off with them, and she needs them to connect more and needs to work with them on facial expressions. She informs Intensity that watching them, she saw ten different personalities, and ten different talents. The boys really emerged, but the girls need to work on blending in more. She wondered if they could improve. She chooses Lakoda Rayne to go through, and also chooses Intensity. 

Two more acts are up to hear judgements from Seattle. Caitlin Koch, 21, a rugby coach from Buffalo, knows getting through would be the greatest opportunity in her life. She just wants to performt all the time, but if she doesn’t make it, she will continue with her rugby while singing to no one in a bar. Tiah Tolliver, 20, a deli clerk from Bremerton, Washington, a personal favorite of Simon’s, knows her audition didn’t go the way she wanted it to, and she worked hard for Simon, knowing he was in her corner.

Simon asks Tiah if she did her best, and she thinks she did. When she walked onstage he saw a little star walk out, but she has some pitch issues, and there was so much more that could have come out. The only thing wrong is that he’s the only person that seemed to like her. He wants to know what Caitlin felt about her performance this time, and she thought she really connected with the song, which he agrees with. He thinks she has an interesting voice and is beautiful. Caitlin isn’t going through. He says after he didn’t like doing that. This means Tiah is one of his four. He tells her she has the potential and needs to start believing in herself.

There is one spot and two Guys Under 30 left. Tim Cifers, 30, a sales manager from Willow Springs, North Carolina, says he is your everyday country guy, but his dream is to give his family the life they deserve. This is it for him, as he has to work to support his family, so he can’t quit to pursue a singing career. This will determine the rest of his life. Marcus Canty, 20, of Bowie, Maryland, grew up in a neighborhood that wasn’t the best, and music was what took his mind to a different place. His mom gave him two years, and this is his last chance to make this work. Both of these guys have a lot on the line for this last spot.

L.A. tells Tim he is amazing and he loves his voice tone. Rihanna had found his very humble nature to be very endearing. He knows Tim is doing it for his family, but it might take a little selfishness to become a star.  L.A. informs Marcus that in his last performance, he was really good, and it was a better display of his vocals than he’d heard before. Yet, he’s wondered how Marcus would fit in a musical landscape. Tim is being sent home, even though L.A. thinks he’s really great. This means Marcus is the last of his final four.


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