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

The X Factor, Sept. 12 – Simon and His Harem

Wednesday night’s season premiere of The X Factor was definitely a success. As narcissistic as it might seem, Simon Cowell’s decision to now go with three females at the judging table with him was a good move, at least these particular three. Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio all got along really well together and also related well to Simon. They all seemed comfortable. Britney Spears just never seemed comfortable in that role last year, and the L.A. Reid/Simon arguments were never fun. Tonight should tell us whether or not it was a fluke or whether this will be a successful group of judges

Auditioner: Yosselin Marquez, 21, is very excited to see Paulina after following her career. But she believes she will be better than her. At least she knows her name. She asks Simon what his name is, surprising everyone, especially him.

Song: Only Girl

Me: She pulls out her cell phone to read the lyrics and sing along, and even worse, she sings bad.
Simon: He calls her nutty as a fruitcake.
Demi: Yosselin has the X factor.

Auditioner: Thomas Weiderspon, 19, from Greeley, CO, a ranch hand.

Song: Your Man

Simon: He asks if Thomas has ever gotten a shirt back from the laundry with too much starch, as that’s how he sang – stiff.
Paulina: “No.”

Auditioner: Carrigan Bradley, 15, from Fort Gibson, OK. She’s spent time on the beauty pageant circuit.

Kelly: She wants to see more of an edge.
Simon: It’s like trying to chop down a tree with a banana, meaning it’s just not going to work.

Auditioner: Amber Ferrari, 41, from Shirley, WY, an accountant.

Simon: Her singing is like a goldfish trying to be a shark.

Auditioner: K +B, a duo, 22 and 23, from Puerto Rico, best friends

Song: La Vida Loca

Simon: He believes they sound like two 3-year-olds who have the flu trying to sing.

Auditioner: Sean Harris, 28, from Denver, a temp worker.

Song: Amazing Grace

Me: It’s neither amazing or graceful.
Demi: With Simon’s accent, she compares Sean to an elephant trying to skydive with a tiny parachute indoors.
Simon: He believes these are the worst auditions, and that Demi’s accent is getting better.

Auditioner: Rylie Brown, 15, Lee’s Summit, MO. She’s been practicing one song so much, because she knows it’s rare to find this opportunity, as there are people here who have been singing as long as she has been alive.

Song: Clarity

Me: It sounds like autotune at first, and then she forgets the lyrics. She is much more comfortable afterwards and hits her stride.
Simon: While she did mess up, he asks who cares when you have a voice like that. He doesn’t think they’ve heard a voice like that on a 15-year-old.
Demi: She notes Simon never says that and doesn’t think she sounds 15.
Paulina: She believes Rylie’s life is about to change forever.
Kelly: Hearing an uncertainty, she believes they can help her with that.

Auditioner: Jeffrey Brinkman, 36, from Longmont, CO, a doggy day care owner. He wouldn’t be here except his daughter was born six weeks early, which he thinks is like her giving him thumbs up.

Song: You Are So Beautiful

Me: It’s a perfect song for a new dad, and he fills it with emotion. The audience gives him a standing O.
Kelly: She loves his sincerity and how he means every word.
Paulina: The raspy voice is one she loves, and she finds it fresh and original.
Demi: Jeffrey has a beautiful recording voice that’s going to sell records.
Simon: It was a brilliant, brilliant vocal from a naturally great voice.

Auditioner: Jocelyn Hinton, 34, from Pittsburgh, unemployed. She has no formal training yet considers herself a diva.

Song: Firework

Me: She forgets the words and is flat, but has power.
Simon: The best part was when she forgot the words. She sings something else and won’t stop. She keeps singing different songs until Simon walks her offstage himself.

Auditioner: Rachel Potter, 29, from Nashville, a bartender. She’s afraid of going after her dreams of being a country singer but doesn’t want to live with regret.

Song: Somebody to Love

Me: Not a single mistake to be found. The female judges give Rachel a standing O.
Paulina: She sees an amazing powerful future for her.
Kelly: “Just a beast.”
Simon: It seemed like a performance she’s been wanting to give for a long time to prove a point … and she did.
Demi: Rachel has the look and the best voice she’s heard. It’s the easiest yes she’s given in both seasons.

Auditioner: Jorge Pena, 22, from Long Island, but originally from Colombia, drives an ice cream truck but is lactose intolerant. He feels he has yeses from the lady judges already believing he just needs to smile and wink.

Song: Amami

Me: His personality is really icky and he sings nasally.
Demi: After he calls her “Woman,” she admonishes him for doing it, telling him what’s really cute and sexy is humility.
Kelly: Not understanding the Spanish songs, she knows he could be telling her she looks like a donkey, and after he started getting slick with her girl, he was acting like a donkey.
Simon: When Jorge tries to defend himself and make it work, Simon tells him to zip it for the next two minutes. He also orders a raspberry ripple.
Paulina: She tells him in Spanish to change his attitude.

Auditioner: Simone Torres, 19, from Long Island. She’s always been kind of quirky, and speed rapping is one of her favorite things to do onstage.

Song: Mustang Sally

Me: No rapping is found here, just some great bluesy rock.
Paulina: Simone was so fresh when she was walking, then started singing.
Demi: She loved watching the light in her eyes sparkle and knows everyone just wants to hug her
Kelly: It’s one of the best auditions they’ve had all day.
Simon: It’s not a question of him thinking it’s the best audition; he knows this was the best audition.
Simone’s dad: He knows he did something right in order to call himself her dad.

Auditioner: Russ Poulliot, 56, from Littleton, CO, owns an investment business. He’s a crooner who wants to bring back the love songs and thinks he has a butt-load of natural talent.

Song: Can’t Help Falling in Love

Me: I wanted to like him, but there is far too much vibrato.
Kelly: She asks if he had fun, saying that’s all that matters.
Paulina: He did a lot of “ah ah ah ah,” and less is more with that.
Simon: It sounded like he was drowning, but he’s a nice guy.
Demi: She feels like if he had a British accent he would sound like Simon singing. Kelly brings the mic to Simon, and what do you know, he has vibrato just like Russ.

Auditioner: Roxxy Montana, a group with three sisters – T.R., Tanisha, and Temperance Moten, 20, 21, and 22, from Detroit Michigan, in culinary, art, and real estate.

Song: One Night Only

Me: Great harmony
Simon: Temperance’s voice is much better than the other two. He asks to hear something else, and they sing a church song a cappella.
Demi: Wow.
Kelly: It’s been a long time since they’ve heard a girl group singing their faces off.
Paulina: Roxxy Montana is blowing them away.
Simon: They’re really good together, and have a secret weapon in Temperance. They need work on their vocal harmonies, but that’s something the show can help them with. He sees them as potentially the best group they’ve ever had on The X Factor.

Auditioner: Al Calderon, 19, from Long Island, a restaurant host who is their designated Happy Birthday singer.

Song: Sara Smile

Me: It’s one of my favorite songs, but might be too big for him, yet he affects people. Training would do him well.
Kelly: If she were a teen, she’d want to go on a date with him. Simon notes the lack of a time machine, and Demi notes time machines don’t even travel far enough back in time for him.
Demi: She has a feeling he won’t be working at the restaurant anymore.
Paulina: “Bravissimo.”
Simon: There were tuning issues, but he chalks that up to inexperience and nerves. He has potential with his looks and charisma.

Auditioner: Denise Weeks, 41, from New York City, a subway singer. Her children’s father died when they were young, and this is how she made money to provide for her children. Now that they’re grown, it’s time for her to live out her dream.

Song: The Greatest Love of All

Me: At first she isn’t nearly as good as I expected.
Simon: He tells her she’s rushing it and singing with no emotion and asks her to sing without the trac behind her. After, he asks why no one ever came up to her and told her she should be doing something bigger, and she figures it’s because she was waiting for The X Factor.
Demi: She has a feeling Denise will be singing for lots of people someday.
Paulina: Denise is the one they’ve been waiting for tonight.
Kelly: They have been waiting for Denise period.

This looks so far like it’s going to be a really good season. All the talent put through I have agreed with, and there isn’t any acts left behind that I think should have gone through either. Hopefully it will stay like that all season. And hopefully the judges will continue to get along this well.

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