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

The X Factor, Sept. 25 – The Right Yes

What the auditioners on The X Factor are looking for are yeses. They want the judges to be so pleased with their performance that they agree to let them continue on in the show. One auditioner tonight gets only two yeses, but they’re perhaps the most important yeses he’ll ever get.

Auditioner: Melanie Wright, 49, Crofton, Maryland. She’s been a paralegal for twenty-six years but is ready to do what her heart has always wanted to do. She wants to be the equivalent of Carrie Underwood. Once they compare themselves to someone like that, it usually means it won’t be a good audition.

Song: Titanium

Me: As expected, she’s not very good, but sadly, she really believes she is.
Simon: It was like finding out Cinderella works at thePlayboy mansion, as she’s not what you see.
Paulina: She enjoyed seeing how happy Melanie is.
Kelly: Her shoes are cute.

Auditioner: Oksana Mamchur, 36, Queens, but originally from the Ukraine. She’s a dental assistant.

Song: I am Your Lady

Me: She’s not one hundred percent terrible, but she’s a far cry from Celine Dion.
Paulina: She doesn’t understand why Oksana chose music.
Simon: In dentistry, she understands all about delivering pain, and that was like being in the chair for three hours without anesthetic.

Auditioner: Rob Zarro, 55, San Gabriel, CA. He is a computer operator and is wearing a really bad, oddly-placed toupe.

Song: Born to Be Wild

Me: It’s hard to decide whether his dancing or singing is worse.
Simon: He found it to be like watching something out of an Austin Powers movie.

Auditioner: Maya Lehmann, 6, NYC. She works as a substitute teacher.

Song: The Final Countdown

Me: The song is completely unrecognizable.
Simon: If Close Encounters of the Third Kind ever happened and they sang, it would probably sound like Maya’s audition.

Auditioner: Ruben Gloria, 26, NYC. He’s a mailroom clerk, and his favorite type of music is pop music.

Song: Like a Virgin

Me: His falsetto is just high-pitched noises.
Simon: Ruben totally reinvented that song.
Kelly: She gives a high-pitched “No!”

Auditioner: Emory Kelly, 15, Holbrook, Long Island. He lives with his mom, a drug and alcohol counselor, and his dad, a retired fireman, and his sister, a NYU college student. He was excited to find out The X Factor was coming to his town.

Song: I Won’t Give Up

Me: He has raw talent that could use a really good coach.
Demi: She thinks he’s cute and has a great voice.
Paulina: She likes his voice, charisma, and appearance.
Simon: He didn’t like the song, but sees Emory as an unpolished diamond.

Auditioner: Khaya Cohen, 15, NYC. Her mom is a midwife, and her dad is in education. She just wants to be a singer for the rest of her life. She’s nervous seeing all the other talented girls there.

Song: Love You I Do/I Put a Spell on You

Me: She has some training to the point where she is confident she is good, but it’s not coming off. Simon interrupts and asks for another song, and she launches into I Put a Spell on You. It’s a world of difference and much better. She’s better with this genre than pop.
Simon: He loves everything about her, and she reminds him of Amy Winehouse and Adele together.
Demi: She is excited to hear a voice like Khaya’s and can’t believe it was coming from a 15-year-old.
Paulina: That tiny little body, voice, and presence were superb.
Kelly: She blew the roof off the place.

Auditioner: Joseph Tolve, 19, Mahopac, NY. Kelly asks if he is hoarse, and he says a little bit. Simon offers him some water. It sounds like his speaking voice is falsetto. It just doesn’t seem natural. He’s singing one of Demi’s songs.

Song: Skyscraper

Me: Joseph’s singing voice isn’t any different than his speaking voice, and on top of it, he’s a little tone deaf.
Demi: While they are looking for unique, this isn’t the right kind of unique.
Kelly: Her idea is that Joseph would be good on a Sesame Street type of show.
Simon: He agrees. The voice is so distinct, he should do something with it. Voiceovers are just one suggestion. He promises that he’ll get calls after this. Joseph believes if he did voiceover work, he’d be an anteater.

Auditioner: James Kenney, 35, Portland. He started making music at the age of 11, but works as an apartment manager to take care of his family. His wife and two little girls are here with him at the audition. Simon remembers him from the first season.

Song: Summertime

Me: I’m used to Fantasia’s version of this song, and this one is definitely different than that, but has a great bluesy/jazzy feel nonetheless.
Demi: His riffs were crazy, and it was a pretty sexy song.
Paulina: She was delighted with his talent.
Simon: The song choice was brilliant.
Kelly: Hell yeah!

Auditioner: Isaac Tauaefa, 23, Corinth, TX, a bouncer. He played college football and wants to prove to himself he can perform on a stage and not just a football field.

Song: Better Man

Me: I can see this audition going either way.
Demi: Maybe football wasn’t his calling, but music is.

Auditioner: Chase Goehring, 17, Nolensville, TN

Song: An original composition

Me: This is another I can see going either way.
Kelly: Finding out he wrote the song, she notes he’s not only a good singer, but a writer too.

Auditioner: Allison Davis, 26, Granada Hills, CA, a waitress.

Song: I’m Goin’ Down

Me: She needs to put some pants on. I think she has shorts on, but they’re really short and worn under an over-sized t-shirt. It’s a bit strange.
Kelly: She’s going to give her a chance and say yes.

Auditioner: Isabel Requena, 24, Los Angeles

Song: I’m Goin’ Down

Me: She and Allison are making it sound like they are singing separate songs instead of the same one.
Simon: She’s going up … with three yeses.

Auditioner: Isaiah Alston, 15, Hamilton, NJ

Song: I’m Goin’ Down

Me: And yet another version of this song. He’s the one to put the most soul into it.
Kelly: She thinks he has potential to be a little Michael Jackson.

Auditioner: David Grey, 31, Baton Rouge. He’ a mechanical engineer and has played baseball his whole life. He’s auditioning for his girlfriend, which the judges tell him is the wrong answer. He knew when he met her that she was the one. Earlier he asked her dad for a pep talk, and it turns out he’s going to ask her to marry him today. He has his first yes of the day.

Song: Nice and Slow

Me: I wish he was good, but he’s not. It appears he really is here supporting his girlfriend.
Simon: He asks if David is auditioning because his girlfriend asked him to, and the answer is about how great she is.

Auditioner: Lauren “Wag” Waguespack, 25, Baton Rouge. She’s a secretary and David’s girlfriend. According to her they both auditioned because they love competing against each other. Kelly wants a tip from her on finding a guy like that.

Song: Teenage Dream

Me: She’s good. Definitely better than her boyfriend. After the music stops, David makes his way onstage and surprises both her and the judges. He gets down on one knee and says he’ll support her in whatever she does, then pulls out the ring. It’s his second yes of the day. Paulina tells them they’re going to have beautiful babies.
Simon: He gives her a no, but it doesn’t really seem to matter at this point.

Auditioner: Tim Olstad, 23, Winona, MN. He’ a restaurant server and is having a hard time controlling his nerves, even when being interviewed backstage. He hopes he has the confidence in front of the judges. While he doubts himself, music is what he wants to do the rest of his life. He’s asked by Demi to tell them something crazy about himself and says his mom was his music teacher and she kicked him out of the classroom a few times.

Song: A Thousand Years

Me: Once he gets into the song, it helps him kick the nerves just a little bit.
Kelly: She feels like his voice came over her like a blanket of love.
Demi: She has the chills and says she gets it. She’s changed her mind and doesn’t want him to do anything bad now.
Paulina: He’s like a little teddy bear, and she wants to hug him forever.

Auditioner: Wesley Mountain, 19, Capitol Heights, Maryland. He’s a parts counter person at a car dealership. Being in front of Kelly is going to be a dream in itself. He wants to tell her she’s beautiful and has grace and talent. He admits to the judges he likes Kelly … a lot. He comes down and kisses her hand, and Simon notes that he was actually panting.

Song: Wanted

Me: He’s actually quite good. This wasn’t just a ruse to meet Kelly.
Simon: He once had a dog who liked steak, and the way he looked at the steak reminds him of how Wesley looks at Kelly.
Demi: At first she thought he was creepy, but he actually has a really good voice.
Paulina: If he really wants this, he needs to keep his feelings apart from everything else.
Kelly: He has a great, beautiful voice.

Auditioner: Celine Polenghi, 16, Miami. The female judges like her outfit.

Song: When You Believe/i>

Me: It’s hard to believe this powerful voice is coming rom a 16-year-old.
Simon: Was it perfect? No. Does she have massive appeal? Yes. He sees a future pop star.

Auditioner: Bree Randall, 20, Corona, CA. Kelly thinks she has gorgeous hair.

Song: Treasure

Me: The voice is okay, but she has a really cute personality.
Demi: There’s something about her that is going to go far in this competition.

Auditioner: Primrose Martin, 20, Las Vegas.

Song: Nobody’s Perfect/i>

Me: I’m not a fan of this, but others seem to like it to the point of a standing O by some of the judges.
Kelly: Absolutely freakin’ yes. She thinks Primrose is phenomenal.

Auditioner: Summer Reign, 17, Apple Valley, CA. Simon thinks she looks great, like a little pop star.

Song: Impossible

Me: She looks so much like a pop star and has the sound to back it up.
Demi: She’s a little diva.
Simon: She’s a little pop star.
Kelly: She wants to watch Summer grow and be there while she grows.

Auditioner: Rickey Clark Jr., 19, Providence, RI. He’s dressed in a suit and sunglasses. Kelly notes the resemblance to Usher, and he launches into some of his moves. He’s another one who has the hots for Kelly. The worst thing he’s gotten in trouble for is breaking some of his mom’s knick knacks.

Song: Superstition

Me: I’m so tired of this song in reality TV, but he has some moves that make it less boring.
Simon: He likes him, but not his voice.
Kelly: She thinks we’re always going to grow and learn something about our voices. She explains it took her six years to get a record deal and this is just one step. After he is dismissed with noes, Kelly goes and finds him backstage and gives him a hug and pep talk.

Auditioner: Lori Moore, 34, originally from Chicago, but living in Hollywood. She’s wearing a football jersey to remind herself that she’s a champion. She plays women’s professional football and won the 2012 championship. It’s first and goal for her right now.

Song: I Have Nothing

Me: She’s very good, and a little unexpectedly, especially as she hits the high notes in the song.
Kelly: She started to open up her mouth not to sing, but S-A-N-G. She’s been on the football field too long.
Simon: It was more than an audition, as it was a performance, and it’s why there is no age limit on the show, to find people like her.

Auditioner: Second Hand High – Briana Thomas, 22 and Allan Guinn, 26, West Covina, CA. She feels like their original song is going to be a huge hit and just can’t wait to see Simon’s smirk when he’ll ask where they’ve been because he’s looking at talent. They were engaged but aren’t any longer. When asked if he cheated on her, her reply is to look at her, as who would cheat on that.

Song: An original composition.

Me: It’s a rap song with one of the lines actually, “Why buy the cow when you can get the leche for free?” Kelly stands up and starts dancing.
Simon: He thinks they should change the name of the group to “Deluded.” The song was terrible.
Kelly: It’s very, very weird, but she kind of liked the song, just wants someone else singing.
Demi: She liked watching the people in the back dance. The song was definitely very catchy.

From the previews of the next show, we can see that this is not the same show we’ve seen the past few years. It doesn’t appear that the contestants will go to the judges’ houses. It seems instead that they are having a “four-chair challenge.” It could be interesting.

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