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The X Factor, Sept. 26 – The Top 40

We’re still flogging through the auditions, yet by the end of this episode, not only will we be done with the auditions, but only forty contestants will remain, and the judges will know which categories they re mentoring.

Auditioner: Neal Macomber, 45, San Luis Obispo, CA. He’s a general contractor and wants to share his positivity with others. He’s asked why he’s starting now, and he thinks today is the day. This is seeming like a “bad audition” so far. He’s single because he hasn’t found the right girl yet. Simon knows how he feels, but a caption edit tells us the show was pre-precorded, a reference to him recently becoming engaged.

Song: Everybody Talks

Me: The song choice alone said bad audition. The performance doesn’t disappoint. Neal sings right in Demi’s face, completely freaking her out … understandably. He even tries patting her on the head.
Simon: It was like something out of a lunatic asylum. If it were a movie, it would be Nightmare on Elm Street.
Demi: In reference to the slasher film, she cautions if they’re not swinging a knife, they’re patting your head.

Auditioner: Glamour, 12-13 years old, Atlanta

Song: Star-Spangled Banner

Me: These three young girls have fantastic harmony.
Kelly: She feels like she’s looking at a “baby Destiny’s Child.”

Auditioner: Girls United – 23-24 years old, Los Angeles.

Song: Price Tag

Me: It’s more good harmony
Demi: You’re so pretty it’s just stupid.

Auditioner: Zach Beeken, 17, Pittsburgh, PA. Kelly recognizes his deep voice.

Song: Gettin’ You Home

Me: He reminds me of American Idol’s Scotty McCreery.
Paulina: She didn’t expect him to sing that well.

Auditioner: Wild Thingz – 22 -30 years old, Los Angeles

Song: An original composition

Me: They aren’t the best singers, but they’re a lot of fun.
Paulina: They did it great.

Auditioner: Denny “Santa Claus” Smith, 69, of Carson, CA. While he looks like Santa and is dressed in a red suit and hat, his official occupation is as a pastor.

Song: Stormy Monday Blues

Me: Santa sings the blues.
Demi: She is impressed. “You just took us there.”
Simon: Christmas has come early.

Auditioner: Victoria Carriger, 41, Waynesville, MO. She has 8 kids, very surprisingly. Her youngest is 4 and oldest is 20. Wow. She gave up everything to become a mom, and they’re everything to her. She’s separated from her husband so is a single mom for the most part. She’s looking for a new start and some stability for herself and her kids.

Song: Because of You

Me: It’s a very poignant song for her situation, and she brings it out in her performance. She brings tears to my eyes when she sings, “Because of you, I am afraid.”
Simon: He genuinely had written her off before she started singing, but he was not expecting that. He thinks he is beginning to understand her story now.
Paulina: When she started singing with that raspy voice, Paulina felt her pain and loss for her family.
Demi: It was very unique. She feels the pain in Victoria’s voice, and she’s rooting for her.

Auditioner: Keith Beukelaer, 29, Long Island. Ten years ago he auditioned for American Idol, singing Like a Virgin. His audition was made fun of by the show. Simon had told him he could be the worst singer in the world. Now he’s here at The X Factor as a rapper.

Song: Baby Got Back

Me: Part of the problem is he has no rhythm. However, he’s not bad as a rapper. It’s better than ten years ago. The female judges and audience are dancing and trying to get Simon to join in.
Kelly: She had so much fun. It’s a yes.
Simon: He also likes big butts, so he’s going to say yes.

That was a great place to end the season three auditions, but it’s not the end of this episode. Before we wrap for the night, the judges will find out which groups they are mentoring, and they’ll cut down the group of 218 contestants to just 40. I’m probably not going out on a limb to suggest that Keith won’t make it after all that fun. There will be no boot camp like there was in past years. They will instead compete in the four-chair challenge, something new and different.

The judges pour through all the tape of the 218 contestants and fight for who they really want. They are looking for talent, as well as star value. The next job in front of them is to deliver the news to all the contestants who have gathered together in Los Angeles.

In the Girls category, the ten acts moving on are Khaya Cohen, Bree Randall, Jamie Pineda, Simone Torres, Rion Paige, Danielle Geimer, Rylie Brown, Primrose Martin, Ellona Santiago, and Ashly Williams.

In the Boys category, the ten acts moving on are Carlito Olivero, Chase Goehring, Timmy Thames, Isaiah Alston, Tim Olstad, Alberto Calderon, Josh Levi, Isaac Tauaefa, Carlos Guevara, and Stone Martin.

In the Groups category, the seven acts moving on are Glamour, Good News, Yellow House Canyon, Alex & Sierra, Roxy Montana, Wild Thingz, and Girls United.

In the Over 25 category, the ten acts moving on are Lillie McCloud, Jeffrey Brinkman, Rachel Potter, Kristine Mirelle, Victoria Carriger, James Kenney, Allison Davis, Denny “Santa Claus” Smith, Lorie Moore, and Jeff Gutt.

The judges ask some previously dismissed singers back onstage.This is the part where they make three more groups out of some of the single contestants. There’s a girls group, a boys group, and a country guys’ group.

Instead of hearing via phone call which category they will be mentoring, this year the judges walk down a designated aisle that leads them to a room holding the group they will be mentoring.

Kelly Rowland – The Over 25s.
Demi Lovato – The Girls
Paulina Rubio – The Boys
Simon Cowell – The Groups

What exactly this four-chair challenge is isn’t clear. From the previews it seems they are only sending four contestants through from each group. The contestants either sit in one of four chairs for their group, or they leave. But, once they sit, they could be uprooted by someone else. It seems really cut throat …. and what Reality TV is all about.