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The X Factor, Oct. 2 & 3 – “Take a Seat”

Category: The Girls. Coach: Demi Lovado.

Contestant: Bree Randall, 20, Corona, CA, a full-time student and an intern for a clothing line. She has a book of her whole life planned out, including her future clothing line, her perfume line, etc. She’s been singing and dancing her entire life and her parents have been very supportive.

Song: Glad You Came

Me: She is definitely not ready for this competition. She struggles with her range and pitch.
Kelly: She felt like there was no growth with her between the audition and now and was looking forward to her coming out of her shell more.
Paulina: She agrees and thinks it’s important for her to define and be real and be herself.
Simon: She brought the right outfit and personality but didn’t bring her voice.
Demi: There can only be one winner, and she watched four people from Kelly’s groups that she doesn’t think Bree would be ready to beat. Regardless, she has her take a seat. In other words, she shouldn’t get too comfy in that chair.

Contestant: Khaya Cohen, 16, NYC. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, growing up taking the train to see her friends and going to school. She likes to sing soul, even though it doesn’t necessarily match her look or personality. There’s nowhere else she’d rather be than singing on the live shows.

Song: Locked Out of Heaven

Me: I didn’t get her in the auditions, and I don’t really get her now. But she is better on the older soulful songs, which this is clearly not.
Kelly: She has incredible instincts, and part of having the X factor is that. Her presence onstage is so natural.
Simon: He thought she was good in her audition and believes she got even better. He sees massive potential. That’s apparently why he makes millions in this business and I cover it for a website.
Demi: She can’t help but smile really big seeing her perform, because she sees her having fun. She thinks the other girls as well as the entire competition need to watch out for her. Khaya takes a seat.

Contestant: Jamie Pineda, 24, Fall River Mills, CA. She has eight brothers and sisters in a big Mexican culture. She loves having a big family, loving the chaos. She’s been singing since she was 3 and now sings at retirement homes. She sees this as the biggest chance she’ll ever get.

Song: Don’t Speak

Me: She sells it once she switches from singing in English to singing in Spanish. In fact, she’s better singing in Spanish. There’s more emotion there.
Kelly: She loves her voice but does feel like sometimes she’s uncomfortable onstage.
Simon: When she sings in English, there isn’t anything particularly special about her voice, but when she switches it up to Spanish, he sees a market for her..
Demi: She’s so impressed with the Spanish crossover, and she has the look of a star. Demi has her take a seat.

Contestant: Ashly Williams, 24, Los Angeles, sales associate at a clothing store. Her dad tells her that her mom knew Ashly could sing when she was just 5 years old. Her mother was murdered nine years later. The person responsible went to prison on a life sentence. She wants to make her mom proud.

Song: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Me: She does great with this song, but it doesn’t have the same magic of her audition. And she still really needs some help from a person in wardrobe.
Kelly: She is so talented and is remarkable and has overcome so much as a woman. Ashly has strength and incredible power behind her voice.
Paulina: She is speechless. The first time she saw Ashly she told her she had so much grit. She is meant to be in music.
Simon: He loved her first audition and you wouldn’t be human to not be touched by her story, but he didn’t like this song. There are also better singers here.
Demi: She hesitates, yet has Ashly take a seat.

Contestant: Simone Torres, 19, Holbrook, NY, a college student. She’s always been pretty nerdy and awkward and may not be as glamorous as other girls in the competition, but she really loves to perform. She’s been singing gigs with her dad since she was 9. This has shown her that she does have something away from him.

Song: A Change Is Gonna Come

Me: I like her energy a lot, but this song choice just isn’t right for her, but you can’t deny her voice.
Paulina: She related to Simone because she, too, started working when she was really little. This girl and her dad knock on every door for the passion of music, and that makes her relate to her even more.
Simon: He wishes he could have sat down with her a week ago and heard that song to tell her not to do it. The arrangement was a joke and so karaoke.
Kelly: She butts in to say Simone still sang the hell out of it.
Demi: She feels torn, because she agrees about the song choice, and even though she has an incredible voice, she doesn’t know if she’s seeing a star. Demi tells her to take a seat, replacing Bree Randall.

Contestant: Danielle Geimer, 15, Northridge, CA. She’s shy and softspoken, and her education is important. Her backup plan is to become a neurosurgeon. She recognizes she changes when she comes onstage. She was shocked to hear her name called to be in the top 40. People are always tripping over her and not noticing her, but now they might be tripping over a star.

Song: Georgia on My Mind

Me: She has a beautiful voice, one that is very unique.
Kelly: “You just sang your face off, Mama … She needs a seat. Somebody got to get up, Honey.”
Simon: Life is all about timing. She comes around at a time when there are so many overconfident singers, and she flies in the face of that being humble and shy, and he hopes she never changes.
Demi: She is absolutely blown away, as she is so talented and beautiful. Danielle is right, but when they’re tripping on her, she is already a star. Danielle is told to take a seat, and she steals it away from Simon Torres.

Contestant: Rylie Brown, 16, Lee’s Summit, MO. It’s a small town in the middle of the country and city, the best of both worlds. She was in beauty pageants when she was young but was in it for the talent rounds so that she could stand up and sing. She’s ready to see the world and branch out from the pageants.

Song: Angels

Me: The problem is she isn’t just singing. She’s treating this as if she’s still on the pageant circuit. She has a hard time hitting big notes and has to slide into them.
Kelly: She feels like it wasn’t the best song choice and isn’t sure if Rylie is ready for the competition.
Simon: It feels like everything she did tonight was chosen by her mother, from what she sang to what she’s wearing. He just didn’t buy it.
Demi: She thinks Rylie looks beautiful. She has a lot of potential in her voice, but it was really pageant-y. She doesn’t know if Rylie is ready vocally and sends her home.

Contestant: Primrose Martin, 20, Las Vegas, a full-time student. She had a lot of fun at her first audition and felt like she was flying onstage. Her dad is Skip Martin from Kool and the Gang. He brought her onstage when she was about 4 years old and knew then there would be something special about her. She wants to step out of her dad’s shadow and show what she has to offer.

Song: Blame It on the Boogie

Me: This is perhaps the worst song choice in all of reality TV history. Not only is it a bad song choice, but she is singing way off tune, to the point that it’s worse than pitchy.
Kelly: While she looks lovely and she enjoyed Primrose’s first audition, she feels this was completely different from it. Kelly wanted to see her give her best.
Paulina: She is surprised Primrose didn’t deliver as much as she did the first time.
Simon: It was beyond awful. It was seriously, seriously dreadful. She was out of tune and it was the longest minute-and-a-half in his life. She tries singing something else and won’t stop. Her dad is clearly embarrassed for her.
Demi: Aside from the performance that wasn’t great, she feels Primrose danced more than she sang. There is something about her that comes off as too confident, and it rubs her the wrong way. She sends Primrose home.

Contestant: Rion Paige, 13, Jacksonville, FL. She has a joint disorder that has her hands permanently curved, leading to her learning how to do things differently. She has to deal with this struggle every day of her life. It makes her more determined to conquer something. There’s a fire burning inside her that you can’t take away; it’s who she is.

Song: I Won’t Let Go

Me: Somehow she’s even more incredible than she was in her audition. This is what they look for – growth. It’s hard to believe she’s just 13.
Kelly: She loves Rion’s voice and loves how happy and excited she is when she sings. She loves watching her.
Paulina: She agrees and thinks it’s important for her to define and be real and be herself.
Simon: When you got it, you got it. He really likes Rion’s voice and believes they’re just scratching the surface.
Demi: There is such a mature voice coming out of Rion, and when she looks at her, she doesn’t see anything different. Rion takes a seat and uproots Ashly Williams.

Contestant: Ellona Santiago, 17, San Lorenzo, CA. She was born in the Philippines and came here with her family at 11 months old. They lived in a garage for six years until her parents could save up enough money. Her parents have sacrificed a lot for her to reach this American dream. Hopefully she can pay them back so that they can have their American dream

Song: Clarity

Me: I’m glad she came back this year. This is how it’s supposed to work, with them using that year to get stronger.
Kelly: Little Mama is a Beast, not in looks, but sound.
Paulina: That was amazing, and she doesn’t know what Demi will do.
Simon: It’s probably one of the best vocals they’ve heard in this category, and he can’t imagine her not being here.
Demi: She agrees with the others and believes Ellona has an incredible voice, but does feel something is missing. That star quality isn’t there yet. She can’t see letting any of the four go, and Simon disagrees, thinking she is one of the better singers. With the crowd chanting “Keep her,” Demi tells her to take a seat. Losing her seat in the competition is Jamie Pineda.

This clearly does what it must be designed to do – adds drama. It was fun to see the coaches in their homes, but it didn’t add a lot of drama, and the show needs to keep up with the drama of The Voice. Maybe this new format will help it. Whatever is hurting the show surely isn’t a lack of talent.

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