S1E5: Now with the audition portion of The X Factor under our belts, it's time for the selected contestants to move on to boot camp. I don't know about you, but I was very curious to find out what this Boot Camp entailed. I wasn't sure whether contestants would be attempting intense vocal workouts or doing a bunch of push-ups and crunches. Normally, I would suspect one over the other, but you never know with Simon in charge -- anything is possible. But if the contestants thought the hardest part on their long road to fame was over, then they were sorely mistaken after tonight's obstacles presented themselves. This is their time to shine, and shine they must because the judges are critiquing their singing, dancing, and performance styles over the next 2 nights. They are all working to fight for their place among the final 32 acts (4 groups of 8), so it's survival of the fittest.
I assumed this was going to be the counterpart of Idol's Hollywood Week...boy was I wrong. It is completely different and eliminations started happening rather quickly. Within the first 15 minutes of the show, the judges listened to all 162 contestants perform yet again and then rejected 62 of them, so only 100 acts now remain. I thought people would only get eliminated after Boot Camp was over, not on the very first day. So then as we moved on to the next day, the remaining contestants were given a challenge. They were divided into groups and were given 5 hours to practice a song they may or may not have known and then had to perform it in front of the judges. Luckily they had help from the best stylists, vocal coaches, and choreographers in the country, so it wasn't an impossible task. Oh and did I mention a third of the acts would be sent home? No pressure, right?
So I decided to select my favorite singer from each group that performed tonight to see if my picks move on to the next round and get one step closer to that $5 million dollar prize. The rest of the group performances will continue on tomorrow night, along with the judges finding out which category they are assigned to mentor: girls, boys, over 30's, and groups.
Do your favorites match mine? Find out below!
Group 1: Drew Ryniewicz
This girl rocked out her version of Justin Bieber's song Baby during her audition, which stunned both the audience and the judges. This 16-year-old only continued to shine as she led the opening vocals to the song Creep by Radiohead. Her voice is dynamic and you just know with the right coaching, she'll be able to blow this competition wide open and really bring talent to the show. She's certainly got my vote to stay on and keep singing!
Group 2: Paige Ogle
I hadn't paid much attention to her before this stand because she some reason she just didn't stand out during her audition, but this girl has got a set of pipes. Her group sang Desperado by The Eagles, which is a classic song and she definitely did it justice. The group as a whole was pretty talented and they all worked pretty well together, but she seemed to have a very confident stage presence along with strong, powerful vocals. She deserves to stick around and show us what she's made of.
Group 3: Brian Bradley
This 13-year-old really impressed the judges during his audition with his rapping skills and overall charisma on stage. His group was chosen to sing Jay-Z's song, Wishing On a Star, which is funny because Brian had commented in the past that he would be even better than Jay-Z in five years time. So this seemed like a very fitting song for him. Although his performance wasn't as outstanding as his audition, I think he still has what it takes to continue on in this competition. He refused to dance during the dancing portion of the night before the first eliminations occurred and he seemed to try and hoard the spotlight from his other group members, but let's remember that he's still very young. Kids are very impressionable and can learn much more quickly than adults. If he's given the chance, I think both his performance and his attitude could improve.
Group 4: Jazzlyn Little
During her audition, Jazzlyn was so nervous before starting to sing that she was literally shaking on stage in front of the judges. It looked like she was going to be a total bust, but then she opened her mouth and started to sing. I seriously think she has one of the best voices out of all the contestants, but she just needs to gain some confidence and get her nerves under control. When it was her time to shine tonight during her group's song, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2, she forgot some of the lyrics, but kept going and made it through the song. Her voice was still amazing, but the judges did notice her little slip up, which made her burst into tears backstage since she felt like she let her team down. But her talent is incredible and the more she gets used to performing under pressure, the more she'll be able to relax and really shine. She deserves a chance at stardom.
Group 5: Josh Krajcik
Don't let Josh's less-than-dressy appearance fool you -- this guy can sing. He performed yet another outstanding vocal solo in Five For Fighting's hit song, Superman. Some people in his group cracked under the pressure and just stopped singing when they didn't know their lines, but Josh was a pillar of vocal strength throughout the entire song. That raspy voice of his is just so powerful and makes you really feel the lyrics that he's singing. He has a unique and unforgettable voice which deserves to be recognized. He just has to work on his wardrobe a little bit.
Group 6: Tiah Tolliver and Nick Voss
I decided to have these two get a tie because their both such strong singers and very likable in my opinion. Tiah's audition was a little controversial for the judges since the guys wanted to put her through while the girls didn't think she had what it takes. Simon was so adamant about her continuing that that he actually begged Nicole to reconsider her answer. So she was put through, but the girls didn't expect much from her...boy were they wrong. She came out with amazing vocals in her group's song, Feeling Good by Michael Buble, that had Nicole and Paula eating their words. This girl is one to watch. Nick Voss also stood out with his strong male vocals. I could easily see him recording an album and hope that he makes it through to the next round.
Group 7: Rachel Crow
This 13-year-old was the first audition we saw on this show and for good reason. She brings so much life and attitude to whatever she sings that it makes you just want to get up and dance along. Her group had the hardest song of the night: Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing and Rachel was struggling to stay in the right key. Even the vocal coach commented how difficult this song was, but in the end she ended up rocking that song. Her voice was strong and she nailed it, even while under all the pressure. Just like a real pro. Let's keep her around!
Group 8: Emily Michalak
The young ones were really bringing it tonight. This girl is 12-years-old and she's making contestants that are twice her age stressed out because of her amazing voice. It's still hard for me to believe she's so young because her voice carries so much emotion and really pulls at your heart strings. At first she was beginning to crack under the pressure, but she pulled through and did an outstanding job singing Run by Snow Patrol. The judges were impressed, I was impressed -- I mean, if this girl can sing like this now at the age of 12, imagine how good she'll be over the next 10 years?! The music industry would never be the same.