The talent was scarce on last night’s (September 20) episode of The X Factor USA. Between bad auditions, staged drama and the worst Pepsi product placement taste-test, the hour-long audition episode flew by with less than a handful of talented hopefuls.
That’s not to say that the episode didn’t have its shining moments. An unlikely country star emerged and a contestant experienced a full on-screen meltdown that will have people talking. Here are some of the episode’s (very few) highlights:
Willie Jones: 17-year-old Willie Jones looks all Will Smith circa 1991–even Demi Lovato mentions how “Fresh Prince” he looks. He’s surely going to rap or sing r&b, right? So wrong! Willie digs down deep and shocks just about everyone with a hot performance of “Your Man” by Josh Turner. The crowd just loves him and so does the judges. “Willie Jones, you are an absolute original,” L.A. Reid said. “I prayed we were going to find someone like you…” Simon Cowell chimed in. He gets four big yeses to bootcamp.
Julia Bullock: Julia’s in a band but since they’re not a vocal group, she– let’s face it– ditched them to go audition. While she’s telling the judges that the other members will go on to continue music if she does well, the backstage drama shows that they’re actually feeling like the band is breaking up and they’ll just get “9 to 5s.” Julia whips out some “Pumped Up Kicks” for her performance and the judges like her, they like her a lot! “I think you are really, really, really good,” Simon said. The others would echo his sentiment. She gets four yeses and the band is official dead.
Jeffrey Adam Gutt: Jeffrey’s a dad with an adorable little boy named Talon. He says he was fine being broke when it was just him but now that he’s a dad, he has to make it. Jeff looks timid but that all changes when he starts rocking the freak out to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” He’s got some major rock pipes and the judges eat it up. “I am a fan,” L.A. Reid said. “I love how mysterious your voice was. It was really soothing and unique,” Britney Spears added. Four big fat yeses come down for Jeff and his cutie son runs out to hug his rockstar daddy.
Krysten Colon: Krysten is a hairdresser dreaming of a job where she doesn’t have to stand on her feet for 14 hours a day. She looks like a pop star with her tattoos, bold makeup and uber current shaved hairdo but she doesn’t really sound like one. Nerves get the better of her during her performance of Adele’s “Don’t You Remember” but the judges see potential so they do something they hardly ever do: Give her a second chance. She’s sent away to prepare a “classic song” that will showcase who she really is. She comes back and tries her hand at singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” and it’s bad. Just plain bad. The storms in Greensboro intervene, shutting off power and stopping her performance before she could embarrass herself any more (cue HILARIOUS Britney freak out and scream). “I was about to blow it,” Krysten says. Uh, really? “You already blew it,” L.A. said. True facts. She gets four fat nos and she goes absolutely bat-crap crazy. She yells at her family, pours water on a camera, lifts up a chair WWE-style all in an effort to not be on camera anymore and exit in a fit of rage. She storms off, running in the rain while her embarrassed mother apologizes for the scene.