After spending weeks sifting through the talent with auditions, boot camp and judges’ houses rounds, the season two X Factor USA live shows have finally begun! On last night’s (October 31) highly anticipated first live show of the season, judges Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell got the chance to see their category of performers hit the big stage for the first time. We also got a glimpse of new hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian for the first time as well.
The excitement was high but sadly, the talent didn’t quite deliver. Luckily, there will be no public vote. The contestants’ fate rest in the hands of the judges who will select four acts–one from each category– to exit the show during tonight’s (November 1) live results show.
With that bad note out of the way and with the night’s theme being “made in America,” a handful of acts showed they may have what it takes to win it all. Here’s what happened:
Paige Thomas – Young Adults: No, no and just no! We know it’s hard to be first up but Paige looked absolutely terrified trying to be fierce during her performance of “”What Is Love?” L.A. thought she looked like a star during her dramatic performance but didn’t love the song choice. Simon liked it though and thinks the hopeful could work in the real world. Mixed messages but what did her mentor think? Of course she loved it and thought her scary performance was a great way to open the show.
Arin Ray – Teens: We were fully expecting Arin to come out, command the stage and kill it. Didn’t quite happen during his performance of “Keep Me Hangin’ On.” The dancers were a little too much, there was a super annoying sound of the fog blasting–it just didn’t come together. Demi thought it was stiff and wants to see him dance better. Simon feels it was just too much around him but Brit Brit was so proud of her youngster.
David Correy – Over 25s: Love David, did not love this arrangement and his pleading tone while singing Whitney Houston’s “My Love Is Your Love.” Simon got it exactly right, saying the singer came off as “desperate” at times, begging the audience to love him.
Sister C – Groups: Sister C performed “Hell On Heels” and they were just that. Do. Not. Love! There’s something ultra annoying about the tone of their voices and the harmonies aren’t tight. L.A. said he thought it was good but his body language said it blew chunks for him. Demi thought it was a let down and panned them as stiff. Simon thinks his girls have improved a lot from the audition rounds.
Jennel Garcia – Young Adults: Jennel did her very best to command the stage with her performance of “Home Sweet Home.” It was great in parts but it felt like something was missing. Maybe the sheer disappointment from the previous performances left a cloud hanging over hers. L.A. thought the performance was a 10. Brit thought she rocked it out. Simon absolutely loves her but thinks Demi is trying to make her a clown of herself. Demi’s super proud of her little rockstar.
Diamond White – Teens: Diamond’s upbeat (and cheesy) performance of Train’s “Hey Soul Sister) did nothing to show off her strong pipes. “I thought the song choice was really great” Demi said but she wants to see her have more fun. We’re not sure what performance Demi was watching. Simon thought she came off as a relevant pop star.
Vino Alan – Over 25s: Vino’s a weird one. Sometimes he’s got this great soulful voice, other times he sounds like a rock singer. His performance of Nickelback’s “Gotta Be Somebody” showed off that rocker voice that came off as unauthentic. That said, he sounded terrific towards the end. Demi totally agreed with us and has a hard time seeing him as a pop star. Simon thought he came off as a horrible cover singer and think soul works better for him.
Lyric145 – Groups: No. Just no. ”Boom Shake the Room” with a “Gangnam Style” breakdown? Absolutely no. L.A. loves them but thinks the soul is gone and says “that’s not hip hop.” Britney was entertained and so was Demi. Simon thinks they have to be commercial to work in a competition like this and thought they were sensational. Ick.
CeCe Frey – Young Adults: CeCe needs a fresh start from the bratty witch with a B the overly dramatic audition and boot camp rounds made her out to be so she gets a makeover. Problem is, she now looks like Ke$ha’s twin. She gives an entertaining performance of ”Because the Night” but she’s still as unlikable as ever. You tend to dislike things that are trying to force you to like them and that’s all CeCe does now. L.A. and Britney thought the vocals were weak but liked the performance overall.
Tate Stevens – Over 25s: Tate gives a great vocal performance of Craig Morgan’s “Tough” but it’s clear he’s a little out of his element on this show filled with flashy, wannabe pop stars. Demi was a little bored in the beginning but thinks he’ll go so far. Simon thinks he’s a keeper and his mentor L.A. agrees.
Beatrice Miller – Teens: Britney’s got Bea all wrong. Poor Beatrice has 80s crimped hair and is adorned in rockstar clothing to sing the Jason Mraz ballad “I Won’t Give Up.” L.A. believes and loves her while Demi felt the feeling. Britney thought she was a true star. Were we watching the same thing?!
Jason Brock – Over25s: Jason came super close to his ultimate, glittery stage show dream with this fun, over-the-top performance of Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again.” Mr. Entertainment? Sure. Let’s also add Mr. Vocals! Britney thought it was interesting and entertaining. Demi did like the song choice but loved him. Same for Simon but he went one–well 100 steps further and said it doesn’t get worse than his performance. Ouch!
1432 – Groups: So 1432 were once Lylas but due to legal reasons, had to change their name. Lame choice. To go along with their lame name, they gave a pretty lame performance of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The group’s vocals don’t gel well together and they look like 5 solo singers on stage singing together–probably because that’s what they are. The star of the group is clearly Camilla Cabello and Demi points this out. L.A. thinks they blew the name choice and gave a talent show performance. Destroyed!
Willie Jones – Young Adults: Oh, Willie. His performance of ”Here for the Party” was just weird. That struggle between r&b and country was all too real and the last note? Bad. Simon thought the performance was cheap and silly. Couldn’t agree more! Demi thought he was “unique and fresh.”
Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens: Britney had such a cute idea by having Carly do the whole “Baby One More Time” school uniform thing during her performance of “Good Feeling.” Even in the super fun atmosphere, Carly’s old soul takes over and the youngness is zapped out. Luckily, there’s no going wrong vocally for this youngster. L.A. didn’t feel the fun and Demi didn’t either. Simon didn’t love the song choice but thinks it would be criminal if she left the competition now.
Emblem3 – Groups: It’s a conspiracy! What we’ve witnessed on stage was a super corny performance of “One Day” but all the judges are jumping out of their seats with joy as if we’ve seen Beyonce-level greatness. We all get it. Simon wants an American One Direction desperately. He’ll get it if the hype machine gets its way.