Day 1: September 27, 2011
Kristen the Yellow Lab and I are in a space oddity!! After all, what else can we expect when traveling to Planet Paula for the second week of X Factor USA auditions? We've taken our protein pills, put our helmets on. Now, we are watching Paula float in a most peculiar way. Count down, astronauts and astronettes, for THIS is X-Factor!
Hot Host continues to delight as he makes believe that he is a rugged truck driver careening through the Chicago loop. While steering from the passenger side. He tells us to get ready for the auditions! Kristen and I say, "10-4, good buddy!"
The big news about the judging panel is that it is another Cheryl Cole joint! Geordie accent for the win!
To further the Boredom-Factor, we get four bad auditions in a row. The most interesting is that of one Charlesenia, who was slightly confused and thought she was auditioning for Simon's job. She says she's brutally honest. Also, in her opinion, people come in two varieties: classy or trashy. It's official, people! We've just entered the atmosphere of Planet Paula!
Now, we're onto the good stuff. J Mark Inman, an ambidextrously-brained hybrid of nerd and entertainer. The man not only sings Radiohead's "Creep," he lives it. Kristen and I agree that he is interesting, and can actually carry a tune. Nevertheless, we're stunned that he gets four yeses. What we aren't stunned about? That Paula can relate to him. She says, "You are other-worldly. I think I visited there once or twice." Oh, we're sure you have Paula. Quite sure.
Here comes Josh Krajcik, a guy from Columbus, Ohio who, typical of the citizens of Kristen and my fair state, dressed for the weather rather than the party. Yes, he looks like a bit of a schlub in his hoodie and sweat pants, but it was COLD out that day, people! So what if he's auditioning for a shot at a $5 million recording contract, and the chance to become a super star? In Ohio, we respect the climate. Josh is accompanied by his mother, who appears to be a high ranking official in the governing council of Planet Paula. She babbles about how she drove the entire way from Columbus to Chicago. (Seven hours people!) She worries about whether she should remove her jacket or keep it on. She wonders about her hair. She hopes everyone sees how special her Joshy is! OMG! She's so, so nervous! So nervous!!! Kristen and I say, "Dear Helicopter Mama: Get grounded."
Josh steps on stage as his mother anguishes, tells the judges he will sing At Last by Etta James. Simon rolls his eyes. "Are you sure?" Josh is sure. And with good reason. It's a Joe Cocker meets Ray Charles version with just the right mix of rough and smooth. He gets four immediate yeses, and Kristen and I now have a pony in this race! We are hoping our pony takes a shower and a shave, however.
Hot Host trucks on back to Seattle,
where we ditch Cheryl for good and are reunited with Nicole, a person who reminds Kristen and me of a cross between Stacy London and Maya Rudolph.
Maya Rudoph + Stacy London + Sleeze =
Here comes a duet called The Good Girls. They claim to be a mother/daughter group with the mother being all of 70 years young. Um… not so fast, ladies. Deputy Dog Kristen did snooping, and guess what we found? The pair of you auditioned for American Idol a few years ago. At any rate, the two are purposely awful, descreting Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On. Is there really a market for bad auditioners? Do people hire them to perform at the birthday parties of naughty children or the bachelor parties of unpopular grooms who spent the past four years sponging off their groomsmen? Kristen and I do not know. Fortunately, there's no market for these two on X Factor, so off they go.
Kristen and my favorite performance of the night does not belong to the best singer, but, rather, to one Peet Mentzingo, he of the best back story ever. Peet's the only non-dwarf in a family of dwarves. At 6'1", he towers above both parents and all siblings. His family is awesome, as is Peet. But, suffice it to say, he has a bit of an identify crisis. "I want to feel like I fit in somewhere," he laments. Proof that we can all feel like the odd man out sometimes. He sings Bruno Mars Billionnaire replacing "billionnaire" with "famous." He is charming and fun, but not much of a singer. The judges agree and tell him that with his charisma, they can see him on TV or in films. But, he's not right for this competition. "My son sparkles," says his mother. And indeed he does!
|Does not come Paula-Approved.|
Day 2: September 28, 2011
Hot Host tells us it's the last night of auditions!!
Bratley bounds across the stage and starts rapping the above-mentioned original song. He has the right 'tude and energy, and proves himself a strong performer, bringing the crowd along for the ride. The judges have no choice but to put him through, even though Simon informs him, "You are rude, obnoxious, and argumentative, but one of the most talented young people I've heard in a long time." Let's hope the opening bratitude was just part of his schtick. If not, might we suggest::
Bad audition time: Jor El Garcia dances to Madonna's Lucky Star with lots of belly action. John Duff can't sing. Darlene and Sherone have what appears to be some sort of sex on stage. Rick White does a campy version of Land of a Thousand Dances. Goodbye.
And here comes the eye candy for the ladies! Brennan Hunt from Nashville, Tennessee.
Brennan informs us that his major goal is to rule the world. Also? He's done modeling and considers himself sexy. *insert sound of record scratching here.*
Really, Brennan? You just went from eye candy to stye. He performs a tune he wrote himself called "How We Make It," which is fine, if a bit generic. It does show off his nice tone. He gets four yes's, but Simon has some doubts. Brennan happily walks off with his Barbie-doll girlfriend, his first steps towards ruling the world. Kristen and I will give him a chance, but he needs to check his ego at the door. Maybe there's an app for that.
Kristen and I are pleased to announce that this week turned our opinion around. The talent was better, the bad acts less prevelant, and the Paula crazy came back in full force!! So, in the spirit of our Paula, let's dance!!!