'X Factor': The good, the bad and the weird
September 29th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

'X Factor': The good, the bad and the weird

I really didn't think that Fox's "X Factor" could find more interesting people than it did the first week, but then I watched Wednesday's episode. It definitely gets better with time.

It's the second week of auditions, this time in Chicago and Seattle. The best WTH moment took place when a middle-aged lady took the stage and said that she wasn't there to sing. Rather she wanted to audition to be a judge!! The actual judges put up with her for a couple of seconds before they told her "no" and kept the show moving. I do give her credit for finding a unique way to get on stage in front of millions of people when singing was not an option for her.

I'm not quite sure if this show had more qualified singers than last week, but I'm certain it had more diverse singers. Here's who I'm betting will be most likely to succeed:

Brock Wade & McKenna

This interested-but-not-dating couple truly intrigued me. They've been singing together for four years and they say they're best friends. You wouldn't have guessed it from the way they came on stage, but these two harmonize really well together. They came across as a little shy and lacking in confidence, but they really nailed "Colder Weather" by the Zac Brown Band. So much so that the crowd gave them a standing ovation. They got four "Yes" votes from all four judges. I'm sensing an "X Factor" marriage proposal between these two before the end of the season.

Skyelor Anderson

When this guy took the stage I didn't quite know what to make of him, although he did seem like possibly the nicest person you'd ever have the pleasure to meet. His song choice was "Must Be Doin' Something Right" by Billy Currington, but the music stopped just seconds after he began. Everyone looked around in silence, and then out of nowhere Skyelor continued to sing sans music. Perhaps it was his uniqueness, or the fact that very few African-Americans had auditioned belting out country ballads the way Skyelor did. At times, he even sounded like an untrained Tim McGraw. But in the end he won over every single judge.


When people get on stage and say they're different, my gut reaction is to roll my eyes, but J-Mark actually is. A graduate student studying in Europe and getting a degree in Philosophy, he says he doesn't want to be another cookie cutter artist. He sings Radiohead's "Creep," and although he can't really hold a tune that well or for very long, it's what he does with his body that intrigues people.

Before he even sings one word, he starts to do a sideways moonwalk of sorts with his feet, and then while he sings he leans to the left and then far to the right while keeping his balance. It's weird, but still captivating to say the least. The audience and the judges don't know what to make of him. Although the judges stop short of telling him he is a great singer, they are captivated enough to keep him on and push him through to the next level of the competition. I think he will be the best entertainment for the show as it progresses.


He takes the stage looking like he slept in his car a few days and didn't have a place or time to shower. Simon looks extremely annoyed when Josh says he is going to sing Etta James' "At Last," but then he begins. He sounds like a cross between Joe Cocker and Michael Bolton, if you can imagine that. This robust singing WOWS the audience in the first minute with his high notes hitting ALL the right keys. It's amazing, he manages to hold onto notes longer than anyone should.

Drew Ryniewicz

Drew is interesting, because of all the people who performed she perhaps was the riskiest. She considers herself part of the Bieber nation...so much so that she decided to sing the Justin Bieber song "Baby" and add her own twist to the song. She sang it a capella, but that did show the strength of her voice; she can really hit the high notes! Not surprisingly, she got four "Yes" votes. I can't wait to see what else Drew can do.

Peet Montzingo

Peet, whose back story is way more interesting that his singing, takes the stage to do his version of Bruno Mars' "Billionaire." But it doesn't take long for Simon to stop the music. Almost all of the judges agree that he has that star quality and should be famous, but he just can't sing. Something tells me he might be contacted by a reality TV production company to have his life chronicled. Just saying.

4Shore Quartet

I have to admit I was worried for this teen boy band before they even sang one word. They said they wanted to sing Boyz II Men's "End Of The Road" which is hard to live up to, especially considering the fact that L.A. Reid wrote the song, according to Simon. But in less than a minute we see why they chose that track. I've never heard a quartet wearing skinny jeans sounding that great in a long time. Naturally, the group gets the go ahead.

Tiger Budbill

This guy didn't win the judges over unanimously. His only saving grace while singing Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" was the fact that he held a very high note for a while towards the end. But I'm not quite sure that makes a great singer. L.A. Reid held out because he didn't feel Tiger was truly exceptional, but Tiger still managed to capture the approval of the other three judges.

Phillip Lomax

At a time when the show was dragging a bit, Phillip woke me up. He came on stage with the hat and the swagger of a Hollywood veteran and it was refreshing. His song choice was "Fly Me to the Moon," and he carried it off well. Simon warned him that his voice is off the mark right now and encouraged him to work on it, but in the end he makes it to the next level.

Tiah Tolliver

This is the reason I love "X Factor," because they saved the drama for the end of the show. How long did you think it would take before the judges had their first big fallout? It was bound to happen, and it did over Tiah Tolliver. This teen might have made an enemy out of Nicole right off the bat when she told them she wanted to wanted to go platinum, double platinum and diamond. Nicole seemed to roll her eyes, while the other three judges praised her look and confidence before singing.

But then she chose to do a rendition of Shontelle's "Impossible" a capella. The problem with this is of course we hear the good, the bad and the ugly with her voice. She has talent, but she's pitchy.

L.A. Reid and Simon were willing to work with her, but Nicole wanted another song. Tiah takes a few minutes and then sings again. Paula was still unconvinced, so Simon literally begged Nicole to change her mind, which she eventually did. I couldn't believe the panel of judges was seriously a house divided over this singer. I'm waiting to see if she will truly live up to her potential.

What do you think of the judges' choices?

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. all talent shows and reality shows suck

    this show is just as rigged as anything. paula's spit take from the other day was sooooooooo scripted that it wasn't funny in the least bit. it was also one of the worst spit takes I've ever seen. Next time swallow, Paula, since I'm guessing that's all you're really good at anyway.......

    November 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Boogieman

    Simon is out of his ever-lovin' mind. Nicole whips out the pity votes. What asinine choices they both made. Gap tooth mama must be giving Simon some goooood lovin' because she sure as heck can't sing....

    October 20, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nazir Habib

    Simon Cowell; despite having a garbage dump for a mouth and vocabulary has gone a step further by the gaudy display of wealth. In so many different sites and locations what is he trying to prove? It's a blessing his contract was not renewed for the 'American Idol;' and 'The Voice' is a far better talent exposition. Salams

    October 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. j0eschm0e


    October 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. j0eschm0e

    lol what about that first televise, where that dude in the light blue pajamas droped his drawers and flaunted his junk, and no one stopped him? Paula goes and pukes, and the guy keeps going. wheres the giant cane to pull him off stage !!hahahhaha that was 'tarded bad. the guy shouldve been arrested for indecent exposure at the very least. Ol ' Simon dropped that like a hot rock. didnt know what else to do besides stay composed. I'd been like... COMMERCIAL !!!

    October 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    I like this show!

    October 3, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Early Artis

    X factor sucks. CNN sucks. I suck because I'm writing this. You suck too.

    October 1, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joanna

    I've been loving the show. Some of the contestants have been really unique, and it has more of a fun, crazy vibe about it than Idol. So glad to have Simon and Paula back on my TV, they are hilarious together. LOVING LA Reid and the way his head bobs and grooves when he's into the music, and I like Nicole too, she's fun. I think this whole panel has a really nice chemistry together. I'm not missing the English girl Cheryl. She seemed nice, but a little wooden, imo. I will definately keep watching.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    Reading these posts I have to ask, if you don't like the show (I get that, I understand it) why wish it to be cancelled or pulled from the air? Just don't watch it. There are other people who do like it. I really doubt any of you are being forced to watch.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron Benjamin

    Caught the last couple minutes of the first hour. Simon absolutely says yes to the "AusEm" group??? They were boring and not that good. And he goes on to say in interviews that he thinks Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Katy Perry have boring voices? Simon is just trying to generate drama so people can watch his show. I also hate the fact that FOX is advertizing that 37 million viewers are watching the show....When in actuality, last week, they averaged around 12 million per hour... They just added 12 million per hour into a combined total...It's not like 12 million new people watched the show every hour. This show provides nothing new compared to Idol and America's got talent...and I hope ratings lower as the weeks pass so they can cancel it

    September 30, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Leslie

    I grew up in the 80's and personally I thought Paula sounded like she had toilet paper stuffed up her nose when she sang. Why she is a judge on a talent show is beyond me...Maybe this is the talent we have today???

    September 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • carm

      Agree. She should only judge dancing contests; that is her "forté".

      October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cat

    One judge too many. Get rid of Nicole – she's too much in love with herself.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • carm

      So is Simon (in love with himself). At least she is much more attractive than Simon! 😉

      October 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      lol, you jealous for sure, shes hot, and youre not haha

      October 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TVFirstLook

    Don't forget to check TVFirstLook (dot com) for TV show reviews, recaps, news, stats and previews. Love ya, mean it.

    September 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BB

    Loved Josh!!!

    September 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GeminiGirl

    Yes, I thought Josh was very good, he probably doesn't drive & probably lives with his mom, at age 30 or so! Also the guy that sang like Frank Sinatra, the one with the hat, was very good. I notice sometimes the judges pick people who don't necessarily sing great but have personality. Anyway, I prefer this show to American Idol. This show seems to have more heart. I won't watch Am Idol anymore, after ten years, because last year the skinny country guy should not have won, if Simon was still there, he NEVER would have been even in the top 10!

    September 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. r

    Josh was my favorite.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  17. mimi of Toronto

    My bet is on Josh – he sang that song amazingly well & nailed it. I was moved to tears, of course, the story about his adoptive Mom touched me as well. I want to see him succeed. I loved L.A. Reid's comment "Give your burrito making job to someone else and pursue your talent in singing." He needs to find a good agent & get started right away. He is good.

    September 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • karenmemphis

      Josh rocked and i see him being the winner. bout tie someone with some actual talent won something

      September 29, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ccm

    JOSH was my favorite

    September 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mimi of Toronto

      Wow, what coincidence – we both thought Josh was great, we even posted our comments at the very exact time! Interesting.

      September 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  19. RenoJen

    Drew Ryniewicz- There is a typo in the lil blip that was written. She did not sing Acapella. She had her own rendition "Baby" by Justin Bieber, with her own style of singing this song, accompanied by piano to the style she sang this song in. It Was Amazing!!! Even L.A Reid Who signed Bieber, was extatic, and If I recall correctly gave her a standing ovation!!! She is prime example, I as a viewer, fan of music, of various genra's, of what I would like to see in an artist today!!

    Loved the singing duo Brock and McKennna- Brock you better tell her how you feel man!!!

    I agree with the Nichole Statement (the Judge)- She is a snob as far as my opinion, diva snob!!! Need serious people in the music industry to be up there with enthusiam, not one thats gonna role eyes at something she disagrees with, or look at you like you are less than her. No no!!

    Kudo's to 4shore!!

    September 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • gn802

      Pretty sure she does know now, since I am sure she watched the show.

      September 30, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  20. lojenk


    September 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Hannah

    I have to say about Brock and McKenna, Simon said McKenna specifically is great, but I think Brock was far better.

    September 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  22. guest love

    I loved Tiger. I think he has a lot of confidence. I wish we could have seen more of his performance. I think he will go far!

    September 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Annia

    There are age limit, 13-49. Yes, 4 judges too many. I would be happy with Simon, Paula, L.A. Reed, and Cheryl Cole if they are going to keep having 4 judges, though. Nicole is phony & too much of a Diva if you ask me.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Where are you getting your info from? Last night they sent through another 12 year old as well as a 58 year old. They have also had several contestants in their 70's and even 80's.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annia

      I could have swore that I heard Simon said 13-49 after Drew R. performance. I could be wrong & must be hearing thing. I kept telling the voice in my head to stop talking while I'm watching TV...it never listened to me. Sigh...

      October 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. mike bernstein

    i like the show alot because of the no age requirement it could move alittle faster & i think 4 judges is one two many!

    September 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • cacmacac

      Mike: capitalize your I's; a lot is two words; no-age should be hyphenated; capitalize the I in it; and it's "too" rather than "two".

      October 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  25. erich2112x

    The show has that European overproduced boringness about it. Even the crowd seems controlled..

    September 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Lyn Pierson

    I really don't think Paula Abdul has anything noteworthy to offer, although, I am a fan of her music. When she disagreed with Simon on Tiah, I knew then she didn't have a clue

    September 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annia

      I would give Paula a little credit here, that she actually knows what she's talking about. Tiah is unique for the fact that she is part Asian/African-American, but she can't carry a tune in a bucket! I don't care much for Nicole, who is so full of her self, come to think of it, she would make a perfect match with that xander Alexander (Johnson) guy. That being said, I have to agree with her, too, about this Tiah person. My bet is that she won't make it pass the 2nd round.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  27. suzy diamond

    I like the show! AND it's nice to see Simon and Paula together again!

    September 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. debbie

    J-Mark was sooooooooo unique and amazing. Hope he has other songs/acts. LOVED him.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  29. R.U.Sirius

    that Xander Alexander dude was so full of himself. wanted to "take it outside" with Simon. I think Simon's a wuss, but he still woulda kicked Xander's a$$. woulda been better than hearing him sing!

    September 29, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      yeah he was a hater for sure. just what we need is another gang member rapper. whats next after succeeding? bullet wounds to show off?

      October 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Diane

    SIMON: Please get rid of Paula – she is awful and ruining your show!
    Bring back Cheryl!!!!

    September 29, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Paty

      Paula is funny and cheerful. I like her because she gives to the show a twist... I love Cherry, I watched the whole UK season last year, but Cherry was to cold and shy here in the US.. I do not know why...

      Paula was not high in my opinion, she is much much better than in American Idol... I do not see that show anymore... boring, boring, boring show..

      September 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  31. R.U.Sirius

    Paula was high. she was smokin a lil somethin-somethin with her gal pal B4 the show!

    September 29, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  32. Laquecia

    Was Paula drunk? To see her act silly would be the only reason for me to watch it.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie in California

      I watched this new show X Factor and I find it to be the most boring show, the contestants are talentless, same music old songs as in other shows, it is just plain boring, Simon in my opinion is yesterday new same is Paula. I got bored with this show that I turned off the tv on the first 10' of the start . Go back to Englan boring Simon.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |

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