October 6th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
Fox's "X Factor" is finally getting down to business. Over 100 musicians hit up boot camp for what the show calls "the toughest week of their lives."
One by one, we saw all the singers from the first two weeks of auditions pack up and head to Los Angeles to perform once again for judges L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell.
I thought the judges had their work cut out for them narrowing down the thousands who auditioned, but I truly believe it's going to be very hard for them to pick 32 finalists out of 162 pretty great artists.
A celebrity stylist, a vocal coach and a choreographer joined the show this week to help the judges make their decisions. First up was the choreographer, who works with all 162 contestants to teach them a dance as the judges take note of their skills.
Initially I thought that if you can truly sing, you wouldn't need a choreographer. But then I remembered that this is Hollywood, and in order to succeed you must be a triple threat.
Before the judges could get into their first round of cuts, there were dozens of singers taking the stage every few minutes to belt out tunes for the judges once again. Interestingly, the singers who blew us away last week with their memorable auditions actually didn't do so well this week, while the people who were lukewarm in their performances last week stepped up their game.
After the first round of cuts, the competition dropped to 100 artists from 162, and that remaining 100 were quickly organized into groups. Of the people who made it, there was 53-year-old Audrey Turner. If her last name is familiar to you, that would be because she is the widow of late singer Ike Turner (perhaps better known for being married to Tina Turner).
The judges weren't all loving her, but the group they did love was the second one, which consisted of about 10 acts. They performed U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and they killed it.
Group three, which performed "Desperado," baffled me. Individually, they're all good singers, but together as a group it simply didn't flow. It will be interesting to see who moves to the next round out of this group.
One of my favorite contestants, Brooklyn rapper Brian Bradley, was completely at home in group four, which performed Jay-Z's "Wishing On A Star." Bradley does the majority of the rapping while others provide the vocals behind him, but the judges simply weren't feeling this at all. Reid even admitted he thought Bradley was just too young for this.
Group seven, which included 13-year-old Rachel Crowe, sang Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." I felt for them because it's hard to live up to Houston's voice, and sadly, I think Crowe wasn't nearly as stellar as she was when she first auditioned.
The judges were also split over the last group, which included Siameze and Stereo Hogzz. The judges thought Siameze was okay, but Emily was the standout.
Tonight, 32 will be chosen to stay while the others are sent packing.
What do you think of Wednesday's performances? How do you think the judges are going to be able to whittle down the 100 singers they have?
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