Can all episodes of “The X Factor” (at least before the live shows) be an hour long? We’re not necessarily saying that we want to get the show over with, but this week’s installment just felt so exciting compared to what we usually see. There were so many bootcamp performances in front of the judges here, and it didn’t feel so much like we were just looking at filler for half of the show.
We’re not really that interested in focusing on the artists here who didn’t make the cut and obviously weren’t going to advance; instead, here are some of the highlights that entertained us, or were at least memorable from the early rounds.
Diamond White – She may just be 13, but she actually did a better job with the most overdone songs in talent TV history (Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”) than most adults. Just go ahead and pencil her in to the top 16 already.
Austin Corini – He still looks like a Southern version of Niall Horan from One Direction, but he’s not at that level when it comes to being a singer or an entertainer.
David Correy – We stick by what we said about David the first time we mentioned him on here: the guy is awesome. He’s got a great look, an entertaining sound, and we wish we saw more of his actual performance.
Jessica Espinoza – The judges loved Jessica the first time around, but were a bit more “meh” this time. The problem in our mind was just that the music drowned her out?
Jennel Garcia – Holy stage presence, Batman! Jennel was a personal favorite from the audition rounds, and we were given another reminder here. L.A. Reid almost described her perfectly: “spicy.” She’s got a killer rock voice, and it comes in such a tiny package that you would never really see it coming.
Vino Allen – We didn’t really remember Vino that much from his first audition in St. Louis, but we loved here. He just has a classic rock voice, and there aren’t that many like that out there at the moment. To make matters even better, he also just happens to be a really nice guy.
Emblem3 – One of the first bands ever on this show with a genuine shot at winning; they really managed to put a spin on a popular Goo Goo Dolls song, and they also played to the female vote well by taking their shirts off.
Tara Simon – We almost feel bad for Tara at this point, mostly because she really did not say or do anything this week to actually deserve the evil music and the negative edit. Is she over-the-top? Sure, but she has the talent to back it up. Really, we imagine Tara goes home after these rounds and does everything Rachel Berry did in the pilot episode of “Glee.”
Willie Jones – Willie didn’t pick the right song in “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” He just isn’t mature enough for it, and it made him come across a little silly after he already did a similar sort of song with his audition. He would have been better off with something slower.
Paige Thomas – We don’t know why contestants are trying to sing “I Will Always Love You” on this stage; it’s just too powerful of a song. Paige did an okay job of the song, but there was too much vibrato mixed in here.
CeCe Frey – Quite possibly the only person more intense than Tara out of this group, but once again, she can really sing. As a matter of fact, if there was a little less orchestration here, she probably would have had the best version of “I Will Always Love You” on the night.
When it came to the results, the vast majority of the people that we listed above all ended up making it through; the only exceptions that was apparent here was Jessica Espinoza, though we also did lose another notable contestant from the auditions in Trevor Moran.