September 21, 2011 07:05 PM by Candace Young
The X Factor is open to soloists and groups, and all ages from 12 and up. Record numbers turned out to audition in Los Angeles for Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and L.A. Reid. Host Steve Jones introduces the panel as they gear up to find out who will prove to have the X Factor. Read on for the highlights from tonight’s season premiere…
Auditions take place in a huge arena with tons of fanfare and a gigantic, screaming crowd that even makes Paula nervous. Cheryl Cole is on the judge’s panel with Paula, Simon, and L.A. Rachel Crow, who is 13 years-old, is the first audition we see. Simon asks her what she would do with the 5 million dollars. Rachel says there are six people in her family and they live in a two bedroom house – she needs her own bathroom! Rachel sings Mercy by Duffy. The crowd comes to their feet as she belts it out! Paula tells her she blew them away. Cheryl calls her a little star. L.A. Reid says she’s got it all. Simon says she is the reason they were right to take the age down – they’re going to be hearing a lot about her. Rachel gets four ‘yes’s.
The auditions continue with Terrell Carter, age 36, who also impresses the judges and crowd. He gets a ‘yes’ from each of the judges. Ellona Santiago, age 14, follows suit. She is followed by John Lindahl who sings Forget You, and also gets four ‘yes’s.
Next up is a guy who is convinced he will be a megastar. Siamese Floyd starts singing, peels down to reveal skintight clothing, prances around the stage like a horse, dances, flounces, and does the splits - it’s rather bizarre. Cheryl can’t decide if it’s genius or weird. Simon thinks he’s a Prince copycat, yet he’s fascinated. Paula likes the energy, but it’s not original enough. L.A. Reid says ‘no’, Nicole and Paula say ‘yes’, and Simon puts him through.
Seventy year-old Dan and his eighty-three year-old wife Benita, head to L.A. from Nevada to audition for X Factor. They’re hoping for a five-year recording contract and feel they can go all the way. They perform Unchained Melody. Things start out okay but go way downhill. Simon says they’ll be remembered, and jokes that he can see them being him and Paula in ten year’s time. They all give them ‘no’s.
Two teenage girls try out as a duet next. One of the girls does ‘screamo’ which leaves the judges with bleeding ears and all saying ‘no’. Elderly Linda does a very rough version of I Touch Myself, and is also turfed. A teenage girl who wants to be the next Madonna is told she hasn’t got the talent and talks back to Simon before leaving.
Next up is a 21 year-old young woman who thinks she is fierce like Beyonce and Britney. Simone Battle sings When I Grow Up by the Pussycat Dolls. Simon stops her partway through. He and Cheryl agree that she has great potential. L.A. completely disagrees. Simon asks her to sing so that they just hear her voice. It sounds good, but L.A. stands by his first impression. Simon thinks it’s about what they could do with her. She goes through.
The next handful of auditions showcased feature L.A. and Simon disagreeing.
Single mom, Stacy Francis, who is 42 years old, takes the stage to try out for the judges. She’s singing Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin. She has an amazing voice and Simon cannot contain a grin and a ‘wow’ as she belts it out big time! The crowd goes wild and everyone including the judges comes to their feet. L.A. tells her she is so gifted and has what it takes. Paula says it’s her time. Cheryl was blown away by every word she sang – she’s amazing. Simon says he’s done this a long time and it was one of the best auditions he’s heard in his life – loved it, loved it, loved it. Stacy sobs as she goes through with four ‘yes’s and the crowd comes to its feet again.
Seattle Auditions Day 1
Thousands of hopefuls turn out in Seattle for their moment in the spotlight. Nicole Scherzinger replaces Cheryl Cole as the newest judge. Geo Godly is singing a tune that he wrote himself. As he sings I’m A Stud, he pulls down his pants and fully flashes the judges. Nicole and Paula cringe, but no one stops him. Paula finally leaves. Simon asks what the hell that was, and footage was shown of Paula nearly being sick backstage. Geo doesn’t go through.
Marcus wants to perform and be a record producer. His funky audition has Nicole and Paula up dancing. The raucous cheering afterward has him overwhelmed. L.A. tells him he’s been looking for another Bobby Brown and he’s got that going on. Paula says he’s relevant, fresh, and fantastic. Simon feels he’s cool, he can dance and sing – he’s one to watch. They all say ‘yes’.
It’s Nicole’s 21st birthday and the crowd sings to her. Boy band, The Answer, take the stage. They also sing Happy Birthday to Nicole. They tell the judges they are performing Rolling In The Deep with a twist. Their harmonies sound great and the crowd likes them. All four judges put them through.
Nici Collins, a 23 year-old event planner is hoping to wow the judges on X Factor. She’s atrocious! Nici screeches her way through a song and then offers to do another. Simon tells her she has a horrible voice and he and the other judges all say ‘no’. A mother/daughter duo singing Stevie Nicks also tank. They are followed by Darren Michaels who does a nightmarish version of Like a Virgin and is refused. The judges also pass on The Sonnets, a group of college-age girls.
Chris Rene, age 28, who hauls trash and is the father of a toddler, takes the stage. Chris tells the judges he is a recovering addict who just got out of rehab. Chris is singing an original song, Young Homie. The tune is about his journey and his voice is really good. He gets a big positive response from the audience and panel. Nicole says he’s got the X Factor. Paula calls him a bright light. L.A. says he’s worked with some of the best hip-hop artists and they’d be proud of him to tell Chris he’s the truth. Simon says maybe he needs the show, maybe they need him. All four say ‘yes’. L.A. warns he has to stay straight.
Want more? Follow our tweets on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook! For other great Reality TV News, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: The X Factor and then come and discuss the show on our reality TV message boards.
Visit our sister site SheKnows for more breaking news about celebrities and entertainment!
Photos courtesy: FOX