September 20, 2012 10:00 PM by Melissa Stavarski
The X Factor‘s next round of auditions happen in Greensboro, North Carolina. Simon Cowell is in search of grits, Britney Spears is excited to be in the south and close to home, L.A. Reid hopes to find big talent in a small town, and Demi Lovato is exhausted from juggling her tour and the auditions. Once Simon gets his grits, the auditions begin.
Willie Jones, 17
Wow, Willie Jones looks fresh out of Tiger Beat magazine, circa 1990. (You know you hung those posters on your bedroom walls.. much to your parents’ dismay. Thanks for the memory, Willie.) Willie and his family drove 14 hours for this audition.
So, Willie comes out onto the stage, looks like the Fresh Price of Bel Air (says Demi), and busts out Scotty McCreery‘s ditty. The judges are shocked. I bet, not one of them expected Willie to sing country. He sings Your Man by Josh Turner, and he sings it well. Willie stands on stage, in awe of the crowd’s cheers.
L.A. says Willie is original. Demi thinks Willie is likable, humble. She tells him to “save that person.” Simon says, “You’ve gone beyond my expectations. You have a sensational recording voice. I want to remember this day – the first time I heard Willie Jones.” Awesome… as long as we don’t have to hear “baby lock the door and turn the lights down low” a thousand times, a la Scotty.
Kalvin McManigile, a rough 47
Kalvin is a hot mess. When Simon asks Kalvin what he does for a living, it takes about three minutes to piece together “put handles on lawnmowers, buddy.” Simon’s next question stumps Kalvin. Simon asks, “What are you going to sing?” Kalvin says, “You got me now.” The music starts suddenly, and Kalvin gets down. When he’s done, he waits for applause that never comes. Kalvin professes his love to a horrified Britney before he struts offstage to the tune of “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.”
Julia Bullock, 18
Julia is quirky. Julia shows up with her band, but she plans to audition alone. Christian (band mate/ex-boyfriend/bunny boiler) is not happy. Besides the fact that he’s obviously still in love with Julia, he fears this is the end of the band. Julia confirms; if she makes it on The X Factor, no more band.
When Julia takes the stage, the judges ask her about the band. She simply says her band mates do not sing, so she has no choice but to move forward on her own. Julia sings Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People. She is so cute and her voice is great.
Simon likes Julia’s image, says she looks current. Britney compliments her unique sound. L.A. claims he has been looking for someone exactly like Julia. He likes her attitude.
Krysten Colon, 21
Krysten is a hairdresser who is ready to share “what she hears in the shower.” She wants to be a superstar.
Krysten starts to sing an Adele song. Simon stops her almost immediately. Krysten isn’t horrible, but Simon complains it’s just a copy of Adele. Simon tells Krysten she needs to find a classic song with a melody, work out her own interpretation of that song, and come back later.
Jeffrey Gutt, 36
Jeffrey has a dilemma. He is a single dad… but he wants to be a rock star. He explains, “I was okay being broke before, but now I have a kid.” Jeffrey and his son Talon are adorable together.
When Jeffrey tells the judges he plans to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, their eyebrows go up. That song is not easy to sing. I always compare any contestant who attempts Hallelujah to American Idol‘s Jason Castro and The X Factor‘s own Josh Krajcik. In the end, Jeffrey takes Hallelujah to a new level. He took a played out audition song (that’s usually butchered) and made it sound new and fresh with a rock twist. The audience stands and screams. Tears form in Britney’s eyes.
L.A. says Jeffrey nailed it. Britney describes his voice as soothing, mysterious, and unique. Demi compliments the changes Jeffrey made to the song, as well as his “gritty” voice. Just then, there’s a huge clap of thunder, and Demi says, “God’s rocking out too!” Simon tells Jeffrey that his audition was one of the best he has ever heard.
Krysten Colon, 21, Take Two
Krysten says she’s ready to wow this time. She sings Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing. She did not make the song her own, she murders the high notes, and it’s just not good. A very loud clap of thunder ends the torture.
Simon tells Krysten the thunder came for a reason, the song did not work. She says, “I was just about to blow it.” (good) L.A. jokes, “You already blew it.” (bad)
Krysten is pissed and goes a little crazy back stage. She yells at her family and throws water at a camera. Then, Krysten grabs a chair, waves it around, and threatens to hit people/things. The X Factor people call security. Krysten leaves the building… and just runs away in the pouring rain.
The X Factor auditions continue next Wednesday on Fox. Will you be there? Has anyone caught your attention yet?
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Photo credit: FOX