Friday, September 14, 2012

X Factor US 2: Live Auditions Part 1

I hated the first season of X Factor US with a passion, but Season 2, I think, is off to a great start. A home run on a million levels by comparison to last season.

For one, there's no Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, and instead we have two relatively relevant artists replacing them - Demi Lovato and Britney Spears. That alone is already a VAST improvement from last season. I think Demi is adorable and gives good critiques, but I didn't expect Britney to be a great judge. Tough but fair. Plus, the chemistry between all four judge is fantastic!

Also, the no-host documentary style of the audition feels fresh - something that I didn't expect and possibly what separate them from the other talent shows. There are moments where it seems a little staged, but whatever. I just wish they improve on the ratio of talented contestants as six "good" auditions in two hours feels short.

Anyway, on with the auditions!

Paige Thomas
I'm Going Down
No, Paige doesn't have the strongest voice in the competition - her voice sounds thin with too much vibrato - but there's something about her that very compelling. I like her look, the attitude is there and she has a good stage presence. I guess, that's what you call X Factor? Ha. 7/10

Reed Deming
It Will Rain / Grenade
This kid is not ready yet - not even close. His vocals are shaky and while he seems to be tough enough for the competition - operative word: seems - and as good as I would expect a 13 year old to be, I generally don't like kid singers that don't have maturity in their voices. I wish only those who've hit puberty should be allowed to audition. Haha. 4.5/10

Born This Way
Hmm. I agree, he's entertaining and has a relatively decent voice, but I have a funny feeling they let him through just for drama in boot camp. 4/10

Sunset Boulevard
In case you're wondering, they're not a boyband. Haha. To be honest, I can't make out what they're singing, but by the end of the audition, I find myself entertained. Fine, the boys need a little fine tuning with their vocals and maybe with the attitude as well, but they clearly have potential and they're a very marketable act. Plus, their original song is quite good. For me, they are probably going to be insanely popular with teenage girls - obviously the same demo that's making One Direction so popular right now. 7.5/10

Jennel Garcia
Paris (Oh la la)
Minus the fact that she unknowingly touches her hair every 5 seconds, her audition sounds great. Cool song choice. Lovely voice. Little firecracker. Possibly the best audition in the bunch, which makes her look amazing by comparison to the others. 8.5/10

Jillian Jensen
Who You Are
I don't want to sound like I have no heart - because I apparently do. Haha. - but I seriously find Jillian's voice incredibly average and her vocal on this Jessie J song is pretty rough. That said, the emotion she pours into it is intense, real and moving. The talent is clearly there and she has the potential to be a fantastic alto, but yes, her backstory definitely adds to the experience. 7.5/10


Anonymous said...

you can trust me when I say that Paige's voice is actually much much better than what was seen at the audition. she was fighting back tears and was extremely nervous the entire time. I know her personally and she has an amazing voice. Again, much better than what you heard. just you wait.

X said...

You know, I've watched the 1st 2 episodes of this now and I just now realized there was no host. I guess that's how "good" whats-his-name was last year... so "good" he can be replaced by nothing and I didn't even notice.

Anyways, aside from Jennel (I thought she was great), I wasn't overly impressed with anyone tonight. They were mostly ok, but nothing special.
Jillian is the only possible exception to this. I loved the emotion she poured into her song, but I wasn't familiar with the song and that emotion made it somewhat difficult to understand.
I'm going to say that Jennel is an early favorite. Hopefully she'll stick around, unlike my favorite from last year (Jazzlyn Little) who got eliminated during the judges' houses round.

As far as the two new judges go... I'm actually quite impressed with them as judges. They're WAAAY better than I thought they were going to be. My only issue is Britney's voice is a tad on the annoying side.

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