'X Factor' Auditions Bring Out the Crazies (And the Worst in Simon, Paula)
There were more rejections and a few successes as the Chicago auditions wrapped and the Seattle auditions picked back up from where they left off last week, judge Cheryl Cole being replaced once again by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
One of the most surprising performances of the night was that of Josh Krajcik, a young, burly "burrito slinger" who stunned the judges and the audience with his powerful, raspy version of Etta James' "At Last." He got four yeses from the judges and another 3,335 from the crowd, before excitedly rushing offstage to hug his mom, who had driven him the seven hours from Columbus, OH.
Video: Josh Krajcik's "X Factor" audition
Both the home and live audiences prepared for a joke audition when Justin Bieber superfan Drew Ryniewicz took the stage to perform her idol's "Baby." She looked as if she were about to hyperventilate over sharing a room with L.A. Reid -- the man who signed Bieber -- but when she began to sing, the 14-year-old blew everyone away. Simon said she was the "easiest yes so far today" and Nicole talked about what a big fan she is of the Biebs, before telling Ryniewicz, "I prefer your version to his."
Video: Drew Ryniewicz performs "Baby" on "X Factor"
Not much more happened during the rest of hour two, except when Nicole took the spotlight from a contestant, talking about her days on a singing show called "Popstars" and belting out Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."
One of the final contestants was 19-year-old Tiah Tolliver, a deli clerk who sang Shontelle's "Impossible" -- without a musical track. Her pitch was all over the place, but L.A. and Simon both saw potential where the female judges didn't, prompting a vicious battle of the sexes.
Video: Tiah Tolliver's "X Factor" audition
"I've got a real feeling about this girl. I'm telling you, this girl has got something in her," Simon told the other judges. L.A. made a pointed remark about how he and Simon had signed artists and knew how to spot raw talent, implying that Paula and Nicole did not. Both women voted no and Simon insisted that Tolliver be given the chance to sing agin. Enter: dramatic commercial break.
Five minutes later, the show returned and Tolliver sang, this time well enough for Nicole to give her a chance. Paula was bitter about losing, so she knocked Simon's snack out of his hands like two kids fighting at recess.
Tonight's episode is set in New Jersey and New York, and will debut at 8 p.m. Hopefully there will be a few Jersey Shore-wannabes to liven up the final night of auditions, before the show moves into the next round.