'X Factor' Boot Camp Begins: 162 Contestants Enter, Only 32 Will Leave
More than 150 contestants made it through the "X Factor" auditions, but only 32 will continue on to the final competition. In the first 15 minutes of the "X Factor" boot camp round, that number was slashed down to 100.
As bootcamp began, all 162 contestants and groups piled onto the rehearsal stage to practice their dance moves. Some of the performers, like 14-year-old Brian Bradley, either couldn't or wouldn't dance. "I'm not doing all of that," said the pre-teen rapper to the cameras. "That's not what I'm here for." And the kid had a point. This is a singing competition, right?
Contestants were then divided into groups of 10 and asked to perform a song worthy of the $5 million recording contract they're competing for. Some of them rocked it and a few blew it, and the judges were undoubtedly harsh. The contestants were brought back in three larger groups to learn their fate. A few shots of the tears and meltdowns and it was time for the winners to celebrate.
The next morning, the contestants met with L.A. Reid, who explained that they would be split into ensembles and assigned songs selected by the judges. Each group would have five hours to learn the song and only one third of the remaining hopefuls would continue to the next step.
The judges took their seats, and the group performances began.
Group 1: Radiohead's "Creep"
Drew Ryiewicz, Caitlin Koch, The Anser, Audrey Turner, Elaine Gibbs, Clayton Senne and Dexter Haygood
Fourteen-year-old Drew Ryiewicz started the performance, showing that her talent extended far beyond Justin Bieber covers. Dexter Haygood's vocals worked, but the judges were visibly disappointed when they saw the platform shoes and James Brown-inspired moves they had asked him to drop during the audition. The group's standout performer was 53-year-old Audrey Turner, who stepped up and stunned the judges.
Group 2: U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Jazzlyn Little, Melanie Amaro, Heather Gayle, Aaron Surgeon, Arin Ray, Special Guest and Stacy Francis
During the first day of bootcamp, 42-year-old Stacy Francis, went over the top, holding an uncomfortably long note -- this performance was the chance to redeem herself. Self-concisous Jazzlyn Little, 16, opened the number, forgetting the lyrics but seamlessly continuing with her own version. Melanie Amaro, one of the judges' favorites from auditions, overshadowed all the other performers in Group 2 the moment she sang her first note.
Group 3: The Eagles' "Desperado"
Dani Knights, Skyelor Anderson, Leroy Bell, Chelsea Musick, Ben Rue, Paige Ogle and Cari Fletcher
Fifty-three-year-old Leroy Bell said backstage before the performance, "This is it. For me, this is the last time. For a lot of these young kids, they can go try again. I don't plan on trying it again." Luckily for Bell, the judges' smiles and "wow"s made it pretty clear that he'll be there for at least another day. The four women of Group 3 were all young, pretty and blonde, and as the judges deliberated, Paula pointed to three of their photos: "I don't like her, I don't like her, I don't like her."
Group 4: Jay-Z's "Wishing On A Star"
Tinuke Oyefule, Jennifay Joy, Lauren Ashley, Tatiana "Reina" Williams and Brian Bradley
Preteen rapper Brian Bradley thought he had this one in the bag, until he was overshadowed by 28-year-old Reina Williams, who came out of nowhere to show off her latent rap skills and steal the show. Jennifay Joy didn't show quite the proficiency for hip-hop, but Simon was smiling and she worked her last few notes, so she may still make it through.
Group 5: Five For Fighting's "Superman"
Josh Krajcik, Tiger Budbill, Nick Dean, KOMPL3TE, Andrew Muccitelli, James Kenney and Thomas McAbee
The Group 5 performance was definitely the roughest of the night. Platinum blonde teen Nick Dean struggled with the lyrics and was off-key. Everyone, including Dean, knew he blew it. Tiger Budbill and Josh Krajcik were both unbelievable and both will make it to the next round, no question.
Group 6: Michael Bublé's "Feeling Good"
Phillip Lomax, Tiah Tolliver, Chesi Springs, Robert Cruz, Kelly Warner, Austin Simmons and Nick Voss
At the auditions, Simon and L.A. loved Tiah Tolliver; Paula and Nicole did not. "I honestly think it's a competition between myself and these judges," said Tolliver, and as she walked onstage, Paula and Nicole looked at her like a bug on the windshield -- until she began to sing. Nicole and Paula both admitted that she was fantastic and Simon was right to save her. While Group 6 was mostly the Tiah show, Chelsi Springs and Nick Voss also stood out, eliciting grins from the panel.
Group 7: Whitney Huston's "I Have Nothing"
Rachel Crow, Joshua Maddox, 4Shore, Hayley Orrantia, Illusion Confusion, Caylie Gregorio, De'Quan Allen and Ellona Santiago
Adorable 13-year-old superstar Rachel Crow struggled with the song all through rehearsal, but when it came time to perform, she stepped up and killed it -- only to be followed by an equally stellar performance by 14-year-old Ellona Santiago. The group really connected, and it was one of the best overall performances of the day.
Group 8: Snow Patrol's "Run"
Siameze Floyd, Jeremiah Pagan, Song Preservation Society, Cesar De La Rosa, Makenna & Brock, The Stereo Hogzz and Emily Michalak
Once again, "X Factor" producers played up the budding romance between teen duo Makenna & Brock. Apparently a relationship is on the horizon, as the stress of bootcamp has brought them together. But of course for that to happen, they have to make it to the next round. Twelve-year-old Emily Michalak was terrified of performing, but despite her anxiety, she commanded the stage and the entire group performed fantastically.
No decisions were made last night, and viewers have to tune in again tonight (8 p.m. on Fox) to see which performers will continue to the next day of bootcamp.