'The X Factor' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap - 'Boot Camp #3 & Judges' Homes'
An extended montage of the people who have already made it through boot camp starts off the show, as we prepare to cut the current field of 60 down to 24. Past that, we'll be going to the judges' homes, where apparently Justin Bieber is going to be a guest mentor with L.A. Reid.
A full eight minutes of the beginning of the episode is just another montage of the contestants throwing out the usual stock phrases: "I'm not going home yet," or "It's all or nothing," or "This could change my life." When we come back, Simon explains the new categories: Teens, Young Adults (18-24), Over 25s, and Groups.
Simon says right away that this is probably the most talented group. "We're going to lose a lot of good people," he says. First name read is Cece Frey, who takes it with humility, thank god. Then, Willie Jones! Yay Willie! Jennel Garcia also gets sent through, and gives a big hug to Jillian Jensen, who is clearly also going through. Nick Youngerman is also named, along with Paige Thomas... and the last name is Jillian. No surprise there.
So that means that Sophie Tweed-Simmons won't be going through, and neither will Ally Brooke, who is sobbing.
Jason Brock is predictably giddy when his name is read. Daryl Black also gets a nod, as does one half of the tattooed duo, David Correy. Will Vino join him? Not yet, as Tara Simon is read next, followed by country boy Tate Stevens. That leaves just one more spot, and a few good performers... and it's Vino Alan. Must be a big turnaround for him, as he thought he totally blew his performance. He's in tears, which is unnerving to see from such a tough dude.
Sister C is the first group through, followed by Dope Crisis. Emblem3 is going through too (of course), but that's the end of the names. There should be six groups, right? Were the others just not worth showing? Or... are they making more supergroups of other eliminated contestants? Sigh. This category is a joke.
Clearly, three other groups made up of eliminated contestants
Beatrice Miller is the first name, no surprise there. James Tanner also goes through. I don't even remember him. Carly Rose Sonenclar also gets a nod, possibly the most obvious choice of the bunch... other than maybe Diamond White, who is announced next. Reed Deming goes through, which seems unfair. There are a lot of other more deserving singers here, but Reed gets points for youth and personality. Arin Ray, who was in InTENsity last year, can go through as a solo artist. Demi is in tears about the poor crying children.
Yep, sure enough, here are a number of young adults and teens who are pulled back on stage to be sorted into groups. That includes Ally, the kid with the blond fauxhawk, that one rapper girl, and I think even the girl that Arin had a crush on.
Carly Rose Sonenclar
And now, to decide who will mentor which category:
Britney gets the Teens, which is exactly what she wanted (supposedly). Simon gets the Groups, which is a death knell for him. He will not be repeating with a winner. Demi gets the Young Adults, and should end up with the winner. L.A. gets the Over 25s, and pretends to have a little conniption fit. L.A. is not a very good actor.
The groups all roll up to Simon's place in Miami, which Emblem3 says looks "like Batman's house." They all go a little too nuts when they see that Simon is their mentor. His guest mentor will be Marc Anthony, who these young kids pretend to be excited about.
In Los Angeles, the young adults head to Demi's place on a big drive through downtown. She has a pretty sweet loft. It's nice to see that not only do Jennel and Jillian get to be together, but Jillian gets to work with Demi, whom she idolizes. Her guest mentor is Nick Jonas.
The teens head to Britney's house, which is in Malibu on a cliffside. It's pretty spectacular. Her dress and hair match the ivy. Her guest mentor is Will.i.am, which is an interesting choice for the teens, but he does have some experience on "American Idol," so there you go.
And now to L.A.'s house, which looks to be in the Pacific Palisades. Clearly a different house from the one we saw last season, but it's no surprise that L.A. has more than one house. L.A. has Justin Bieber and Bieber's manager out to help. This may be why L.A. was so upset: now it's totally weird that Bieber is mentoring a bunch of 30-year-olds.
We're starting with Demi and the young adults, and it looks like Jennel is up first. She gets a pointer from Demi before she starts: go easy on the hair flips, which seem to be a nervous habit. She takes that note just fine for her performance of "I Kissed a Girl," which is loaded with personality. She should make it through for sure.
Willie Jones is next, and will be singing "Nobody Knows," the same song that he bombed at boot camp. Redemption time, I guess. He remembers all the words this time, and gives an emotional performance, but unfortunately the song doesn't show off his hook, which is his lower register. Nick Jonas makes a good point: Willie is inconsistent with his style. "Sometimes it's country, sometimes it's R&B," he says. Considering the strength of this category, he might not make it.
Jillian seems to have a bit more confidence these days, maybe because she's under Demi's watch now.Demi tells her to work on the physical presentation since her vocal performance is already solid. She sings "Gravity" and might be overdoing the performance a bit at first, but it won't matter. She's a great singer.
Nick time. Will he rap again? Sort of: he does "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha, which is more talk-singing. But he doesn't even sing the chorus, which is supposed to have a melody. He certainly makes a story out of it, injecting some humor and stuff, and Nick enjoyed it. Demi says "I couldn't tell if I was loving it, or super annoyed by it." It was the latter for me, Demi. Nick will not be making it.
Paige mentions her 3-year-old daughter, who I forgot about. Good move bringing her up again, for the sympathy points. Then she does a slowed-down version of Chris Brown's "Turn Up the Music," which I'm ambivalent about. On the one hand, it's an interesting arrangement. On the other hand, it's Chris Brown. Demi thinks that Paige is getting weaker due to nerves, and Paige knows it wasn't great.
That leaves Cece, and bless Demi's heart, she tells her exactly what she needs to be told: her attitude can get "a little bit unlikeable." Cece tears up a bit at that, and Demi makes a good point in telling her that this emotion will only help her. "You don't feel that way, do you?" she asks Nick Youngerman about her unrelatableness. He responds as convincingly as he can. And then she sings "I'm Sexy and I Know It," but she at least knows that it's a bit ridiculous. "It's just for fun, I swear," she says. It's an interesting arrangement, so I'll forgive her.
We head over to Simon and the groups now. Playback is the newly created boy band, and they're scrambling to quickly create some unity and chemistry. They do "Rich Girl" with some of the cheesiest choreography ever, but you can't say they don't have energy. They seem to have a nice balance between guys who can sing and guys who can rap. To their credit, they sound decent in unison, which is hard to do with five people. Marc Anthony was not impressed. "I found myself looking for planes," he says. Simon disagrees.
Emblem3 is up next. They're getting more and more cocky and annoying as they go, but unfortunately with good reason: they seem to be one of only a couple of groups that know what they're doing. The level of douchebaggery is as high as ever, but they do kind of a nice little dub style version of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." Mr. Shirtless screwed up one of the verses, though. Will that be the finishing blow?
Sister C time. As the only other group that got any screen time, they know what they're doing musically. However, Simon notes that they seem "standoffish" because of their introverted nature. Their performance is technically strong: all three are strong singers, and their harmonies are tight. But there's also nothing all that interesting about them. Both Simon and Marc are impressed.
Lyric 145 is a combination of rapper Lyric Da Queen and rap duo One4Five. Makes sense, right? Lyric is from Flint, Michigan, and now I feel for her. Flint is terrible. Their performance is a rap version of "Party in the USA," which works better than you'd think. They could actually do pretty nicely. "She is a superstar," says Marc of Lyric.
Next up is Dope Crisis, who don't get much of an intro. They do an interesting cover of "Super Bass" that seems to impress Simon a bit compared to past performances, but Marc notes that if that's their best one yet, they might not have much to offer. Considering this is basically all we've seen from them, you can expect them to be going home.
Lylas is the created girl group, and you can bet Ally is going to be the leader here. They claim that they're meshing really well already, both vocally and personally. They give a low-key performance, all sitting on stools and delivering "Impossible" by Shontelle. It's fine, but it's really all of them taking turns singing solo, with almost no harmony except during the chorus. Marc and Simon seem unimpressed. "I don't know what you expected," says Marc. "It's gone someplace else," says Simon.
We don't get any cuts yet, as it looks like we'll go through each category's performances and then get one big results show. Tune in tomorrow night for the Over 25s and the Teens!
The X Factor