THE X FACTOR (US) “Judge’s House #2” Review

THE X FACTOR (US) “Judge’s House #2” Episode 8 – So this feels just a bit wonky, covering The X Factor on a Sunday, but I suppose the world of FOX television feels like it has to bow to baseball—a sport declining in relevance and popularity.

But enough bitching about the schedule change. Let’s get into tonight’s (?) performances! Here’s how I ranked ’em in each group:

Paula (with special guest Pfarrell) and the Groups:

Stereo Hoggz singing “Heard It Through the Grapevine” – This group is a real throwback, but spinning it in a modern way. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “Grapevine” sung that fast. If I have one criticism it’s that there seems to be a lead singer—and that doesn’t bode well for the survivability of any group (I’m looking at you, Supremes and Destiny’s Child)!

InTENsity singing “That’s Not My Name” and mixing in a little “You Make My Dreams” – My initial thought was Glee; my second thought was Mickey Mouse Club. Not exactly awesome (or even AusEm), but still… probably better than the bottom half of the groups. Kind of a dumb name. But vote-able? By teenage girls? Most definitely. I think if Paula is smart she puts them through and works the crap out of ’em.

2 Squar’d singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” – It started out interesting but went karaoke, really. And then it went corny. And then it sort of fell apart. I can’t see them going through unless Paula is desperate.

Illusion Confusion singing “Let’s Dance” – badly. I’m not sure what they were going for, but it felt like it came from the 90’s and was exceedingly corny. I was confused and their illusion was dispelled. A guaranteed buh-bye!

Nicole (with special guest Enrique Iglesias) and the Groups – Kind of funny watching Nicole with Enrique. It feels like they’re just perched there on opposite sides of the couch, going, “I’m pretty.” “No, I’m pretty.” “Well I’m prettier.” “No, me.” Sniff! What a fantastic dynamic.

Josh Krajcik sang “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – Michael Bolton and Eddie Vedder’s impossible love child killed it again. Easily going through. No way Scherzinger is dumb enough to hold him back.

Leroy Bell singing “To Make You Feel My Love” – Dude just turned sixty and looks younger than me. Amazing. I was hoping he’d have better stage presence to go along with that golden voice, which to me sounds a little like Kenny Rogers. And I was glad he wasn’t staring at his feet like he normally does. I hope he goes through.

Christa Collins singing “No Surprises” – A Radiohead song? That surprised me! It wasn’t horrible. Slightly strange, hearing that sung by someone who sounds like they have helium in their lungs. Wasn’t horrible.

Tiger Budbill singing “Don’t Give Up on Me” – The Normal Dude who Won’t Die still won’t die. He never stands out to me, just barely eking past the other competition. Here’s where I think he hits his wall. Seriously, is this dude top 4? No.

L.A. Reid (with special guest Rihanna) and the Boys – Rihanna doesn’t seem like the brightest stone in the quarry, but at least she has an opinion (which is more than you can say about Enrique). In a weak Boys field, any one of today’s 4 could go through. In fact, as I rank them, all four of today’s Boys were better than all four of the previous day’s. Don’t be surprised if we at least see 3 out of these 4.

Chris Rene sang “People Everyday” – Kind of a strange choice of a song for him, and the backing track was way too loud. Not his fault, but there you go. Catchy version of that song. I could see that released, which makes the second Chris Rene song I could hear on the radio. (Li’l Homie being t’other, ‘course.) He should go through, just so that we can hear more.

Marcus Canty sang “All My Life” – Marcus is from, according to the Aussie Ryan Seacrest wannabe, from Merry-land. No, dude. It’s Maryland. Or Maerland, if you’re from there (and I originally am). A little corny, but Rihanna loved it. Might be top 4, based on the other boys.

Brennin Hunt sang “Like a Star” – Dude still looks like Jared Leto, but his voice is smooth enough. Is it distinctive? Probably not; he’d need just the right song. I sort of love that Rihanna didn’t like him.

Tim Cifers sang “Dance With My Father” – As far as country singers goes, he’s good. Maybe he can represent that in the show, but can L.A. Reid win with it? I don’t think so. Still, he may go through.

Simon (with special guest his ego) and the Girls –

Melanie Amaro singing “Will You Be There?” She nailed it. She’s Jennifer Hudsonesque. Possibly the best performance of these Judge’s House auditions. No way she doesn’t go through. Unless Simon is just playing fickle.

Rachel Crow singing “I Want It That Way” – I wouldn’t have guessed they’d have given her that song, and it was slightly weird. Her voice still has that impossibly mature quality, but it wasn’t her best performance. Again, decent – but the competition is tough.

Jazzlyn Little singing “I Will Survive” – The arrangement really did her favors, even though she always sounds nervous at the beginning. This could have come off as very karaoke. And there were rough moments in the middle that sounded off key. Still, decent, even though she’s in a rough and talented group.

Tiah Tolliver singing “No Diggity” – Hard to feel badly for a girl who complains about having to wake up and make sandwiches. (Respect the job, young lady, it’s called a “Sandwich Artist!”) Normally she has the better stage presence and vocals that could use some work, but this time she sounded good, in most parts… though (as she’s been accused before) she went pitchy in places. The only question to me is does Simon value her enough that he puts her through past more deserving contestants. Because she’d need to really improve to get the public to vote her to the front of the girls. She’s not entirely likable.

So they ended the show with the “JUDGES’ CHOICES!” Which—

—-were not revealed. Lame, FOX. Lame.

If you’re lame, like FOX, follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker! Lame!