|Simon Cowell of 'The X Factor,' on Sept. 11, 2012. (FayesVision/WENN.COM)
Another week of ‘The X Factor’ auditions means more fame to be had for contestants in Providence, Greensboro and San Francisco.
Unfortunately, not all publicity is good publicity — and the first batch of wannabe singers who stand/dance/gyrate before judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on Wednesday night's episode are headed straight for the reject pile.
The good news is, when an episode starts off with 15 minutes of crap, it can only go up from there ... right?
Dinah Jane Hansen is young, has funky red hair and pointy earrings that could be a prop in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film adapt. She's nervous, but who isn't? Besides, her take on Beyonce's ‘If I Were a Boy’ is better than, well, Beyonce's. Hey, it's not just me; everyone agrees!
Arin Ray's group Intensity didn't make it too far last season. But he's done a lot of growing up since, and is super “cute” according to Lovato (who followed that up with an “oops” upon hearing Ray was only 16). It's clear he wants to be the next Usher. And the bow-tie/suspenders are a geektacular touch. I don't remember him from last year, but I'll remember him from this year.
Cue the four-judge-approved talent montage, including standout singer Beatrice and hip-hop duo One4Five. Clearly they're on a roll.
Not for long. A pee break later, Changyi Li, 52, appears in a sailor suit. She wants to be a superstar like Celine Dion, but her version of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ makes her the female equivalent of William Hung. Next!
Austin Corini has yet to audition, but he's already signing autographs for tweenyboppers (OMG he's so cute!!!). The bleached-blond fauxhaux isn't cutting it for me, but he's 16, and if ridiculous hair makes him the next Justin Bieber, so be it. Simon isn't sold on his chops, but since his voice isn't going to be his selling point anyway, he's in.
Up next, Nick Young is 20, cleans toilets for a living, and has the whole audience — and Britney Spears — dancing to Vanilla Ice's ‘Ice Ice Baby.’ I don't know why, but this is seriously awesome. In!
Like Brangelina, Jaime is an engaged couple that only needs one name. They are also a duet. They love to kiss and annoy the hell out of everyone — especially when they perform a cheesy number that would make most cruise-ship travellers willingly walk the plank. At least they still have each other.
David Correy is covered in tats, so he's got instant street cred. He was also adopted, and hopes this will reconnect him with his birth mother. Aww. He sounds just like Bruno Mars. Too much? Maybe. But he easily gets all four judges onboard.
Pulling up next in a luxury SUV is someone who reality TV fans recognize: Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of Gene and Shannon. She is desperate to disassociate herself with Dad, and thinks ‘The X Factor’ will help her get discovered on her own. Her take on Adele's ‘Make You Feel My Love’ is sweet but bland. Obviously, she's gorgeous. And surprisingly humble (who calls Britney Spears “ma'am”?). Simon is the deciding factor, and it's a yes.
Tara Simon, however, thinks Sophie got through because of her dad. Tara also thinks Tara is already a star. Apparently she's got chops, and since every competition needs a drama queen, she's in.
Daryl Black is a family man, and he seems more Chris Rock than Chris Brown (a good thing, anyway). But he holds the jokes long enough to sing ‘Stereo Hearts’ and prove he's not really like anyone else ... just himself. Or, as Simon says, Nat King Cole. Whatever. He's still unique, and won't be leaving the show any time soon.
Capping off the San Fran trek is Trevor Moran, an overly excited 13-year-old singer/dancer/live-blogger who happens to fall ill right before his audition. Surely he'll get a second chance on tomorrow night's show ... right? Right?! I will not be able to function while held in such suspense. Until then, I guess...