'The X Factor' recap: Miami and Dallas prove un-Xciting
Is it too late to take back almost everything I said Thursday about "The X Factor"?
After "The X Factor's" impressive debut Wednesday night, the second back-to-back audition episode proved to be a huge disappointment, featuring an endless parade of delusional losers and talent-free wannabes marching before the bemused judges.
First in Miami and then in Dallas, we met the likes of Ashley Sansone, who proudly identified herself as a "pop tart" and whose email address, she told us, features the words "unstoppable talent" but whose audition judge L.A. Reid said made him want to slit his wrists; Ashley Deckard, 14, who sees ghosts who "look like people" (Paula Abdul sees them too) but whose voice is not exactly out of this world; and 18-year-old Dylan Lawson, who sold his truck for a ticket to the audition with an apparently highly bleep-worthy song that I'm pretty sure rhymed "matter" and "bladder."
And there were more -- so, so many more: a guy who sounded like a didgeridoo (or a lawnmower, in Abdul's estimation), an arrogant crier whose primary talent appeared to be mouthing off to Simon Cowell, a bank teller/personal trainer duet who held hands but couldn't seem to hold a note.
Many of these auditioners were shown at length, but we were given only a brief, hurried montage of those who did have the talent to make it through.
It was like some sort of cruel joke! I'd like to give "The X Factor" producers the same solid advice one of the judges gave the aforementioned mouthy crier (Xander Alexander, he called himself): You have to make the audience like the show at least a little bit, guys.
Perhaps those briefly glimpsed performers who made it through were merely mediocre. But that didn't stop the producers from dedicating lots of air time to Nick Voss, whose performance Nicole Scherzinger aptly summed up as "Jim Carrey meets Jerry Lee Lewis with a little sprinkle of Elvis," or to homeless Memphis, Tenn., musician Dexter Haygood, whose James Brown impression almost did him in before Cowell gave him a second chance: "15 seconds, a cappella, you, go." (The judges put both Voss and Haygood through to the next round.)
I'd put 21-year-old Caitlin Koch -– a rugby coach and player who looked a bit like actress Heather Graham -- somewhere above mediocre.
But of all the performers we were shown during two loooong hours, only one contestant showed real promise of stardom: Melanie Amaro, a confident, yet modest-seeming 18-year-old with a lovely smile who sang a rich, buttery version of Beyonce's "Listen." L.A. Reid told Amaro that she alone justified his decision to walk away from other pursuits in order to be an "X Factor" judge. High praise, indeed.
What did you think of Thursday night's "X Factor"? Were you as disappointed as I was? Will you give the show another chance –- or wait for the next season of "American Idol" instead?
-- Amy Reiter
Photo: Xander Alexander, 27, performs in front of the judges and audience "The X Factor" Thursday. Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox.