There are 162 acts that made it to “X Factor” Boot Camp. We hope this has as much drama as the “American Idol” Hollywood Week usually does. Meltdowns! Meltdowns! Meltdowns!
The contestants have a week to compete in various challenges and each day some will be cut, until we are left with eight boys (12-30), eight girls (same), over 30s, and groups. Each judge mentors one category. The eight are then invited to each judge’s home and then the judges decide who moves on to the live shows. Huh.
Highlights of the first boot camp episode include:
- An “A Chorus Line”-esque group choreography – “Step kick kick leap kick touch! Again! Step kick kick leap kick touch!”
- The first elimination is groups of 10. Only 100 of the 162 advance. During this first of many montages, we see many singers we’ve already seen, but also a couple newbies – like Chris Rene’s sister Gina Rene. All 162 are split into three groups, with two getting through.
- One poor kid out of the group going home begs to stay, but Simon is firm. Another dude starts screaming and yelling in the lobby. Yikes, dude.
- The next day, it’s Group Day. Awesome. They are given a song and have five hours to get it together. One-third of the acts are going home.
- The Drew Ryniewicz-Caitlin Koch group gets “Creep” and they do pretty well, despite Drew continually squatting during her solo, which makes it look like she has to poop.
- The Stacey Francis-Jazzlyn Little-Melanie Amaro group gets “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Jazzy J forgets the words, but Stacey is more subdued, which is good. Melanie is still awesome.
- The Cari Fletcher-Leroy Bell group gets “Desperado,” which the young ‘uns don’t even know. We meet a girl named Paige Ogle in this group who has a very interesting alto voice. Her pronunciation is kind of weird, but she sounds like maybe English is not her first language? A pretty blonde named Dani Knights gets the bridge and totally rocks it and Skyelor Anderson then kinda biffs the ending. Also, they really put four similar-looking blonde girls in that group.
- The Brian Bradley group gets “Wishing on a Star,” which has rap in it. Good for Brian, but not really fair to the non-rappers. And they really struggle.
- The Josh Krajcik group gets “Superman.” Nick Dean really botches his solo, but a guy named Tiger and then Josh ramp it up a bit. I wish we had seen the teeny guy named Andrew Muccitelli sing.
- The Tiah Tolliver-Nick Voss group (I’m shocked Tiah advanced out of the 162 after her wretched initial audition) gets “Feelin’ Good,” which really lets Phillip Lomax shine with his throwback voice. Tiah has a lot of attitude, but her vocal isn’t perfect. It’s better than her audition, but I still don’t think she should’ve advanced after awful first audition and I still think Simon was on crack the way he fought for her.
- The Rachel Crow group gets “I Have Nothing,” which is an incredibly hard song. The voice over says, “Proving to be more difficult than expected.” Um, really? I bet that song would be just as hard as I imagine it would be. Were those people high when they cheered about getting this song? I would pee my pants if I got handed this song. Anyway. The performance is predictably rough, but Rachel pulls her part out. And their choreography is hilariously awesome – I did not know “Glee” was on Wednesdays. My new favorite stand-out is 17-year-old Hayley Orrantia.
- The Siameze-Makenna & Brock group gets “Run” and Makenna really stands out, as does a 12-year-old named Emily Michalak (12! She’s friggin’ 12!). Siameze is not the strongest.
So that’s it. Tune in tomorrow to see who advances and which judge gets which category of singers. I can’t believe they have to cut about half of those groups – they were so good!
Also – the format for the Boot Camp episode is much preferable to “Idol’s” Hollywood Week format, to us. What did you think?