‘X Factor’ Boys Brian Bradley, Skyelor Anderson + More Leave L.A. Reid, Rihanna Impressed
'X Factor' judge L.A. Reid is confident someone from his boys team will bring home the $5 million grand prize, and on Thursday night America and guest judge Rihanna saw why. Four of the eight contestants sang for their reality lives, with three of them leaving strong impressions.
Brian Bradley -- a.k.a. Astro -- was up first, and the 15-year-old returned to adorable form. After his initial audition, the judges raved about his confidence and swagger, but Reid took some convincing after Astro's uninspiring boot camp. He sang a hip-hop medley including 'The Message' from Grandmaster Flash ("It's like a jungle sometimes / It makes me wonder how I keep from going under"). "So cute" Rihanna said. "He's like a mini J. Cole."
Skyelor Anderson was the first of the two country men in Reid's group, the only one to perform on Thursday. The 17-year-old from Mississippi shared his story of survival -- his father died of cancer, and his brother was killed in a robbery -- before beginning Kevin Sharp's 'Nobody Knows.' Reid questioned his sincerity to country music but agreed with Rihanna that with some polishing, he has great potential.
The next male contestant had the unenviable task of singing a Rihanna song to Rihanna. Phillip Lomax was clearly nervous about turning her 'Don't Stop the Music' into an arrangement he could handle. Lomax is the crooner on the show.
"It was very charming … he was very sure," Rihanna said after Lomax had finished. The song wasn't a perfect fit for his unconventional pipes, but Lomax did the best a crooner could with the lyrics. Reid liked him but, as the judges did with many contestants on Thursday night, he wondered if Lomax could be a commercial success.
The last member of the boys group to perform was 22-year-old Nick Voss. The confident, Florida born singer felt he nailed 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' by Tears for Fears.
"I feel like I hit my zone again," he said afterward. Reid and Rihanna thought otherwise, and it seems unlikely he'll be one of the four from this group to move on to the live rounds after the second half performs on Sunday's episode of 'X Factor.'
Watch the Boys Perform on 'X Factor'