‘X Factor’ Recap: Tiah Tolliver + Tiger Budbill Prove Judges Wrong in Group Performances
The auditions are over and now, and 'X Factor' contestants and hopefuls are being divvied up. 160 contestants were narrowed down to 100 and they performed in groups. When all is said and done and the best are cherry picked from the rest, the performers will be further divided into groups of eight. Each judge will serve as a mentor to a group. It's like a mix of 'American Idol' and 'The Voice.'
The 100 contestants were subjected to a boot camp, where they were assessed regarding their ability to sing, dance and look good. It's not just how they sound; it's about the total package of voice, choreography and style.
The contestants were then divided into groups and sang songs selected by the judges.
Group 1: Radiohead's 'Creep': Drew Ryniewicz, Caitlin Koch and Audrey Turner were our three favorites, since each lady has a refreshing, unique voice. Singing a Thom Yorke song is no easy task and is a tall order, but this trio adapted to the song and made it their own. We wish Dexter Haygood – the soulful rocker – hadn't struggled so much.
Group 2: U2 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For': Jazzlyn Little, who lacks confidence but makes up for it with her voice, bungled the lyrics. Fellow larger-than-life vocalists Melanie Amaro and Stacy Francis once again impressed, even if Francis needs to learn to exercise a little restraint. Amaro is good, but we want her to be more memorable.
Group 3: The Eagles 'Desperado': Leroy Bell – we still can't believe he's over 45 -- was good. Dani Knights and Cari Fletcher also gave it their all on this classic rock ballad that always succeeds in making us sad. We wish Skyelor Anderson showed off his country thang a little more. This would have been the song to do it!
Group 4: Jay-Z 'Wishing on a Star': This song meshes rapping and singing, so it should have been the perfect vehicle for 14-year-old rap hip-hop wunderkind Brian Bradley, but L.A. Reid said he is too young for the genre and his age is showing. Lauren Ashley really let it rip and she's only 17.
Group 5: Five For Fighting 'Superman': The dudes did it on this one. Josh Krajcik and Tiger Budbill both turned in stellar performances that made us forget that Nick Dean completely forgot the words. D'oh. Budbill almost didn't make it out of the audition round, yet the judges were marveling at his voice. Good thing they upstreamed him.
Group 6: Nina Simone, 'Feeling Good': Tiah Tolliver was the bone of contention between Simon Cowell and "the girls" last week. Neither Nicole Scherzinger or Paula Abdul wanted to send her up and Cowell was obstinate and adamant that she had something. And she does. She was the best of her group since she had soul, moves and eyes of steele. She is why Simon gets his own show – he knows when someone has "it."
Group 7: Whitney Houston 'I Have Nothing': Early favorite Rachel Crow had Nicole rocking in her seat when she belted out this diva anthem. You don't need to know who else was in her group, since she was that good.
Group 8: Snow Patrol, 'Run': Emily Michalak is a 12-year-old dynamo and she pretty much made Snow Patrol's 'Run' her own damn song. Perhaps she and Rachel Crow will duke it out as the competition progresses?