It’s the last night of “X Factor” auditions. Huzzah! Soon we’ll stop with our arbitrary leaps between Long Island, Los Angles, Denver, Charleston and… um… wherever else we’ve been.
Soon, we’ll start The Four Chairs, whatever that is.
But first? The remaining auditions and the assignment of teams. Who will be this year’s L.A. Reid and whine and pout and cry?
Click through for the full live-blog…
8:00 p.m. ET. I look forward to The Baby Destiny’s Child that Kelly’s been hyping. I fear that it won’t be a hilarious Muppet Babies-style group with Baby Beyonce, Baby Michelle Williams and Baby Kelly. But I could be wrong and I live in hope.
8:02 p.m. Remember: Four categories – Boys, Girls, Early Bird Specials and Hilariously Mismatches.
8:03 p.m. Four Chair Challenge! Four Chair Challenge! Because there’s no singing competition on TV that prides itself on its four chairs!
8:03 p.m. We start with 45-year-old Neal MaComber. He’s contagious and his disease is optimism. “I am here to show my magic,” he says. If Neal actually becomes a star, I’ll try to get Oscar winner Nat Faxon to play him in the movie. Neil has never been married and Simon knows how he feels. [Yikes. I like the text saying that Simon did, indeed, find the right girl and wishing him luck. I guess we’re endorsing Simon’s romantic situation. Oh well. None of my business.] Neil is wacky and awful and enthusiastic. And it goes on forever. Why aren’t we cutting him off? Don’t we have other things to do? Neal, with his crazy eyes, goes running to the judges and goes running into the crowd, terrifying all and sundry and embarrassing his friends and loved ones backstage. And he bets Demi’s head. “It was like something out of a lunatic asylum,” Simon says. “It’s called ‘high energy,'” Neal maintains, but Simon compares it to a slasher movie. Four “No” votes for Neal.
8:10 p.m. Oh right. New Orleans was another location. Glamour is the name of the Baby Destiny’s Child. They do very nice harmonies on the National Anthem. “Play ball,” cheers Kelly. “I feel like I’m looking at a Baby’s Destiny’s Child right now,” she closes. It’s four “Yes” votes. There are other decent groups, too. Girls United has an awful name, but they’re surprisingly fine for a group that allegedly hasn’t played together before. Also… um… They’re all smoking hot. Zach Beeken has a deep Scotty McCreery voice and he advances. The Wild Thingz are a reasonably decent two-person group. Denny “Santa Claus” Smith is an awesome pastor, who looks like Kris Kringle, but has the voice of a veteran bluesman. I really hope we see Denny again.
8:14 p.m. Our next contestant is Victoria Carriger. On one hand, Victoria seems like she’s probably older than she looks — the pigtails are a needless bit of cutesy-ness and I’d have bet she was maybe 35 trying to look 18 — but when we discover that she has eight kids, ranging in age all the way up to 20, her story becomes instantly compelling. She’s separated from her husband and just wants her kids to be proud of her. Molly Shannon will definitely play her in the movie. Victoria is 41 and she’s very good. She sounds her age, in that her voice has tone of feeling and nuance. I could do without the head-voice oversinging, but when she’s in her raspy sweet spot, she shines. She’d get oddles of votes if she were on the live shows and we could keep cutting to her menagerie looking on in nervousness and pride. “I genuinely had written you off before you started singing, but I was not expecting that,” Simon says, calling it “extraordinary.” “I felt your pain. I felt your love for your family,” Paulina says. “It was very unique. I feel the pain in your voice and I’m rooting for you,” Demi says. It’s four “Yes” votes for Victoria. The kids pour out on the stage and hug her. The towheaded little boy in the yellow shirt is probably worth a million votes per week. “That little boy!” Demi gushes.
8:25 p.m. Over to Long Island, home of countless walking stereotypes. Our last auditioner is tie-dyed Keith Beukelaer, who auditioned on “American Idol” 10 years ago. Oh my goodness! It’s “Like a Virgin” Guy! He’s back and he’s back as a rapper? “He was on ‘American Idol,'” Simon whispers to Kelly. He’s doing “Baby Got Back” All credit to Keith: He’s a vastly better rapper than he was a singer. And watching Demi Lovato singing along to “Baby Got Back” is absolutely my favorite thing today. Kelly and and Demi and Paulina all pull Simon to his feet and dance in his general direction. “You’ve all gone crazy,” Simon tells his fellow panelists. Demi votes “Yes!” Paulina votes, “Hell yes!” Kelly isn’t sure if she has to pay for the plane ticket and she also votes “Yes.” It’s redemption for Keith. “I also like big butts, so I’m going to say ‘Yes,'” Simon says. “That just happened, by the way. All of that just happened,” Keith says.
8:30 p.m. And that’s it for auditions.
8:34 p.m. So 218 acts advanced to Los Angeles and the Shrine Auditorium. Simon tells them there will be no boot camp this year. Instead, the judges are just going to pick 10 people in each category. The Four Chair Challenge! The Four Challenge! But why were 218 people brought to Los Angeles if they’re only taking 40.
8:36 p.m. The Girls are, indeed, very good. The judges make decisions without saying any names. The Guys weren’t all that good. Several of the Geriatrics seemed good. There’s no way there were 10 good Groups. When are they going to form new Groups?
8:42 p.m. They’re about to list each Top 40 member and I won’t be able to spell ANY of their names.
8:42 p.m. The judges have made their decision. The Girls are coming out first. “This is going to be quite bittersweet,” Simon says. Khaya Cohen advances. Bree Randall is next. Jamie Pineda is through.Simone Torres, Rion Paige [Yay!], Danie Geimer, Rylie Brown, Primerose Martin and Ellona Santiago are through. There’s only one place remaining. The 10th Girl is… Ashly Williams. “I represent every girl who’s ever been told ‘No,'” Ashly says. But not literally, because she’s actually taking the place of a bunch of girls who were just told “No,” including Brandie Love.
8:45 p.m. The Boys are up next. Advancing are… Carlito Olivero, Chase Goehring, Timmy Thames, Isaiah Austin, Tim Olstad, Al Calderon, Josh Levi, Isaac Tauaefa, Carlos Guevara and Stone Martin. I’m betting several of those remaining Boys will be fused into a Group.
8:47 p.m. Groups time: Glamour, Good News, Yellow House Canyon, Roxxy Monta, Alex & Sierra, Wild Thingz, Girls United and… That’s it. And that’s only seven.
8:48 p.m. The Geriatrics are: Lilie McCloud, Jeff Brinkman, Rachel Potter, Kristine Mirille, Victoria Carriger, James Kenney, Allison Davis, SANTA CLAUS Denny Smith and Lineback Lorie Moore. Our last old person is… Jeff Gutt. Tears are shed.
8:51 p.m. Here come the new Groups. They’re a trio of trios, one girl group, one group of teen pretty boys and one group of country guys.
8:55 p.m. That was some horrible ADR by Mario Lopez.
8:58 p.m. Assignment time. Kelly gets the Geriatrics. Demi gets the Girls. Paulina has the Boys. And Simon gets Groups again.
8:59 p.m. The Four Chair Challenge! The Four Chair Challenge!
How do you feel about the Final 40? Who are you going to miss?