The X Factor: Gene Simmons' Daughter Auditions; Plus One Titanic Failure
Gene Simmons' daughter Sophie auditioned on Wednesday's episode of The X Factor, and vowed to not use her father's name or connections to give herself an advantage.
But as soon as the 19-year-old walked on stage in San Francisco and introduced herself (as "Sophie Tweed-Simmons"), Demi Lovato perked up. "That's where I know you!" she said, pointing. "You're Nick's sister ... Gene Simmons' kid."
Tweed-Simmons' face fell as the rest of the judges panel — Britney Spears, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid — confirmed that she was, in fact, the child of the legendary lead singer of KISS.
"It's hard," she said of her family connections before her audition. "It's a big shadow. I really just want to step out of being the daughter of the guy from KISS. I want to be my own person, and hopefully this is a way to just show the world who I am."
Tweed-Simmons received tepid feedback after her rendition of Adele's "Make You Feel My Love," but made it through the auditions with three yesses. (Reid was the only holdout.)
Simon Cowell's second chance sets off an X Factor tantrum
She'll have at least one fierce competitor. Vocal coach Tara Simon shot dagger eyes at Tweed-Simmons in the backstage area and was filmed talking to other contestants about how she only made it through because of her father. Simon made it through with four yeses, but not before Simon told her to "shut up and start singing" in the middle of her overconfident introduction.
Elsewhere during the night, Providence, R.I., proved to be a goldmine, with the unanimous "Yes" votes having to be rolled into one long montage as singer after singer wowed the judges. Highlights included Arin Ray, 16, who competed in Season 1 of the show as a member of the group InTENsity. Ray performed an original R&B song called "Count on Me," and received four emphatic yeses from the panel. "I don't know what's happened to you in the last 12 months, but something's definitely happened, because you're a different person," Simon told him.
And then there was Changyi Li, an unemployed 52-year-old who's lived in America for 14 years. In her pre-performance interview, Li said she wanted to be a "superstar" like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston or Lady Gaga. For her song, Li chose Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" and delivered a version that left audience members looking like they would rather be ... well, on a sinking ship. "The good news is ... if they ever remake the film, you could replace the iceberg," Simon told her, before sending her off the stage with four nos.
Ratings: NBC comedies fall; X Factor rises again
Wednesday was also the Night of the Heartthrobs, with 20-year-old janitor Nick Youngerman prompting Britney to get out of her seat and dance during his performance of "Ice, Ice Baby," and 16-year-old Austin Corini already being approached by girls asking for his autograph (and a hug) in the contestant waiting room. After giving him a fourth yes, however, Cowell told the blonde, mohawked Corini that he'd have to rely on more than his looks if he's going to make it to the finals. "You've got to be remembered not for your hair, but for your voice," Cowell stressed.
And the night ended on a cliff-hanger, with enthusiastic contestant Trevor Moran, 13, appearing to pass out on his mother's lap just before his audition — after killing time in the waiting room by making an online video with another hopeful dancing and lip-syncing to Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Whether or not he'll actually make it on stage will be revealed when the live auditions continue on Thursday's X Factor, at 8/7c on Fox.