The X Factor
"It's about to get real," student Willie Jones says, before heading off for The X Factor's first boot camp episode of Season 2.
The approximately 120 singers who passed auditions converge upon Miami, and by the end of the most intense week of their lives, only 24 will remain. Their first task? Perform a solo in front of the judgmental eyes of their competition and the judges.
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Let's look at highlights of the cacophony and the carnage:
Teen takeover: The amazing 13-year-old Diamond White continues to dominate with her poise and vocals with a great version of "I Have Nothing" that would make Whitney proud. Jennel Garcia -- officially an adult at 18! -- shocked but pleased the judges with her "very spicy" performance.
What's my line? Poor, bespectacled Jake Garza follows another singer who forgot the lyrics, but the purple-clad Jake completely freezes and breaks down, crying, "I want my mom" backstage.
The power of three: Emblem3 continues to trash-talk the other, more traditional boy bands, but they're actually good, so we give them a pass -- for now. "I remember your audition," L.A. Reid says upon seeing them. "You rocked it." And they rocked it again with their upbeat take on The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris." Demi feels it. Britney feels it. Who cares what L.A. Reid says?
Tara the Train Wreck, Part 2: What is this vocal coach doing at boot camp? She's overdone, chews the reality-show scenery and doesn't know how to sing with any genuine feeling. She embarrasses herself again (accidentally flashing some panties), and if the judges keep her, they're drinking something a little stronger than Pepsi.
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Back in the saddle: Willie Jones, the '80s Fresh Prince wannabe, brings his incongruous country vocals again, crooning about his "black-boy tan" and sexy tractor. Britney isn't a fan, but Simon is.
Battle of the Whitneys: Single mom Paige Thomas knows it's a risk to take on "I Will Always Love You," but she hopes it will pay off. Her approach is restrained, deliberate and ultimately touching. The judges love it, but CeCe Frey -- the diva extraordinaire with a leopard face-tattoo -- follows with her own take on the song. She likes her runs and hand-waving! "One of you actually nailed it," Simon says cryptically.
Take out those pink Spears shears because now it's time for cuts!
Who passed: Teens Diamond and Jennel, Whitney No. 1 Paige, showstopper Jason Brock, Whitney No. 2 CeCe, the bullied Jillian, Johnny Maxwell, country crooner Willie Jones and more ...
Who passed out: Sadly, red-dye job Jessica Espinoza doesn't make the cut, but no surprise that the purplicious Jake Garza is out. Also, Trevor Morgan, who should never have gotten even one "yes" in the first place. And a bunch of others who didn't warrant much screen time.
Tomorrow, the boot camp brutality continues with The X Factor at 8/7c on Fox.
Did any of your favorites make it? Did the judges get it right?