The X Factor Episodes

2011, TV Show

The X Factor Episode: "Judges' Homes #2"

Season 1, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: The remaining contestants visit the homes of the judges for mentoring.
Original Air Date: Oct 16, 2011

X Factor Episode Recap: "Judges' Homes #2" Season 1, Episode 8

It's been four X Factor-free days and I bet you were developing cold sweats and severe anxiety — right? Well, thank goodness we're back at the judges' amazing mansions and can continue to feel completely inadequate about our own lives and homes again.

Jazzlyn Little starts out the evening by underwhelming us with a tired rendition of "I Will Survive." I honestly didn't think it was possible to make that song a snoozefest, but Jazzlyn proved me wrong. Given the talent she's demonstrated in the competition, this was totally disappointing. We can hereby refer to her as Nervous Nelly. I think her youth will ultimately get the best of her.

Next up we have the best-looking person in the competition, who also happens to have an unbelievable voice. It's surprising that a performer like Brennin Hunt hasn't found his way to the spotlight yet — or at least some other singing competition like American Idol. His performance this evening is good, but I'm not convinced he can differentiate himself from the Gavin Degraws and John Mayers of the music world. "I think he is beautiful, but he's a little bit corny. He gives me '90s boy band," says Rihanna. I hear you, RiRi.

The Stereo Hogzz perform for Pharrell and Paula, and the dude in the green varsity jacket is so incredible that I came close to forgiving this group for their horribly uncreative name. The Houston-based boy band gave an amazing version of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," incorporating funky dance moves that were a refreshing and much appreciated surprise. They were energetic and fun, but we barely got to see whether the other group members could actually sing - it felt like they were only there to be backup dancers.  Pharrell called them "old Motown."

Josh Krajcik, the burrito maker that we previously compared to Bruce Springsteen sang Johnny Cash's "First Time I Ever Saw Your Face," and while his voice is haunting, I just wish he had done a more upbeat and powerful song. Host Steve Jones asks him, "Was that the performance that will stop you from making burritos forever?" Personally ... I'm not so sure of it.

The lady group 2 Squar'd sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" and it kind of sucked. There's really not much to say other than that. Paula thought "it was a little off," which is a nicer way of saying it kind of sucked.

Tim Cifers from North Carolina did his country thing, which suits him well. "He's a real country singer," says Rihanna — which is as astute an observation as saying "Simon Cowell is rich." Cifers was good, but not memorable enough to have staying power.

The youngest person in the competition is 13-year-old Rachel Crow. I guess most people would say she's adorable and charming and all that, but I tend to be a bit cold-hearted and unforgiving when it comes to kids. Anyway, they gave her a Backstreet Boys song to sing which is kind of ironic since she wasn't even 2 years old when it came out, but she nailed it regardless. Simon loved her deep tone and called the performance unbelievable.

Next up: Leroy Bell, the oldest guy in the competition who is apparently 59 but could easily pass for 35. Between his beanie, earrings and thick-rimmed glasses, he's got an undeniable cool about him. Bell sings Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love," and it really works in displaying the raspy quality of his voice. "Even though he's the most experienced, I feel like he's the most nervous," says Nicole. "I feel like it's holding him back from really giving me everything."

Miami-based Illusion Confusion does David Bowie's "Let's Dance," and everything about it screams "cheesy '80s Chippendales" to me. During the performance, we catch a glimpse of Paula looking either completely uninterested or heavily medicated, though I'm leaning toward the latter. The group mentions something about wanting to perform at the Super Bowl, which is simultaneously cute and sad — like a little kid who thinks he'll actually become an astronaut one day.

Tiger Budbill, the 42-year-old ginger-haired wedding DJ sings Joe Cocker's "Don't Give Up On Me." He hits some strong notes, but there isn't anything particularly show-stopping about it. Nicole worries there isn't a market for someone like him, but Enrique Iglesias says, "I don't think there should be any rules when it comes to music."

Marcus Canty performs "All My Life" by one-hit wonders K-C and Jojo ... remember them? Didn't think so. While Canty is talented, it was a performance that sounded exactly like the original — no creativity here. Rihanna's not convinced he's a star, but was impressed with his confidence and eye contact.

Deli clerk Tiah Tolliver tells us that she wants to get up and sing everyday instead of making sandwiches, because "it is not an easy job." She performs a unique interpretation of "No Diggity" by Blackstreet, and while I think a different song would have better showcased the range of her voice, this worked just fine. "There's just something about her, I've just always thought she fits in this show," Simon says.

Christa Collins, a hairdresser (and former Disney child star), performs Radiohead's "No Surprises." She is clearly talented -- but unmemorable, save for her horrific blue eye shadow and weird hair accessory. Enrique likes her, but Nicole wanted to see more emotion.

Intensity, a group made up of 10 axed solo acts between the ages of 12 and 17. Watching them is sort of like watching a casting call for The Glee Project. They sing "That's Not My Name," by The Ting Tings. It's sweet and there are a few stand-out performers, but is a group of 10 kids really going to win this competition? Paula says their biggest challenge is that they need more time.

Trash-haulin' Chris Rene does a hip-hop version of "Everyday People" by Sly and The Family Stone. I wanted to like it, but the background music was overpowering Rene's sound. Rihanna smiled a lot and thinks he has something very special. L.A. Reid says, "Whether he wins $5 million or not, that's not important." I think the trash collector would beg to differ, L.A.

The final member of Simon's harem, Melanie Amaro, comes out in hooker boots but her infectious smile serves as a great distraction from the tragic shoe situation. She sings Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" and in doing so proves that she's in it to win it. To be honest, I don't even remember Amaro from the auditions, but she's certainly made a name for herself with this chilling performance. Simon all but falls out of his chair in astonishment.

And that's it! We've now seen all 32 of the remaining acts, and will find out the final 16 on Tuesday at 8/7c. Who do you think will make the cut? Let us know in the comments!

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It's been four X Factor-free days and I bet you were developing cold sweats and severe anxiety — right? Well, thank goodness we're back at the judges' amazing mansions and can continue to feel completely inadequate about our own lives and homes again.

Jazzlyn Little starts out the evening by underwhelming us with a tired rendition of "I Will Survive." I honestly didn't think it was possible to make that song a snoozefest, but Jazzlyn proved me wrong. Given the talent she's demonstrated in the competition, this was totally... read more

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Premiered: September 21, 2011, on FOX
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Premise: Solo artists and music groups compete for a $5 million recording contract. Based on the hit British competition series.

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