Some nights, even the show doesn't have 'The X Factor'.
Normally, audition episodes of singing talent shows are meant to close with something of a stunner. Either a performer with a transcendent voice or somebody so bad they inspire Brett Favre to sing "Pants on the Ground" with his teammates in the locker room following a victory. It's a spot for either the best or the worst.
Last night, the show closed with Ashly, a pretty good singer who felt it wise to take on "I Will Always Love You" despite her inability to hit any of the song's high notes or stay on pitch for more than a few measures. She had a heartwarming story, having just lost her mother, but there was nothing about the vocal that really stood out one way or the other. If somebody did it at the bar, you'd clap and forget about it before you stumbled home. A classic forgettable tweener.
And that's what last night was - a bunch of those tweeners hovering between the good and the bad of this show. No watercooler singers on either side of the spectrum, and that's kind of necessary when you do an hourlong show with only five featured auditions. They should probably all be impactful auditions to make such a low number count, but nobody on last night's episode stood out for either the right or wrong reasons, and that's definitely a problem for a show trying to make its moments count.
Here's are last night's other forgettable four:
This was the guy who Kelly Rowland thought was a nice hunk of man meat despite the fact he's only sixteen. Not creepy at all.
He couldn't really sing. That's a good summation of it. He wasn't that bad, he just didn't have any pipes. Like mediocre karaoke. If somebody got up there after you were one drink in, you'd totally ignore them. Three drinks, they'd sound pretty good.
Oddly, Simon really dug the lad, citing an abundance of charisma that may dominate the pages of a church photo directory but doesn't do much on something like, say, national television.
We'll see more of him, due to Simon's insistence and a very mild improvement in a second-chance song, but live TV is more than a stretch for this kid.
This is the guy who looked like David Beckham crossed with Robin Thicke playing rhythm guitar for George Thorogood. And I swear to God that was an insult.
So what would a dude with that look sing? 'Jar of Hearts' by Cristina Perri, of course. How would a guy with a leather jacket and greaser hair sound? Like a the worst high school musical you've ever seen from a guy who took opera lessons as a toddler and was trying to replicate what he learned to his new adult self. There's nothing strange about that at all, right?
The random guy in the audience put it best when his shout of "What the Hell?" echoed once the music cut.
This was the diminutive little teenage girl who barely made a peep when she spoke into the microphone and then turned into some sort of Tina Turner/Iggy Pop hybrid in gigantic heels once the music started.
She rocked an old-school blues voice with just a little bit of lounge in it to sound authentic. And her work on the stage was downright crazy. Nobody on any of these shows flashes that much poise and command after sixteen weeks of performing, let alone at their audition. She's like a miniature star already.
Then it was revealed she was in InTENsity from the first season: The worst atrocity this show every produced. I'm out.
This was the little kid who looked like he should be advertising overalls in a print ad in Life Magazine circa 1964. He also officially gave us our first CREEPY KID ALERT. This 14-year-old looked like he was about nine and sang a song about being in love, thighs, and kept pointing at people in the audience. His voice also sounded ready for some sort of bizarro radio station where mothers are serenaded by their sons in some sort of strange Oedipal Hit Parade.
Little kid singers like this have always been the problem with this show and Stone may be the creepiest yet. It's going to be disturbing to see how they try to make him over hip going forward.
Other Random Contestants:
A girl named Ashlyn came out in giant box that was meant to signify either her being a gift or an aspiring stripper.
One girl described herself as Rihanna and Beyonce's baby despite looking older than both of them and not retaining either of their singing talent.
A girl who looked like Rebel Wilson's hick biker evil twin sang a song in Pig Latin. That is not a lie.
And, of course, a few that inspired these gems from Simon.
"When somebody I hate gets married, I want you to sing at their wedding."
"It sounded like you were being strangled."
"I would hate to be your parents."