Britney and Demi > Nicole and Paula

Of course, they could have replaced Nicole with a one of those inflatable clowns that you punch and then it springs back up and it would have been a lateral move at worse, but so far this pair of ladies is looking like a big upgrade over spacy Paula and space cadet Nicole.

Britney was so cutting that the producers even managed to splice together several montages of her bashing contestants with some comments that may not give Simon a run for his quid, but at least had the point-of-view of somebody with both wit and knowledge.

Plus, she gave us the creepiest moment of the night when her former backup singer or coach or something appeared onstage with a twitch raspy speaking voice and enough tics to make you worry he had a knife. He also couldn’t sing and may have set a record for overwrought reality crying when he was told as much. That’s really saying something.

As for Demi, I really have no idea who she is. I think she was on the Disney Channel? I really have no idea. But y’know who does? Teeny boppers. Lots and lots of teeny boppers who will undoubtedly fawn over her in a way some would were they confronted with Paul McCartney.

Loved the awkward exchange between Demi and Janelle – the girl who was severely bullied. Mostly that she got a tattoo that said “Stay Strong” (which I can only assume is a Demi Lovato reference) and Demi’s response of the most robotic “That’s so funny,” in the history of ditz-dom. I can’t wait to see her as a mentor.

A Group Will Win This Season

Let’s add another small prediction to that: Simon will mentor the groups.

With the explosion of One Direction and after the complete annihilation of the groups at Paula’s hands last year, I imagine the producers and Mr. Cowell are quite keen on creating their own version of the BritPop sensations and will start this season.

This was evident by the fact that the only real standout audition was Emblem3 with their rap-boy band hybrid that actually managed to work.

I imagine there will be some pairings into super groups and quite a lot of maneuvering on Mr. Cowell’s part

Nobody Will Miss Steve Jones

I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why is he talking about the journeyman PGA Tour Pro who won the 1996 US Open?”

Nope, there was another Steve Jones. He hosted The X Factor last year! Don’t you remember?

Of course not. And how essential was he? So essential that so far he’s been replaced by…nobody. Yep. Just some generic voiceovers and graphics to open the premiere and transition us from audition-to-audition.

Yes, Steve. You’re officially less interesting than nobody. Have fun as a mannequin stand-in.

Check back tomorrow for a more traditional breakdown of the night’s auditions.

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