'X Factor' Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: Amazing Auditions, an Arrest and an Ambulance Ride

Jessica Espinoza delivered a standout audition on  X Factor's 3rd episode

This week X Factor began in Kansas City, MO, with Simon Cowell on sick leave and his long-time friend Louis Walsh sitting in with judges L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. Walsh, a successful talent manager (Boyzone, Westlife) and well-known judge on Britain's X Factor stated, "When Simon needs an opinion from somebody he trusts I’m the man he calls.”  X Factor's Season 2, episode 3 showcased amazing auditions, an arrest and an ambulance ride.

The first audition was from 18-year-old Rizzloe Jones, a confident blond fellow who did an okay job with a freestyle rap that name-checked the judges and used the word “marshmallow” (at Demi’s request).   The panel was impressed – Britney said he was like a “young Vanilla Ice Ice Baby”, and Demi “frickin’ loved it”.

20-year-old CeCe Frye, a pretty postal worker with a painted face (leopard spots) was this week’s designated mean girl, but she was really more of a pest than an actual bad apple: she spent her time backstage sizing up the competition and trying to push their buttons. She did a “CeCe-fied” (aka shaky) version of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody”, then changed to a karaoke-fied version of Christina Aguilara’s “Ain’t No Other Man”. We thought it was average, but the judges liked her ambition and sent her through.

Britney delivered a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to LA Reid, then we met Vino Alan, 39, father of a 15-year-old son. He had a full head tattoo and a great, gravelly voice. As he sang the Ray LaMontagne song “Trouble”, you could see Louis Walsh mouthing, “Wow”.  The judges praised his unique voice and he was in. Alan’s segment was short but to the point – this guy can sing.

Deangelo Wallace vowed to impress the judges, “no ifs, ands, or booties about it”, but his tone-deaf version of Chris Brown’s “With You” was so bad the audience booed and the judges left. After he finished his number he said the judges “worship the devil”, and then did some devil’s work of his own by running off with the X-Factor’s $3000 microphone. Police were called, the theme to Cops played ("Bad Boys"), and as Deangelo was being cuffed he left us with another tune:  “I’m getting arrested, but I’ll be out in a few hours”.

Tate Stevens
Tate Stevens,  a 37-year-old road worker, had a cowboy hat and a sense of humor. When asked what he was going to do he answered, "rap", and said that if he won the five million dollar prize he was going to throw “a big ass party”. His effortless vocals on Randy Houser’s  “Anything Goes” got a standing ovation from the crowd and four yeses from the judges. At the end of the day L.A. Reid told the Kansas City crowd, “We found an American classic superstar right here in your town”.

Next we moved to the Cow Palace in San Francisco CA, Simon was back at the judges table, and we were introduced to Citizen, a cheesy boy band with a pre-audition routine that included popping their collars and engaging in a group motivational – “through music we are one, we are Citizen”. They said “the judges are definitely going to fall in love with Citizen”, and the judges did, in fact, praise their version of En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go”, except for Simon, who said they were out-dated. He was out-voted, 3-1, but it would have been 3-2 if we were there.

We saw a quick montage of not-so-great auditions accompanied by Simon Cowell-isms including, “I won’t remember you in 15 minutes”, and “You’re a bit like a singing candle; you just stand there and melt”. We also saw Adrianna Lemus, who got through a four “ooos” and four words of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” before she was sent on her way. Apparently Simon "hates" the tune, and in fact, “can’t have any more Adele songs”.

Diamond White
The next contestant was 13-year-old Diamond White, a young woman who lives in a “shoebox” apartment so small she has to share a bed with her Mother, “which is not cool”.  She had prepared an Adele song, but after a brief exchange with Simon she shifted gears to do an impressive version of the rangy “It’s a Man’s World”. She easily made it through the audition but said, “I can’t believe that just happened, oh my goodness I can’t even talk”.  We predict a much better living arrangement in her future.

Then we went to Austin, TX, and there was Ally Brooks, a 19-year-old who could be Demi Lovato’s long-lost twin. She said wants to be “bigger than BeyoncĂ©”.  She sang the Jaci Velasquez song, “On My Knees” in a theatrical way, Simon said "we’re looking at a future star", and she got 4 out of 4 yeses.  After Brooks we saw snippets of several memorable auditions from performers who all sounded radio-ready: Brandon Hassan, Normani Hamilton, a trio of siblings called Sister C,  and a brother duo called Jeremiah and Josh

Panda Ross
Panda Ross, 42, rocked a gold necklace with the word “Single” spelled out, and said that Simon was her “baby Daddy”. She was just out of the hospital where she had been laid up with pneumonia, but she showed no signs of illness with her deep, old-school soulful delivery of Sam Cooke's classic “Bring it on Home”.  She easily won over the audience and judges,
and when she was taken away in an ambulance because she started to have breathing trouble, even the EMT enthusiastically noted that Ross got four yeses.

The final audition of the night was Jessica Espinoza, 22. She talked of having it rough, and when she said she knew she looked well fed but “trust me it’s a dollar menu”, we were smitten.  She did an emotionally raw rendition of the Pink song “Nobody Knows”, and we believed every word she sang. After all four judges gave yeses, Espinoza said, “We’ve had a rough road, but let see if we can smooth it out right now”.  We bet her trip to X Factor boot camp will be an easier ride.

Photos ©Talkback Thames, FremantleMedia, SYCOtv

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 2:55 PM