'X Factor' Season 2, Episode 9 - Top 24 Contestants and Mentors Revealed

Lyric 145 performs at Simon Cowell's house on X Factor

During X Factor season 2, episode 9, the top 24 contestants were revealed - six in each category (Young Adults, Over 25, Teens and Groups) - and we found out who judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will be mentoring. We also met guest mentors Marc Anthony, Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun, Nick Jonas and Will.i.am. In each category the mentors will cut from six acts to four for the live shows.

In the Young Adults category the contestants who made it through are CeCe Frey, Willie Jones, Jennel Garcia, Nick Youngerman, Paige Thomas and Jillian Jensen. They will be mentored by Demi Lovato with guest Nick Jonas.

For the Over 25 category it’s Jason Brock, Daryl Black, David Correy, Tara Simon, Tate Stevens and Vino Alan. Their mentor is L.A. Reid, who was not happy to be in charge of the older contestants. His guest mentors are Justin Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun.

In the Groups category the judges select Sister C, Dope Crisis and Emblem3. At first they only pick three groups,  but later add three more made up of contestants who had previously been cut: Lyric 145 (Lyric Da Queen and One4Five), a boy band called Playback (Josh Metzler, Owen Stuart, Austin Corini, Brandon Hassan, and Johnny Maxwell), and a girl group called Lylas (Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani Hamilton, and Camila Cabello). The groups will be mentored by Simon Cowell and his guest, Marc Anthony.

The Teens category is Beatrice Miller, James Tanner, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White, Reed Deming and Arin Ray. Britney Spears, who has a bit of experience as a teen star herself, gets the Teen group, and her guest will be Will.i.am.

Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato
The contestants travel to the judge’s houses, and we settle in at Demi Lovato’s Los Angeles loft where she and Nick Jonas are auditioning the Young Adults.

Before Jennel Garcia auditions, Demi advises her to cut back on the hair flipping. It seems to throw Jennel a little, and when there’s no feedback after she sings Katy Perry's “I Kissed a Girl”, it makes her nervous.

Willie Jones goes with “Nobody Knows” by Tony Rich, the same song he had such a hard time with in boot camp, and redeems himself by doing a great job. Nick Jonas says Willie is a star but that sometimes he sounds country and sometimes he sounds R&B, and that he “needs to define that”.

Demi’s advice to Jillian Jensen is to make sure she’s not making ugly faces when she sings, and Jillian agrees saying “I do the John Mayer”. Jillian does Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” and she sounds amazing, but when Nick Jonas says “she’s kinda sexy”, we have the feeling Demi isn’t going to bring her to the live shows.

Nick Youngerman raps “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (even the verses), and Demi says she’s not sure if she was loving it “or totally annoyed by it”. Nick is pretty jazzed though – he says he “killed that”.

Paige Thomas performs Chris Brown’s “Turn Up the Music” wearing shorts with a train. Demi tells Nick that as the X Factor process has gone along they’ve seen more of Paige’s “insecurities”, and later Paige admits “I can’t help but feel scared a little bit”.

Before CeCe Frey does a fantastic version of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO, Demi tells her that her confidence borderlines on “unlikeable”. CeCe cries and says, “I’ve got a lot of work to do to show vulnerability”, and also vows to ditch her signature painted on leopard spots. She is, in fact, quite likable in his episode - she's growing on us.

Marc Anthony and Simon Cowell
Next we head over to Simon's modern mansion in Miami Beach, FL, to watch him and guest mentor Marc Anthony put the Groups through their paces.

First up is the new boy band Playback.  Simon tells them “one bad vocal can kill it”. They sing “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates, and while Simon finds “something kind of naive and fun and likable about them”, Marc doesn’t agree.

Emblem3 perform “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police. Simon says, “you lost your way a little bit” because one of them came in late on verse. Marc likes them, but we love them – we’ll be bummed if they aren’t brought back for the live shows.

Simon tells Sister C there’s a reason they aren’t signed yet – perhaps they are “stand-offish”. They sing Shelby Lynn's "Leavin'“ with their trademark harmonies. Simon thinks “they are contenders”, but wonders if the audience will vote for them.

Solo female rapper Lyric Da Queen, now in the trio Lyric 145, is marveling at her surroundings and says where she's from she's been “to more funerals than weddings”. The merging of Lyric with the former duo One4Five is brilliant, and their audition with “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus is off the hook. Marc says that Lyric is a “superstar”. She is.

Dope Crisis is a Philadelphia-based duo. We don’t see a lot of them or learn their back-story, but their version of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" is very good. The mentors say they “gave everything they could possibly” give, but Marc questions “how much farther can you push them?”

Simon tells the newly-formed girl group Lylas, “This is the moment that could change your lives.” They sing “Impossible“ by Shontelle, and it’s impressive. The mentors are blown away, and Marc says, “I don’t know what you expected, but it’s gone somewhere else”. Frankly, we think there’s room for a new all-female act in the music business, and Lylas would be a good choice – all five members can really sing.

When X Factor airs episode 10, we’ll see the Over 25 and Teen groups. Earlier in the episode when L.A. Reid found out he was assigned to the older contestants he wasn’t happy, and he made that fact know to them when they met at his house. We’re guessing he’ll warm up to his charges during the auditions because there is real talent there, including one of our favorites, Jason Brock.

Newly-formed girl group Lylas on X Factor
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX.

To read more of our X Factor coverage click here.

Photos ©Talkback Thames, FremantleMedia, SYCOtv

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:00 PM