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‘X Factor’ home visits recap – part 1

Download      * (300 dpi) 8x10 or more     * (300 dpi) 1/2 page     * (72 dpi) Web (large)     * (72 dpi) Preview  THE X FACTOR: Judges Homes: Music superstar and guest judge Rihanna meets with contestants on THE X FACTOR airing Wednesday, Oct. 12 on FOX. CR: Jeffrey Niera / FOX.

Download * (300 dpi) 8x10 or more * (300 dpi) 1/2 page * (72 dpi) Web (large) * (72 dpi) Preview THE X FACTOR: Judges Homes: Music superstar and guest judge Rihanna meets with contestants on THE X FACTOR airing Wednesday, Oct. 12 on FOX. CR: Jeffrey Niera / FOX.

I have not had a chance to watch the boot camp episodes and missed the second week of auditions. (It’s been a busy week!) So this is my first extended exposure to the semifinalists.

Anyway, the final 32 are split into teams of eight. L.A. Reid receives the younger guys. Simon Cowell gets the younger women. Nicole Scherzinger is given the older folks. Paula Abdul landed the groups.

We get a look at the luxurious homes of the four judges and feel bad ourselves. Reid shows off his expansive Hamptons pad. We go to Paris to see one of Simons’ many homes. Not surprisingly, Paula’s home in Santa Barbara is crazy fancy. Even Nicole, certainly the poorest of the four, is not living badly in Malibu.

Tonight, we get to hear 16 of them sing mostly to backing tracks. The other 16 will be on Sunday at 8 p.m. (That rain-delayed baseball game Wednesday caused Fox to have to pre-empt the show.)

The producers (or the mentors?) pick the songs for the acts.

Brian Bradley (14-year-old rapper on L.A. Reid’s guys team): He takes a classic Grandmaster Flash song “The Message” and does it justice. He has swagger in a good way. I liked him.

Simone Battle (female singer on Simon Cowell’s ladies’ team): She brings some true craftsmanship to a classic Beatles song “Help!” I was impressed with her vulnerability after all her arrogant comments in her original audition.

The Anser (Salt Lake City trio on Paula Abdul’s group team): The black guy (I don’t know the names here) sang his portion with heart. The harmonies were good, not amazing.

Dexter Haywood (Memphis lounge singer on Nicole Scherzinger’s over-30 team): He takes a chance with “Crazy in Love” and it doesn’t quite work. He is drowned out by the pre-taped chorus. His lyrical portion is far better and he has showmanship.

Skyelor Anderson (black dude who wants to sing country for Reid’s team): He tackles Tony Rich’s “Nobody Knows” and I think he has potential but I’m not sure he’s quite there yet. Reid wonders if he truly has country in his blood.

Tora Woloshin (college student with tons of tattoos for Simon’s team): She said she struggled prepping for her song, Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” She has a little Pink vibe and a very a solid voice but Simon thinks she’s missing a certain something. She wasn’t quite as confident as she could have been.

Lakoda Rayne (quartet created by the show for Paula’s team): The singing of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is good but the choreograph is sloppy. It still feels like four solo singers to me even though the harmonies are solid.

Stacey Francis (overly hyped mom for Nicole’s team): I do remember her over-singing her audition. Now, embracing Prince’s “Purple Rain,” she gives it a gospel spin. She’s good but I don’t get why she’s anything special compared to half the contestants on “Sunday Best.” The yelping is annoying. “I think the neighbors heard that!” Enrique Iglesias (guest judge) notes.

The Brewer Boys (teen brothers for Paula’s team): The older of the pair has an especially interesting voice and the harmonies work. The rejiggering of a Rihanna song into a country song sort of works. “It’s good,” Pharrell Williams said. “You know and I know good is the sometimes the damn difficult place to be because sometimes it’s not good enough.” That doesn’t bode well.

Phillip Lomaz (crooner for Reid’s team). Who was obnoxious enough to give the poor crooner a Rihanna song to sing in front of guest judge… Rihanna.  He turns a dance tune into a standard. He is confident and likable. And I like the hat! Naturally, Rihanna and L.A. question his commercial appeal.

Elaine Gibbs (R&B wedding singer for Nicole’s team): I like this woman much better than Stacey, who has a bit of desperation to her. Elaine is just like warm honey. She does an Oasis song I’m not all that familiar with and turns it into R&B. I’m a fan.

Caitlyn Koch (rugby coach/singer on Simon’s team): She was one of the only two singers I really liked during the second episode three weeks ago. Too much makeup but her “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (with live accompaniment!) shows grace and subtlety that touches the heart. She has a beautiful voice. She’s in for sure.

Nick Voss (22-year-old Floridian on Reid’s team): He kind of sucks it with Tears For Fears. Rihanna wasn’t impressed.

4Shore (R&B quartet from Virginia Beach on Paula’s team): This type of R&B group smooth sound is not really in vogue and it seems apropos they did a 1994 Brownstone song from the Boyz II Men era. Paula feels they need to “dirty” up the feel and sound.

James Kenney (A 34-year-old singer on Nicole’s team): Yet another Rihanna song is picked. Coincidence? He brings some white soul and I get a sense we only heard part of it. It was okay but I don’t see the X factor.

Drew Ryniewicz (14-year-old Justin Bieber fan on Simon’s team): That classic Roxette song “It Must Have Been Love” (which is older than she is) is given an even sadder, more textured performance thanks to Drew. She is a lock for the live rounds.

My conclusion: female singers are outshining the guys. I especially liked Drew, Elaine, Simone and Caitlyn.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

110 comments Add your comment

Seth T.

October 14th, 2011
1:50 am

Caitlyn is near to the complete package. Very good voice and contol; no screaming, very attractive and physically fit. Now she needs to take some tips from Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Ga Ga and Katy Perry on what to wear, in order to utilize all of her assets. She has the looks for it, but maybe not the attitude needed to be a hot sexy pop-star.

But then, Adelle has done it all with her voice, so maybe…………………

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Allenman

October 14th, 2011
4:32 am

I am so dissappointed in this show. This junk tonite takes the cake. singing to backing tracks? the whole performance is a track! It’s plain to see that most of these folks are simply average at best….and that a high percentage of them are on the show at all. But hey, I know they need footage. I had hoped that with Cowell back on, he might tell these people the truth, but nah, he just needs to keep his backside covered and take the money. Understand, can’t blame him. These people might be a good judge of marketability, but obviously can’t pick out talent. I won’t waste any more time watching.

Lanny

October 14th, 2011
6:49 am

Rhianna is the only reason I watched it. She has it all, looks, voice and the Island accent, wow, do they all look like that in Barbados?

Lanny

October 14th, 2011
6:52 am

Sorry, spelled her name wrong “Rihanna”

Thank God she got away from that psycho Chris Brown.

Highlander

October 14th, 2011
7:01 am

Is anyone but me wondering if those are REALLY Paula’s and Nicole’s houses? Especially considering housing prices in California.

I can see L.A. and Simon having those palatial homes, but Paula and Nicole??

I’m more inclined to believe those are houses leased by the show for their use doing this phase.

Mo Schreibman

October 14th, 2011
7:12 am

Entertainment this is supposed to be? The dinosaurs took less time to turn into oil than the the episodes of this television talent show program take to watch. My wife and I went to bed early at the same time almost.

Lanny

October 14th, 2011
7:18 am

Highlander, i agree about Nicole, I mean her group only had 1 hit song, and then they had to split it 5 ways, no way she can afford that house. LA is filthy rich, so I know thats his house. LA use to have a house in Country Club of the South in Alpharetta when he lived here, Usher bought it from him, and now he lives there.

Deirdre

October 14th, 2011
8:06 am

Morning!

I saw part of the show last night. I’m pretty sure that the houses are rentals provided by the show. Did any of the contestants ever get inside? Plus, there are privacy issues that I can’t see any of the judges giving up to film in their own homes.

I only saw the first round of singers. Rapper-kid was good and, surprisingly, I liked Ms I Want to be Famous Simone better this time. The Anser didn’t impress me and neither did Dexter or Skyeler. That’s as far as I got.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
8:47 am

Highlander, I said it yesterday – no way would they use the judges real homes. We old Idol alum know there’ve been a number of psycho’s who auditioned, but went bonkers when cut. If they were taken to the real houses, who knows what kind of havoc they could wreak when tossed off the show. Paula has already suffered thru a fan commiting suicide outside her home!

The only two I liked were the blondes, Caitlyn and Drew (love the song “Must have been love”!). I personally do not like the cheesy gal with the attitude who, as far as I’m concerned (sorry RoHo) destroyed “Help”! A couple of the groups ok, but not great. I am tired of the overwrought 30+ mother who screams and cries and talks about “better lives for my babies” – why have two very young kids if you are not able to support them?! Sorry for the young black boy who wants to be country – he was really not good last night. The threesome with the white, black and half-and-half guys were actually pretty good.

Rickster

October 14th, 2011
8:48 am

Let’s see how well I’ve done so far with my swami predictions from the 10th: :-)

1. Contestants show up at a house.. not knowing who their mentor will be. check
2. Contestants scream and shout with glee when their mentor comes out to greet them.check
3, Mentor shows them around their home. They gawk, ooh and ahhh over how amazing the mentor’s home is. sorta
4. Contestants spend a lot of time telling us how happy they are about who their mentor is.check
5. Girls go gaga over Simon, who basks in the glow of their adoration and affection.check
6. Nicole & Paula are on the receiving end of some banter with adult innuendo thrown in.unlikely
7. And there will be some singing and some of the contestants go home.in progress.

And didn’t hear a “this is where the magic happens” as predicted by JT.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
8:51 am

Remember the fan who killed herself outside of Paula’s house a couple of years ago? No way would she let a camera crew (and who knows how many deranged XF’s) invade her home.

I thought SImon looked like a prospective john lounging on his sofa waiting for girls to “perform” for him. And I don’t mean singing.

Rodney Ho

October 14th, 2011
8:53 am

Mercedes! LOL! Yes, you were right about Simon since he was sans Mariah Carey!

Rodney Ho

October 14th, 2011
8:55 am

And yes, you are right. Why would they let us see their real homes? I’m sure TMZ will have get the answer to these “homes” soon enough.

Harriett

October 14th, 2011
9:08 am

Morning!

I liked Caitlyn, Drew, and loved Elaine last night. The crooner does nothing for me, and the little rapper? Seriously? They gave him triple air time compared to the other acts. In fact, it went on so long that I turned to someone and said “that’s enough, already!” It was getting on my nerves.

Rickster

October 14th, 2011
9:10 am

So Mariah was grounded due to Irene. So that’s one silver lining from that big ol’ cloud. :-)

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
9:16 am

Oh, Lordy – here we go yet again! Rickster, agree totally – Mariah would add less than zero.

Why couldn’t Simon have put some shoes on? The “shirt open to the waist” was bad enough, but I don’t want to see his bare feet! No respect for the contestants, the audience or the show

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
9:30 am

First, hello Rihanna. Can’t wait to see the show, Idol did good to bring her on.

Second, yes Nicole can afford a large house. She’s had more than one hit and being the lead and pretty much only singer of the dance group she obviously got a larger cut. She had a group before that and solo work after.Does that mean that it was her house? No, but it is something she could afford.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
9:40 am

JT: A home that size in Malibu would be in the $8-15M range, I believe, No way that gal has that kind of money to put into a home. Doubt she makes enough every year (at least before this gig) to pay the taxes and upkeep on that home.

Woodpappy

October 14th, 2011
9:42 am

Mercedes you hit the nail on the head about Simon lounging on his sofa. I had the same thoughts when I watched that. Casting Couch anyone?

Harriett

October 14th, 2011
9:48 am

Right, WP and Mercedes! I kept waiting for Simon to pat the spot next to him and invite one of them to join him. ;)

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
9:59 am

Well Sam, let’s do some digging, because being the lead of one of the top acts a few years back has to pay some good money. I’d expect her to have made more money from music than Paula. Paula only getting a boost from Idol. And although I don’t believe that they had to use their homes, there is also no reason to hide it. Psychos these days don’t need to be on tv or see a home on tv to do crazy things.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
9:59 am

I think Simon was trying (repeat trying) to convey that he’d just “rolled outta bed” and is just “too sexy for his shoes” – didn’t work out for me!

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
10:01 am

Oh, and there is also this little thing called financing. It’s available to those with the potential income of Nicole. Many stars use it, some out there suggest it as they can potentially make more off investments than they pay in interest. Silly to pay it off.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
10:02 am

Paula earned several million a year for 8 seasons of Idol – + had a fairly successful jewelry line, even Sam’s carried it. Nicole was part of a dance troupe – pretty sure the whole group didn’t pull in the kind of figures the big stars do in Vegas.

Can’t imagine Nicole is worth more than a couple million tops. Prove me wrong.

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
10:08 am

One site I found, thanks Google, lists Nicoles net worth in 2010 as 8 million and a salary of 1.5 million a year. Yeah that house range you mentioned would be chump change. In fact keeping the ratio she would be living in a house for cheaper than most of my friends and I live in ours.

Rickster

October 14th, 2011
10:09 am

I think it may become the “comforting” couch come cut time.

“I’m sorry… you didn’t make through to the next round. Come sit next to me and let me give you a hug.”

Deirdre

October 14th, 2011
10:11 am

I think all of the celebs could afford the homes they were in and I’d wager that the Malibu house was more than $20 million. I want the house in the Hamptons…that place was lovely(on the outside).

I wonder if only the final 4 from each group gets to go inside those houses. I didn’t see enough of Paula’s house to know much but she lives in the Hollywood Hills and I think I might recognize some of the views. Mr Hollywood used to live at the bottom of the Hollywood Hills…you know, where the celebs dump their trash.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
10:22 am

$1,5 mill a year – that’s a sorry celeb.

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
10:25 am

That was after the Dolls fall from the top and before winning Dancing. Pretty good for not having anything going on.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
10:28 am

Another hard-up celebrity: Chris Tucker, who faces foreclosure on the 10,000 sq foot lakefront Fla home he bought for $6 million four years ago. House currently assessed at $1,6 million and Tucker still owes more than 4 million on it.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
10:29 am

Deirdre, Paula’s house is in Santa Barbara, another hint that it’s not actually her home.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
10:30 am

I still don’t have any idea who this Nicole person is and why she is on this judging panel. Wish they had given that Scottish girl another chance.

Deirdre

October 14th, 2011
10:34 am

Yeah, Paula lives in Sherman Oaks…at least she did when the wacko fan killed herself.

Deirdre

October 14th, 2011
10:37 am

Nicole was with a group that Pacman won’t let us name on here…. Puzzycat Dolls(pacman has a dirty mind…omg, is JT pacman??? ;-) ) She was a celebrity judge on The Singoff and won DWTS one year

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
10:40 am

Deirdre: If JT was Pacman, he’d most likely allow every form of depravity, even, perhaps, the F-bomb’s full name!!!

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
10:44 am

Chris Tucker LOL that is funny. That guy always annoyed me. I don’t laugh when normal people lose their home, but when someone makes that much money and mishandles it? No sympathy.

If I were Pacman I would prevent any post that didn’t include at least one euphemism.

Hot dog hallway.

Lar

October 14th, 2011
10:45 am

Loved Caitlyn Koch and the group that XF out together Lakoda Rayne

greg

October 14th, 2011
10:55 am

Was no one else annoyed that the vocals were sang but then filtered/fixed/etc before we heard it? There is NO WAY they would sound like that out side on a pool deck. It actually offended me. I don’t think this show is going to make it unless they change some things. The episode last night “jumped the shark”. Will it get better after the home visits? We’ll see…

Lar

October 14th, 2011
10:58 am

greg- I was saying the same thing last night. I even noticed that in some cases the lip movement did not match the vocals.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
11:05 am

I noticed, especially at Paula’s, that when they were talking, there was a loud waterfall sound from the fountains, but when they sang, it was not there.

greg

October 14th, 2011
11:06 am

There was reverb, depth, and echo that you would never get outside like that. There was a lot of “studio magic” going on there no doubt.

I did really like the over 30 wedding singer. She has a voice like butter.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
11:06 am

Dang, pacman won’t let me have my say!

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
11:07 am

3rd attempt to post: Thanks, D., but still don
t know who nicole is and what she’s doing on that panel.

Mercedes S.

October 14th, 2011
11:09 am

Hm, so it was the second part pacman didn’t like.

Sam-A

October 14th, 2011
11:29 am

Nicole and the P-cat Dolls had a burlesque, scantily clad dance/singing cabaret type show in Vegas, used to have starlets join them on occasion. They had the dreadful song “Don’cha wish your girlfriend was just like me”. She also (mistakenly) won “Dancing with the Stars” a couple times back, though The skater Lysiac was much better. Not exactly a BIG star.

I would also have liked to see the other girl on the show, she seemed to have a great personality, and very pretty for the guys.

JTesla

October 14th, 2011
11:45 am

Reeooow hisssss phtt phtt

Deirdre

October 14th, 2011
11:46 am

XF UK got into some trouble with auto-tuning their contestants. I think last night’s outdoorsy but perfect sounding singing was highly questionable. Where was the background noise? These people are rich but they ain’t rich enough to stop wind noise, traffic noise etc. Will American audiences tolerate obvious manipulation of the sound?

Lanny

October 14th, 2011
11:48 am

Sam, I agree, no was she could afford that house, and Dierdre is correct, that home was at least 15-20 million. The Dolls had 1 song and a vegas show, hardly enough to even pay the mortgage on that house, even with her singing lead.

datdude

October 14th, 2011
11:48 am

That malibu home that featured nicole is not her home, it’s currently listed for 12.5 million and is available for purchase. That calls into question whether any of the homes shown are the actual homes of the judges.