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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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‘The X Factor’ top 16 live show recap: overproduced, as expected, eh?

Willie Jones performed "Here For the Party." CREDIT: Fox

Willie Jones performed "Here For the Party." CREDIT: Fox

How do you like the new judges on the live show?

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The first live show with Demi Lovato and Britney Spears! My DVR actually didn’t tape it so I missed the intros. I caught the last 50 minutes once I figured out what had happened and watched the first 70 via MJ’s videos.

As for the new judges, Demi’s critiques were combative and more colorful than the mellow Britney, whose commentary was short and not terribly interesting. (She tended to use the word “amazing” a wee too much. Calling Steven Tyler?) L.A. and Simon did their usual schtick. I liked that Demi usually looked serious during the performances and didn’t do the Paula Abdul “let’s get up and dance!” routine.

The productions were often over produced, which is an “X Factor” signature. Heavy back up singing. Smoke. Scantily clad dancers. Plus, the judges for better or worse picked the songs. And they will do the cut down, not the viewers. Eight of the 16 will get through immediately and the rest will sing for the final four spots.

Who are in the biggest trouble, based on the judges’ feelings? On Britney’s team, I’d say Beatrice will get cut before Arin. Simon’s team: it’s either Sister C or Lyric 145. L.A.: he pretty much sealed Jason’s fate. Demi’s team: I’d say either Willie or Cece, close call there.

My favorite of the night: David Correy pulling off a Whitney song. I was also charmed by Emblem 3. And I’m not even a 13 year old girl!

And how about the hosts? Khloe Kardashian (or as some folks might call her, “Pokey-woman,”) was better than last year’s robotic Steve Jones. Then again, she was better than a lamp-post as well. Mario Lopez, a pro at this (see Randy Jackson’s “America’s Best Dance Crew”), should be doing this by himself. Then again, you could say the same thing about Tom Bergeron on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Paige Thomas (”What is Love’ Haddaway Demi’s team) – A big hot mess. The costume stood out but she looked uncomfortable, sounded mediocre. Blech. The judges liked it a lot more than I did. “You are a star,” L.A. said. “You’re outrageous,” Britney said. Grade: C-plus

Arin Ray (”Keep Me Hanging On” Supremes/ Britney’s team) – The hissing sound of the “fire” lights were distracting to say the least. He is trying to be fashioned as an Usher type but I didn’t feel he’s quite there yet either vocally or dancing wise. He needs some work but he could get better. “You nailed it,” L.A. Reid. “Your vocal wasn’t quite on par with the genius of that track.” Grade: B

Beatrice Miller (”I Won’t Give Up” Jason Mraz/ Britney’s team) – She’s cute but she’s very raw. She has a little bit of Miley Cyrus in her. Her vocals aren’t bad but as Simon said, she needs some work and nerves may have hurt her at times. And she wasn’t sold on the song. Grade: B-minus

David Correy (”My Love is Your Love” Whitney Houston/ L.A.’s team) – A curious song pick but David really brought it home as a stage presence and as a signer. He has star potential. Impressive. “Manic, verging on times, as desperate,” Simon said. “As if you were begging the audience to like you…. Felt like a random song choice.” Grade: A

Sister C (”Hell on Heels’ Pistol Annies/ Simon’s team) – Yes, they sang this song before. Clearly, Simon’s country knowledge is nil so he probably just recycled for that reason and position the sisters the best they could. They really do have impressive harmonies and a sultriness about them to boot. “You seemed really stiff,” Demi said. Grade: A/A-minus

Janell Garcia (”Home Sweet Home” Motley Crue/ Demi’s team) – She has almost too pretty a voice to pull off a hard rock song. She’s not exactly Chrissie Hynde or Pat Benatar. But she did a good job for what she was given. “I did not expect that. It was a 10,” L.A. said. “You just convinced me you could win.” Grade: B-plus

Diamond White (”Hey Soul Sister” Train/ Britney’s team) – Instead of giving her an R&B vibe, Britney opted to position her as pure pop with this song. The whole set up felt very 1990s. She is deeply talented and pulled it off. Is this her true self? She’s too young for me to judge that. “You came through as a relevant pop star,” Simon said. Grade: B-plus/A-minus

Vino Allan (”Gotta Be” Nickelback /L.A.’s team) – It felt like he started almost too low in the beginning. And overall, it felt cheesy and inorganic. Then again, it’s Nickelback. L.A.’s song choice stunk up the joint and it did not do Vino any favors. “I was a little bored,” Britney said. “I see that passion behind your eyes. I have a hard time seeing you as a pop star,” Demi said. Simon said he likes him and has an incredible voice but the song and arrangement “was completely and utterly wrong for you. It made you into some horrible cover singer.” Grade: B-minus

“Lyric 145″ (”Gangnum Style”/”Boom Shake the Room”/ Simon’s team) – What’s with all this 1980s/90s-era graffiti and dress up? And I’m sorry but Lisa Lopes already did the eye patch thing.. in 1993. This was not modern in any sense. It was like some weird time capsule bit from “In Living Color.” The crowd did eat it up. “It sounded like someone put you in the washer, jumped in bleach and took the soul out of you,” L.A. said. “That’s not hip hop.” Grade: B

Cece Frey (”Because the Night” Patti Smith/ Demi’s team) – I have to give Demi credit by going a bit crazy with the song choice, turning a classic rock song into pop/dance. Cece is the most divisive character left on the show and I almost didn’t recognize her with the blond hair, fishnet stockings and face tattoo make-up-ed away. I almost felt like they were trying to turn her into Lady Gaga. Who is she? Vocally, she’s no Lady Gaga, unfortunately. Very unsteady as she moved around. She did put in a good effort, if anything. “Your vocals were a little weak,” Britney said. “You’re fearless,” Simon said. Grade: B/B-minus

Tate Stevens (”Tough” Craig Morgan/ L.A.’s team) – I haven’t been a big fan of this guy but he held up well on the big stage. I’m glad they kept it simple for him on stage. No smoke. No dancers. He isn’t really the “X Factor” in terms of personality while performing. It really is his vocals, which are solid. “I know exactly what kind of artist you ought to be… a good honest man,” Simon said. Grade: B-plus/A-minus

Jason Brock (”Dance Again” Jennifer Lopez/ LA’s plus-25 team) – He looks like a younger version of Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family.” I didn’t particularly like this. Bad look. Bad looking dancers. Ridiculous jacket. He sounded like he was yelling more than singing at time. Was L.A. Reid trying to screw this guy over? “Wasn’t the right song choice,” says Demi Lovato. “He should have gone with something with more sass.” Simon added, “Utterly horrendous… For me, it couldn’t get worse than that.” Grade: C-minus

“1432″ (”We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” Taylor Swift/Simon’s group team) – This is one of the Frankenstein groups, formerly called Lylas but were forced to change. I like this song and the groups have solid individual skills but I’m not sure they are a group. The girl with the “love” shirt stood out. “Very karaoke,” L.A. Reid said. “Your mentor really failed you.” Simon, the mentor, said, “You are fantastic. Yes, it was more of a pop song. If you survive and the weeks go on, you’ll prove what great vocalists you are… L.A. the public will love this group.” Khloe tried to assert herself by forcing Demi Lovato to name the one singer she liked. A little awkward but not a bad question to ask. Grade: B

Willie Jones (”Here For the Party” Gretchen Wilson/ Demi’s 17-23 team) – This was an okay performance but didn’t click with me. I don’t think he felt comfortable up there and I don’t think the song worked. “I can’t say I got goosebumps but it was an adequate performance,” L.A. said. “I thought it was silly,” Simon said. “Felt a bit cheap.” Grade: B-minus

Carly Rose (“Good Feeling” Flo-Rida mashed up with “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” Etta James/ Britney’s 13-16 team) – She has a classically pretty voice with impressive texture and nuance for someone her age. The dancers were distracting. “You have one of the best voices in the competition,” Demi said. “Seeing you with other kids up there is not believable. I don’t believe you’re having a fun.” Simon sort of agreed “My issue was. You felt uncomfortable with the song… like you weren’t connecting with the song. But it would be criminal if you were to go home.” Grade: B-plus

Emblem 3 (”One Day” Matisyahu Simon’s team) – The ladies love these guys and they know it. Fortunately, they are decent harmonizers on a pretty anthemic “peace” song. Clearly, this is Simon’s effort to create another One Direction. I understand why “X Factor” producers gave them the pimp spot. L.A. even liekd it. “That was unbelievable. We are witnessing America’s next pop sensation.” Britney: “You’re absolutely adorable.” Demi: “You boys make me swoon.” Simon: “Remember this night. We are seeing a future superstar.” Grade: A-minus

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83 comments Add your comment

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
9:32 am

Thanks for the recap Rodney.

Demi did great, Simon was Simon, LA was there, and I don’t remember another judge being there.

Overproduced is an understatement, but one would think with overproduction that they’d get the sound dialed in.

Khloe… well at least she was a good nipple, I mean sport, about it.

Harriett

November 1st, 2012
9:32 am

Well, you answered my question from the last thread. LA did like at least one of Simon’s acts. I missed the pimp act because XF was running into Nashville’s time slot and I was ready for a change.

Thanks for your critiques Rodney. I feel like Carly Rose, Diamond White, and especially Vino were done huge injustices by their mentors with song choices. I do not think LA even “gets” who Vino is as an artist.

phredd!

November 1st, 2012
9:40 am

The eye patch is more than just a fashion statement, it actually has a purpose:

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/flint/index.ssf/2012/10/the_x_factor_contestant_lyric.html

Mike Bell 790

November 1st, 2012
9:42 am

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
9:48 am

I tried to blog last night but my computer was acting up. I took lots of notes. Nevermind, your recap is nice.

First, I see no need for two hosts. Keep Chloe. She has chutzpah to challenge Simon (I like that). Didn’t care for Mario’s comment about Diamond’s supposedly boyfriend. He put her on the spot!

DWhite’s song didn’t do her any justice, but glad they styled her as a teenager. Loved the ending of the song
Vino – I tuned him out. Horrible start
Lync145 – horrible outfits, too colorful and they didn’t shine. Not a good song choice AT ALL. And, then she had the nerve to challenge L.A.
SisterC – didn’t care for them, but Simon blew smoke up their butts.
David Correy – love him. He sings with passion
Page – heck, I didn’t know if it was a seasoned performer I didn’t recognize or a contestant. She did good.
Jenell – like her, but too many hand gestures.
Cee-Cee – she was ok
Tate – did good
Willie Jones – get rid of the fade because it’s sloppy!!
Carly Rose – excellent song choice.
Mr. Entertaiment (Jason ?) – voice very scratchy. His song wasn’t a difficult song to sing.
1432 – two girls in the group really stand out to me.

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
9:49 am

Mike Bell – would you like me to refer you to my eye doctor (lol)?

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
9:50 am

Also, the dress Brittney had on was horrible. I had one very similar to that, and I thought I looked fab in it as well. On camera, however, it looks Rumpelstiltskin’s yarn.

TJS

November 1st, 2012
9:55 am

Willie Jones is a friends of my nieces and we love him. He is the real deal, a truly sweet and well-rounded young man. Look on youtube for the Captain Shreve Lip Dub and see WIllie Jones performing with his friends.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
9:56 am

Sigh! I just don’t know what to say. Well, actually I do, and I said it on the other thread which I think I might bring over to this one rather than repeat myself ad nauseum.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
10:00 am

Part 1(oh, you KNEW there’d be more than one!)

XF is one big three-ring circus!

In the first ring is Khloe’s nipple prominently on display through her blouse(btw, other than that, I thought she looked great) Along side Khloe is the only person on the whole show who knows what he’s doing. Mario Lopez tried…really TRIED…to keep the show humming along.

In ring 2 are the judges led by Simon Cowell who tried…really TRIED….to make this show work. Demi Lovato put in a good deal of effort, too. Britney Spears gave Stephen Tyler a run for his money in the “say nothing worth listening to” dept. and LA Reid…well what can one say about this man? Awful. Rude. Competitive in a nasty way. Mean to the singers in order to get back at Simon. And what he did to Jason Brock ought to get him fired today!

And in ring 3, with dazzling lights and sound that almost made them disappear completely, are the contestants. I’m not sure if any of them haver talent. I couldn’t hear about half of them and the lights prevented me from actually seeing about a quarter of them and then the costumes made it impossible to recognize the rest of them.

What a waste of an evening. Good thing I had some trick or treaters to keep me amused!

DanJ

November 1st, 2012
10:01 am

Rodney, I only disagree with you on David Correy. I think he’s a great talent but I don’t think he was any good last night. I was most disappointed in the song choices as a whole. I do think Emblem3 will go further than I first thought! Simon and boy bands go together like Oreo’s and Milk!

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
10:02 am

Part 2:

As far as talent is concerned…from what I heard last night, I wouldn’t sign any of them with the possible exception of that last group of egotistical boys who have the potential of making tween girls everywhere swoon which would make a lot of money for someone.

Sorry, I thought Janell was very weak, Paige disappeared behind the costume and lights and sound(poor girl got the trifecta of over-production)but her voice is also weak. The younguns are too young! And it shows! Their voices are not mature enough yet and they shouldn’t be there. Do they have potential, yes! Are they ready for primetime? No!

The country guy has a very nice voice but his range is not good.

I didn’t like any of the groups that I saw.

I missed CeCe’s performance along with a bunch of others since I was busier than usual giving out candy to terrific kids, all of whom were smiling and polite, saying thank you and wishing me a Happy Halloween. We raise them right in my little town!

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
10:04 am

Did anyone else hear Jason Brock ask Mario if he could pinch his butt while reaching over to actually do it???? I laughed out loud on that one. The guy has guts!

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
10:06 am

“It was like some weird time capsule bit from “In Living Color.’”

Rodney, that is EXACTLY what I thought during their set last night. Then I remembered how long ago that was and figured nobody would get that reference.

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
10:13 am

Britney Spears gave Stephen Tyler a run for his money in the “say nothing worth listening to” dept. – Yes indeed. Yes indeed. She says the same thing over and over.

TJS – I really like Willie Jones. His voice is like butter most times!!

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
10:14 am

“It was like some weird time capsule bit from “In Living Color.’” – I thought of the show as well with their getup!

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
10:21 am

Love your stamina, D. – I’m too tired to repeat what I said on old thread. Basically agree with Rodney’s critique. Like the KK girl, if there is a choice prefer her to the pretty decor (Lopez) next to her.

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
10:24 am

Thanks for link to the eye problem… poor girl.

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
10:35 am

Thanks for the link. Always like to be informed.

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
10:41 am

Yes, thanks phredd! I was wondering about it, you never know after you see silver spiked hair. However I figured with as much care as she took to make sure it was in place, and with how she didn’t know it was out of place during the talk with the judges that it was legit.

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
10:48 am

For me, what worked”

1. Mario, he’s a pro and it showed.
2. Khloe, did very well considering her background is… nothing. She has no background, so she did well.
3. Demi, not as well as the taped shows, but she’ll learn.
4. Khloe’s nipple, it kept me distracted from the screeching girls.

What didn’t work:

1. Britney Spears. At one point I forgot she was there, and she didn’t look good.
2. Demi’s hair, Diana DeGarmo already did that style, please try again.
Every flashback to Simon on the casting couch. Blech, it would have been funny if it weren’t so sad.
3. The over production. Too over the top for this early in the show.
4. The sound. Two hours of listening to screeching girls drowning out the performers and the judges is not something I want.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
11:15 am

Mercedes, you really have to learn how to copy and paste. It takes no stamina whatsoever and you get to keep repeating yourself without any effort!

DanJ

November 1st, 2012
11:23 am

@JTesla, I think Simon needs to understand that the United States is not the UK. I think the over production works there because there’s less talent. I watch the UK versions of XF and The Voice and it’s obvious. Even Gary Barlow on the X-Factor said a few weeks ago he was amazed at how much more talent the US shows have. Lighting I have on problem with over use of dancers and special effects I do. As I said in the other thread Paige looked like a cross between the Statue of Liberty and Madusa with her costume. Jason Brock looked like Liberace.

These contestants don’t need a look until they get a musical identity…and fans! I think Demi is fine as a judge, she was honest but not mean. LA tried to play villian, Simon was Simon and Brittney was an air head. As a BIG fan of X-Factor I and vocal supporter I was disappointed in last nights show.

DanJ

November 1st, 2012
11:24 am

As a BIG fan of X-Factor AND A vocal supporter I was disappointed in last nights show!

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
11:26 am

Yeah DanJ, that comment L.A. made about understanding why they didn’t hear the rest of the song during auditions was mean. He quickly regretted it when it fell flat and he was booed.

JTesla – same reason why I think Chloe would be good. She’s not jaded in the least by hosting. Has nothing to compare it to.

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
11:31 am

Meant to add a #6 to my list of what went wrong: no voting? A show done in the same format as the ones you do with voting, doesn’t have voting.

I agree DanJ and Pitchy.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
11:40 am

Dum-Bass

November 1st, 2012
12:19 pm

Let’s see if I can “sneak” in here without being noticed. I made myself watch X Factor last night since they were down to the last 16. I had only watched snippets before and could not stay due to no interest. I was actually bored and amazed at the same time last night. That is the ultimate in “pure TV talent garbage” if ever I have seen it. From the judges to the hosts, to the actual talent, to the production, etc. The only one who gets even a passing grade is Mario Lopez, due to his vast experience and personality. That is “American Idol Lite” or “X-Factor-F” and comes up very lacking and highly-overrated. The only talent out of the 16 that even had talent to speak of were the 3 sisters, called “Sisters C”, yet 3 of the judges degraded them probably due to them being country-fied. I was quite surprised that SC was raving about them. Thought it would have been just the opposite. I will not be wasting anymore of my time watching that junk, that’s for sure.

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
12:32 pm

Thanks for the link to the review of Phillip’s album Deirdre. I still think that it is a silly title for an album.

MoFaux

November 1st, 2012
12:44 pm

Deidre, yes I heard Jason’s comment about pinching Mario’s butt, and then actually following through with it. I thought it was funny, but also disgustingly vulgar. Had a straight guy done that to a woman on air, he would be in jail right now. Mario is a pro; had some stranger done that to me on air, I would’ve had some choice words for him during the commercial break. I also agree with you that no one stood out talent-wise. The overproduction makes this show puke-worthy. I understand it’s a $5 million payout, but does everyone have to be turned into a pop star? I’m happy to report that I have never heard half of those songs before. Most of the vocals were drowned in either the too-loudly-mixed music or background vocals…or the dancers were too distracting. Whatever happened to letting singers SING without a huge dance group? I really detest the overproduction and attempts to funnel every single one of them into some kind of penultimate pop star. If they have the talent, the stardom will come on its own…without forcing it. After seeing this, it seems obvious how much luck has helped these judges in their careers. I might actually stop watching it now.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
1:06 pm

MoFaux..agree! And Mario was a pro about it. If Jason had reached over to pinch Khloe I probably would have laughed just as loudly but my secondary reaction was OMG, what was he thinking??? Like I said on the previous thread, it almost made me forgive LA for the stereotypical performance he forced Jason to do. I still think LA ought to be ashamed.

G

November 1st, 2012
1:13 pm

Hosts – I think they did a good job. Mario can handle this gig by himself, but maybe the chemistry between he and Khloe will grow.

Most disappointing – Lyric 145. This is one of my favorite acts and they were made to look like clowns. That IS NOT how you “commercialize” hip hop. Simon FAILED them the most. LA was right on point with his criticism….”That IS NOT hip hop”. I concur.

Favorite of the night – Tate Stevens. I’ve liked this guy from the start, and he continues to impress. I’m no country music fan, but I like this guy.

My early pick for the winner of XF – Emblem 3. Not my style, but the girls love’em. They’re average singers at best, good performers and have youth appeal.

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
1:16 pm

Emblem 3 – WGWF (White Guys With Friends)

G

November 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

@ Mercedes………..WGWF? That’s acceptable. LOL!

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
1:32 pm

Would anyone notice if Khloe got pinched? She could have her makeup and hair people on stage standing behind her and we’d never know. Not that it’s a bad thing, because sometimes more is better. If you’re into that kind of thing.

If Emblem 3 are it I’m done. The ego’s those guys have is just too much for me.

G, I agree regarding Lyric 145. LA called that one correctly. It may have been pop, but it wasn’t hip hop and the group knew exactly what he was talking about.

Dee

November 1st, 2012
1:49 pm

Wow. Nott impressed with X Factor last night! I finally realized I hadn’t seen final 16 selection episode, so luckily found it via On Demand to get caught up before 8pm. What a waste! The house performances the week BEFORE were a 1,000 times more entertaining than last nite. And answer me this .. why did Paige go with Demi’s suggestion to cut her hair? UGH!!! Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Anyone can chop off their hair to look like a teenage boy in America but Paige’s previous style was FABULOUS! Ugh. Get it together X Factor or cancel this show and come up with a NEW concept Simon! Ugh.

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
1:55 pm

Good grief, am I the only one who really didn’t care for Sister C??

Most disappointing – Lyric 145. This is one of my favorite acts and they were made to look like clowns. – YEP!

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
1:59 pm

Is it just me or did anyone else notice that most of the songs last night consist of one line being shouted over and over? “Don’t hurt me” (by Rihanna imitatress Page, ugh), “I’m on My Way” (Garcia overpowered by back-up), “Hey Soul Sister” (sparkle-less Diamond), “I Wanna Dance” (bullied-by-LA Jason Brock), “I’m Here for the Party” (Willy Jones).

All very unmemorable songs…possibly except for the Supremes song, but the dancing girls in granny underwear made that erformance (Arin Ray?) unwatchable.

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
2:01 pm

Pitchy: yes it’s only you ;) Granted I only liked them because with their performance it was about singing.

Dee, getting Paige Thomas to cut her hair was actully worse than having her wear that spike thing on her head. At least she can take the spike thing off, but when she does she’s still left without any hair.

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
2:04 pm

Speaking of clowns (Cece’s eye make up!), I wish there’d be a Phillip Phillips in the crowd who would have the guts to say “no” to anything beaded or sparkly thrown his way.

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
2:06 pm

and again a post didn’t take!

Mercedes S.

November 1st, 2012
2:08 pm

Oh, there you are!
My challenge to the X-F dressers: put the Overs men in spandex!

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
2:15 pm

This show is just too much of EVERYTHING except good taste!

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
2:17 pm

Too much lighting, too much costuming, too much sound, too many hosts, too many judges with too much ego.

There might be some talent but who would know with all the other “stuff” going on!

JTesla

November 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

Wait, they only have three judges so X-Factor actually got that one right. LA, Demi, Simon… 1, 2, 3.

Pitchy

November 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

It seems so, JTesla. I like country, but they sound like they were singing through their noses.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

Those of you who are fans of 666 Park Avenue….ABC is reporting that the hurricane destroyed some of the smaller sets for the show and the larger sets were severely damaged

Harriett

November 1st, 2012
2:25 pm

LOL@JT!

I still say there is something “off” about Britney. She gets this look on her face that looks as if she’s checked out for a minute.

Deirdre

November 1st, 2012
2:26 pm

They may only have 3 “judges”, JT but they still have 4 egos!

Harriett

November 1st, 2012
2:29 pm

Pascual Perez is dead. Former Braves pitcher famous for getting lost on I-285 while trying to find Fulton County Stadium.