The Top 32 acts of “The X Factor” U.S. 2011 have now been revealed. In a “boot camp” episode that Fox televised on October 6, 2011, about 100 acts were narrowed down to 32. It was also announced which category of contestants the four “X Factor” judges will mentor in 2011.
Here are the Top 32 acts:
Female Solo Singers Under Age 30 (aka The Girls)
Melanie Amaro, Simone Battle, Rachel Crow, Caitlin Koch, Jazzlyn Little, Drew Ryniewicz, Tiah Tolliver and Tora Woloshin
Mentor: Simon Cowell
(Watch the Girls find out who made it past boot camp.)
Male Solo Singers Under Age 30 (aka The Boys)
Skyelor Anderson, Brian Bradley, Marcus Canty, Tim Cifers, Brennin Hunt, Phillip Lomax, Chris Rene and Nick Voss
Mentor: L.A. Reid
(Watch the Boys find out who made it past boot camp.)
Solo Singers Who Are At Least 30 Years Old (aka The Over 30s)
LeRoy Bell, Tiger Budbill, Christa Collins, Stacy Francis, Elaine Gibbs, Dexter Haygood, James Kenney and Josh Krajcik
Mentor: Nicole Scherzinger
(Watch the Over 30s find out who made it past boot camp.)
2Squar’d, 4Shore, The Anser, The Brewer Boys, Illusion/Confusion, InTENsity, Lakoda Rayne and The Stereo Hogzz
Mentor: Paula Abdul
(Watch the groups find out who made it past boot camp.)
Two of the groups (InTENSity and Lakoda Rayne) were formed by “The X Factor” U.S. and consist of people who originally auditioned for the show as solo singers but were allowed to stay in the competition on the condition that they be in a group. As previously reported, “The X Factor” executive producer Cowell had already hinted in a September 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly that this would happen.
(Watch some of the rejected solo singers get a second chance by forming groups.)
The 32 acts will go on to the “judges’ homes” part of the competition, during which the judges (with the assistance of celebrity guest mentors) will decide which 16 acts (four acts from each of the four categories) will become finalists. As previously reported, Cowell has already confirmed that Rihanna will be one of the celebrity guest mentors. He also said that Mariah Carey had been scheduled to be a guest mentor but she had to cancel when Hurricane Irene prevented her from traveling. The other celebrity guest mentors are to be announced.
(Click here to watch the judges find out which categories they will mentor in 2011.)
The “judges’ homes” competition episodes for “The X Factor” U.S. will be televised in the U.S. on Fox on October 12, October 13 and October 18, 2011, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.
The 16 finalist acts chosen during the “judges’ homes” part of the competition will then go on to perform in live episodes, and the winner is chosen by viewer voting. The grand prize of “The X Factor” U.S. consists of $5 million and a record deal with Sony Music.
Here is a look back at “boot camp” auditions that were televised on October 6, 2011:
A select number of group performances were televised.
Group #1 consisted of Brennin Hunt, Equality, Marcus Canty, Matthew Johnson, Ma’at Bingham Shango, Chris Rene, Gina Rene (Chris Rene’s older sister), who performed Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” In this group, only Chris Rene, Shango (as a member of InTENsity) and Hunt made it to the Top 32.
(Click here to watch Group #1’s performance.)
Group #2 conisisted of Matthew Slovacek, Tim Cifers, Thomas Wells, Jeremy Easley, Kingston (twin brothers) and Hannah Bethel, who performed Rascal Flatts’ “I Won’t Let Go.” In this group, only Cifers made it to the Top 32.
Group #3 consisted of the Brewer Boys (two teenage brothers), James Douglas, Christa Collins, Emma Henry, Henri Bredouw, Hanna Jackson, Kyle Corr and Ryan Sims, who performed Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.” In this group, only the Brewer Boys and Collins made it to the Top 32.
(Click here to watch Group #3’s performance.)
The Top 32 (individual performances)
Chris Rene, who has become a YouTube sensation ever since his “X Factor” audition was televised and posted on YouTube, did an acoustic version of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Reid has basically said in interviews that Rene is a shoo-in to be in the “X Factor” finals.
(Click here to watch Chris Rene’s performance.)
Brian Bradley, the 14-year-old rapper who says that he will be “better than Jay-Z in five years,” performed with no shortage of confidence. He is another contestant who is widely predicted to make it into the “X Factor” finals.
(Click here to watch Brian Bradley’s performance.)
Drew Ryniewicz continued to shine, as she impressed people with her version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star.” (In an interview with E! Entertainment Television, Cowell has already named Ryniewicz as his favorite contestant in the Girls category, so expect her to go far in the competition.)
(Click here to watch Drew Ryniewicz’s performance.)
Stacy Francis did an emotional version of “Summertime.” She talked about how her father had died the day that she arrived at boot camp, and she expressed mixed emotions and guilt over not deciding not to attend his funeral in order to stay at boot camp.
(Click here to watch Stacy Francis’ performance.)
Phillip Lomax did his usual corny lounge-singer act in his version of “Summertime,” and the crowd loved his performance, despite all of its clichés (wearing a fedora, snapping his fingers in time to the music). He clearly wants to be the Michael Bublé of “The X Factor,” but Lomax isn’t quite up to that level of talent.
(Click here to watch Phillip Lomax’s performance.)
Rachel Crow, the youngest contestant in the Top 32 (she was 13 years old during boot camp, and now she is 14), has been getting a lot of screen time on “The X Factor” U.S., which is a good indication that she will be one of the finalists. Her mature-beyond-her-years talent makes her stand out from her older competitors. At boot camp, Crow did a stellar version of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.”
(Click here to watch Rachel Crow’s performance.)
Tiger Budbill performed a rock-ballad version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” He mentioned his financial problems by saying that his house was about to be auctioned off, and he was on “The X Factor” for his family.
(Click here to watch Tiger Budbill’s performance.)
Tiah Tolliver had to overcome the fact that she wasn’t very well-liked by Abdul and Scherzinger in her auditions, which casued a huge argument with Cowell and Reid, who are both supporters of Tolliver. Tolliver proved the naysayers wrong with a stellar performance.
(Click here to watch Tiah Tolliver’s performance.)
Simone Battle was another singer who was disliked by the female judges, but unike Tolliver, Battle bombed by doing a lame hip-hop version of Elton John’s “Your Song.” It didn’t help that Battle forgot the lyrics and made up the words as she went along. Despite her sub-par performance, Battle made it into the Top 32.
(Click here to watch Simone Battle’s performance.)
The Stereo Hogzz performed a reworked version of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” with choreography that looked like something out of a Broadway show. Although the performance was an improvement over their previous off-key warbling, Cowell pointed out that the Stereo Hogzz are “inconsistent.”
(Click here to watch the Stereo Hoggz’s performance.)
Nick Dean performed Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” Although he was rejected as a solo singer, Dean was allowed to stay in the competition on the condition that he join a 10-member group called InTENsity.
(Click here to watch Nick Dean’s performance.)
Cari Fletcher is another contestant who didn’t make the cut as a solo singer, but she was one of the contestants asked to stay in the competition as a member of a newly formed group called Lakoda Rayne. Fletcher sang Lonestar’s “Already There” in her boot camp performance.
(Click here to watch Cari Fletcher’s performance.)
Paige Ogle did a bland version of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” The mediocrity of her performance is probably why she didn’t make it into the Top 32 as a solo singer, but she was given a second chance to continue in the competition as the member of the group Lakoda Rayne.
(Click here to watch Paige Ogle’s performance.)
LeRoy Bell, the 59-year-old who looks like he’s 39, talked about how the “X Factor” was his last chance to make it big as a singer, and that he did not want to grow “old and bitter” by not taking the chance. He did a soulful version of Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
(Click here to watch Leroy Bell’s performance.)
Josh Krajcik made a little a speech before his performance about how he didn’t want to go back to making burritos for a living, and that he hoped people remembered his boot camp performance “forever.” Krajcik, whose voice has has been described sounding like a young Joe Cocker, performed a bluesy version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Up to the Mountain.”
(Click here to watch Josh Krajcik’s performance.)
4Shore, an all-male R&B quartet, did not peform that well at boot camp, and the judges said it was the group’s worst performance so far. But based on the strength of 4 Shore’s previous performances, the group was put through to the next round.
(Click here to watch 4 Shore’s performance.)
Caitlin Koch stands out for her low-key but compelling style of performing (similar to what Norah Jones does), and it was no surprise that she sailed into the Top 32 because of her unique singing talent. While many of the other contestants are all about big voices and effusive performances, Koch could be someone who outlasts some of the more extroverted singers in the competition.
(Click here to watch Caitlin Koch’s performance.)
Brennin Hunt, also known as the “pretty boy” of the competition, did a reworking of Alicia Keys’ “If I Aint Got You,” which didn’t greatly impress Cowell, but it was good enough for Hunt to advance to the next round.
(Click here to watch Brennin Hunt’s performance.)
The Rejects (individual performances)
Audrey Turner, the widow of Ike Turner, did a passionate performance of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” but it wasn’t good enough for her to advance to the next round.
(Click here to watch Audrey Turner’s performance.)
Little Ladiez, an all-female quartet, got criticized by the judges for not being original enough.
(Click here to watch Little Ladiez’s performance.)
Makenna and Brock fumbled in their reworking of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” by stumbling over the lyrics and singing off-key. Scherzinger loved their performance as much as Cowell hated it.
(Click here to watch Makenna and Brock’s performance.)
Siameze Floyd, a low-rent Prince wannabe, is someone who thinks screaming and screeching can pass for singing. It’s amazing that he made it this far in the competition, but now he’s been eliminated.
(Click here to watch Siameze Floyd’s performance.)