X Factor
Auditions #4

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 4 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
You Again

The very next contestant who comes out right after Blake is a big tall glass of Too Much whose version of "Diamonds" is so terrible, she doesn't even get her name on the screen. All nos for her, obvi. Some blonde named Ashlyn prevailed upon stagehands to roll her out in a big red gift box that she can pop out of. "Annoying!" Simon sings out. But at least Ashlyn is better than the weird chick who raps in Pig Latin. And after that there are so many nos they last all the way to the commercials.

New Orleans doesn't even get to redeem itself after that debacle, because we're in Los Angeles after the break. This time Paulina's out sick, so two yes votes are enough to get through. A soft-spoken 16-year-old named Ellona Santiago is here, with her nearly-identical sister waiting backstage because the rest of her family's working. She sings "Wings," or rather belts it, because whoa, her singing voice is basically the opposite of her speaking one. In fact, when the music's going, she gets downright fierce. Obviously the audience loves her and the judges are impressed. Kelly does a little impression of Ellona's before-and-after transformation from shy girl to bad-ass, which she loved. Simon calls her the one he wants to work with the most right now. She asks him if he remembers her and is mortified when he doesn't. As it turns out, she was even in the top twelve during the first season, but was one of the members of the ungainly Frankengroup InTENsity. Simon remembers her now and we get some clips of InTENsity's short, unhappy exisTENce two years ago, including that magical moment when Simon gave special props to "the one in the red jacket." Demi says she would have sent her through if she's been here the first season and they're going to make sure Simon remembers her from now on. Ellona gets three yeses to go through, and is ecstatic. But didn't she probably get four last time?

Back to Charleston, where we rejoin auditions during a bad dry spell. Simon burns down a few wannabes, including telling a pair of girls that he'd hate to be their parents and have to listen to them every day, which is actually nicer than he could have been, because those two also look like horrible people. Then we spend a little pre-audition time with a 14-year-old boy who looks like every other 14-year-old boy who gets on these shows. He's Stone Martin from Hartsville, SC, and this will be the first time he's ever sang in front of more than a half-dozen people. He sings a sweet love ballad that's way too old for him, as are any number of the girls swooning over him in the audience. Kelly loves him and the untapped potential of his voice. Demi points out some girls in the audience freaking out, and Paulina tells him his life is about to change forever. Simon appreciates Stone's likability and "star glow," so it's not exactly a shock when he scores four yes votes. If nothing else, Stone Martin will be handy to have around when I need to come up with homepage headlines.

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