It's only Night 4 of "The X Factor," but we've already had enough close-ups of pretty judges going through their makeup sessions to last a year. OK, we get it. A moratorium please. We really no longer require shots of Demi Lovato's terrifying, penciled-in eybrows.
Our little Scooby Gang is in Greensboro, N.C. tonight and Britney Spears, for one, is pleased as punch to be here. She's from Louisiana, you see, and she finds the South "refreshing and amazing." If only William Faulkner could have written really cool dialogue like that.
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell is eager to get his South on by trying grits for the first time. So he stops at a local diner, chows down, and holds up the whole production. Diva.
Oh, well, there wasn't much to see here anyway. The entire hour delivered only three boot-camp qualifiers, and we actually found ourselves cheering when a Biblical downpour -- along with a lightning strike -- played havoc with the audition process.
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has been performed to death on "American Idol" and other reality competitions, but Jeffrey Adam Gutt manages to make it fresh by bringing a gritty, guttural edge to it.
The judges absolutely dig it and Simon calls it "one of the most brilliant auditions I've heard."
"I mean God's even rocking out right now," says Demi, as thunder rumbles in background.
The segment gets even better when Jeffrey's
-- Willie Jones, a 17-year-old black guy. shows up looking like what Demi describes as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But then he stuns everyone by delivering a deep-voiced country song -- "Your Man" -- the same tune that Scotty "Baby Lock Them Doors" McCreery made so memorable on "Idol." Simon raves that he has a "sensational" recording voice.
"I want to remember this time -- the first day I heard Willie Jones," he says. "This is a day to remember."
-- Rocker chick Julia Bullock, 18, delivers a tangy version of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" that has everyone smiling. Everyone, that is, except her boyfriend, who pouts like a big frickin' baby backstage. Seems that her success means she'll be dumping him and the band they played in together. Boo hoo.
Baten down the hatches
Turns out, the thunder and lightning doesn't cause nearly as much of a ruckus as hot-headed Krysten Colon. After failing to impress the judges with an Adele song (bad choice), Simon is nice enough to invite her back later in the day for another shot.
But, with the storm raging outside, shes sounds even worse on a Whitney Houston cover ("I Have Nothing"). When the judges unanimously reject her, she spits out a profanity and then stomps off backstage, where she throws water at the camera and brandishes a chair like a WWE wrestler.
We're appalled by her behavior. On the other hand, it's probably nothing Britney and/or Simon hasn't done before.
Quote of the night
"I'm scared I'm related to you, or something." -- Britney, addressing Kalvin McManigle, a 47-year-old gruff and toothless dude who looks like one of those cartoon hilbillies who lugs around a moonshine jug with X's on it.
Apparently not so refreshing and amazing.