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The X Factor: 2.07 – “Boot Camp, Task One”

The auditions are over and we’re on to the Boot Camp round. The episode begins with contestants at home packing their bags, saying goodbye to their family members, and heading for Miami to compete in the next round of The X Factor. Jenell Garcia is featured prominently in these quick scenes. She’s shown working in her father’s mechanic shop before going home to say goodbye to her mother before heading off. Jillian Jensen, Willie Jones & boy group Emblem3 are also shown more than the others. They had memorable auditions, but this also probably means they’ll be having some more memorable moments coming up and the producers want to make sure you remember them.

The show cuts to Miami and shows all of the contestants arriving. While they are at the hotel lounging around the pool, the judges are shown explaining the next round of competition and Simon emphasizes that this will be “the most intense week of their [the contestants] lives”. Task One (as they refer to it) will be a one day showcase where contestants will sing in front of the judges and everyone else (the other contestants are awkwardly sitting on the stage looking constantly uncomfortable) watches. The judges won’t give immediate feedback but the cameras and microphones pick up their reactions for various contestants. First up was Diamond White, who did a version of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”. She did a good job but wasn’t one of the most memorable.

More of the good auditions are featured. Austin Corini, the bleach blonde boy from the audition rounds, sings “Make You Feel My Love”. I thought it was a little boring. L.A. was as lukewarm as I was, while Simon responded that he thinks people will love him. David Correy also does a strong performance of “Mercy”. It was an unexpected song choice and he blew it out of the water. He was my favorite performance of the night. Lyric Da Queen (who I don’t recall being featured in the audition episodes), Jason Brock and Carly Rose Sonenclar are also shown getting impressive comments from the judges.

Jessica Espinoza was one of the most featured contestants of the night. She was extremely nervous going into the performance. The judges really pumped her up though. Demi told her that she was one of the only contestants from the auditions that she remembered the first and last name of. L.A. also said her audition was one of the ones that stuck with him. Jessica did a version of “When You Believe” and I thought she did a decent job. She has a special voice that stood out from the rest. But the editing wasn’t kind to her. Other contestants were shown making sour faces and Demi was shown saying that she was extremely disappointed in the performance. To each their own, I guess.

Jenell Garcia, one of my favorite auditioners, was up next. She sang Gavin DeGraw’s “Sweeter” (which I had to look up, never heard it before) and did a great job. She was a little over-the-top with her sexy moves. She needs to take that down on a notch and focus more on her vocals. L.A. Reid called her performance “spicy” which was an appropriate adjective to explain what she did on that stage.

When the show came back from commercial, they quickly glossed over Jillian Jensen’s performance. She was shown for 1 or 2 seconds hitting a high note and that was it. For as much as they featured her in the episode, you think they would’ve shown more of her actual performance. Vino Alan was also shown singing “Bad Company”. He introduces himself to Simon because he was in the audition episode where Simon was out sick. Simon was very impressed with his voice after hearing it for the first time. Vino was another one of the stronger performances in this episode.

Johnny Maxwell was shown next. He was one of the auditions that I actually remembered. But he didn’t live up to that audition. He did some kind of freestyle (I think) and completely messed up his lyrics and was off the rhythm of the accompanying music. This was followed by a montage of other bad performances from the first task of the competition. Jordyn Foley, Manny Acosta, Trevor Moran and Nick Perrelli were all shown biting the dust. Jake Garza was a painful one to watch. He forgot all of the words to “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. He lost his place so badly that he couldn’t jump back in with the music. He had to leave the stage and he was a crying mess. Jake was crying and saying, “I want my mom”. His mother came back and comforted him. He’s only 12 years-old and you forget that about some of the contestants. It was heartbreaking to watch, I admit.

The boy band showdown was next. (BTW, what is with the lack of groups? Are they just going to get rid of this category because of lack of interest? I wouldn’t mind.) L3vel, Citizen and Jetset were shown doing well. Emblem3 did a version of “Iris” and impressed the judges the most. I personally didn’t like it very much and their douchebag personalities really came out in the scenes they were shown in not performing. Next, memorable auditioners Tara Simon and Willie Jones were shown. Tara did “Somebody to Love” and wasn’t very good, and neither was Willie with his “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” (which is one of the worst songs of all time). But the judges gave them some love with their whispered comments at the table.

The last performances of the night were from Paige Thomas and CeCe Frey. Paige Thomas was the one with the weird shaved haircut and CeCe was the bitchy narrator for the Kansas City auditions with the face tattoo (temporary one I assume). They both sang “I Will Always Love You”. Neither did an amazing job, but I like Paige’s personality much more than Cece’s personality. Simon said that only one of them actually nailed the performance (although [spoiler alert] they both made it to the next round).

The final act of the episode was the judges reveal to the contestants about whether or not they make it to the next round. Simon said there were around 120 acts and half of them would be cut after the first performance. The judges deliberate before the Production Assistants bring in the contestants. Group 1 featured Jenell Garcia, Jason Brock, Diamond White, Paige Thomas, Carly Rose Senenclar and many others. They made it through. Group 2 featured Trevor Moran, Jordyn Foley, Jessica Espinoza, Jake Garza and others. They were eliminated and sent home, most in tears. Group 3 featured Jeffrey Gutt, Freddie Combs, Johnny Maxwell, Tara Simon, CeCe Frey, Jillian Jensen and others. They also made it through to the next round. People in question: The boy bands, Lyric Da Queen, Austin Corini, David Correy, Austin Corini, Willie Jones, and others. I didn’t see what group they were in. The show did that segment so quickly that they didn’t show everyone in every group. Not sure which one of those people in question made it to round 2 of Boot Camp.

Tonight was only one hour thanks to the presidential debates. Tomorrow night is another hour of Boot Camp. Should be interesting.

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