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Previous Episodes
September 21
September 22

Simon Cowell returns to enlist three more industry heavyweights to find the next great pop act.

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Steve Jones
Judges Paula Abdul
Simon Cowell
Antonio "LA" Reid
Nicole Scherzinger
Creator Simon Cowell
EP Andrew Llinares
Rob Wade
Simon Cowell
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Richard Holloway
Siobhan Greene
Packager Syco TV
FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web thexfactorusa.com
Airs 8p ET Weds & Thurs, Fox
@The X Factor (USA)

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Auditions 3: Chicago/Seattle
September 28

Last week, you made "The X Factor" the most watched new show on Fox. Stars were born and history was made. So what do we have for you this week? More or less the same thing, only this time in Seattle and Chicago.

Sears Centre

The Windy City turns into the rainy city as Cheryl Cole rejoins the panel.

First to face the music, Brock Wade & Makenna Sullinger (18, 22) from Springfield have been singing for four years together now. Makenna wears the bollocks in the duo. Brock has an unrequited crush on Makenna, while Makenna sees them as nothing more than good friends. That sounds familiar. They go from rain to "Colder Weather" by the Zac Brown Band (how a propos). But they sing like they are dating. And who knows, maybe by the time they're watching this, they are. But they're a good solid country group. A group that will resonate with America. They end up making the judges' day. It's a sweep.

Kim Terek (35, financial analyst) gives us "Firework"... and this is why we banned it at the 'net. Tim Quinn (21, model) gets "Kiss from a Rose"... and gets stuck with a thorn. Robin Royal (45, interior designer)... is just horrible. And it gets worse. We even have someone looking to be a judge.

Next is Skyelor Anderson (16, Southaven, MS) wants to be a country singer. You don't find many young black country singers. Maybe he'll be the next Charley Pride. He wants to buy a house for his moms. That's nice. He sings Billy Currington's "Must Be Doin' Something Right". And it mysteriously stops. That's not. Skyelor continues... Good for him. It's also good for the judges. He sweeps the panel.

Now let's meet J. Mark Inman (31, graduate student), who is always having both sides of his brain working. At once. He sings because he has things to say. He doesn't want to be a cookie cutter formed-at-a factory pop star. Then why is he even here? Let's find out as he sings "Creep" by Radiohead. This is one of those so-bad-it's-good auditions. The judges even say so, saying that "I don't belong here" is a bit telling. Three yeses is all he needs. Three yeses is all he gets. Simon... just sits there. Thus launches a parade of... weird.

Arin Ray (15, student) brings on the sunshine in "Ain't No Sunshine". Josh Krajcik (30, Columbus) hopes to hear the same. All we know about him is... he has a proud mom who drove him. And that he works in a restaurant. Hopefully one that sells Pepsi products. He sings "At Last" by Etta James. And at least we have a soulful male voice to take that song... THERE. He's going to easily go from slinging burritos to making lettuce with that voice.

With that, the sun sets on Chicago, as we make a return trip to...


... Bob Sapp's hometown. Nicole's back in the Cheryl seat.

First up, Sheree & Darwin Reading (70 & 31), mother-and-daughter. They call themselves The Good Girls. Are they any good? We find out on "What's Going On" by Marvin... and that's what I wanna know. What's going on?

Next up, Drew Ryniewicz (14, student from Chino Valley, AZ) is a big Justin Bieber fan. What a coincidence, LA Reid signed Biebs. Maybe he'll help sign you. And then maybe not. Depends on how you do with "Baby". Big risk. She takes it to the slow on this... Bigger risk. She's singing to LA. Perhaps equal parts bold and dumb. But she sounds good. She should get the approval... and she gets the sweep. And she has to pull her dress up she's so excited.

Jada (24-31) gives girl groups a bad name. Peet Montzingo (21) is next. Let's play "Where Have I Heard That Name Before?" If you said "contestant on Wipeout", you win our prize, Gordon Pepper's voice on your home answering machine. Anyway, Peet is the 6'1" offspring of two dwarves who dreams of being a teen heartthrob. He's going to sing "Famous" by Bruno Mars. Well, it's "Billionaire", but he'd rather be famous. Well, congratulations, you're NEITHER! YAY!

All the way from VA Beach are 4Shore (20-23). They sang together in high school. They're singing together on a song that LA Reid wrote AND sung. It is.. "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men. You're not from Philly, that's 4shore. In fact... it's a little bit whiny. But they are performers playing to the crowd. That'll be the X factor in the title. Now can they translate that into yeses? That's a full boat. Four yeses, four guys, and hold the applause. The X Factor Pod is over there.

Elaine Gibbs (who looks good for 53) has a friend in the panel with "You Got a Friend". Francesca Duncan (17, HS graduate) has a hero in "Hero". And that's a run on yeses... that ends with Tiger Budbill (42, wedding DJ). LA says NO. Simon says... yes to save him.

Hoping to join them, Phillip Lomax (21, waiter from around town), a hipster. I hate him already. He sings "Fly Me to the Moon"... and I hate him even more. It was a little like this show... All flash and no fire. The judges do like him, and that's good for him, I guess.

The girls are starting to strike out. In fact, they are, as Simon put them, DOA. Dead. On. Arrival. That segues into Nicole reliving her "Popstars" auditions. Look it up on YouTube, kids.

Tiah Tolliver (19, deli clerk) says that she's born to sing. She says that she's been getting a lot of compliments on her lipstick. Well, she has a lot of lips. So... her main mission... get the judges back on the same page. She sings "Impossible" by Shontelle. Way too deep for her register. But she has that firecracker in her. Simon says that she has the potential to be great. LA doesn't really appreciate the lack of backing track. It pains me to say this... but Simon was dead wrong. Will it matter? Nicole says no. Simon says yes. LA... says yes. It's up to Paula... She says... NO. And Simon takes it like a man, throwing his pen down. LA wants one more song.... to turn a no into a yes... You are still on stage. You are still alive... with "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing." The Fifth Judge (TM) wants Tiah. All she needs is one more yes. She gets it from NICOLE! She is one lucky girl. But how will she do in boot camp? We'll find out next week.

Meanwhile, the audition tour comes to an end tomorrow in NYC. Have we saved the best for last? Find out in 22.

To see extras from this episode and a Pepsi Precap of the next episode, visit thexfactorusa.com.