Week two of The X Factor's new season began Wednesday night with more auditions in Los Angeles and Charleston, South Carolina.
New judge Paulina Rubio missed the L.A. tryouts because she was performing in concert elsewhere. She appeared alongside Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland in Charleston.
Here are the highlights of Wednesday's episode:
Josh Levi, a 14-year-old student originally from Houston, put an acoustic R&B spin on Selena Gomez's Indian-influenced dance hit "Come & Get It." Demi, a friend and former Barney co-star of Selena's, said Josh's rendition was amazing and adorable. Simon thought the song choice was poor on its face, but Josh managed to make it work. Josh advanced to the next round.
Aknu (pronounced "anew") consisted of three brothers ranging in age from 24 to 28. The trio made a somewhat obscure selection with "Valerie," a song by the English rock band The Zutons that was famously covered by the late Amy Winehouse. They threw some really nice dance moves into their performance. Kelly said they had a gift that needed to be spread. Simon said Aknu "might be on the forefront of something new." Aknu is moving on in the competition.
Vincent Crisostomo said he was inspired by hip-hop, but for some odd reason he belted out LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live." Simon called it one of the worst auditions he's ever heard. Demi said she was concerned Vincent had surrounded himself with friends who incorrectly told him he had singing ability. Vincent was rejected by the panel.
Teenager Carlos Guevara, who suffers from Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, did a wonderful job with John Mayer's "Gravity." Paulina told Carlos he brought great energy to the stage. Kelly said she felt grateful to have witnessed his audition. Simon credited Carlos for not playing "the victim" and not letting the challenges he faces in life hold him back. Carlos received a "yes" from all four judges.
CJ and Chloe were two friends who delivered an unimpressive rendition of Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep – Mountain High." Chloe smothered Simon with kisses afterward, but it didn't prevent her and CJ from being sent home.
Fifteen-year-old Danie Geimer showed off her powerful vocals on The Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun." We'll see her again.
Jeff Gutt was a contestant from last season who decided to return. He initially tried Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" but Simon cut him off, arguing that it sounded like a poor imitation of Steven Tyler. Jeff redeemed himself by hitting the high notes on the Radiohead single "Creep." Kelly was very much into the latter performance, calling it "incredible." Simon noted that Jeff had picked up some bad singing habits since the last time he appeared on the show, but he delivered when it counted. Jeff was passed through to the next round.
Fox will air more X Factor auditions Thursday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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