The X Factor is back!
In the past two years, thousands of hopefuls auditioned in front of Simon Cowell and several of the biggest names in the music industry for a chance to win one of the biggest prizes in Reality TV history ($5,000,000 and a recording contract with Sony Music).
While Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens have won the top prize, several alums including Chris Rene, Rachel Crow, Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony have made their marks on the show and have launched careers in the entertainment industry.
Tonight, The X Factor USA returned to FOX with veteran judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato with new panelists Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio! Did the quartet find any strong talent? Read on to find out….
The first stop was Los Angeles. That is where the audience met the very first contestant: Chicago barista Carlito Olivero. He tackled Rihanna’s “Stay” and pleased all the ladies by showing off his charisma. Simon liked everything about him and Demi added that Carlito reminded her of a mix between Frankie J and Trey Songz. He received the very first four yeses of the season!
The auditions went from a roaring start to a crashing halt in Charleston! Several of the categories (Boys, Overs, Groups and Girls) screeched their way and butchered several songs including “My Heart Will Go On,” “Waterfalls” and “The Greatest Love of All.”
54-year-old Orlando native Lillie McCloud traveled to Long Island to meet the judges. She showed off her powerhouse voice with a superb gospel song! Lillie amazed the crowd and brought both Demi and Kelly close to tears. She received the show’s first standing ovation of the season as well. Paulina stated that it was “Unbelievable” and Demi added that Lillie ripped her heart out of her chest while she sang. Lillie received four yeses and moved on to the next round.
By the time X Factor arrived in New Orleans, a majority of the Groups failed their auditions. Hoping to turn things around were boyfriend-girlfriend Alex and Sierra, the duo performed an intriguing acoustic twist of former judge Britney Spears’s “Toxic.” They showed off spot-on harmonies and reminded viewers of an unplugged Karmin. Demi got the chills from their performance and Paulina added that Alex and Sierra inspired her to believe in love. Alex and Sierra received the four yeses necessary to move to the next round!
Back in Charleston, perky 13-year-old Rion Page showed that a musculoskeletal disease would not stop her from pursing her dream. She performed a strong cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” that started out slow but her voice packed a punch and Rion received the second standing ovation of the season! Paulina stated that she was honored to be a part of her audition and Simon added that Rion reminded her of the first time he saw Carrie Underwood. She received four yeses and ran to her family and friends who came with her.