"The X Factor" U.S. episode that Fox televised on Sept. 26, 2013, had the last of the season's auditions and revealed which contestant acts were chosen for the show's top 40 this year. The show's four judges (Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio) were also seen finding out which contestant categories they are going to mentor in 2013.
Neal Macomber, 45, subjected the audience to a wild-eyed performance in which he shouted an off-key version of Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks" while skipping awkwardly on stage. He got into full-on "creepy" mode when he pranced up to the judges' table and started "singing" to Lovato, "Hey, Demi give me all your love!" Lovato cringed in horror and replied, "No!" Then he ran into the audience and touched a teenage girl on the head, and she literally screamed in terror.
After his performance, Macomber walked up to Lovato and began stroking her hair as she recoiled away from him. Macomber said about Lovato: "She's like a cute little poodle! I just love her!"
Cowell said to Macomber about the performance, "I'll be honest with you, it was like something out of a lunatic asylum. If this was a movie, this would be 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' or something. You're like the slasher who sings while they slash."
Macomber was the only audition shown that got "no" votes from all of the judges.
The rest of these contestants all got "yes" votes from the judges:
Glamour, a female trio ages 12 and 13, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" with some tight harmonies. Rowland raved, "I am so excited! I feel like I'm looking at a baby Destiny's Child right now!"
Girls United, a female trio ages 23 and 24, performed a good-but-not-great version of Jessie J's "Price Tag." Lovato said to Girls United, "You're so pretty, it's stupid!"
Zach Beeken, 17, channeled "American Idol" 2011 winner Scotty McCreery by being a baby-faced teen country singer with a very deep voice. Beeken sang Chris Young's "Getting You Home." Rubio commented to Beeken, "I didn't expect you to sing that well."
Wild Thingz, a male hip-hop duo ages 22 and 30, performed horribly off-key. It was an original song that was not identified. The judges must have been desperate to fill the Groups category because that's the only logical explanation for why they all voted Wild Thingz through to the next round. Rubio exclaimed, "You did it great." Someone needs to give her a drug test.
Denny Smith, 69, said his nickname was Santa Claus. That's because Smith (clad in a red suit and red fedora) looks like Santa Claus. Smith performed a blues version of Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine's "Stormy Monday Blues." Cowell said to Smith when delivering then news that Smith was through to the next round: "Christmas has come early." Smith is a pure novelty act that "The X Factor" won't take seriously, so there was virtually no chance of him being one of the Top 12 contestant acts chosen to perform on the show's live episodes.
Victoria Carriger, 41, did a pretty good version of Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You," but it had some problems with pitch and voice control. In a pre-audition interview, Carriger mentioned that she is has eight kids who are ages 4 to 20, but she is going through a tough time because she is separated from her husband. It was a sob story that she told the judges, and it must have affected them because they ended up over-praising her performance.
Cowell said to Carriger, "I had genuinely written you off before you started singing, but I was not expecting that! Through that song, I think I'm beginning to understand your story, You had a point to prove. I thought that was extraordinary." Rubio added, "When you started singing in that raspy voice, I felt your pain, I felt your love for your family." Lovato echoed, "I felt the pain in your voice. I'm rooting for you." Predictably, her kids ran up on stage to hug and congratulate her.
Keith Beukelaer, 29, gave viewers a blast from the past. He auditioned for "American Idol" in 2003, when his embarrassingly bad performance of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" resulted in Cowell telling him that he was "the worst singer in the world." For his "X Factor" audition, Beukelaer (clad from head to toe in brightly colored tie dye, including a tie-dye boa) performed Sir Mixx-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" while Rowland, Lovato and Rubio got up and danced and tried to get Cowell to dance too. (This "X Factor" audition went viral when it happened on June 20, 2013, in Uniondale, N.Y., so many people already saw this audition on the Internet.)
In a very fake and staged decision, all four judges said yes. Beukelaer is another novelty act that obviously was put on the show as a phony "redemption" story for Beukelaer and to give an example of how Cowell has become a "nicer" judge on "The X Factor." All it did was remind longtime "American Idol" viewers how much better the show was in its first few years and how bad "The X Factor" U.S. is in comparison.
The Top 40 Contestant Acts
As previously reported, "The X Factor" U.S. eliminated "boot camp" and "judges' houses" in 2013. Therefore, the show went straight from narrowing down about 200 contestant acts to 40 acts.
(These 40 acts were then narrowed down to 24 acts, and then to 16 acts, in episodes that were taped at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, 2013. These episodes will be televised on Fox on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, 2013.)
The episode televised on Sept. 26, 2013, showed a sneak peek of a new format to the show: the Four-Chair Challenge, which involves six contestants from each category being put in chairs and narrowed down to four contestants in each category. The judges were allowed to change their minds and switch out or switch in contestants from their mentor categories. These "Four-Chair Challenge" episodes will be televised on on Fox on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, 2013.
The categories assigned for each judge to mentor in 2013 are as follows:
- Girls (female solo singers ages 16 to 24), mentored by Demi Lovato
- Boys (male solo singers ages 16 to 24), mentored by Paulina Rubio
- Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over), mentored by Kelly Rowland
- Groups, mentored by Simon Cowell
This is the second year in a row that Cowell is mentoring the Groups category.
"The X Factor" will once again have manufactured groups that were formed on the show by putting rejected solo contestants in the same group.
This is how One Direction and Little Mix were formed on "The X Factor" U.K. and how Fifth Harmony was formed on "The X Factor" U.S.
One Direction came in third place on "The X Factor U.K. in 2010. Little Mix was the winner of "The X Factor" UK. in 2011 and was the first group to win on "The X Factor" U.K. Fifth Harmony came in third place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012. All three groups are signed to Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Cowell and Sony Music.
Here are the Top 40 contestant acts on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013.
Girls (female solo singers ages 16 to 24), mentored by Demi Lovato
- Khaya Cohen
- Danielle "Danie" Geimer
- Ellona Santiago
- Rion Paige
- Rylie Brown
- Bree Randall
- Primrose Martin
- Ashly Williams
- Jamie Pineda
- Simone Torres
Boys (male solo singers ages 16 to 24), mentored by Paulina Rubio
- Carlos Guevara
- Josh Levi
- Carlito Olivero
- Tim Olstad
- Stone Martin
- Al Calderon
- Isaac Tauaefa
- Timmy Thames
- Chase Goehring
- Isaiah Alston
Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over), mentored by Kelly Rowland
- Jeffrey Adam Gutt
- James Kenney
- Lillie McCloud
- Rachel Potter
- Victoria Carriger
- Kristine Mirelle
- Lorie Moore
- Jeff Brinkman
- Allison Davis
- Denny Smith
Groups, mentored by Simon Cowell
- Alex & Sierra
- Restless Road (country group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Andrew Scholz, Colton Pack and Zach Beeken)
- Roxxy Montana
- Sweet Suspense (pop group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Celine Polenghi, Millie Thrasher and Summer Reign)
- Forever in Your Mind (pop group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Emery Kelly, Jon Klaasen and Ricky Garcia)
- Girls United
- Wild Thingz
- Good News
- Yellow House Canyon
Sept. 27, 2013 update: Even though ratings in the previous "X Factor" episode had a slight increase, ratings for the episode that aired on Sept. 26, 2013, went back down to the show's season average of 6.5 million U.S. viewers.
"The X Factor" finished third in its time slot (8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET/PT) and ninth overall for the night among prime-time network shows.
Here are the rankings of the U.S. prime-time network shows on Sept. 26, 2013:
- "The Big Bang Theory" - 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (CBS) — 20.4 million U.S. viewers
- "The Big Bang Theory" - 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m (CBS) — 19 million U.S. viewers
- "The Crazy Ones" (CBS) — 15.5 million U.S. viewers
- "Two and a Half Men" (CBS) — 11.6 million U.S. viewers
- "Criminal Minds" (CBS) — 11.5 million U.S. viewers
- "Elementary" (CBS) — 10.2 million U.S. viewers
- "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) — 9.3 million U.S. viewers
- "The Michael J. Fox Show" (NBC) — 7.5 million U.S. viewers
- "The X Factor" (Fox) — 6.5 million U.S. viewers
- "Glee" (Fox) — 5.6 million U.S. viewers
- "Parenthood" (NBC) — 5.6 million U.S. viewers
- "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - repeat (ABC) — 4.7 million U.S. viewers
- "The Vampire Diaries" - repeat (CW) — 720,000 U.S. viewers
- "America's Next Top Model" - repeat (CW) — 580,000 U.S. viewers