The latest batch of "X Factor" auditions found the judges facing some of the stiffest competition yet. When the foursome landed in Providence, Rhode Island, they were confronted with the best and the worst of what New England has to offer, before the episode flipped back to more auditions from the San Francisco round. In the end, there was some drama and some flirting, and the judges found some major contenders on both coasts.
Who Run the World
Dinah Jane Hansen, 15, idolized Britney Spears growing up, and the charming youngster not only won the judges over with her sunny personality, regaling them with tales of living with her large family, but also her sultry rendition of Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy." "You took that thing to places that even Beyoncé didn't," L.A. Reid gushed, later adding she's likely to be a finalist. "You made my day. I felt like I had a connection with you the moment you started singing," Spears said. Simon gave her major kudos and it was a unanimous "yes" thanks to her chill-inducing performance.
Watch Out, Bieber
Cali native Austin Carini, 16 , already had girls asking for his autograph, so when he went for Hunter Hayes' swoon-inducing "Wanted," it had the girls swaying. "I think you have the whole package," Britney shared. But the other judges felt he needed to turn up the dial a bit to make it all the way, with Simon advising that just because he's cute doesn't mean he can win. L.A. and Simon sent him through hoping he can step up his game, most likely wishing they've found the next Bieber in the rough.
In the Genes
Gene Simmons' daughter, Sophie Simmons, 19, rolled up to the auditions as a "student" and wannabe singer, but her entourage was a bit more A-list than the other contestants'. "I want to prove to myself that I have talent," she said. "They didn't know I was doing this until yesterday and they're pretty upset with me," she later told the judges about her parents' role in her audition. She somewhat proved herself with her take on Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" (which was later recorded by Adele). Demi shared she "could be really, really great" and generally she got a warm reception. She didn't get the kiss-off through, despite a "no" from L.A.
Cockiness (Love It)
Tara Simon, a 27-year-old Hotlanta vocal coach, dished, "I am the Simon Cowell of my studio," and proved to have lots of bravado. And despite admitting to be gunning for a spot on the panel, the vocal coach eventually won the coaches over with her slowed-down version of Usher's "Without You." "That girl is a total and utter drama queen," Simon said as she walked off stage, and L.A. predicted she's going to be "insane."
Kicking It Old-School
Daryl Black, a 37-year-old father of five, proved that even a song as modern as Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts" could have some Motown soul in it. "You remind me of Nat King Cole. And if you're smart and you do something that is different... I see good things for you," Simon noted.
Cincinnati native Arin Ray, 16, was back after he made it through on season one, where he was put in a group called intTENsity. Simon recognized him immediately, and he got rather quickly the seal of approval from Demi Lovato, who shared how cute she thought he was until she learned he was just a teen, later joking, "Whoops." After working to "perfect his craft," he wowed the judges with his original track "Count On Me," a synthy midterm R&B track. "You've got this great confidence about you," Simon shared about how much he's matured since last year. He got the yes, most notably from his #1 crush, Demi.
Spears Gets Silly
The singer showed off her goofy side, or at least attempted to, at the request of her manager Larry Rudolph, when she tricked a production assistant, Wade, into thinking she wanted a straw hat to wear around town. Wade seemed pretty concerned to fulfill her response. Once he did, she opted for a tiara instead. She pondered, "Should we be messing with him?"
To Be Continued
Trevor Moran, a 13-year-old wannabe Internet star from California, shared he's "trying to get myself out there" via online videos and now as a contestant on the show. But before he hit the stage, drama ensued when he went missing and was found ill in a hallway with his mom. The producers, however, kept everyone waiting to see what happens, as the rest of the drama will unfold on Thursday night (September 27).
Who was your favorite contestant on Wednesday's "X Factor"? Leave your comment below!