A women’s professional football player, a guy obsessed with Kelly Rowland and a semi-finalist from season one were among the contestants sent through to the next round on Wednesday night’s episode of “The X Factor.”
Lorie Moore was the pro football player who wowed the judges — just Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell were present for her audition — with a strong rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
“You started to open up your mouth to not sing, but sang, S-A-N-G,” Rowland told the 34-year-old Los Angeles resident. “You’ve been on that football field too long, girl.”
Simon Cowell told Moore she gave “more than an audition; it was a performance. This is, again, why we have no age limit on this show, to find people like you. And you are very, very, very good.”
Wesley Mountain, who set off stalker alarms with his borderline disturbing obsession with Rowland, went from “creepy” — that was Demi Lovato’s word — to “cute” when he sang Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” The 19-year-old from Capitol Heights, Maryland, approached Rowland with a glazed-over look in his eye, like he was getting ready to take her back to his lair, to the point where Cowell had to order him back to the stage. But his version of “Wanted” earned him four “yes” votes, although Lovato offered this qualifier: “I’m going to say, ‘yes,’ but don’t eat my friend.”
Meanwhile, 35-year-old James Kenney, who made it to the round set in the judges’ houses back in “X Factor’s” first season, made it through again after his version of “Summertime” was deemed “sexy” by Lovato. “I’m gonna say, ‘hell yeah,’ ” said Rowland, sending the apartment manager and father of two through with one of four “yes” votes.
Other singers who made it through on Wednesday’s episode included 15-year-old Emery Kelly, a budding pop singer whom Lovato compared to Bruno Mars (probably because of his hat) and Cowell called “a little unpolished diamond”; 15-year-old Khaya Cohen, who sang Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell On You” and whose vocal tone Cowell compared to a mix of Adele and Amy Winehouse; Isaac Tauaefa, a 23-year-old ex-football player who earned four “yes” votes with his version of James Morrison’s “Better Man”; 17-year-old singer/songwriter Chase Goehring, who sailed through his audition on the strength of an original song.
Also making it through were 15-year-old Isaiah Alston, whom Lovato said has “the potential to be a little Michael Jackson”; Tim Olstad, a 23-year-old from Winona, Minnesota, who was so nervous during his audition that he was shaking, but whose voice was compared by Rowland to “a blanket of love”; Celine Polenghi, a 16-year-old who took on Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s “When You Believe” and, despite her song’s imperfections, was dubbed “a future pop star” by Cowell; Bree Randall, a 20-year-old whom Lovato predicted “is going to go far in this competition”; and 17-year-old Summer Reign (stage name alert!), who sang Shontelle’s “Impossible” and was dubbed “a little diva” by Lovato.
On Thursday’s “X Factor,” the judges will be assigned their groups, the field will be narrowed to 40 contestants and maybe, if we’re lucky, Paulina Rubio will add something worth mentioning to the proceedings.