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TV Column
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/28/2012

‘The X Factor’: Final audition episode


L.A. Reid, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell (© Fred Prouser / Reuters - REUTERS)

When we last saw 13-year-old Trevor Moran, he was passed out on the floor backstage at the San Francisco auditions for “X-Factor.”

You may remember Trevor as the boy with millions of views on YouTube for his lip-synching and dancing stunts inside Apple stores – a bit of biography that the producers of “X Factor” are determined not to mention, so as not to mess with the tension that this is his one, his only, shot at fame slipping away.

Paramedics are called and the diagnosis is that Trevor was dehydrated. And excited. The treatment: water and Gatorade. He’s pale but alert, and insists he’s going to audition.

“You get one chance at this Trevor, so you’ve got to nail it,” Simon Cowell says ominously.

Or, Trevor has a future as a Gatorade spokesman, because he launches into a madly energetic performance of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It”. He’s kind of awkward, and his voice is way off message. But he’s fun.

“I’m not entirely sure that was age appropriate,” says Simon.

Judge LA Reid agrees but tells the kid “I think you owned the stage and you rocked the house.”

“You’ll be remembered for that performance,” adds Simon.

Associate Justices Brittany Spears and Demi Lovato find him adorable and cute so Trevor is through, the first move-along in this, the final night of the “X Factor” audition shows.

Demi signs and kisses a piece of paper, and asks someone to take it to some lucky guy in a green shirt in the audience. We don’t get to see it delivered. Simon says she should take a cold shower.

Here’s 16-year-old Owen Stuart, who would take the $5 million X-Prize and use it to move to New York City and marry his girlfriend. Kid seems to have a solid understanding of the cost of living in New York.

Anyway, girls in the waiting area have awarded him hunk status. And Demi has had a peek too apparently, because she’s chanting “Let him out” as he waits in the wings.

She looks disappointed when he dedicates his song to the $5 million girlfriend.

He performs B.o.B,’s “Airplanes” and turns out to be a rapper in a hunky way.

“You didn’t wow me,” says Brittany.

Not so Demi, who says that “every girl in the audience” wishes she were his girlfriend.

Simon seems disproportionately enthusiastic about Owen, saying he thinks he will get “better and better and better.”

He’s through on three yeses.

We’ve watched a lot of singing competition shows but here’s a first, an enormously obese man in a double wide wheelchair. It takes 6 stagehands to wheel 40-year-old Freddie Combs up the ramp to the stage while we hear him say “I hope the judges look past my exterior and give a fat boy a chance.”

Freddie tells the judges that he weighs 540 pounds, down from 920 in 2009 when he almost died. Big hand from the audience.

Freddie sings Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” and he has a sweet voice though it helps to close one’s eyes to get the full effect.

The judges are touched. Simon seizes the moment.

Those of us who watched last year’s “X” know how Simon’s The Deal Moment works. We saw him do it last year with an auditioner fresh out of drug rehab.

This year it went like this:

Simon tells Freddie about his vision of Freddie singing that song while standing.

Simon tells Freddie if they’re “going to go forward” they have to make a deal with each other that “we’re both going to work hard to sort this out.”

Freddie agrees.

“Because I’ll back you if you back yourself,” Simon says.

Freddie says he’ll back himself.

Simon: “In which case, Freddie, I want to kick this off and I want to give you a yes.”

Freddie vows to his wife he will stand when he sings his song.

And so, “X Factor” meets “Biggest Loser” is born.

After that Very Special Moment, we welcome the four crazy-bad sisters sing, causing Simon to say that “years ago, I sat on two cats and that’s what it sounded like it.”

Now this is the Simon we know and love!

More rapid fire X-Fails follow. One angry reject takes his shirt off backstage, punches some scaffolding and spits at a cameraman.

The comes Lauren Jauregui, 16, a beautiful teenager with a husky voice, singing Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” and wowing everybody.

Jordyn Foley, 12, looks like one of those tiny troll dolls you used to collect and is wearing an outfit of her own creation, including bedazzles hightop sneakers and three silver neckties that add a kind of mad dash to the ensemble.

Simon is so ready to torture her, he’s almost drooling.

“You’re not going to sing ‘Annie’ are you?” he asks. “I’m allergic to ‘Tomorrow’.”

The look in her face says that is, of course, exactly what she’d planned to sing.

Jordyn has that traveling “Annie” company voice: piercing, through slightly flat voice and piercing tone that can reache the back row in any venue in the country.

While she sings, we see Simon in various attitudes of agony and amusement.

“Oh, Jordyn. I’m going to hand this over to Demi who I think understand this much better than I do,” Simon says.

Of course, Demi and Brit gush over little Jordyn.

Demi: “You just shine when you’re on stage.”

Brit: “You’re voice is amazingly beautiful.”

She gets two thumbs up, and one down from Simon. It’s down to LA.

“You have a theatrical quality that’s really something special. It’s going to be ‘yes’,” he says.

Simon closes his eyes and laughs. “What have you done?”

A giant crowd of Jordyn supporters spills out on the stage and rush Simon.

“Thank you for saying ‘yes’!” gushes one woman.

“I didn’t,” corrects Simon.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/28/2012

Tags:  X Factor

 
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