Poor, poor Simon Cowell came down with bronchitis and could not make the X Factor auditions taking place in Kansas City yesterday and today.
Taking his place, was X Factor UK judge, Louis Walsh, who has managed British boy bands, Boyzone and Westlife. He’s typically Simon’s foil on the panel across the pond.
Judge Britney Spears seemed a little confused at first when she tweeted, “Louis? That guy is on the real housewives or something….right? @TheXFactorUSA RT @ddlovato Yeah, substitute teacher!!”
Not really, though, “Just kidding! Love Louis. Met him at @TheXFactor in the UK! Welcome to the @TheXFactorUSA gang.”
LA Reid tweeted, “Since @SimonCowell didn’t bother to show up, we plan on having more fun at the Kansas City auditions, right @britneyspears @ddlovato?”
When asked how he liked judging on X Factor USA, Louis replied, “I’m loving everyone on the panel, & nobody seems to be missing Simon.”
A reporter from the Kansas City Star who watched one of the audition sessions said most of the talent was really awful, except for a few. One “ringer” in particular was outstanding:
But a few contestants impressed the judges and the crowd and made it through. One prompted Lovato to say the performance made her want to make out with him. A couple contestants rescued themselves with second chances, including two who did so by singing songs they’d written. None seemed extraordinary or exceptional, but they all stood out among the rest.
And then there was the ringer in the house: she who took a day off from her office job to audition, who dressed for a high-stakes event, who was more than prepared, who brought the crowd to its feet instantly, who drew people in from the concourse to see what the commotion was about, who nearly made Lovato fall out of her chair, who prompted the judges to stand and applaud when it was over.
Spears would say, “It made my soul vibrate.”
As the contestant wept joyfully, surrounded by her family, Walsh told her: “This is why we do this. You’ve got talent, but you never got a break.”
The reporter found Britney a little timid, “It seems to pain her to tell people they aren’t going to make the cut. She said one contestant’s voice was beautiful but pitchy. Mostly she was content to deliver the good news briefly but brightly and the bad news with kid gloves.”
According to the reporter, there was very little friction on the panel, but maybe the air of cooperation was due to the absence of Simon, who typically plays the chief instigator on the panel.
Check out photos from yesterday’s auditions: