The auditions continued for last night’s episode of X Factor USA (September 19, 2012), without Simon Cowell. The music mogul was reportedly under the weather, according to CBS News but he was kind enough to ensure that he sent a replacement, in the form of Louis Walsh. Walsh already helps to judge the UK version of the show was well-versed in what to expect and what the show’s producers were looking for.
Last night’s show was based in Kansas City and the first contestant shown was 18 year old rapper Rizzloe Jones, who surprised the judges with his vocal skills, despite not quite looking the part. He was even challenged to a freestyle and was asked to rap on the topic of “marshmallows” by Demi Lovato, whilst La Reid insisted on “X Factor.” Such was Rizzloe’s confidence, he took on both subjects with ease. Britney Spears even went so far as to compare him to a “young Vanilla Ice,” though we’re not 100% sure if that was a compliment or not. They were equally wowed by 20 year-old CeCe Frey, whose initial rendition of ‘Unchained Melody’ was unremarkable but when she was given a second chance, her version of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ practically had Britney Spears scraping her own jaw off the floor in shock at how good it was.
For the latter part of the show, Cowell had evidently recovered from his illness and returned to the judging panel, where he was won over by Jessica Espinoza’s audition. She sang a version of ‘Nobody Knows’ by Pink, which impressed Cowell so much that the usually dour Cowell told her “I didn’t like it. I loved it.”