‘The X Factor’ Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Lillie McCloud Stuns Judges
'The X Factor' kicked off its season premiere on Sept. 11 with its personality-filled panel of judges and plenty of new talent. The show, which boasts that it has created more mega stars than any talent show in television history, casted Kelly Rowland as its new judge alongside Simon Cowell, Paulina Rubio and Demi Lovato.
Contestants are divided into four categories: over 25s, groups, boys and girls. The first contestant, Carlito Olivero, took to the stage claiming that he aspired to be the "first Latino Chris Brown one day," and then, interestingly sang 'Stay' by Rihanna. Luckily, his vocal talent made up for his poor role model choice, because he blew the judges away, receiving a "yes" from them all. Simon called him a cross between Trey Songz and Frankie J, and Kelly simply called him a "star."
Some of the other contestants were less successful. Fifty-five-year-old Sally Hessnice did a poor rendition of Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Love of All.' After the longest and most awkward introduction, Kelly tried to be sweet about it by simply saying, "I wasn't crazy about the vocal." Simon wasn't so kind. "I've just been told that 8,000 dogs have tried to get into the venue," he said of the poor performance.
Of course, 'The X Factor' would not be a talent show without a series of terrible auditions. Mother-daughter trio K-nected sang TLC's 'Waterfalls' to the horror of Simon, who questioned if they live near an airport because they must have never heard their own voices. Some of the contestants were "peachy" (pitchy) according to the heavily accented Paulina. Others like John Tanner Davis were simply horrible. "John, I think you did better than the iceberg. You just killed that song," said Simon of his 'My Heart Will Go On' effort.
The premiere ended with one amazing performance though. Unbelievably sexy, leather-clad, 54-year-old grandmother Lillie McCloud gave a breathtaking performance of CeCe Winans's 'Alabaster Box' and blew the judges away, bringing everyone in the audience to their feet. "Where have you been?" Kelly asked. "Where have you been hiding?"
Watch 'The X Factor' Season 3, Episode 1