Knock, knock. Who’s there? Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, Marc Anthony, and will.i.am.
It’ll be a full house on tonight’s episode of “X Factor.” The Boot Camp segment of the show—the one that had judge Britney Spears shedding a sparkly tear of sympathy—will crawl its way through the trenches towards a dramatic finish line: 60 competitors of all ages singing their hearts out…then cut to a strict and digestible 24. Remind us to breathe through this one.
The chosen 24 acts will then advance on to the modestly named Judges’ Homes round, where the aspiring singers will receive further coaching and welcomed into Simon Cowell’s, L.A. Reid’s, Demi Lovato’s, and Britney Spears’ mansions.
The surprise fest gets to a running start with the announcement of each judge’s category (this is fun: L.A. hates his category!), and the hopeful contestants discover who their celebrity mentors are. Team Simon has Latin singer Marc Anthony, Team L.A. has Justin Bieber and his talent manager Scooter Braun, Team Demi has her “Camp Rock” co-star and 1/3 of the Jonas Brothers’ Nick Jonas, and Team Britney has will.i.am.
The pressure soars to a whole other sonic stratosphere now that the contestants have to perform for, not only their coaches, but huge industry names they probably all got crushes on.
The feeling is mutual, however. In the colorfully constructive words of mentor Nick Jonas, the musician says of one contestant, “I think she’s sexy.” Easy there, Nicky. Another comment like that and you’re just one ‘X’ away from turning this into the “XXX Factor.”
Those who make it into each judges’ home and live to tell about it will continue to the “X Factor” live stage shows in L.A., that much closer to a $5 million recording contract.