Viewers were initially skeptical of Britney Spears’ judging abilities (still kind of are), slightly tired of its long drawn-out back story format, and, well, for a singing competition, underwhelming talent.
Well, apparently a few of its most promising talent were hiding in this week’s sixth episode, giving the series the push it needed to make us start caring again. It may have easily been the show’s best round of auditions so far and here’s what you missed:
Freddie Combs: The 40-year old minister with the heaven sent voice who weighed a fatalistic 920 lbs in 2009, lost nearly 400 lbs of it in the past three years. His optimistic attitude was its own inspiration—and then he sang. Still bound to a wheelchair, Freddie made his way to the stage (with the help of producers and crew) and floored the crowded room with an inspirational and emotional rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings” dedicated to his confidant wife Kay.
He received four encouraging “yes” votes from the panel. “You really touched me when you sang,” said Demi. Simon made a deal with the singing hopeful: "When I heard you sing, I had a vision in my mind of you standing, singing that song, healthy, happy, and maybe you need some inspiration to help you to the next stage. It's within you to sort this out and I don't think you deserve to be stuck in this chair. I'll back you if you back yourself."
Lauren Jauregui: First of all, if this competition were about eyebrows, Lauren’s have “The X Factor.” Unfortunately, it’s also about this thing called singing or something, which luckily for us, the girl also excels at...or has the potential to.
It was a straightforward rendition of Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You” that had a rocky start with the first verse and some off pitch runs here and there (nerves?), but shined through in most of it. She’s only sixteen and with some vocal coaching, this Nelly Furtado look-a-like is totally a contender to watch.
Lauren got the unilateral 4 “yes” votes from the judges with Simon saying, “That, Lauren, is how you do it” and L.A. calling it a “perfect audition.”
Other contestants to make it through were 16-year-old rapper Owen Stuart, sassy 13-year-old Trevor Moran, and the theatrically bright eyed 12-year-old Jordyn Foley
Watch our two favorite performances of the night here: