'The X Factor' recap: Hot Dog! It's Seattle's Best

Vroom vroom! Stevecrest Jones continued his whirlwind three-truck tour of the U.S. as The X Factor held auditions in Chicago and Seattle. What's in the trucks, Steve?

The Chicago auditions definitely looked much better than what we saw in premiere week. Maybe it was the vastness of the auditorium, or the bright purpleness of the giant X. (Purple's so much friendlier and hopeful than red. Justin Bieber, on the other hand, likes both purple andred.) Maybe it was the presence of Cheryl Cole, who returned for an unexpected one-hour-onlyU.S. X Factor tribute tour. Maybe it was just my mood! Anyway, Chicago and Seattle were overall much more compelling than last Thursday's ridiculous snoozefest. Let's run down the yeses:

Brock and Makenna, 18 and 22, from Springfield, Missouri. I loved their hugging moms! The Chicago camera crew kept focusing on the same five girls in the audience, which I actually enjoyed -- it made the production much less disjointed, meaning I no longer felt like the cameras had been affixed to dusty beach balls. These girls were VERY sad when Makenna announced she and floppy yellow-haired Brock were not dating. I'm not sad about it. She seems controlling. The pair harmonized beautifully on "Colder Weather," prompting L.A. Reid to groove so hard that his scarf (!) nearly swallowed his head. "I think your vocal blend is very lovely," said Paula Abdul, sole proprietor of Planet Paula, saving herself from what I thought was a much sharper previous comment: "It's a rarity to have two people come onstage and come together and nail." Patience, Paula. Read More...



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