by Hilton Hater at

So... did your favorite make the cut?

The X Factor unveiled its top 32 contestants last night, throwing in the one twist that really does make this competition different from American Idol: There are four groups of eight, each to be mentored by one of the judges.

Before we get to the remaining hopefuls, though, it's worth taking a moment to watch Stacy Francis audition during Bootcamp, announcing that her father has just passed away before going into a rendition of "Summertime."

Powerful stuff. Now, on to the groups and the judge assigned to each:

THE GIRLS (Simon Cowell)
Caitlin Koch
Tora Woloshin
Simone Battle
Drew Ryniewicz
Rachel Crow
Jazlyn Little
Melanie Amaro
Tiah Tolliver

THE BOYS (L.A. Reid)
Brennin Hunt
Brian Bradley
Skyelor Anderson
Nick Voss
Tim Cifers
Phillip Lomax
Marcus Canty
Chris Rene

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by Hilton Hater at

American Idol has its Hollywood Week. The X Factor has its Boot Camp.

Following a couple weeks' worth of initial auditions, Simon Cowell and company put their 162 remaining contestants through a handful of group numbers last night that was awfully reminiscent of Idol's secondary stage of competition.

Highlights included:

  • Caitlin Koch, Elaine Gibbs, Audrey Turner, and Drew Ryniewicz making a very strong impression with a version of “Creep."
  • Melanie Amaro, teamed with Stacy Francis and Jazzlyn Little, standing out on "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."
  • Brian Bradley actually rapping on "Wishing on a Star." And doing a fine job of it.
  • Josh Krajcik taking full advantage of his "Superman" verse, following a botched effort by fellow hopeful Nick Dean.
  • Simon Cowell saying how nervous he was prior to Tiah Tolliver - who he fought strongly for last week - taking on "Feeling Good" alongside Nick Voss and Phillip Lomax. Tiah did okay.
  • Emily Michalak gets her first air time on "Run." She's 12 years old. Incredible.
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by Hilton Hater at

It has produced some great acts early on in it first season run - Josh Krajcik and Jazzlyn Little, for example - but The X Factor has NOT produced the kind of ratings Simon Cowell had initially hoped for.

At one point this summer, the former American Idol judge said he thought his new show could defeat his old and earn 20 million viewers per week. The actual results have been closer to 12 million.

I'm "humbled, but still competitive," Cowell told TV Line when asked about the performance of The X Factor so far. "We’re gonna get there in the end. I do believe that."

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by Hilton Hater at

The ratings may not have been what Simon Cowell dreamed about, but The X Factor delivered a number of impressive performances this week. Below, we rundown the contenders from an entertaining week that was:

Josh Krajcik. He didn't have the look, but he had the right attitude and definitely the sound:

Drew Ryniewicz. A 14-year old Justin Bieber lover who - gulp! - may sound even better than her idol:

Tiah Tolliver. Said she wants to go "diamond." We're not sure what that means, but anything is possible with this voice:

Jazzlyn Little. What a great name, and an even better voice:

Brennin Hunt. He sang his own song. But the risk paid off:

Tora Woloshin. The look. The sound. The energy. Our favorite of the week:

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by Hilton Hater at

Brennin Hunt is a 26-year old model who said on The X Factor last night that he's "the total package." Not exactly the best way to endear oneself to an audience.

But then Hunt stopped talking and starting singing, delivering a strong performance on an original track, always a bold step for any contestant to take. Simon Cowell was certainly impressed, saying he could turn Brennin into a major star.

Do you see the same potential?

Among other performers we adored last night: Jazzlyn Little and Tora Woloshin.

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by Hilton Hater at

Unlike Jazzlyn Little, Tora Woloshin does not possess a superstar's name.

But this 21-year old college student does have the look and the talent to go very far on The X Factor, as proven last night. Woloshin took to the stage and instantly engaged the crowd with her version of "I Want You Back," earning praise from the judges that included L.A. Reid saying she "turned the place out."

Simon Cowell was even more effusive and to the point: "I absolutely love you, Tora. Something about you, the minute you walked out. That's why this show is called 'The X Factor.' It's more than just the voice, it's something else."

Does Woloshin have what it takes to be the show's first-ever champion?

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by Hilton Hater at

Jazzlyn Little. You gotta admit: that really is a superstar's name.

Such was the reaction of L.A. Reid after this X Factor contestant belted out Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going Down" on last night's audition show, the final one before boot camp kicks off next Wednesday.

But Little has a voice that matches her moniker, as Simon Cowell didn't hide his feelings about the 16-year old. You're the one to watch, he told Jazzlyn. Do you agree? Watch this aspiring crooner's audition now and decide:

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by Hilton Hater at

Impossible! Sacrilegious! Totally and utterly absurd!

Those were likely the reactions of many young X Factor viewers last night, after Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell both told Drew Ryniewicz that they preferred her version of "Baby" to that of Justin Bieber.

Is the 14-year old really that talented? Listen to the original HERE, watch Ryniewicz in action below and then vote in our poll...

Whose version do you like best?

 

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by Hilton Hater at

The X Factor manufactured some drama around 19-year old contestant Tiah Tolliver last night.

After telling the judges she hopes to make it "platinum, double platinum and diamond," this full-lipped hopeful broke into a cover of "Impossible." Simon loved it. He said he had a "real feeling" about Tolliver.

But the other panelists didn't agree, causing Cowell to label them as "insane" and leading to another cover by Tiah. This time, of course, she received approval and acceptance into the next round. Was this supposed debate drummed up ahead of time? Of course. But that doesn't change the fact that Tiah Tolliver will be sticking around.

Does she deserve to be? You tell us...

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by Hilton Hater at

Phillip Lomax does not lack for confidence.

This 21-one year old waiter from Seattle did his best impression of Frank Sinatra on The X Factor last night, as challenging an act to emulate as almost any that a contestant could attempt.

Did he pull it off? Did he try to come across as too cool? And what do you think of the fedora? Check out Lomax's cover of "Fly Me to the Moon" now.

For a look at all our favorite auditions every week, visit our X Factor video section all season long!

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