The X Factor’s talent pool has been whittled down to 32 contestants, and by the end of Sunday night’s episode, the field will be down to 16.
But even before we get to the 16, surely we’ve seen the last of Dexter Haygood. Right?
Haygood is the 49-year-old contestant who started the competition with a James Brown impression and followed it up with a Mick Jagger impression. (Sadly, the X Factor is not an impression contest.) In between, Haygood has broken down in fits of tears several times, while reminding everyone around him that he was, at one point, homeless on skid row in Los Angeles.
Sad story, sure. But by this point in the competition (and congrats to X Factor producers for getting to this point so quickly), the sob story should be backed by some genuine talent, and Haygood hasn’t shown he has what it takes.
Haygood’s audition on tonight’s episode, in front of Enrique Iglesias at Nicole Scherzinger’s Malibu estate (man, I didn’t know the Pussycat Dolls were that successful), was like a bad audition from the first week of “American Idol.” Haygood kicked his feet in the air like David Lee Roth, strutted like Mick Jagger and screamed in a wail that never came close to anything resembling “singing.” Iglesias looked mortified and Scherzinger seemed pained trying to figure out what was happening, all while trying not to laugh. The audition was a mess, and Haygood broke into tears afterwards — something he probably would have done, truth be told, even if things had gone really well.
Let’s hope this is the end of Dexter Haygood’s run, for the longer he stays with the show, the more credibility the show loses.
Other than Haygood, X Factor has found a really good rhythm. Boot Camp week was a delight, and the show is moving with a slick expediency that is commendable. The characters have been given time to shine, and several favorites are starting to emerge. I’m really liking rugby player Caitlin Koch, who wowed Simon Cowell with her spin on “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” on tonight’s episode, and Drew Ryniewicz, whose version of Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” was well beyond her 14 years. The groups are the least interesting so far (it’s clear why Paula Abdul was handed the least interesting of the four factions of contestants) but the Over 30s seem to have a good mix of contestants. So far, I’m really on board with the show, and I’m in it for the long haul.
As long as Dexter’s out, that is.