'The X Factor' Recap: The Guys Face The Four-Chair Challenge

October 10th, 2013 10:08am EDT

Contestant Al Calderon performs at the FOUR CHAIR CHALLENGE on T Just when The Four-Chair Challenge seemed completely pointless, here comes Paulina The Executioner to give it some teeth.
Thus far, the first four singers vying for a seat seemed totally useless. Why would you send one of the first four home? They can always be eliminated later. It's a completely pointless exercise.
And then Paulina became useful.
In two quick eliminations while chairs were still empty, suddenly there was some unpredictability to this show again. The dullness of the opening quarter of the challenge was eliminated and guano-crazy Paulina suddenly had a bit of 'Always Sunny's' Charlie in her: Wild Card!
Here's the rundown of her scatterbrained choices from last night:
Al Calderon Sang: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
Kelly Said: I want you to be here, to be honest.
Demi Said: You had a great energy while you were up there. At times it seemed like too much.
Simon Said: You're not the best singer in this competition, but what you do have is great charisma and fantastic energy.
Paulina Said: Do you have what it takes to be a solo artist?
The Verdict:
Al decides a weird hybrid Dub-Step/Goth Industrial version of this song that couldn't have sounded weirder. Especially as the melody remained exactly the same as the original record, just sung arhythmically slowed down.
At least his vocals were worse with more bad notes than good and one of the most unintentionally funny voice-cracking reaching for a high note you'll see outside of a bad audition.
Grade: D-
Result: GONE
Isaiah Alston Sang: "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston
Kelly Said: I remember you just killing, but today we didn't enjoy the sweeter parts of your voice.
Demi Said: I don't think you're ready for this competition.
Simon Said: The last two words were good.
Paulina Said: Are you special enough for this competiton?
The Verdict:
This started out as a very good children's performance. He handled the material okay, looked like Kevin Durant after a playoff game, yet couldn't make you forget that he was a kid.
Then it got much worse as the flat notes came out, the pitchy moments were in abundance and he limped home like Russell Westbrook in his most recent playoff game.
This kid definitely ain't the future.
Grade: C-
Result: GONE
Isaac Tauaefa Sang: "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat
Kelly Said: I thought your performance was a bit karaoke.
Simon Said: Instead of delivering something substantial like a three-course meal, you delivered a lollipop.
Paulina Said: You have a great voice, but I agree with my people here.
The Verdict:
The "Larry Crowne" of 'X Factor' performances in that it was meant to make the audience and the judges feel nothing. Just an ordinary song from an ordinary singer. No veering into any dangerous octaves, nothing that would challenge him vocally, just a humdrum sing-a-long that was forgotten the instant it was over.
Except for that one moment where he did try to challenge himself and hit a squeaker that problem had producers wondering if a mouse had stuck onto the sound board.
At least the audience booed him lustily. Ouch.
Grade: D+
Result: GONE
Carlos Guevara Sang: "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
Kelly Said: I like how you allowed yourself to be lost.
Simon Said: I like the tone of your voice, but there are times when you lose complete control over it which could be a problem.
Paulina Said: You have something unique, Carlos.
The Verdict:
Quick advice to everybody vying for a spot on one of these shows. Sing Bill Withers. Sing a lot of Bill Withers. Never stop singing Bill Withers. His melodies are simple, his words allow you to emote and his songs have like fifteen lyrics in them so you don't have to remember anything.

Carlos ran that full playbook here to perfection singing the refrain and "I Know, I Know..." and not much else as he mined some real soul from this classic tune and never lost connection from it the whole way.
(Psst...He also has Tourette Syndrome. Don't tell anyone. I think he wants to keep it quiet)
Grade: B
Result: SAFE
Stone Martin Sang: "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
Kelly Said: I saw you stick a run in there. It was cute.
Demi Said: You just went out there and you killed it.
Simon Said: You're very robotic, but you need a little bit of swag.
Paulina Said: Do you have ingredients like the male Taylor Swift? (What?)
The Verdict:
Stone is easily the most insufferable 14-year-old on the planet. Not only is he obsessed with One Direction, but he also likes to brag about how he has a girlfriend every month and now that he's a "pop star" he can't focus on the ladies anymore.
Unfortunately, the kid isn't a half-bad singer for a half-pint. He may have done the pet peeve gender-change on this one (though I imagine he was Uta Hagen-ing in Harry Styles to capture his emotions), but the vocal was actually pretty solid and the performance at least half-realized.
Hey. We have our villain now. At least we would have had Paula the Executioner not sent him home.
Grade: C+
Result: GONE

Chase Goehring Sang: "Airplanes" by B.O.B. featuring Hayley Williams
Kelly Said: I don't know if I liked hearing you sing that song as much as one you wrote.
Demi Said: This seemed unnatural for you.
Simon Said: We like you, but I almost wish I never heard that.
Paulina Said: I really liked your audition the first time better.
The Verdict:
This might have been a high school talent show performance, but the kid would have won the high school talent show.
Seeing the ginger prince's song choice, rapping seemed a very real fear, but he pulled it off with some sing-speak that actually fit very well and he seemed totally comfortable with all aspects of the material.
He's like Emblem3 by himself. But better.
I swear that was meant as a compliment.
Grade: B
Result: GONE
Tim Olstad Sang: "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus
Kelly Said: I can already hear your voice on the radio.
Demi Said: I cannot see you being let go on this competition.
Simon Said: I think you are an artist who is going to appeal to people much older than you.
Paulina Said: I feel like you have something special.
The Verdict:
Tim was the best boy in the auditions, but this performance was beyond what we expected. He got by earlier on not much of a voice, but a very apparent passion for the music.
This time, the passion remained (with a Miley Cyrus song no less!) but he matched it was a cool tone and a much better voice and surprisingly robust range that wasn't there in his first audition.
So nice to have somebody like this on the show. Even if he did set the record for fastest-ever Melanie Amaro Wild Card Slot ever.
Grade: B+
Result: SAFE
Carlito Olivero Sang: "Dreaming of You" by Selena
Kelly Said: I think you're gonna have these girls dreaming later.
Simon Said: The first time we saw you was better. You did struggle with it a little bit.
Paulina Said: I feel like you have something special.
The Verdict:
Carlito's the first guy who really seems like he has the ability to be a pop star. He's got the voice, he's got the look and he has the stage presence that seem completely authentic.

He outsang everybody last night and was in a class by himself in terms of poise and comfort on stage. He looks like he belongs up there, while everybody else has looked like they're just trying to get there.
Grade: A-
Result: SAFE
Timmy Thames Sang: "The New Girl in Town" from 'Hairspray'
Kelly Said: I did like your audition much better than your performance today.
Demi Said: I can't say I was blown away.
Simon Said: If I was watching everyone for the first time today, you would be the one I would remember.
Paulina Said: I feel like you have something special.
The Verdict:
Disqualified. Disqualified! Don't sing songs from musicals on 'The X Factor'. This is a show for pop singers, not an audition for whatever that show was where they cast somebody in 'Grease' or something back when NBC was only pretending to be a network.
Also, if you're going to choose a show tune, it would probably help to not make it so atrociously boring that a guy in a backwards Kangol who just got done playing hacky sack wants you to put a little life into it. How exactly is it possible to make a song from 'Hairspray' that lifeless?
His voice sounded nice though.
Grade: D+
Result: SAFE
Josh Levi Sang: "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt
Kelly Said: I just want you all to know what a superstar we're looking at right now.
Demi Said: You can't let him go.
Simon Said: We are looking at a future star here.
Paulina Said: Everything you just did was perfect.
The Verdict:
Turn down this kid. Turn down his voice. It's so damn pitchy. What's with this choice?
Hey! That may be my first song parody ever in this column. What took so long? Guess it took a special type of over-sung, ultra-annoying level of bad to pull that out.
Actually it wasn't that bad, it was just kind of annoying and the song choice was so asinine that he deserved to go home on that alone.
Of course, he wasn't. Not after his weird mime dancing.
Grade: C-
Result: SAFE
What did everybody think of Paulina's choices?
Make sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of the group four chair challenge that started last night.

Related: The X Factor, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Reality, FOX, Reality (Talent)

Photo Credits: Michael Becker / FOX

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