September 25, 2013 10:37pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
'X Factor' Recap: Proposals and Potential Pop Stars (Video)
Wednesday's penultimate auditions episode of The X Factor kicked off on a sour note with a handful of oddball performers and even more ear-shattering performances. But perhaps that was to lower the audience's expectations.
The potential pop stars (Simon Cowell's words, not ours) that emerged during the broadcast didn't leave any jaws dropped, but the judges found "potential" in a few young guns. Emery Kelly and Khaya Cohen, both 15 and hailing from Long Island and the Big Apple, respectively, were promising, while 19-year-old Maryland native Wesley Mountain also left an impression.
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"I once had a dog who liked steak and every time I ate my steak, the dog would look at me from across the room, and it reminds me of the way you're looking at Kelly [Rowland]," Cowell told Mountain, who was visibly starstruck by the former Destiny's Child singer. "As you're singing, you're getting closer and closer, like, 'I'm going to eat you.'"
And while his affections for Rowland were apparent, Mountain's serenade (Hunter Hayes' "Wanted") earned him four yeses from the judges.
"Just take a very long, cold shower before you sing," Cowell advised.
One contestant unlikely to take a cold shower anytime soon: David Gray, 31, who showed up and auditioned in an effort to support (no, we don't get it either) his girlfriend and ended the day an engaged man. Lauren Waguespack, 25, took her audition more seriously, though both hopefuls fell flat in the end.
"I love you more than anything in this world, and it doesn't matter what anybody thinks, what the judges think. I love you forever, and I'll support you in whatever you do," Gray told his beloved, while Taylor Swift's "Love Story" played in the background. Getting down on one knee he asked, "Will you marry me?" The answer, of course, was yes.
The mood was promptly crushed by Cowell, who zinged: "Do you mind if we go through the motions now? OK, I'm gonna say no."
Cowell might have been looking for groups this season, but what he got was a boatload of girls. In addition to the trio of divas sitting to his right at the judges panel, season three has brought out countless contenders for the girls category -- which is already proving to be a favorite among judges.
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"I got the girls. I'm calling the girls now," Demi Lovato declared, though we suspect she might have to fight Cowell on that one.
The Over 25s added two more to its roster on Wednesday. Season one reject James Kenney, 35, wowed the judges the second time around with George Gershwin's jazz standard "Summertime" and, in saving the best for (almost) last, 34-year-old professional ladies football player Lorie Moore proved herself to be one of the night's highlights with Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing."
So who topped Moore for the night's closing slot? Absurd rap duo Second Hand High, out of West Covina, Calif., debuted an original composition titled "Ask Me to Dance" and, well, there are no words. Watch the video below -- we expect it to go viral in no time.
The auditions conclude on Thursday, and the each mentor will be assigned their respective groups. Next week, the acts will be whittled down to 40. Lord help the girls' mentor.