x factor judges houses nicole enrique 'X Factor': Caitlin Koch, Drew Ryniewicz shine at Judges'  HomesIt’s the first “Judges’ House” episode of “The X Factor,” where the contestants go to the judges’ actual homes to rehearse and vie for the spots on the live shows. Yes, I do think this is weird. And yes, all the judges’ houses are amazing. Of course. Did anyone expect one of the judges to live in a 900-sq. foots studio or something?

In this format, each judge has picked the song for each performer.

Simon’s House

Simon has the girls and he flies them to Paris. When he shows up at his own house, where they already are, they mob him. Simon’s special guest was going to be Mariah Carey, but due to Hurricane Irene grounding her plane, Simon is on his own.

For the girls, we get Caitlin Koch on “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” Simone Battle on “Help,” Tora Woloshin on “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and Drew Ryniewicz on “It Must Have Been Love.”

Simone’s arrangement of “Help” is interesting – a very different side of her than we’ve seen before. Tora’s “Satisfaction” gone techno is very Lady Gaga dance number, very fun. Caitlin absolutely slays “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Makes me cry a little, gosh. Beautiful.

With Drew, I’m shocked Simon picked an early 90s Roxette song for her (I mean, I personally love this song, but I’m surprised), but she does a wonderful job. I love her voice on it.

Paula’s House

Paula has the groups, which includes the two new groups that have never sung together before. Paula touts her experience in choreography and staging when they interview her about mentoring assignment – that’s just what I said. She might do really well with the groups. Her special guest is Pharrell.

For the groups, we see The Brewer Boys do “Only Girl In The World,” The Anser on “Perfect,” Lakoda Rayne on “Born This Way” and 4Shore on “If You Love Me.”

The Anser sounds pretty decent, but it’s a little dramatic boy band for my taste. Lakoda Rayne, the girl group put together during Boot Camp, does really well on “Born This Way.” I really enjoy them as an act.

The Brewer Boys are not my favorite act. Their bluegrass-y harmony thing on their song is weird, but that may be the song’s fault. It’s a weird choice, Paula. 4Shore does pretty well on their number. Better than “End of the Road” and I love their dance moves.

Nicole’s House

Nicole has the over 30s and she seems a little nervous, like she has to convince them she’s a good mentor. Not as confident as the other ones. But she has Enrique Iglesias there to help out. For the over 30s, we see Dexter Haygood on “Crazy In Love,” Elaine Gibbs, “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” James Kenney on “Russian Roulette,” and Stacy Francis on “Purple Rain.”

Dexter’s song lets him shriek a lot, but not really sing. I think it was a bad choice on Nicole’s part, but she’s grooving to it like it’s awesome, so I don’t know. Stacy kills “Purple Rain.” I am really pleasantly surprised because I have not been the biggest Stacy champion.

Elaine does well in that adult contemporary way, which could be very successful on this show. James sounds great on his song, very good choice in terms of what he would release.

L.A. Reid’s House

LA has the boys at his house in the Hamptons. His special guest is Rihanna and wow, is LA a shortie compared to her. For the boys, we see Phillip Lomax on “Please Don’t Stop The Music,” Brian Bradley on “The Message,” Nick Voss on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Skyelor Anderson on “Nobody Knows It But Me.”

Brian does well, but it’s kind of boring, for me. Skyelor is also super boring and doesn’t sound good at all. At least Brian was more current. Skyelor is like stuck back in 1997. Phillip gets a really weird song for his voice, but he does some interesting things with it. Voss does OK on Tears for Fears – some parts are better than others, but I’m just not in love with his voice.

So – nobody crapped out. Nobody just blew it. But, gun to my head, if I had to lose some of the acts from this episode, I would lose The Anser, the Brewer Boys, Elaine Gibbs, Dexter, Brian Bradley, Skyelor Anderson and Nick Voss.

What do you think, “X Factor” fans?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."