Talk about pressure!

Nick Voss, 21, had to audition right after The X Factor decided that it was time to cut to a clip of Simon Cowell calling Miami "hopeless" and the entire team wondering if a stop in the Sunshine State had been a mistake.

So, either Nick had to be brilliant, or that was one anticlimactic sequence...

Let's just say, the judges were parched and more than ready to drink the Kool-Aid, after Nick got the crowd going with Elvis Presley's "Trouble."

"If this were purely the singing business, I would probably not have great things to say," began the ever cool, calm and collected L.A. Reid. But "because this is really the entertainment business and you really brought it into this room, and for the first time today got me excited...I'm impressed."

At first, Nicole Scherzinger called Nick "Jim Carrey meets Jerry Lee Lewis with a little sprinkling of Elvis," but then she said she dug him. Paula Abdul ended up being the most constructive, telling him to stay unique and "lose the Michael Jackson choreography."

But Simon said bluntly, "I love you."

We figured things would pick up after that, but no.

"I sense demons here," Simon quipped as a steel-faced Ashley Deckard stomped off the stage, her only accomplishment being that she got Paula to admit that she, like Ashley, sees ghosts.

"Maybe we're under a spell," the Brit added after they said yes to 55-year-old Marivana Viscuso's howling rendition of "Summertime," which Simon compared to the sound of "wolves mating in the woods."

The hex was finally lifted later on day two, as the judges met and gave the thumbs-up to girl group 2Squar'd, male soprano Jeremiah Pagan, soulful Kendra Williams, bearded crooner Brendan O'Hara and college student Melanie Amaro who had a real-life Dreamgirls moment singing Beyoncé's "Listen."


The demons followed The X Factor to Dallas, however, where one audition after another at least had the creep factor if nothing else.

Texas started to come around when Dexter Haygood, 49, hit the stage and "turned it out," in L.A. Reid-speak. Then along came Kyle Corr, Hannah Jackson, 12-year-old Ma'at Bingham Shango, Austin Simmons and Caitlin Koch—and the judges were able to call it a good day.

Of course, then it ended with Xander Alexander's face-off with Simon that may have made him Paula's hero but turned the audience against him.

"Where you blew this, actually," explaind Simon, who had been ready to say yes to the misguided lad, "was you got the audience to hate you by the end of the audition, where they liked you at the beginning. The minute anyone criticizes you, you turn into a bitchy, nasty diva. You blew it! That's it, it's over."

It was just that kind of day.

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