Austin watch: Gilroy teen narrowly misses top 16 on ‘X Factor;’ is there hope for a comeback?

Austin Corini on 'The X Factor'

After beating out thousands of hopefuls and surviving multiple rounds of cuts on a TV music show watched by millions each week, Gilroy’s singing superstar Austin Corini, 16, was eliminated from the “The X Factor” last night. 

“It’s bad news,” said celebrity judge Simon Cowell, during the last episode of the “Judge’s Homes” round of the show. “I’m really sorry it didn’t work out.”

There is still a glimmer of hope for a comeback, however. 

It was recently revealed that “The X Factor” will air a live wildcard episode in early November. One of Tuesday’s eliminated acts may still have a shot at fame and a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

The wildcard episode’s length is contingent on how the network’s World Series coverage plays out. There will either be two hours of “The X Factor” on Thursday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 4 – if there is no Game 7 of the World Series. If there is a Game 7, a single, 150-minute wildcard episode will air Nov. 4.

Most recently, Corini – a Christopher High School junior known for his signature bleached-blond faux hawk – was eliminated as an individual performer in episode 9. He was summoned back onstage and given a second chance, however, alongside four other male singers in the 15- to 17-year-old age range who didn’t make the cut as solo artists. The five teens, who along with Austin include contestants Josh Metzler, 15; Johnny Maxwell, 16; Owen Stuart, 17; and Brandon Hasson, 16; were formed into a group called Playback. The act immediately drew comparisons to that of One Direction, the British-Irish boy band famously created by celebrity judge Simon Cowell during the seventh season of the UK version of “The X Factor.”

Check out Playback’s music videos filmed in Gilroy.

Alas, Cowell opted for LYLAS – another group of female singers who didn’t make it as solo artists, but were formed into a group – over Playback. 

“Heads high. It starts now,” the group posted last night on their Facebook page.

The declaration already has more than 300 “likes.”

“That was the stupidest thing ever,” wrote one fan. “The only reason I watched x factor is for you guys, guess my tv’s not gonna be turned on for a while.”

The Twitter hashtag #BringBackPlayback was recently trending in the U.S.


“They literally sound like cats dying,” complained another Playback fan and obvious hater of Sister C (a trio girl group that also made it through to the live shows). 

Tuesday signals the end of the pre-taped portion of the show, which will then premiere live through the Dec. 2 finale. Now, with the remaining 24 acts narrowed down to 16, viewers will ultimately determine the winner by voting for their favorites.

However the show pans out, Playback has no intention of dissolving or going off the grid.

Quite the contrary, the members of Playback say they have every intention of sticking together post “The X Factor.”

Metzler, Stuart, Hasson and Maxwell recently traveled from Arizona, North Carolina, Texas and Castro Valley to Gilroy, where the group spent several days recording covers and filming music videos for songs including “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, “As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber and “Everybody Talks” by the Neon Trees. The videos can be watched at Playback’s official Facebook page (click on the YouTube icon).

Playback has also been taking the Internet by storm. On Oct. 10, “The X Factor’s” social media worker bees created an official Facebook page for the boy band, in addition to a Twitter account. Playback’s feed was heavily blasted with tweets after going live. The groups’ Twitter hashtag, #followplayback was even trending worldwide.

Austin himself has been the object of female fan adoration throughout this crazy ride, eliciting compliments from celebrity judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. The veteran pop princess and singer-songwriter cooed over Austin’s “great voice,” adorableness, coiffed hair and the “sparkle” in his eyes. The Gilroy teen was also declared one of the top three “too cute” contestants by Clever News.

Recent “The X Factor” episodes saw the talent pool whittled down to 24 contestants consisting of solo artists or group acts. The remaining 24 were divvied into one of four categories, including “over 25,” “young adults,” “teens” and “groups.” They were then flown to nondescript mansions (supposedly the judge’s posh pads) to continue filming the show, but whether several of those million-dollar homes were actually the judge’s real dwellings has been debunked by TV bloggers.

Playback and the other five group acts were ferried off in true Miami style to Yankees player Alex Rodriguez’s Florida bachelor crib, which one performer characterized as “James Bonds dad’s house.” Latino superstar Marc Anthony also joined in alongside Cowell as a guest mentor for this particular segment.

“There’s something kind of naive and fun and likeable about them,” said Cowell, smiling on as Playback jumped around energetically, crooning their pop rendition of “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates.

“I just can’t agree with you,” said Anthony, gazing stoically behind aviator shades. “I found myself just looking for planes, or something.”

“It’s funny, I disagree,” said Cowell, who has expressed an interest in Austin’s potential from the get-go.



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