Last season I recall judge’s challenge week being the home of many standout performances including Shiane Hawke’s best song of the season, “A Thousand Years” and Bella Ferraro’s equally as solid, “Dreams.” So how did they do when Redfoo and Natalie had 200% more song choices in a night than the significantly more adept Ronan and Dannii. We will see. Let’s dive right in!
Honestly, you think high falsetto male song and “She Will Be Loved” does come to mind. So for Redfoo this was not much of a stretch in picking this song for Omar Dean. That being said. This is the first, and so far only time this season, that I can legitimately place him at number 1 for the week. This is the type of performance that can be a game changer so late in the season. Omar didn’t show us anything that he hasn’t shown us already. He’s shown us falsetto with “Skyscraper,” moxy with “Roxanne,” and swag with “Cry Me A River,” but I felt this was the synergy of all the aspects of Omar in an awesome package. In the four-way battle for third place, if I had to decide today, based on this set of performances I would have to give it to Omar. I truly couldn’t have asked for anything more from him in this. Great stage presence, great commitment and the perfect type of song for his post-X-Factor career. That’s right, I said it, he will have a post-X-Factor career.
Not to pat myself on the back, but “Wake Me Up” was one of my many song suggestions for Taylor Henderson. So I’m glad Dannii Minogue was feeling the logic that I was feeling. Great country-tinged modern electronic dance music track. Could Taylor create brand for himself that is equal parts Mumford and Sons and Avicii. Maybe. He dug into those lower notes with his trade growl and finesse the stage like a professional. If there was ever a moment that Taylor could take away the crown from Dami, it started here. Week 7. Great time for him to peak and her to sink (I’m sure you all be mad about her placement this week). Taylor if this feels right, I say pursue this avenue. It will make you stand out from all of the other White Guys With Guitars out there in this world.
I thought about ranking THIRD D3GREE‘s “Pump It” lower because in some ways it was reminiscent of Adira-Belle’s “Who Run the World (Girls)” (didn’t think I was going to ever bring them up again did ya?). A group doing a fun song with high energy and competent. The main difference between 3D and A-B is that 3D’s vocals still shone through this tepid dance number. Jordan in particular killed the lower notes and delivered with electric energy. Kelebek killed like the prophet Minajesty on her rapping parts and Jacinta vocals shimmered over the track. This was a strong performance, one that reminds me of the amazing Three Wishez (I still love them). I cannot wait to hear their post X-F music it is going to so much fun. Please, please, please universe, before THIRD D3GREE is eliminated, please tell me we will see them doing Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.” Please. It would be amazing. Please.
My standards for Jai Waetford are a bit on a sliding scale compared to the other competitors. So that could be why I put him at fourth place tonight and above the holier-than-thou Dami. The reason he is here is because he did a good song well without doing anything wrong. “Somewhere Only We Know” is practically a classic to his core fan base and Jai delivered. I don’t think he deserves a spot in the final 3, but I don’t know how is going to be stopped with the momentum he has right now. In my mind it should be, and could be him and Jiordan in the bottom 2, and I hope the judges take this once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of Jai and give Jiordan another week. Not necessarily because she deserve it, but because Jai isn’t ready for pop stardom right now. Just being honest. He is awesome, he is talented and he could be a worldwide superstar. Not right now. He isn’t ready. Sorry. When he survives again, I hope he takes some risks. I am trying to imagine his voice over the Postal Service’s “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” and it feels like it could come off as pleasant and by his standards edgy.
Let the hate mail and comments commence. On the second half of the song she sounded verging on shrilly and, dare I say it, breathy in spots. This was not Dami Im at her best here on “Clarity.” I’ve heard so many people tackle this song Jessica Sanchez, Michelle Chamuel, Ellona Santiago and despite what you might think. I don’t believe Dami stood up to any of them in terms of individuality. The first part of the song had some awesome moments. The first chorus was truly dynamic. This is (not maybe) this is because I have never felt throughout this entire competition that Dami truly, genuinely connected with a song. She has always just song really really well. Like a music soldier, she trudged through did her job, did some of it amazing, but I never feel her bleed. I never see the pain. Behind her eyes it is always the ticking of got to hit this note at this time, do this move at this place. I am biased. I am. Don’t accuse me of something I readily admit. I want Dami to get lost in the song, not lost in how to make the song tick. Dami is a fantastic vocalist, but I don’t see her as an artist of her own original merits.
While on paper I totally see the appeal of Jiordan Tolli doing Lorde’s recent alternative hit, “Royals.” Quirky young girl doing quirky young girl song. Sounds like a winning combination, but much like when Jiordan took on Lily Allen it failed. Not because it was particularly bad, but mainly because I didn’t believe it and the vocals weren’t strong enough to compensate for my lack of belief. Jiordan has never excelled at doing karaoke versions of songs. Not once, so why does she still insist on doing them that way. Her best stuff “Thiller” and “With or Without You” was a different slow-downed take on the original. If Jiordan wanted to get to that final 3, this was not the way to do it. I’m not saying she is not capable of up-tempo songs. I think she should just be saving them for after the show for when an up-tempo song could be crafted around her limitations, not highlighting them like these. Jiordan is looking at a very probably trip to the bottom 2 tomorrow before she even performance, but after “Royals” it is warranted.
- Omar Dean
- Taylor Henderson
- THIRD D3GREE
- Jai Waetford
- Dami Im
- Jiordan Tolli
Bottom two predictions: Jiordan Tolli and Jai Waetford with outside chances of THIRD D3GREE and Omar Dean. I am expecting Jai or Jiordan to be leaving tomorrow regardless of the bottom two outcome.
Thank you so much for reading. Leave comments below. Don’t hate me forever for ranking Dami as fifth, please.