Recapping the X Factor here! The Top 8 take on #1 Hits! And there WILL BE ANOTHER DOUBLE ELIMINATION. Plus, the world premiere of the new music video from Britney Spears and Wil.i.am.
I actually enjoyed this week’s X Factor. But not for the reasons I typically enjoy competition singing shows. If was as if Simon Cowell thought it would awesome to ratchet up the crazy another notch after last week’s overwrought sob fest. But instead of over the top backstories, this week we got a heavy dose of backstage drama. LA Reid decides to switch Vino Alan’s song at the very last minute, with exactly the results you would expect (HORRIBLE). I have to wonder if he’s sabotaging Vino on purpose to help his other act, Tate, or is LA just creating some good TV for Simon? Vino always does well when left alone, so it makes me wonder.
Demi and Paige get into it this week too. Being at the bottom of the leader board has Paige thinking that her mentor doesn’t really understand her as an artist. They disagree on what direction Paige should go in, but in the end, Demi allows her charge to mount a weird ass cover of RICK EFFING ASTLEY’S “Never Going To Give You Up”, with dancers. Inexplicably, the judges love it.
Tate Stevens decides he’s not going to let a tween girl grab his top spot. He decides it’s time to pull out the secret weapon. A GUITAR. He hardly played it, but just wielding the thing is sure to have voters all over America picking up their phones, as if they were being hypnotized by it’s shiny wooden surface.
And poor CeCe tried to make a comeback. Tried is the operative word here. Bless her little heart, Simon is right, she IS a trier!
So, while X Factor was still pretty terrible this week–save for Carly Rose, whose preternatural vocal prowess had Simon joking that he’d have to disqualify her from the competition because she’s likely not human–it’s back to being an amusing trainwreck. I will die laughing if Tate and his guitar grab first place on the leaderboard this week. But I suspect Carly will take the top spot again. She was that good. Tate will be second. Tomorrow I’ll put up my full leader board prediction with some more thoughts.
Here come the judges! We take another look at the Leaderboard. Cary was #1. BUT IT’S A NEW WEEK PEOPLE. AND I don’t expect the Top 3 to change. Oh, Simon thinks his groups are going to climb to the top. DREAM ON SIMON.
Diamond White – Britney Spears – Teens – “I Want To Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston. HOW ORIGINAL. C’mon. Change it up people! Is this like, the 3rd time Diamond has sung Whitney? These iconic songs are way too big for her, so I do not get it. Oh Diamond thinks she’s “changing it up” because the song is “uptempo”. Alrighty. Whoops. I zoned out for a minute. I’m underwhelmed, to say the least. This performance lacks energy, and Diamond is pitchy. It’s like someone set the record player at 33 1/3 when it should be at 45. Ohhh. Those big notes are underpitch. Girl is not ready for primetime. LA says, “I give you an a for effort, B for execution.” Demi says, “It’s fun. You’re a young girl. I really liked it tonight. I’d like to see you bring more to [your performance].” Simon says, “She sang, she danced, Every moment of that song you were aware where you were. You hit the right notes at the right time. Demi, I’m going to disagree with you.” “Diamond I am so proud of you,” says Britney. – Text Vote to 9301 – 1-855-843-9301
Vino Alan – LA Reid – Over 25s – “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers – LA chastises Vino on what he perceives as the singer’s complacency. Vino rehearsed “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”. LA hates it, thinks it repetitive, and FORCES him to change it. Vino isn’t happy at all. They wrestle over which song to sing. Jim Cantiello tweets, “Behind the scenes dirt: this Vino song switch was DRAMA. LA stayed on set way after 10 pm on Monday figuring it all out. #funfact #xfactor” Hm. The song’s arrangement is…umh…jaunty. He’s also got that Shakes the Clown vibrato thing going. He’s not feeling it, and neither am I. He’s botched some lyrics. Oops. Simon Cowell is throwing Vino major side eye. This was not the right song. I wish LA would trust Vino’s instincts. I think he knows best. Britney says, “I feel like it’s the same thing each week with you.” Demi says, “I agree with Britney, I wasn’t totally entertained.” Simon says, “You have a good singing voice, there are so many amazing songs you can sing. That wasn’t one of them. Then you go into some weird reggae version of the song. It didn’t work.” LA says, “I completely disagree. There were some timing issue, but you did take a risk because you are brave. You are a threat to all of the other contestants.” Simon says, “I’m not playing games. That was not a 5 million dollar performance.” I wonder if LA was sabotaging Vino on purpose? – Text Vote to 9302 – 1-855-843-9302
Paige Thomas – Demi Lovato – Young Adults – “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astly – Paige is determined to give a signature performance. Oh. Paige is not sure Demi understands what kind of artist she is. Paige wants to do something uptempo, with dancers. She and Demi have a disagreement, but Demi pledges to support Paige doing her own thing any way. LA says Paige is too much into the makeup and costumes, and not enough emphasis on the vocals. She needs a VOCAL moment, he says. Erm. Paige’s idea of “doing her own thing” is performing a weird, slowed up rendition of “Never Going to Give You Up” with dancers? Uh. RICKROLLED. LA says, “That was by far your very best performance. You found your voice, you found your movement. This time you got it right.” “It was a legitimate risk, and I think it worked.” Simon says, “This is the first time you looked and sounded like a legitimate pop star. You look your age. It definitely paid off. This sounded like you making the record. You’ve got to make more decisions about what you do.” Demi insists they worked together. – Text Vote to 9303 – 1-855-843-9303
5th Harmony – Simon Cowell – Groups – “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson – Ally’s grandfather passed away this week. She’s really upset. Oh, that should be good for a ton of votes. Of course, it’s sad. But still. This girl is sobbing her eyes on TV. People are going to vote for that. Their sound is really generic, inoffensive. Simon should pluck one of the better singers in the group and make her the lead. Otherwise? Zzzzzzz.Having said that–this was a solid performance. Maybe their best yet. Coupled with the sad backstory, I don’t think they are in danger of leaving. LA says, “I thought it was good, but I didn’t hear harmony.” Britney says, “I thought the song really worked for the group.” Demi says, “This was probably one of the best performances you guys are giving. The energy got sucked up because you didn’t move around.” Simon says, “What a fantastic performance you just gave. This is really really really important. I can see you in the charts. Ally, your grandfather would be incredibly proud of you.” Ally is STILL crying. – Text Vote to 9304 – 1-855-843-9304
Carly Rose Sonnenclar – Britney Spears – Teens – “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele – What the hell was that face Britney made when she introduced Carly. GIF PLEZE. Er. I’m not in the mood to hear the billionth cover of this song. OK. I changed my mind. Carly is bringing a brand new interpretation to this song. Her phrasing is incredible. She’s amazing. And I have to say that I disagree with people that find her too “Broadway”. If this girl can eventually write songs, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with. It’s a little scary how mature and knowing her sound is. The last notes were a little shaky, but she went for the money note. LA says, “You are insanely talented. For me, that wasn’t your very best performance.” Demi says, “I’m not even your mentor, and I feel proud of you. I think you are doing amazing.” Simon says, “I thought the first half of the song was good. The second half was sensational. You can sell records. You’re not human, therefore, you may need to be disqualified from this competition. Aliens are not allowed to enter.” Britney is proud of Carly blah blah. – Text Vote to 9305 – 1-855-843-9305
Tate Stevens – LA Reid – Over 25’s – “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban – Tate says he’ll have to go back to paving roads if he doesn’t win it all. C’mon. That’s just 1st class voter manipulation. Tate could be voted out tomorrow and still be signed. Ooh. With Carly currently first, Tate figured it was time to bust out the big gun–HIS GUITAR! WHITE GUY WITH GUITAR FOR THE WIN. He doesn’t play it much, but he understands its power, so he broke it out! Ha. The performance is very high caliber karaoke. Meaning, he sings it beautifully, but doesn’t bring anything new to it. Britney says, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you accept a country music award someday.” Demi says, “I want my husband to love me as much as you love your wife. You have so much fun on stage. You’re awesome.” Simon says, “Don’t dance. Didn’t work. The good news is..you’re back with passion. Great song choice. You are so likeable. It’s something you and I have in common.” LA says, “I’m proud of you, that was great.” Simon snarked that getting married would be a tall order for Demi she quipped back, “At least I’ll GET married.” TOUCHE. – Text Vote to 9306 – 1-855-843-9306
CeCe Frey – Demi Lovato – Young Adults – “Lady Marmalade” – Demi thinks CeCe’s fire is broken. She needs to work on pitch. Demi says she needs to see a fierceness in her performance. Well, CeCe is staying on pitch this week, more or less. Unfortunately CeCe has absolutely no soul. In no way does she have the vocal chops to tackle this huge diva song. She tries…but NO. The awkward clomping around the stage with back up dancers was totally lulzy. LA says, “You’re going down, but you’re going down fighting. I actually enjoyed that circus.” Britney says, “You’ve definitely stepped it up a notch.” Simon says, “I felt like I’d eaten 62 portions of chocolate cake. Too much. That’s not going to endear you. Pack a suitcase.” Demi says, “I think you came out swinging. Anyone who thinks that’s too much is older than…well I’m not going to say!” – Text Vote to 9307 – 1-855-843-9307
Now it’s time to debut Britney’s new music video, “Scream and Shout”. Uhm. OK.
Emblem3 – Simon Cowell – Groups – “I’m A Believer” by the Monkees – The boys went shopping and wouldn’t you know THEY WERE MOBEED BY A HUGE CROWD. CAN YOU SAY SO FREAKING STAGED. Simon is determined to turn these boys into superstars. OMG. Now they’re MESSING WITH MY BOY BAND THE MONKEES. NO NO NO. (Although I know it owes more to the Smash Mouth version) Simon is working the teenybopper angle hard. YES BOYS YOU ARE A BOYBAND NOW GET USED TO IT. These guys obviously have no problem being molded by Simon. They were a Beastie Boys knockoff when they first arrived, now they are like Hot Chelle Rae. However, I can snark all I want, but this is probably going to work. I won’t be surprised if they replace Vino in the top 3. Oh Noes. They are threatening to break out the instruments next week! LA says, “If I were a chairman of a major record label, I would sign you…you have the X Factor.” Britney says, “I’m a believer in you guys, but I didn’t like your song.” Demi says, “I dont understand what Simon is doing with you. I don’t think this is genuine. Those boys lost their spark.” Simon says, “You guys have turned into real pop stars. I love your energy. This is one of my favorite performances.” – Text Vote to 9308 – 1-855-843-9308