I was over 1000% positive that this week was going to be a double elimination. The reaction shots the #hype all of it, but instead we get a twist from X Factor US season 2, where we reveal the acts from 1 to 7 and of course the bottom 2. I am always a fan of transparency during political elections, but in XFUS2 it did take the thrill out of who was going to be the final 2, it was guaranteed to be Carly Rose and Tate Stevens and guess who it was Carly Rose and Tate Stevens. Also guys I want to apologize about last week, I was fighting a serious cold that I am just now recovering from. So you missed out on my usual snark and delusions of grandeur. But on with the show like regular this week!
Dean Ray‘s “Budapest” every time Dean steps on to the stage he ensures to me that he belongs in the final 3 more and more. This week was no exception. Dean this week was light and fun and exciting and just enough mystery to give this show the X Factor that show and it’s audience craves. I love that Dean takes chances, I love that he delivers, and I love that he is having fun along the way. Dean Ray is an artist we will be hearing on movie soundtracks for years to come. I don’t know if he will ever be a star, but he will be successful in music. I wasn’t super keen on him in the top 24, but I am more than convinced now.
Brothers 3‘s “Pompeii” another song that excites me, damn I love modern music. Bastille has EXCELLENT harmonies and counter melodies through out all of their album Bad Blood, which definitely deserves a listen on Spotify if you have never had a chance to that yet. These guys have made me a believer. I thought that Dannii had absolutely no chance to win and I still don’t but she may very well have an act in the final 3. This is the polished, modern group that Dannii envisioned that Brothers 3 could be and I love it. Australia loves them, puts them in the charts, and if they give me stuff like this and “Hey Brother” I will love them too.
Reigan Derry’s “Bang Bang” this song is my jam and grape jelly right now. And anyone who doesn’t respect Nicki Minaj as a judge on American Idol will get a side-eye from me. Ariana Grande is on fire and Jessie J is finally getting the attention she deserves in the USA with this track. I have faith Reigan is going to do awesome. No matter what props Redfoo throws at Reigan CAN and WILL rise above them. Rapping was worth a try, it wasn’t terrible, but probably don’t do it again in the context of the competition. Not as great as I would have wanted from her, but Reigan still is destined for final 3.
Caitlyn Shadbolt‘s “You and I” this song and “Speechless” constantly battle it out in my mind for my favorite Lady Gaga song, so I am always excited for people to do it. Caitlyn’s commentary on if this song is really country is laughable as if “Shake it Off” is country by any stretch, let’s be real here. Caitlyn delivers this song with the same stage presence of a professional. It always amazes me how professional she is. If I was in charge of a label based out of Nashville or Memphis or Topeka, I would be signing her when she inevitably gets 3rd to 5th place. She is a star in the making and she is almost ready to plucked into prime time.
Marlisa‘s “Let it Go” she looked like Belle and she was headed to the ball! The only thing that disappoints me with this performance is that it proves that she could be such a force to win this whole thing if she had more time. I have loved the defiant attitude that Marlisa tried to embody in this performance. She had some fantastic tonal moments, but unfortunately I think Marlisa is not going to make the final 3. That being said I think she needs to capitalize more on her quirkiness, I loved her Bjork song last week and between that and choices like “Paparazzi” I can certainly see what makes Marlisa a different kind of artist.
Rochelle Pitt‘s “Rolling in the Deep” as far as I am concerned no one could ever touch Misha B (XFUK8) doing this song, well that was until Jena Irene (AI13), this song is a bit overplayed, a modern classic, but if you can make it your own it can pay dividends. I will ignore those early lyric snafus as they will probably garner her as much sympathy votes as it would hurt her, so probably a net neutral. Rochelle didn’t particularly bring anything original to this track, but her comeback from her mistake is the narrative of this performance that will sell it’s lack of originality. Rochelle is talented, give her a song and she can sing it, I would have loved a version of this that was all Big Band horn-styled up. That was where this should’ve gone for her.
Jason Heerah‘s “She Came to Give it To You” I was just re-watching Simone Battle’s “Just Be Good to Me” because of the recent news. It is so sad to hear about anyone committing suicide, remember to reach out for help, you never know who will be there to aid you, never give up hope. On to Jason, this was good, very good, but like all Jason performances it feels good, but not great. Somehow I can never see Jason as relevant no matter what he does. Jason is such a cool, nice dude, but for some reason I don’t see a star, I don’t see X Factor, I just see a really talented person performing. Jason is going to have trouble surviving the next couple weeks and I would be surprised if he is even in the top 6.
Sydnee Carter‘s “Strong” London Grammar is such a cool group, they are like the accessible version of The XX, which is essentially make-out music for uber cool people. I wanted to love it, but this just didn’t quite work for me. It never felt like Sydnee exactly settled into the song. She was a little shrill-y on the high end and a little quiet on the low end. This is disappointing. Sydnee is so hit or miss. And this erred on the side of miss. She could’ve flipped this into a modern folk song that might’ve been a stronger choice for her.
Tee‘s “Hold on We’re Going Home” on paper this song choice excites me. Christina Grimmie did this awesomely on the most recent season of the Voice US. I am unsure how Tee will do it, but I will keep an open-mind. What is with that old sounding organ in the background, not retro because retro is cool, this organ just sounds plain and out-dated. I think also that it was pitched a little too high for Tee, not that he struggled hitting the notes per say, but I feel like his voice would be stronger literally a key lower. And the biggest problem with this performance, the TEMPO, it was too fast. Listening to it, I felt uncomfortable the entire time, I wanted Tee to dig into those notes, but instead he just kept glossing over the whole thing. I know we spared him for XOX last week, but this performance didn’t really prove to me why we did that.
Well let’s see how wrong I am this time!
1. Dean Ray
2. Brothers 3
3. Reigan Derry
4. Caitlyn Shadbolt
6. Rochelle Pitt
7. Jason Heerah
8. Sydnee Carter
I think a lot of people could go, but if I had to put money on it, I would probably go with Sydnee leaving. She disappointed, doesn’t have momentum or a story arc on her side and she has already landed in the bottom 2 before. Next most likely to leave probably Jason, but that could be bias on my end. Do you think we will have a final 4 in the finale instead of a final 3?
Thanks for reading and comment below!
Updating with RESULTS!
Actual Voter Rankings:
1. Brothers 3
2. Dean Ray
3. Reigan Derry
4. Rochelle Pitt
6. Caitlyn Shadbolt
Bottom 2: Jason Heerah and Sydnee Carter
Honestly, I didn’t do that bad.
I would have preferred this going to deadlock, but honestly neither of them would be in a particularly good spot in the next two weeks. So good luck to Jason he is going to need it.