This week on The X Factor, the final 8 contestants took on songs that have topped the charts at number one in the past and while there were some definite “wow” moments during last night’s performances, there a couple that were headache inducing as well.
Starting off the night was Diamond White from the ‘Teens’ group who took on Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” in an attempt to break out of the ballad box. As she bounced around the stage and flashed her charming smile, she certainly did look as though she were having fun, which was very nice to see, however, vocally, she seemed to struggle with keeping the notes while moving around so much. The other remaining contender from the ‘Teens’ group last night, Carly Rose Sonenclar, gave another awe inspiring performance with her rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which led the judges to continue to question if she was actually even human. At this point, it is apparent that Carly is truly a bit a prodigy and that regardless of what happens on The X Factor, she will be important to the music industry in the future.
On the other end of the age spectrum, the ‘Over 25’ group continued to try to maintain their domination of places in the top 3 with Vino Alan taking the stage first with the Righteous Brothers’ classic “You’ve Lost That Love and Feeling,” the song his coach, LA Reid, suggested he switch to at the last minute. Unfortunately for Vino, it seemed that the last minute change did not serve him well, as he seemed unpolished and a bit awkward. Tate Stevens, who came in second last week, took Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You” for a spin and proved exactly why he has been at the top of the leader board repeatedly throughout the competition.
The struggling ‘Young Adults’ group was very obviously trying to push the envelope last night with Paige Thomas even giving an almost theatrical performance of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” While it seemed a bit awkward at times to me, she did look like she was having fun for the first time and the judges raved about it, making it one of her most successful performances to date. CeCe Frey, on the other hand, was a hot mess with her horribly shaky and nauseatingly flashy attempt at Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” Even her runs and “improvisations” were contrived and taken directly from Christina Aguilera’s version of the song.
Simon Cowell’s Groups certainly brought everything they had to the table last night, with Fifth Harmony taking on Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” which seemed appropriate in light of one of the group’s members coping with the death of her grandfather. While the singing was undeniably good, the girls never moved anywhere on the stage throughout the entire song, which, with such an upbeat song, seemed very awkward. Emblem 3, on the other hand, moved all over the stage while performing the Monkees’ hit “I’m a Believer” which, in my opinion, really showed a direction they could head in and be very successful. La Reid and Simon Cowell were both very enthusiastic about their extremely entertaining performance, while Demi just didn’t get it, a sentiment that can only be offered by someone with no appreciation for nostalgic masterpieces like that song.
Tonight, the final 8 will become 6 when two more contestants are voted off on the live results show. While one of my picks for elimination tonight is an easy one (can we finally tell CeCe goodbye?), the other is a bit harder to nail down since we are getting to a point in the competition where it is inevitable to see genuine talent head home. If I had to factor a guess, despite her change of pace performance, Paige Thomas may be in trouble as well.
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.