The X-Factor USA Is Cancelled

7 02 2014

SIMON COWELL TO DEPART U.S. VERSION OF “THE X FACTOR”

Entertainment Mogul to Return as Judge on “The X Factor UK”

and Focus on Continued Global Success of International Formats

The award-winning international phenomenon THE X FACTOR has concluded its domestic run after three seasons, it was announced today by Syco, FremantleMedia North America and Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX).

“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on THE X FACTOR and AMERICAN IDOL. And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!),” said Simon Cowell. “Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank FOX for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!”

“To all of us at FOX, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities of our time –he’s part of our family. A consummate showman and partner, there’s no one more passionate or creative than Simon, and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful, collaborative relationship with him over the past 12 years,” said Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Unfortunately, there is no X FACTOR USA without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”

“‘The X Factor’ has become a true global hit entertainment format produced locally in 45 countries, and since its launch in 2004, has been watched by more than half a billion people around the world,” said Trish Kinane, President of Entertainment Programming and Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America. “The U.S. version of THE X FACTOR has had a great run dominating the social media charts and discovering internationally successful artists, but Simon’s return to the U.K. ‘X Factor’ has been long anticipated. We have long-running partnerships both with FOX and Syco Entertainment and very much look forward to what the future holds for our ongoing relationships with them.”

In 2013, Alex & Sierra won Season Three of THE X FACTOR, and during the live shows, the duo reached No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart twice with six singles also breaking into the iTunes Top 20. Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony became international stars after Season Two of THE X FACTOR. Emblem3’s first album, “Nothing To Lose,” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Fifth Harmony’s EP, “Better Together,” debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard chart and reached Top 10 on iTunes in 41 countries, giving them the biggest debut album from any U.S. television competition series in 2012. Fifth Harmony were listed on MTV’s “Artist to Watch” for 2014 and also were the voices of Barbie’s new anthem, “Anything Is Possible.” They are on tour this spring with Demi Lovato, Little Mix and Cher Lloyd. Emblem3’s debut album, “Nothing To Lose,” reached No. 1 on iTunes in 14 countries.

THE X FACTOR won three TEEN CHOICE 2012 Awards for Reality Competition Show, Breakout Show and Simon Cowell – Male Personality. In 2013, THE X FACTOR won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Competition Show and Demi Lovato won for Favorite Celebrity Judge. It also took home seven TEEN CHOICE 2013 Awards, including Reality Competition Show, Simon Cowell – Male Personality, and Emblem3 – Breakout Group, to name a few.

ABOUT SYCO ENTERTAINMENT

Syco Entertainment is one of the world’s leading global music, film and television production companies responsible for some of the world’s most successful global TV and music franchises. Syco Entertainment is also the world’s most successful producer of international talent with Syco Music being the record label home for such diverse international recording artists as Labrinth, One Direction, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Little Mix, IL Divo, Emblem3, Fifth Harmony, James Arthur, Ella Henderson and Alex & Sierra. Syco’s television assets include the global franchises “The X Factor” and “Got Talent.”

Local versions of “The X Factor” are commissioned in 45 territories and around the world, “The X Factor” is now watched by more than a half billion people. The show has increased the average demographic for many broadcasters by up to 250%. The single, “Impossible,” from the 2012 U.K. winner James Arthur, became the fastest-selling single of the year, and was the biggest worldwide “X Factor” single ever – selling over 2.5 million copies. Artists discovered by the “X Factor” format have sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including 130 No. 1s and 250 Top 10 records.

In 2010, “The X Factor UK” discovered and put together One Direction, who have since sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and have won countless awards across the globe. One Direction have made U.S. chart history as the first group to ever have their first three albums debut at No. 1. Little Mix’s – the first group to ever win “The X Factor” – debut album, “DNA,” made history as the highest-charting debut album for a U.K. girl group – even beating the Spice Girls. Leona Lewis has sold over 30 million records and her hit single, “Bleeding Love,” reached No. 1 in over 30 countries and was the fastest-selling debut album of all time in the U.K. Lewis is the first British female solo artist to score eight U.K. Top 5 singles.

(Press Release)





The X-Factor USA Auditions 2013

15 02 2013

 

DO YOU HAVE “THE X FACTOR”?

 

NATIONWIDE AUDITIONS FOR SEASON THREE OF “THE X FACTOR” KICK OFF IN LOS ANGELES WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6

Auditions Continue in Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA; Long Island, NY; and Denver, CO

Competition Open to Solo Artists and Vocal Groups Ages 12 and Over

Online Auditions for Season Three of THE X FACTOR Continue at http://www.TheXFactorUSA.com

THE X FACTOR begins its next nationwide search for the best undiscovered new solo artists and vocal groups on Wednesday, March 6 in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center. Auditions continue in Charleston, SC, on Tuesday, March 19; New Orleans, LA, on Sunday, April 14; Long Island, NY, on Thursday, April 25; and Denver, CO, on Tuesday, May 14.

In addition to the open call auditions, online auditions continue until June 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM PT. Solo artists and vocal groups 12 years old and over may submit their two-minute a cappella audition videos at http://www.TheXFactorUSA.com.

THE X FACTOR auditions will be held in the following cities:

LOS ANGELES, CA – Wednesday, March 6
Venue: Galen Center
Registration – March 4-5

CHARLESTON, SC – Tuesday, March 19
Venue: North Charleston Coliseum
Registration – March 17-18

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Sunday, April 14
Venue: TBD
Registration – April 12-13

LONG ISLAND, NY– Thursday, April 25
Venue: TBD
Registration – April 23-24

DENVER, CO – Tuesday, May 14
Venue: TBD
Registration – May 12-13

Wristbands must be obtained from the venue the day prior to auditions. Additional audition details, including eligibility requirements, are available at http://www.thexfactorusa.com/. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information, rules and registration forms.

Full details regarding the Los Angeles auditions can be found below. Specific information on the subsequent audition cities will be announced shortly.

THE X FACTOR Audition Information: Los Angeles

WHO: Singers and vocal groups 12 years of age or older as of Jan. 1, 2013, who are legal U.S. citizens or eligible to work in the U.S. and do not currently have a music recording contract. Some restrictions apply; please visit http://www.thexfactorusa.com/ for specific information.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3400 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

HOW: Wristbands will be distributed from approximately 6:00 AM on Monday, March 4 until approximately 6:00 AM on Wednesday, March 6. Auditioners will not be permitted to camp out. Once auditioners obtain their wristbands, they will be asked to return to the Galen Center by 8:00 AM on Wednesday, March 6. Please bring legal photo identification. Any auditioner under 18 years old must be accompanied by his/her parent or legal guardian.

Sign up now for all audition information and audition details, including rules and eligibility requirements at http://www.thexfactorusa.com/. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information, rules and registration forms.

Last season, Tate Stevens was crowned THE X FACTOR Season Two winner and was awarded the biggest prize in TV history, a $5 million recording contract, as well as production and creative support to develop, create, record and shoot his first original track and music video. Tate’s video debuted as a Pepsi commercial during the live telecast of the “55th Annual GRAMMY Awards®.”

During its two seasons, THE X FACTOR has discovered other diverse recording artists such as Season Two finalists Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony, Emblem3, and Season One winner Melanie Amaro, along with Season One finalists Astro, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Marcus Canty and Rachel Crow.

Worldwide, “The X Factor” has created global superstars such as Leona Lewis, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs, Little Mix and Rebecca Ferguson. Artists discovered by “The X Factor” format have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 110 No.1, 270 Top 10 and 501 Top 50 releases. Local versions of “The X Factor” are now produced in more than 40 territories and THE X FACTOR (USA) airs in 166 countries.

THE X FACTOR was created by Syco Television and is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Rob Wade and Nigel Hall are executive producers for Syco Television. Trish Kinane, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America. “Like” THE X FACTOR on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/TheXFactorUSA. Follow the series on Twitter @TheXFactorUSA and join the discussion at #xfactor.

(Source:  Press Release)





XFactor Season 2 Finale Performances

20 12 2012

With the judges and the audience feeling like Emblem 3 would be the group to go through to the finale, they were stunned at the results.  A strong performance by Fifth Harmony guaranteed them a spot in the finale.

I am tired of filler stuff in these singing competitions. Doesn’t matter to me what it is or what network it is on, I don’t see the point of singing a song again that was already done. The exception for me for this would be if they were completely rearranging the music so it felt like a song with a very different vibe from the last time they sang it. Or it was something very, very early in the competition. With Fifth Harmony, it was a song that was just done last week. Granted it was their best performance ever, but I want something new. I want to be blown away–something that makes me want to pick up the phone and WANT to vote for somebody. Keep it to two songs and cut a half-hour off your show.

The evening did start with a lovely tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary victims and their survivors with a modification of a lyric for “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson.

They introduced the judges and the remaining contestants. I could not help but remember what I said last week to someone on Twitter: Demi would still have someone in the competition if she had not sent Jillian Jensen home.

ROUND 1: RESING A SONG YOU’VE ALREADY DONE AND MOST OF US TUNE OUT OR GO EAT DINNER OR GO TO THE BATHROOM

Since I have no comments about any of these because they were no different for me than the originals, I will just list the judges’ comments.

Carly Rose Sonenclar chose “Feelin’ Good” by Nina Simone. Since I have no further comments about their performance because it was exactly like the last time, I’ll just mention what the judges said. LA Reid said she had topped everything she had done. Demi said she was going to inspire so many young girls to follow their dreams. Simon said she sang it better tonight than the first time and he likes her competitive spirit. Britney said it was shocking how bright her star was.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Tate Stevens chose the song from the audition, “Anything Goes” by Randy Houser. Britney said when he does country down the middle he is right on. Demi said that the audience still loves him. This was the first time he turned it into a stadium performance. Simon said he agreed with Demi tonight. LA Reid said he was still lovable tonight.

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Tate Stevens

Fifth Harmony performed, “Anything Could Happen” by Elie Goulding. LA Reid said it was magical, that magic happens when they perform it. Demi said they were underdogs but they pulled through. Simon said they made him so proud. He likes sometimes being the underdog.

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Fifth Harmony

MY RANKINGS: Fifth Harmony, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens

****************

ROUND 2: SING A DUET WITH SOMEONE FAMOUS WHO WAS AVAILABLE THIS CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS

Apparently they were short on time for anyone but the mentor to give comments which, of course, will be glowing. If they cut out that third song, they would have had time for the full panel to give critiques. I won’t list in this section what the judges said because of that reason.

Carly Rose said with Lee Ann Rimes (odd pairing since she is a country music star). They sang Lee Ann Rimes’ famous, “How Do I Live Without You.” Every time I hear this song I think of the ending of the movie, “Con Air.” It is a beautiful song, but this was not the right song for Carly. I think it was her weakest song ever. It showed all her vulnerable vocal areas that need developing.

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Carly Rose and Lee Ann Rimes

Tate sang “Pontoon” with Little Big Town. I had fun watching him with these ladies. He was eating it up. Watch out wife! God, I dislike country music but his song was better than Carly’s.

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Tate Steven and Little Big Town

The next one I could just SCREAM about. Fifth Harmony sang ANOTHER SONG THEY SANG IN THE PAST, “Give Your Heart a Break”, but this time with Demi Lovato. It was as pitchy as it was the first time they sang it. Demi sounded like she had run from her seat backstage because she was very out of breath, but the true performer she is, she pulled it off.

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Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato

MY RANKING FOR THIS ROUND: Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony (mostly because they sang two full songs tonight they sang in the past).

*****************************

ROUND 3: THE FIVE-MILLION-DOLLAR SONG (OR NOT)

Carly chose the very overdone “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. In fact, I heard it just yesterday on The Voice. Simon looked all teary-eyed and given the tragedy in Sandy Hook, people’s emotions for songs like this are high. I do know it is one of his favorite songs from what he said on American Idol. It started off very, very rough. She needs to work on the lower end of her vocal range. But the second verse got better. It does not hurt having a choir behind you either. It was her best performance for me tonight. Was it her best performance of the series? No. LA Reid said it was an angelic performance and she did not oversing it. Demi said she sang like a ridiculously talented angel. Simon said she looked great and it was a beautiful version of the song. Britney said that song was worth $5 million so Simon should get out his checkbook.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Tate chose “Tomorrow” by Chris Young. It was a lovely song. It did not blow me away. No one is giving me chills. My goosebumps are my indicator that I’ve been wowed. Britney said it was great and she always enjoys what he does. Demi said she was almost crying because it is the last time she will see him perform on that stage. (Well, not really, he’ll sing in the results show). Simon said it was a fantastic night for talent; that it was a really, really good night. LA Reid said he consistently comes out and delivers.

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Tate Stevens

Fifth Harmony sang “Let It Be” by The Beatles. This song has special meaning to me because it was friend Diane’s favorite song. She has been gone for almost a year now from this earth. It was played at her funeral. This is the first time I wanted to turn off the TV (at least when it first started). Normani did a lousy job. The others did better, but their $5 million song was “Anything Could Happen.” Again, this is another one of those emotional songs given the grief the nation is feeling. LA Reid said they’ve come so far and it was beautiful. Britney said they have blossomed as a group. Demi said they have evolved and grown. Simon said he could not be more proud. Although biased, they deserved to win.

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Fifth Harmony

MY RANKING: Carly Rose, Tate, Fifth Harmony

So where does that leave us? Fifth Harmony was my first round pick as favorite, Tate was my second round pick as favorite and Carly was my third round pick as favorite. I guess any one of them could win. But all in all when I turned off the television, I left not being blown away enough to buy any of those last songs. What I would have liked to see is an original song that no one has done ever before and hearing what THAT would have sounded like as a $5 million song. Perhaps they can think about doing that next year.





The XFactor Season 2 Semifinals

13 12 2012

Last week, CeCe Frey was finally sent packing along with Diamond White, with her own mentor agreeing that she should go home. The rankings were: Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Emblem3, and Fifth Harmony. Tonight, one song was the contestant’s choice and one song was the mentor’s choice. After seeing the Pepsi Challenge choices the public made and hearing the contestant’s choices tonight, I think the mentors need to rethink their choices; the contestants and the public are picking better songs.

CONTESTANT’S CHOICE

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Your Song” by Elton John

My thoughts: Her very low range needs some work when she is singing quietly and not belting out a note. I was surprised. It is a very difficult song to sing. It was not her best but it was enjoyable. I think this is a good thing because the constructive criticism from Simon should be taken to heart. She is not perfect. But she is still going to win.

The judges: LA Reid said it was a risky song but she did things with the song he had never heard before. At first, Demi thought it was going to be very predictable, but it became her favorite song she has ever performed. Simon said it was a beautiful version of a fantastic song. However, it was not her best performance. He thought she was very nervous and he thinks she can do better. Britney said she has blossomed into a superstar and she is so proud.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Bonfire” by Craig Morgan

My thoughts: I thought there was a disconnection between the song and his performance. He talked about bonfires being about guitars being key at these events, but he was not playing one. It was a good song choice and it was entertaining even though I hate country music.

The judges: Britney said she did not think it was his best. Demi disagreed and said it was a “freakin’ amazing performance.” Simon said he bought into the song being the type of music he wants to record. It was one of his favorite performances. He looked like a man who believes he can win. LA Reid said he lit this stage on fire and it was the most fun he has had doing the show.

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Tate Stevens

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter: @FifthHarmony
Song: “Anything Could Happen” by Elie Goulding

My thoughts: I don’t know why I didn’t see this until now–maybe it was the way she put her hair in the ponytail to the side, but Camila Cabello looks like what Carly Rose Sonenclar might look like when she gets older (or they are sisters or cousins). I liked this song a LOT. This was definitely their very best performance. To coin a phrase from Randy Jackson, “They are in it to win it.”

The judges: LA Reid said it was the very best vocal performance they had ever done. Britney loved everything about it; it was inspiring girl power. Demi said they pulled out the sparkle that they needed and it felt great. Simon said they were the underdogs but “anything now can happen.”

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Fifth Harmony

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “Baby I Love Your Way” by Peter Frampton

My thoughts: There was a Jamaican reggae feel to it. Drew sticking his tongue out was very odd. It was pretty good but their individual vocals, when they are not rapping, are not quite polished.

The judges: LA Reid said they are charismatic and so charming. They just had their 5-million dollar moment. Britney said their performance was special and they were way more than just a boy band. Demi said for the first time since the auditions that reminded her of what made them special to begin with. Simon said if this did not get them through to the final, nothing will.

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Mentor’s Choice

Emblem 3: “Hey Jude” by The Beatles

My thoughts: It was good. I noticed Drew was not singing that much. It was a modern version of the song, but nothing can beat The Beatles.

The judges: LA Reid said they are teen heart throbs just like The Beatles. Britney said it was an “A”-level performance. Demi thought they weren’t yet The Beatles but they were getting there. Simon felt so proud. He said they had steel in their eyes and nailed both songs tonight.

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Emblem 3

Carly Rose Sonenclar: “Imagine” by John Lennon

My thoughts: David Archuleta’s performance was pretty good so I was not sure about someone else doing this song. Carly was worried about playing the piano. Seriously? A 15-second stint? That first big note was sharp. She looked angry singing the words, I believe trying to convey emphasis and conviction, but it was the wrong feeling for the lyric. It was lovely. Not great, but lovely. I lean more towards Simon’s criticism here.

The judges: LA Reid said she always knew how to go in and find that note. Demi thought it was amazing and loved that she took a risk. Simon said he would have kept her at the piano. It made a beautiful performance fussy. He did not like the arrangement and said it was overcomplicated. Britney said it was time for her to go beyond the stage (and into the real world).

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Fifth Harmony: “Impossible” by Shontelle

My thoughts: What is Simon thinking? Did he just throw them under the bus? He criticizes others when they repeat songs. Just last week, he complained Diamond White did the same song again. The song, unfortunately, was just as pitchy as the first time they sang it. They’ll be the ones going home Thursday night.

The judges: LA Reid thought the song choice was lazy, but they did a decent job. Britney said it was pretty good and would be surprised if they did not make it through. Simon said it was a reminder of why he fell in love with them as a group in the first place.

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Fifth Harmony

Tate Stevens: “Fall” by Clay Walker

My thoughts: It was good. This genre seldom moves me so it’s not his fault. I don’t like the overaffect of his face when he tries to emphasize a feeling/meaning in the song lyric. His eyes almost go crossed. I’m certain he’ll be through in the finals, though.

The judges: Britney thought it was a direct hit. Demi said he deserved this. He did amazing and he was so talented. Simon said it was a great song, that he had made his mark here and he did enough to get himself into the finals. LA Reid said he was great every time.

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Tate Stevens





XFactor Season 2 Top 6 Perform

6 12 2012

XFactorLogoAfter Vino Alan was thrown under the bus last week and a surprise that Paige would be going home and not CeCe, the rankings looked like this: Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens, Emblem 3, Fifth Harmony, CeCe Frey, and Diamond White. Congratulations to Mario Lopez who got married in Mexico this weekend. This week is “unplugged” and the results of the Pepsi Challenge. Unplugged will root out the real singers from those who just sound better with background singers and lots of background noise in the way of instruments. There is nowhere you can hide, nowhere you can run. With the Pepsi Challenge, the public decided everything, down to what the contestants will wear.

UNPLUGGED

Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga

My thoughts: It was not bad but it wasn’t good either. She had a rough start. I’d call it average. However, after hearing Emblem 3, this was not my least favorite.

The judges: LA Reid said it was really good and he was becoming a fan. Britney disagreed and said at this point in the competition, it needed to be great. Simon said it was not worth a $5 million contract. It was too cabaret versus unplugged; it was good but not great. Mentor Demi thought it was one of her best vocal performances.

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CeCe Frey Unplugged

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by James Brown, Etta James, Joshua Ledet and SO MANY OTHERS

My thoughts: I do not like when contestants do the same songs twice. I feel it is grossly unfair to the other contestants who have to learn a new song. And I get the feeling this is a song she has been doing most of her life. It was better than her first version, but it should have never been repeated. Kicking the stand was stupid.

The judges: LA Reid said she brought attitude and sang her butt off. Demi said it was risky doing the song again but she pulled it off and loved her kicking the stand. Simon said it was a little screechy in parts and wished she had done a different song. Mentor Britney said she was so proud of her, that she destroyed it.

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Diamond White Unplugged

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber

My thoughts: Just crown her the winner and get it over with. It was a home run. She does need to work on her hand movements with her left hand as she pulls her head to the right. It gets old after awhile as she does it with every single song.

The judges: LA Reid said he loved her so much and it may be the best she has done to his tastes. Demi said it was better than Justin’s version. Simon said we were seeing a star emerge and it was one of his favorite performances. Coach Britney said she was so proud of her (she says this every single time, doesn’t she?). Each week she continues to make each song her own.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar Unplugged

Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi

My thoughts: I don’t like this song as a country song. It was okay. It was pitchy in places. I did not see how this was unplugged with all the harmonies of the background singers and all the instruments.

The judges: Britney said she felt he was getting away from his country roots. Demi said it was boring and he skipped out on the high note. Simon said this was the second Bon Jovi song he has done. He encouraged Tate to choose his own material and not let LA Reid do it. LA Reid said he naturally disagreed.

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Tate Stevens Unplugged

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter: @FifthHarmony
Song: “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele

My thoughts: STOP….DOING…ADELE!! I am SHOCKED that Simon picked this given those were his words during the auditions. It was not good but it still was not as bad as Emblem 3.

The judges: LA Reid said he still did not hear harmony and thought their name was Fifth Unison. Britney did not see how they were separated from any other girl group. Demi said she heard harmonies but a couple of them should just be solo artists. Simon said this was pick-on-Fifth-Harmony week again. He said there were not any other girl groups on the market right now and there was a place for them. He said they deserved a shot in the semifinals.

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Fifth Harmon Unplugged

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars

My thoughts: Drew is absolutely their weakest link. It was their worst performance yet. Each individual is not good but their harmonies and music usually compensate for what they are lacking, as well as their personalities. There is no hiding in unplugged week. And then Drew encouraging everyone to vote as they finished the song before their criticisms. No one else did that.

The judges: LA Reid said it was pretty good and at least one of Simon’s groups could sing harmony. Britney thought it was their best performance. Demi said they did great but not the best. It was like a downgraded version of the Jonas Brothers 5 years ago. Sting! Simon thought they had an amazing week.

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Emblem3 Unplugged

Pepsi Challenge

CeCe Frey: “Part of Me” by Katy Perry

My thoughts: It was sour from the start and it did not get better. She tends to be sour when she tries to dance. I liked her first performance better.

The judges: LA Reid was not loving it; felt it was karaoke. Britney did not agree and thought it was very entertaining. Simon liked it especially that she was so defiant. Demi thought she did a good job.

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CeCe Frey

Emblem 3: “Forever Young” by Alphaville

My thoughts: It was better than the first song but it was still very, very rough.

The judges: LA Reid thought they nailed it. Britney thought it was a superstar performance. Demi said they commanded the stage and it was better than their first performance. Simon thought they did really good tonight.

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Emblem3

Carly Rose Sonenclar: “If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce

My thoughts: Bodacious!

The judges: LA Reid said as a judge he was very nervous of her, but as a fan she never let him down. Demi thought it was a phenomenal vocal. Simon said she had a phenomenal night. Britney said she was the definition of the XFactor and it was stunning.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Fifth Harmony: “Give Your Heart A Break” by Demi Lovato

My thoughts: I enjoyed it. I think it was their best performance ever.

The judges: This time, LA Reid heard harmony. It was really good and was their very, very best performance. Britney said they did the song good. Demi thought it sounded better than her own version and they sounded so beautiful on it. Simon thought that America’s chose a great song and girl power (what?)!

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Fifth Harmony

Diamond White: “Diamonds” by Rihanna

My thoughts: This was not as good as her first song, but again that song was likely sung so many times in her life, she had that song mastered. It was good, but did not blow me away.

The judges: LA Reid did not love her rendition of the song. Demi thought she did it justice. Simon said the second half was better than the first half. Britney said this song was made for her.

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Diamond White

Tate Stevens: “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks

My thoughts: This was MUCH better than the first song. There were a few off-key notes here and there but it sounded great. I actually know this song (even though I don’t usually listen to country music).

The judges: Britney thought it felt like a Tate Stevens performance. Demi thought he had a bright future. The song made her a little sleepy but she was really tired (a criticism which left Tate confused and me, too). Simon said welcome back to the competition. LA Reid said that was great.

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Tate Stevens

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

My picks for going home

Tough to say who will be in the bottom. Like I said just crown Carly Rose Sonenclar the winner already.





XFactor Season 2 Top 10 Perform

22 11 2012

Two of the acts that I was hoping would win left the competition last Thursday: Jennel Garcia and Lyric 145. I guess that America just wants to hear cover songs and nothing original anymore. The list of how the contestants placed based on their votes. From first place to 10th place: Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Vino Alan, Emblem3, Cece Frey (that is a surprise), Fifth Harmony, Diamond White, Beatrice Miller, Arin Ray, and Paige Thomas. Tonight they are dedicating their songs to someone special in their lives for whom they are thankful.

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “Everytime” by Britney Spears, dedicated to Colleen who took her in after her mother died.

My thoughts: It was a strange song. The lyrics match more of what you might sing to someone who is no longer with her. “Notice me, take my hand, why are we strangers when our love is strong.” Just a confusing pick. Her enunciation was a bit better tonight, but again, it sounds at time like she is stumbling through the lyrics. It was also pitchy, like right under the note.

The judges: Since it was Britney’s song, they let her comment first. Britney thought it was beautiful. L.A. Reid thought it was not good enough tonight to get her out of the last-place spot. Simon said at moments she sang really well, but her voice was muffled. He thought she could be going home. Demi said it was pitchy but she let her emotions take over.

Paige Thomas

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Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler dedicated to her sister Kelsey who died at a young age.

My thoughts: Her story was very touching. I like this emotional CeCe. The song was less pitchy than last week, although it was very pitchy at the beginning and the end. She had a tough time on the high note. I doubt she is going to be in the bottom because she will get the emotional vote. No one is going to vote off the person who had a sister with a disability.

The judges: LA Reid said her emotion was genuine. Britney said it was amazing. Simon said he hoped the public will keep her in the competition. Demi said she was proud, that she poured her heart and soul.

CeCe Frey

Britney Spears’ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias dedicated to his brother who was a father figure in his life.

My thoughts: Don’t laugh, but in the wide shot, the red curtains looked like red condoms. My husband actually pointed that out to me. It was rough in places but it was a huge improvement from last week. However, there was no challenge in the vocals. I still think he needs to stop trying to have a relationship backstage with Normani and concentrate on his performance. I think he will be going home on Thursday.

The judges: L.A. Reid said the song was too big, a tough one for him. He gave a good performance but not a 5-million-dollar performance. Demi said she was bored. Simon said he felt Arin was trapped in a cage. He said he thought he was not seeing from Arin on this show what Arin the performer would do in the real world.  Arin said he was not doing what he wanted to do.  He wanted to be able to dance.  Britney thought it was really good.

Arin Ray

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Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion dedicated to her mom.

My thoughts: I’m calling BS on the story about her mom. She said she had a 50/50 chance of “making it through surgery for scoliosis.” Doubt it. All spinal surgery carries a risk of paralysis, but I think the 50/50 chance was that it would actually be of benefit to her. It does not carry any more increased risk of death other than any other surgery. Cardiac surgery has a higher risk of death. Now, if she had complications after the surgery, like blood clots, pulmonary embolus, coma, etc., then I could see that. People tend to remember things differently as time goes on and exaggerate their responses. One thing they teach you in medicine. If someone says they are exercising 5 days a week, usually it is less. If they say they are drinking 2 glasses of wine per week, it’s probably more. Anyway, back to Diamond’s performance, it started off weak and pitchy, but she worked it out. She did a good job on the high note. But, again, I get back to the fact that these songs all sound like covers (nothing original about them).

The judges: LA Reid said she had never had a moment like that. Demi was blown away. Simon said she was fearless and incredible. He believed the lyric. Britney said it was beautiful.

Diamond White

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Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol dedicated to her twin sisters who have had some challenges in their lives.

My thoughts: When Carly Rose sings, she sounds like an adult. When Beatrice sings, she sounds like a child. She is suffering from vocal strain. It was pitchy and not good. It was, however, better than last week. I don’t think she will be in trouble, although she will be towards the bottom of the list again.  I think, though, she might be great for the Disney Channel.

The judges: LA Reid said Britney had good taste. Demi said it is like she is singing the same song every week. She needed something different and fun. Simon said this song meant something to her and that this week was better than last week. Britney said it was her best performance so far.

Beatrice Miller

* * * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland dedicated to her brother who has always been there for her.

My thoughts: It was awesome. I had goosebumps. I think she may win this competition.

The judges: LA Reid said, “Wow girl.” She is a force of nature. Demi said it was amazing. Simon said he had heard more versions of that song over his career and that was one of the best versions of it. Britney said it was amazing.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood dedicated to our troops

My thoughts: Anyone who sings a patriotic song ensures they are going through the next week. Vino might get the #2 slot this week with that. I got chills. He did an excellent job.

The judges: He received a standing ovation. Britney said it was spot-on and amazing. Demi said there is something special about him. Simon said he could be seeing him at the #1 spot tomorrow (prior to Carly Rose singing). LA Reid was proud of him.

Vino Alan

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “I’m Already There” by Lonestar dedicated to his father.

My thoughts: It was pitchy. His movements sometimes feel forced or manufactured, especially when he is trying to emphasize a lyric. Last run was good. This is a very personal song for me. I heard this song on the anniversary of my child’s death, and the chorus reminds me of what my son would want me to know–“I’m already there. Take a look around. I’m the sunshine in your hair. I’m the shadow on the ground. I’m the whisper in the wind, your imaginary friend. And I know I’m in your prayers. I’m already there.” The Lonestar version makes me cry every time I hear it; I did not get that from Tate tonight.

The judges: Britney said LA is doing a great job. Demi said it was not his best performance but it was incredible. Simon said he loves the song and story, but it was not as confident. LA Reid said America loves you.

Tate Stevens

* * * * * * * * * *

Simon Cowell’s Groups

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter:
Song: “I’ll Stand By You” by Pretenders dedicated to God

My thoughts: Choirs always make you sound better. It was average. There was nothing that blew me away. I do like their genuine friendship that you can see between them on stage. No one dedicates a song to God and goes home either.

The judges: LA Reid said that was great. Britney said it was touching and beautiful and bravo. Demi said she was not crazy about the song choice but they made it beautiful. Simon said the competition would not be the same without them.

Fifth Harmony

* * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “Secrets” by One Republic dedicated to their youth leaders who inspired them.

My thoughts: It was horrible at first but it sounded better later. I still like them. They might be the only original sound left in the competition.

The judges: LA Reid said it lacked emotion. Britney said it was well done. Demi said it was a great change of pace and they had more emotion. Simon said it was fantastic and they were such a pleasure to work with.

Emblem3

My picks for going home

The bottom two will be Arin Ray and Paige Thomas.  However, I think they are going to pull something about not sending anyone home since it is Thanksgiving Day.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?





XFactor Season 2 Top 12 Perform

15 11 2012

After a deadlock between the judges regarding which contestant should go home, CeCe Frey and Jason Brock faced the popular vote. Who had the lowest number of votes? Shockingly Jason. Then XFactor did something that no other singing show has done: They gave us the list of how the contestants placed based on their votes. From first place to 12th place: Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Vino Alan, Diamond White, Fifth Harmony, Emblem3, Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas, Lyric 145, Beatrice Miller, Arin Ray, and CeCe Frey. Tonight’s theme is “songs from divas.”

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “Last Dance” by Donna Summer

My thoughts: It was good but I still hear an issue with enunciation. For example, when she sang, “Last dance”, it sounded like, “last dam” or “last dan”. It’s like she doesn’t complete her consonants. She does not talk this way, so I don’t know why it seems to show up in her singing. To get a second opinion to make sure I was not having a hearing issue, I asked my husband to listen and he heard it, too.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought it was her best yet. Britney said it was like a disco ball exploding on stage. Simon thought it was her best so far but the choreography was distracting. Demi said she nailed it.

Paige Thomas

* * * * * * * * * *

Contestant: Jennel Garcia
Twitter: @JennelGarcia
Song: “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner

My thoughts: MUCH BETTER than last week. I’d like to see her pick a rock song from her generation perhaps next time. She’s back in the race though.

The judges: LA Reid said it smoked. Britney said Tina would be proud. Simon said it was like she was a different person and he was glad she took his advice. Demi was proud.

Jennel Garcia

* * * * * * * * * *

Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen (later by Celine Dion)

My thoughts: I thought her pitch problems were because she was trying to do intense choreography as well. This time she was on stage, all by herself. Before I say the bad news, CeCe seems like a different person in this light versus the auditions when she was rubbing me the wrong way. I saw the clip how she listened to Tate talk about his family. She has let us see the vulnerable side of her. I like this side of CeCe. But I get back to the vocals. I’m thinking her audition song was something she practiced a million times. The song choice for the battle between her and Paige was again her choice because we remember how upset Paige was. This song was pitchy and squealy. My husband walked in and said, “Who’s drowning the cat?” not having any reference at all to the Emblem3 saving kittens story. It was, however, better than the past 2 weeks, but still not good enough. However, I think Arin Ray was worse.

The judges: LA Reid said she did really well and it was an improvement. Britney said she did not get it. Simon said he liked her but it was very cabaret. Demi really didn’t say anything.

CeCe Frey

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Britney Spears’ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “Crazy For You” by Madonna

My thoughts: It was his worst song he has ever done. It was pitchy all over the place. I think instead of trying to flirt with Normani, he should have practiced more.

The judges: L.A. Reid did not get a 5-million-dollar performance. Demi agreed with LA. Simon said it looked like he hated the song as well. It was like asking a cat to eat a tiger. Boring. He could be in trouble. Britney told him he nailed it.

Arin Ray

* * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “Halo” by Beyonce

My thoughts: It was much better than last week. However, her lower-range vocals are really rough.

The judges: LA Reid said she filled the shoes. Demi said she was giving the rest of the competition a run for the money. Simon advised her not to walk and sing at the same time (she did look like her ankles were about to turn in and she was going to fall), but she was a future star.

Diamond White

* * * * * * *
Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “Time After Time” by Cindy Lauper

My thoughts: The song was dragging, but she had a better emotional connection to the song. It was a little pitchy. I was bothered a great deal by what she said: “My family will lose hope if she does not win?” That is way too much pressure for a 13 year old. If this is her own perception, then perhaps she needs some counseling. If this really is her family pressuring her, then shame on them.

The judges: LA Reid said it was not the greatest song choice. She did not get to chance to peak. It was the song-choice fault and not hers. Demi liked the song choice that showcased a different side to her. Simon said it was better than last week, but the song choice was not good. Britney told Simon that she has more talent in her pinkie than all of his groups. Britney said Beatrice was beautiful and special.

Beatrice Miller

* * * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

My thoughts: I was rolling my eyes when I heard the song choice–one of the most overdone songs ever. It was my favorite vocal of the night. I got goosebumps. Fabulous job.

The judges: LA Reid thought they were looking at the winner. Demi said she didn’t believe it was her voice. Simon said her control on that song was incredible. Britney said she got chills. It was spectacular.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green (later sung by Tina Turner)

My thoughts: It was second favorite vocal of the night. It was fabulous.

The judges: Britney said he was so soulful. Demi said he was soulful and liked this better than last week, although she was a little bored. Simon said that his voice was designed for a “moment.” It was not as good as last week. LA Reid said he has a classic voice and the song was a great platform.

Vino Alan

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “From This Moment On” by Shania Twain

My thoughts: I thought this was not as good as last week. It was pitchy. The background singers were outsinging him in volume.

The judges: Britney said it was so heartfelt. Demi said it was soooo good. Simon said it was better than last week. LA Reid said that Simon can write that check.

Tate Stevens

* * * * * * * * * *

Simon Cowell’s Groups

Contestant: Lyric145
Twitter: @Lyric145
Song: Mashup “E.T.” by Katy Perry and “We Will Rock You” by Queen

My thoughts: This group is fabulous. They always do original things. Most of the other songs are just covers. I loved it.

The judges: LA Reid asked who was the diva–Queen? (Simon responded that Freddie Mercury was a diva). LA Reid told the group it was better than last week, but he felt they have lost their way. Britney said they were a hip-hop group and should be doing hip-hop tracks. Demi didn’t understand the “alien” side of the song. Simon said that they only had a few hours to put it together. He felt they brought an energy that this show needs (AND I AGREE).

Lyric145

* * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter:
Song: “Hero” by Mariah Carey

My thoughts: They did better with it towards the middle and end than the beginning. I really expected it to blow since there are few who can do justice to a Mariah Carey song.

The judges: LA Reid said it was a tough song. They struggled a bit but it turned into a great song. Britney said she was extremely impressed. Demi said they did an incredible job. Simon said it was absolutely brilliant and they love puppies.

Fifth Harmony

* * * * * * * * * *
Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “No One” by Alicia Keys

My thoughts: It was a little pitchy this week, but I still liked it. I still look at Drew and see Spicoli in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” only with shorter hair.

The judges: LA Reid said he could not be happier. Britney said they were complete heartthrobs. Demi said they had great energy and were better than last week. Simon said this time we are going to see you right at the top and mentioned something about them saving kittens from drowning. Is that really true?

Emblem3

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

My picks for going home

The bottom two will be CeCe Frey and Arin Ray. I think Arin Ray’s vocal was worse, but it depends how many girls are in the voting block.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?