American Idol S15 Top 8 Revealed

8 03 2016

The songs performed tonight will honor The Grammy’s. The first one through is Dalton Rapattoni. He chose “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. I don’t think this is a wise choice. It is rarely done well to the point I have ever thought “This is so outstanding.” While Dalton is one of my favorites, this was not his best performance and I am worried for him next week. He is also going first and by the end of the show people forget those who are put on stage first. Keith loves how hungry and passionate he is but this was not a great song for him. Jennifer said that he understands the art of the show. She doesn’t want him to get inside his own head. Harry said that he wasn’t as present as he has always been every other week. Very good performance but the electricity wasn’t there.

Lee Jean is also through. His song choice for tonight is “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. I’m glad he broke out of his Ed Sheeran rut. I liked this upbeat song for him. He is a very talented young man. Jennifer liked the song choice, too. She still thinks there is more voice in him that he doesn’t know about. She wants him to let go a little bit more. There were some moments lacking in power. Harry thought it was pretty smart. Keith said he didn’t think it was a good song for him, but it could have been if he would have done something with it that suited his voice. But he loves that he is trying something different.

Demi Lovato teamed up with the Idols to perform “Confident.” She went on to perform “Stone Cold” without the Idols. That was another powerful performance from a guest.

Sonika Vaid secured a spot for this round. “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. She was very pitchy during the verses. She needs to stop the self-worship with the hair touching. She’ll learn how to fine-tune that as she gets more experience. The performance was pretty good. Harry said that it sounded like she was digging her own voice versus trying to sing those words. Keith said he wanted more attitude. He wanted more fire and angry girlfriend. Jennifer said she needs to get lost in the character that she puts in her head. She then has to let go and not think about things so much.

MacKenzie Bourg goes on to the next round. He performed “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I really like the arrangement of the song. Of all the songs done so far tonight, this was my favorite, but then towards the end it was dragging. Keith liked it. Jennifer said that some switch-ups don’t work, but that one did. She wants him to play with his voice a bit more. Harry said it was an amazing song choice. It was fine. It was nice and pleasant, but it is a competition and to get their votes you have to do something special. He would have found a more inventive way of doing it.

There was no doubt La’Porsha Renae was making it through.   Tonight she is taking on Beyonce’s “Halo.” I love the wings that were behind her. It looked like they were coming out of her back. Goosebumps!!!! Oh my!!! The biggest goosebump experience I have had all season. Jennifer says she loves watching her every week coming into her own. She is a hard act to follow. She is the one to beat. She is so talented and so blessed. She is becoming a star in front of their eyes. Harry said every time she sings he has to look at the song from a different perspective. She is also a master at arcing a song especially in a competition. It was incredible as always. Keith said she is a phenomenal singer.

Harry Connick, Jr. came on stage to sing his current single “I Do Like We Do” by Harry Connick, Jr., featuring Butch Walker (of The Floyds). I’m not so sure about this song. I’m a big fan of Harry’s, but this sounded too much like country music, and I’m not a fan of country music. He has a new show coming to TV called “Harry.” It will be a syndicated daytime show coming out in September.

The next safe person this week is Trent Harmon. Scott Borchetta is working with him on his vocal expressions.   Tonight Trent is singing “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Michael Bolton. I think he is the male version of La’Porsha this year. That was great! I can understand why Dalton feels anxious. Harry loves his voice particularly on high, sustained notes. Keith said it was a really good song for him. Jennifer said the faces are him, the bravado is him, and she had a flash of him and La’Porsha at the finale.

The final person who is safe based on the voting is Tristan McIntosh. Song choice was an issue for her last week. This week she chose “Clarity” by Zedd. She went into rehearsal feeling confident and Scott Borchetta said he didn’t like it (that wasn’t elevating her performance). She changed the song to “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill. This sounded much better than what I was hearing in the package on the song “Clarity.” That was lovely. I think she needs to stay in her genre. Jennifer and Keith were standing. Keith said it was a terrific song and she did a great job. Jennifer said that is the Tristan that America fell in love with it and she did an amazing job. Harry asked if she had someone in mind when she was singing that song and she mentioned her grandfather.

The judges now get to decide whether Olivia Rox, Gianna Isabella, or Avalon Young will be going to go through to the next round. Only one will be chosen. Keith said they need to deliver it. They have to make people at home feel something.   Avalon sang first. She picked “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” by The Weeknd. It sounded a little sharp throughout the song unless that is exactly how she wanted it to sound. She had the swag she was talking about throughout the song, but the sharp pitch was distracting to me. The audience loved it, however. Jennifer said when she is in her comfort zone there is no one like her in this competition. Harry said she needed a performance that was fantastic and that was the performance. Keith said what is good is that she knows what she can do and what she is comfortable with.

Olivia Rox chose “Trouble” by P!NK. I loved it but the squinting was distracting in her performance. She looked like she wasn’t feeling well still and I felt really bad for her. That has to be horrible to have to perform when you are feeling so ill. Her voice cracked on that last note. Harry said she gave it 100%. However, she is competing with someone who chose a song that has much more to chew on (Avalon’s song). Song choice is absolutely everything because her talent is absolutely undeniable. Keith said her vocal range is insane. Jennifer said it is not easy. Everything about that performance said she wanted to be there, but if she was talking about being “trouble” the audience needed to feel that she was trouble (as Harry was trying to say). That is the key. The songs have to be believable regardless of how beautiful it may have sounded.

Gianna Isabella chose “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. She said she is going to try to imagine what her mom and dad feel being in love. In my opinion that isn’t going to work. Unless you have personally experienced that feeling, you can’t fake it. After she started singing the song, she was okay in the upper range but when she went into the lower range, it was rough vocally. She didn’t get the emotion in there. Now in comparing the three side-by-side, I can see where Avalon is the person who did the emoting whereas the other two just had good vocal performances. Keith said her voice is gorgeous, he was a little hungry wanting more emotion from that. Her pitch is beautiful. Jennifer said she has a truly blessed voice. Harry said everyone stepped up. He thinks she is so adorable and she has an incredible vocal gift.

The person going through is Avalon Young.

Next week I think the bottom 3 will be: Dalton (I know!!!! ARGH!), Lee and Sonika.





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 S3 Audition 2

23 09 2013

The X-Factor USA S3 Audition 2

We jump back to the Denver auditions. Yosselin Marquez is up first singing “Girl” by Rhianna. This is a horrible start. This is not some night out for karaoke (she was using the phone for the lyrics)–this is an AUDITION! Stop it. Stick with modeling. She got four “no” responses. She does not know SIMON? A person auditioning is expected to do their homework.

Thomas Weiderspoon came out singing country hit “Your Man” by Josh Turner. Baby lock ’em doors and turn the lights down low. He is no Scotty. He is not good. All no’s.

Carrigan Bradley was next. They did not show much of the song, but I doubt there is a talent category in the beauty pageants she enters. Amber Ferrari tried to channel Janis, but got Janis’ untalented twin instead. The Group K&B gave it their best effort, but they were not Living’ La Vida Loca. This is very disappointing. Sean Harris knows he can win. Perhaps Lotto but definitely not singing.

Rylie Brown singing “Clarity” by Zedd. For someone who practiced the song everywhere she went I can’t believe she forgot the lyrics!!!! She is upset and her voice cracks. She is very breathy. She has potential if she works hard with a good vocal coach for a few years. I would not have put her through. But the judges did. She better not forget her lyrics again.

Jeffrey Brinkman is from Longmont–the place in Colorado recently ravaged by flooding. This audition likely occurred before those tragic events, so I hope he and his family and friends are okay. He runs a dog day care. I already like him. “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. I was not expecting that voice to come out of that man. I got goosebumps despite his odd phrasing choices. Four yeses.

Back to Long Island, Jocelyn Hinton, self-proclaimed diva, singing Katy Perry’s
“Firework.” Absolutely no. This is a terrible audition song to begin with. This is not a career option for her. She should find employment elsewhere. She became annoying and refused to stop singing. Simon walked her off stage.

Young Rachel Potter was up next. It surprised me that she was almost 30. She chose “Somebody to Love” by Queen with a country twist. She has a fantastic voice. I really like her too. I got goosebumps when she got to the bridge. I don’t know why she reminds me of Lea Michelle from Glee who plays Rachel. The ladies gave her a standing ovation.

Jorge Pena, age 22 who sells ice cream and calls a female “woman.” Pig. He is funny., though and then–yep–creeped out again singing a song “Amame” by Kelly Clarkson & Alexandre Pires. He was average. But I hate his attitude. The judges put him through.

Simone Torres, a Port Jefferson Station resident, was up singing “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett. She has a lovely deep voice. Simon looked very surprised. Moshe has a higher speaking voice. I love her. She is a definite yes from me. And she got four yeses from the judges.

Russ Pouliot spent 4 years with a classically trained vocal coach (why do I think this is going to be a disaster?). “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” by Elvis Presley. I think he needs to get his money back. It was awful. The ladies tried to get Simon to sing and he tries to imitate Russ. That was great!

Back in Denver, three sisters form the group Roxxy Montana. Singing “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls by Jennifer Hudson. They are superstars!!!! I love them too. Temperance has the better voice by far and could have a great solo career. Simon agrees with me. He asks them to sing an a capella song which again shows Temperance to be the best vocalist.

Back to Long Island, Al Calderon who is designated hostess at a restaurant. He chose “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates. He is a little pitchy but I like what he did with the song. I attribute the off-pitch notes to nerves. I would say yes to see more of him. He received four yes responses.

Denise Weeks, a subway singer. I like her and her story. She picked “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston to highlight her vocal talents. It was not a good audition. Simon gives her a second chance without the track. It sounded so much better. Now I got goosebumps. Four yeses from the judges.





The X-Factor USA S3 Audition 1

23 09 2013

The X-Factor USA S3 Audition 1

There is a new panel of judges and what seems like really good chemistry between the judges this year. Returning are Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell. The new judges are Kelly Rowland (who was part of Destiny’s Child) and Paulina Rubio.

The first audition is from Los Angeles. Our first contestant from Chicago, Illinois is Carlito Olivaro, age 23. He wants to be the Latino Chris Brown. I really get annoyed when people say that. Does that mean you approve or dismiss his domestic violence? He sings, “Stay” by Rihanna. It was just okay and very average, but he was also very nervous. He gets four yeses.  I would have said no.

Over to the auditions from Charleston, South Carolina, first up is Sally Hessnice, a 55-year-old registered nurse who has been married 35 years. She sang, “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston. She should reserve her singing for comatose patients. If I was in a coma, I would endeavor to wake up just to tell her to please stop. All 4 say no. At least they are sane so far.

Valeria. Just Valeria. (Valeria Colombo) She is a karaoke DJ. She tries singing “Without You” by Nilsson. Oh geez! Please do not make these auditions about the train wrecks. I want the focus to be on the good ones. She is a definite no.

K-Nected is a group of mom and 2 teenage girls. They try to sing, “Waterfalls” by TLC. They should stop singing. Period. This led into a montage of horror of unknown singers who Paulina called “peachy” (its pitchy dawg) including the recent graduate from high school John Tanner Davis.

Still in Charleston auditions, Rion Paige was up. I LOVE her mom. Rion is differently-abled with a congenital condition but her bubbly personality bursts through and blinds us to the physical challenges. She sings “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. She was pitchy in spots but I would put her in the “potentials” category. She may have been nervous because she improved as the song went on. Four yeses.

Over to Long Island, Lillie McCloud who shocked the crowd by telling everyone she is 54. She has three children and seven grandchildren. She chose “Alabaster Box by CeCe Winans. Lillie could win this competition. I got major goosebumps. I don’t know why she is not already professionally singing. I was tingling from head to toe. I have not felt that way for a very long time. All four judges were on their feet.

In New Orleans after a run of horrid groups, duet boyfriend/girlfriend Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton who are madly in love with each other. Alex is funny. Singing “Toxic” by Britney Spears. They almost reminded me of Sonny and Cher on their variety show. I really liked them. They had a unique sound. Who doesn’t melt seeing two people in love singing to each other but bringing the audience in as well? I definitely put them in the final group selection. Four yeses.





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.

FH1

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.

FH2

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.

FH3

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.

Emblem3A

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.