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

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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).

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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.





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

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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.