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.

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.





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.

Emblem3A

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.





The XFactor Season 2 Top 8 Perform

29 11 2012

Last week was the perfect reason why this contest should not allow 13-year-old children. The pressure is too much. Even a confident Rachel Crowe from last year broke down into hysteria when she was no longer in the competition. CeCe Frey and Beatrice Miller had to sing for their lives, neither doing very well at all. Simon had the unfortunate position of deciding Beatrice needed to go home on Thanksgiving Day. America was not surprised Arin Ray was in the bottom, but he sure did. From first place to 8th place: Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens, Vino Alan, Emblem3, Diamond White, Paige Thomas (who looked very surprised she was NOT going home), Fifth Harmony and CeCe Frey.

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

My thoughts: I loved her look. I loved the song. The dancing was odd. First it was just herself on stage dancing and then at the end other dancers joined in. It felt disjointed. This was her best performance since the live shows began. And I’m happy to say I understand every single word she sang.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought it was her best performance yet. Britney said the risk worked. Simon said for the first time she looked and acted like a legitimate pop star. Demi was so proud of her.

Paige Thomas

* * * * * * * * * *

Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Lady Marmalade” by Patti LaBelle

My thoughts: This was CeCe’s best performance since the live shows began. I think it is too late though. I suspect she will be in the bottom 3.

The judges: LA Reid said he enjoyed the circus. Britney said she stepped it up a notch; really good. Simon said it was too much and compared her performance to too much chocolate cake. He said she should pack her suitcase. Demi was so proud.

CeCe Frey

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Britney Spears’ Teens

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

My thoughts: I am glad she did something upbeat; however, it was terrible vocally. Most of the song was off pitch. However, she is adorable and that definitely wins her points.

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

* * * * * * *

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Rollling in the Deep” by Adele

My thoughts: It was great. I was expecting something worse because very rarely can someone sing Adele, or in the case of Amanda Brown on The Voice, make it their own. For Carly, this was average. Her average is someone else’s awesome. No goosebumps for me this week.

The judges: LA Reid said she was insanely talented and loveable, but it was not her best performance. However, her second best is better than everyone else’s best. Demi felt proud of her even though she is not mentoring her. Simon said the first half was good, the second half was sensational. Britney said she took it to the next level. (PLEASE NOTE THAT PHRASE RANKS UP THERE FOR ME AS “HOW DO YOU FEEL?” WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING HOME). Stop it.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by Righteous Brothers

My thoughts: He lost that loving feeling with this song. It was switched by LA Reid with only 1 day. It was a weird arrangement. Vino had a rough start and all the notes in the lower register were rough. I did not excite me at all. Usually I like Vino’s stuff. LA Reid made a bad decision.

The judges: Britney said it is the same thing from him each week–something needed to be freshened up. Demi agreed with Britney; she was not totally entertained. Simon that was not a good song choice and was actually uncomfortable. LA Reid said there were moments where there were timing issues.

Vino Alan

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Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban

My thoughts: Much better this week. I am not familiar with this song and I hate country music, but this was upbeat and entertaining. There were a few off-key notes, especially in the higher range.

The judges: Britney said he was brilliant. Demi wants to marry a guy like him (a man who loves his wife the way he does). Simon said don’t dance but the good news is he was back with passion. LA Reid was proud.

Tate Stevens

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Simon Cowell’s Groups

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter:
Song: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

My thoughts: I cried when they showed the clip of the grandfather passing away. I understand how TV works and how exploitive it can be. It could sway votes and Simon needs every card in his favor right now. But I feel badly that she could not grieve in private. The genuine affection the girls have for each other is endearing. After hearing the judges’ comments, LA Reid makes a good point that there was no 5-part harmony going–just 5 young ladies singing the melody.

The judges: LA Reid said he heard unison and not harmony. Britney thought the song sounded great for a group. Demi said the energy got sucked out of the performance because it was weird they were just standing there for an upbeat song. Simon thought it was great.

Fifth Harmony

* * * * * * * * * *

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees

My thoughts: They sounded MUCH better this week. It was my favorite song of the night. The harmonies were spot-on. Note to Drew: I know you are pumped up about your performance on stage, but stop stripping off your shirt. It is getting old. We know you have awesome biceps.

The judges: LA Reid said he would sign them. Britney said she did not like the song. Demi said she did not know what Simon was doing with them and got them to say stuff on stage that wasn’t cool (like they had original stuff, they play instruments, etc., as if Simon was not letting them do something). Simon said this turned them into real pop stars. One of his favorite performances.

Emblem 3

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

My picks for going home

The bottom three will be CeCe Frey, Vino Alan, and Diamond White. But who leaves immediately and which two will have to sing for their lives, I am not sure.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?





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

* * * * * * * * * *
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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?





XFactor Season 2 Top 13 Perform

8 11 2012

The field narrowed after saying goodbye last Thursday to Sister C, David Correy, Willie Jones and Diamond White. But wait! SURPRISE! They want Diamond White to come back. We now have a final 13 that the public will get to vote on tonight. Tonight’s theme is “songs from the movies.”

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin from the movie Top Gun.

My thoughts: Her enunciation was rough especially at the beginning. Very nasal. It’s like how my husband sings when he does not know the words. The performance, though, was hot, theatrical. She had a lot of heat with that dancer.

The judges: L.A. Reid that the song was good but he was not completely blown away. Britney thought the beginning was the best part, theatrical. Simon said she is a fantastic performer but Demi could have used a bit more imagination. Demi said she was amazing.

Paige Thomas

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Contestant: Jennel Garcia
Twitter: @JennelGarcia
Song: “I Love Rock and Roll” by the Arrows (made famous by Joan Jett) from the movie Crossroads?

My thoughts: Jennel, Jennel. WHERE ARE YOU? It was a bad song choice and she tried the best she could. Her lower register at the beginning was bad. She is my pick to win after Jillian Jensen was sent home. The Jennel from the auditions is gone. She has lost something. I am in total agreement in Simon on this. The last 45 seconds of the song was better.

The judges: LA Reid said it was good. Britney said it was “hot, hot, hot.” Simon said he really likes her but he does not like the way Demi has made her look. He said he sounded like a Joan Jett cover and she needed to challenge herself more.

Jennel Garcia

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Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor from the movie “Rocky”

My thoughts: The spots are back, but her vocals are not. What happened to her? Is she one of these people who perfected just a few songs that she could sing really, really well to get her past the auditions and then that’s it? She was better in the auditions. Now that she has blown two songs now in two weeks, I am even more upset that Jillian Jensen was sent home. It was the worst vocal of the night. It was pitchy all over the place. Is it because she is trying to be too ambitious and the dancing is throwing off her vocal? It sounded like a middle school talent show. I think 98% of the song was out of tune.

The judges: LA Reid said the ending was strong but it did not blow him away. Britney said she brought fire. Simon said the song choice was horrible and told Cece she should be making her own song decisions. She insisted it was her voice. Demi said she had come far.

CeCe Frey

Britney Spears’ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “American Boy” by Estelle featuring Kanye West from the movie “Obsessed.

My thoughts: He is a bit more comfortable on stage but it is still like he is trying to count the dance moves in his head. It was full of energy and very entertaining.

The judges: L.A. Reid liked it. Demi thought he took the advice given from last week and he looked like a star. Simon said Britney had done a great job mentoring him and he was impressed. Britney was proud of him and said he was a true star.

Arin Ray

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Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston from the movie “The Bodyguard”

My thoughts: It was a weak vocal and she is not mature enough to understand the depth of that kind of love, so she sang the words. It was good for her age, but it is one of the most overdone songs and I’m frankly tired of hearing it. The last note was held for less than a half of a second.

The judges: LA Reid said it was ambitious and she brought it home. Demi said it tugged on her heart. Simon said it was a gutsy, great vocal. Britney said she channeled Whitney (no, she didn’t–Jennifer Hudson did).

Diamond White

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Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “Iris” by The Goo-Goo Dolls from the movie “City of Angels”

My thoughts: Her lower range is still very rough. I understand that she had voice strain issues. They were pretty good vocals but her life experience is not in the song. It is missing and that is not her fault. You cannot manufacture that. When she tried at one point of the song, it was not believable. She will be a force to be reckoned with when she is in her 20’s, but now is not her time. It is too early.

The judges: LA Reid said it sounds like a hit record. Demi said she pours her soul into her song. Simon said she is not like a 13-year-old. She had vocal tuning issues in the middle, but it was a better performance than last week. Britney said she had the best personality out of everyone.

Beatrice Miller

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Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars from the movie “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”

My thoughts: Some pitch issues (just a few). Excellent vocal for her age. Maybe my third favorite song of the evening. There is still a believability issue with her age and the meaning of the lyrics.

The judges: LA Reid thought it was really heartfelt. He loved it and loved her. Demi said it was incredible. Simon said between last week and this week there was a huge improvement. She was a star in the making. Britney said she should have closed the show.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge from the movie of the same name.

My thoughts: He looked classy in his suit. It was a great song for him. I liked hearing more about his background story. It softened his image some. It did not blow me away but I enjoyed it a great deal.

The judges: Britney said he had a unique and special voice. Demi thought it was a phenomenal performance. Simon said he went from zero to hero in one week. LA Reid said he was proud of Vino. He also conceded that Simon was right last week.

Vino Allen

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Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi used in many movies.

My thoughts: This was a better performance than last week. He had solid vocals and a good performance.

The judges: Britney said he was a true cowboy and he nailed it. Demi said he had what it takes. Simon said he has now arrived back in the competition. LA Reid thought he did a great job.

Tate Stevens

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Contestant: Jason Brock
Twitter: @JasonBroccoli
Song: “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly from the movie “Space Jam”

My thoughts: In the beginning there were too many runs. He should have just hit solid notes and then built up to all the runs. This was a much better song for him. I got chills. I also like his haircut. I really do like his voice.

The judges: Britney said it was way better, but very Vegas-like. Demi said LA Reid has not guided him yet. Simon likes him but he sees him, in this particular outfit, as a singer in an Italian restaurant. LA Reid thought he did an excellent job.

 

Jason Brock

Simon Cowell’s Groups

Contestant: Lyric145
Twitter: @Lyric145
Song: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews from the movie “Mary Poppins”

My thoughts: My favorite of the evening. That was dope. How difficult was that to say that word and phrasing THAT FAST? It was Mary Poppins meets Alice in Wonderland and I was flying down the rabbit hole.

The judges: LA Reid “hated it” (translation it was really good–perfect in fact). Britney thought it was intriguing and interesting to watch. Demi said it was so hyped up and they nailed it. Simon said that Lyric Da Queen picked the song and it was bloody fantastic.

Lyric145

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Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Twitter:
Song: “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri from the movie “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”

My thoughts: It sounded very nice. Loved the harmonies. Much better female group representation than Sister C.

The judges: LA Reid said he was impressed; they nailed it. Britney said it was better this week. Demi loved the vocals but not the arrangement. Simon said he was excited about their potential and was very proud.

Fifth Harmony

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Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: Mash up between “My Girl” by The Temptations and “California Gurls” by Katy Perry and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. From many movies.

My thoughts: I hate that I really like these guys. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was bopping around. They did a great job. They have definitely grown on me. The shirt coming off was a bit overboard. We got it–you have a great upper body surfer boy.

The judges: LA Reid said it was perfect and he hated that. Britney said they were able to make the song theirs. Demi thought it was great but said Simon tried to make them like One Direction. Simon said they only had 1 day to rehearse it and did a great job.

Emblem3

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My picks for going home

Cece Frey is my top choice. Beatrice Miller is my second choice. Diamond White is my third.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?





The XFactor Season 2 Top 16 Perform

1 11 2012

XFactor: Top 16 Perform

The judges took center stage, with Demi Lovato sporting a new brown color and straight bang, and Simon Cowell sporting fangs, fitting for a Halloween show. Is he just playing around or is it his signal to the other judges that he is out for blood?

Co-hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom did a great job. Mario is a veteran show host, but I know nothing about Khloe other than hearing her name in the news a lot. It seemed to work. Mario thought on his feet when Jason Brock said to him, “Can I pinch your butt?” He said, “Hey this is a PG-13 show.” Khloe pressed the judges with some hard questions that would hopefully give the contestants more information to take away from the experience to learn. Tonight’s theme was “Made in America” but I really did not understand it at all. I spotted Brian Friedman (from So You Think You Can Dance) doing some of the choreography.

Demi Lovato‘s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “What is Love” by Haddaway

My thoughts: Paige was sporting a freshly shaved head and a wild costume that resembled a shiny version of something that gets stuck between my dog’s paws all the time. She had a hard time keeping breath control while singing and dancing, which is incredibly difficult to do. Otherwise her notes were on key and she was entertaining.

The judges: L.A. Reid did not like the song choice, but thinks she is a star. Simon and Britney also loved it.

Paige Thomas’ headpiece

Contestant: Jennel Garcia
Twitter: @JennelGarcia
Song: “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue

My thoughts: Since Jillian Jensen did not make it into the top 16, Jennel was my second favorite. Maybe my expectations were too high. She looked beautiful and loved her makeover. The stage was just too big for her small frame. She needs to work on her performance as well. Her vocal was just okay, not stunning.

The judges: LA Reid said it was a 10. Britney said she rocked it out and she loved it. Simon said she just defined the theme, “Made in America” but also thought Demi was trying to clone her in her image. Demi was so proud of her.

Jennel Garcia

Contestant: CeCe Frey
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Because the Night” by Patti Smith

My thoughts: I like that the spots are gone. I was okay with her blonde hair. The make-up and the way she performed, she reminded me too much of a Lady Gaga wannabe. Perhaps a combination of nerves and dancing, she was pitchy and notes I know she could have belted out if she was just standing still, she could not do.

The judges: LA Reid said vocally it was not great. Britney said she loved her performance but vocals were weak at times. Simon Cowell said he likes her because she is fearless and interesting, but it was not the best vocal. Demi even said she knows she can do better vocally.

CeCe Frey

Contestant: Willie Jones
Twitter: @ThatKiddWill
Song: “Here for the Party” by Gretchen Wilson

My thoughts: Willie is a nice guy. It was okay. His outfit did not say “country music.” It looked more like Las Vegas lounge singer of the early 1970’s.

The judges: LA Reid thought it was an “adequate performance.” Britney said he was a true star. Simon thought it was silly and cheap. Demi was proud.

Willie Jones

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Britney Spears‘ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes

My thoughts: The stage swallowed him up even with the dancers surrounding him, or maybe he seemed amateurish because the dancers were better? It could be that the dancers hurt him.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought he was slightly off with the tune. Demi thought he was a little stiff. Simon (agrees with me) thinks the dancers were a bad idea. Britney, of course, loved it.

Arin Ray

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “Hey Soul Sister” by Train

My thoughts: Her vocals were extremely pitchy and they were very rough. It was a bad song choice for her voice. I was expecting better from her because she has a lot of talent.

The judges: LA Reid said it was robotic, mechanical. Demi said the song choice was great but Diamond was a little reserved. Simon said she had some tuning issues, but she had massive improvement since they last saw her.

Diamond White

Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

My thoughts: Most of the song was in her lower range and her lower range is horrid. She is also just singing because there is no way at her tender age that she could know the depth of love of which Jason Mraz writes. It was a bad vocal (extremely flat or sharp). She looked petrified.

The judges: LA Reid said he believes her and he loves her. Demi was impressed. Simon said the style was right but there were tuning issues/nerves. Britney said she was a true star.

Beatrice Miller

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida

My thoughts: She needs to stop touching her hair with her left hand, but other than that distraction I thought she did a great job. Her lower register needs work. She sings the words, but does not feel the words.

The judges: LA Reid thought she has a beautiful voice but did not feel like she was having fun. Demi thought she has one of the best voices but she was not having fun. Simon said he didn’t feel like she was connecting to the song. Britney thought it was amazing, a great, great job.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: David Correy
Twitter: @DavidCorrey
Song: “My Love is Your Love” by Whitney Houston

My thoughts: I’m being hypercritical here, but I thought his pants were too saggy in the crotch. He is also doing that shaking of the right hand again when he is trying to put emphasis on his vocals. It is distracting. But when I close my eyes and just listen to him, I thoroughly enjoy his voice.

The judges: Britney loved it. Demi thought it was pretty good. Simon thought his performance was manic. L.A. Reid said it was really good.

David Correy

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “Gotta Be Somebody” by Nickelback

My thoughts: His lower range was horrid. LA Reid picked a bad song for his voice. It was pitchy. This is not the Vino who wowed me in the auditions. And what’s up with his pants?

The judges: Britney said it was really good but she was a little bored. (Okay). Demi was rooting for him, but the beginning was shaky. Simon said the song arrangement for him was wrong. He is a soul singer not a rock singer.

Vino Alan

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

My thoughts: I don’t like country music, but if I had to choose this type of song over a twang-like-thang that Sister C delivers, I prefer this because it soothes me versus my hair standing up on the back of my neck. I can relate to him. He emotes and connects. He has had a lifetime of experience to draw upon during his songs.

The judges: Britney said it was amazing. Demi said she was bored at the beginning but he stood on his own and gave her chills. Simon Cowell thought he was a good, honest man, a definite keeper. LA Reid thought it was really good.

Tate Stevens

Contestant: Jason Brock
Twitter: @JasonBroccoli
Song: “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez

My thoughts: Were there any other lyrics in this song than “dance again?” I was entertained, but would Jason be accepted as a mainstream pop star? Probably not. I do see a wonderful career for him on Broadway.

The judges: Britney said it was entertaining. Demi felt it was not the right song choice and he needed more sass. Simon likes him but everything about this performance was wrong. LA Reid enjoyed him and called Simon a hater.

Jason Brock

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Simon Cowell‘s Groups

Contestant: Sister C (Cirby, Carli and Celbi)
Twitter: @OfficialSisterC
Song: “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies

My thoughts: Simon Cowell hates country music week on Idol, so to have a country music group is odd. When Simon tells them that they are not connecting with the audience, one of them says that they think it is because they don’t have a “sob story”, that they have been blessed. Actually they come across to me as those girls in high school who are stuck up. I don’t like their vibe. I hate the “twang.” I hate most of country music. But judging strictly on their performance, I feel no warmth from them, like they are just singing the words and not feeling them. And then I thought about it–because they have been blessed in their life (and that is always a wonderful thing), most singers have to channel from their road of pain, grief, love, all the extremes of life, living in a car in order to make a living — whatever. That is their missing element (even despite my dislike of the twang and dislike in general of country music. And what was Simon thinking having them sing their audition song again?

The judges: L.A. Reid said it was good but did not like that it was a repeat of their audition song. Britney liked it. Demi said they seemed stiff and they were lacking performance. Simon, of course, thought it was a fantastic performance.

Sister C

Contestant: Lyric145
Twitter: @Lyric145
Song: Mash up of “Boom Shake the Room” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and “Gangnam Style” by Psy

My thoughts: I was entertained. Lyric Da Queen is the star of this group. I loved the energy and was grooving in my chair to the rhythm.

The judges: LA Reid thought the soul was taken out of them. Britney was genuinely entertained. Demi had so much fun. Simon Cowell thought they were sensational.

Lyric145

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, now 1432, which means “I Love You Too”
Twitter: @1432
Song:  “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

My thoughts: They need some work in being a group but they sounded good for only being together a short time. I don’t like Taylor Swift songs, so I tuned it out.

The judges: LA Reid said it sounded like karaoke. Britney said their energy drew us in. Demi said 1 person in the group shined and when pressed by Khloe to name names, she said Camila. Simon thought it was fantastic.

1432, formerly known as LYLAS

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “One Day” by Matisyahu

My thoughts: I never particularly cared for these guys during the audition process. They looked like they were not taking things seriously. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. Their vocals were great. Their command of the stage was great. I would say they are keepers.

The judges: LA Reid said he hated to say it but Simon got it right this time. Britney thought it was great. Demi has a crush on them and she was swooning. Simon said they were future superstars.

Emblem3

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My picks for going home

From Simon’s group, time to say goodbye to Sister C. In Britney’s group, it is going to depend on her strategy, but I would say Arin Ray or Beatrice Miller is in danger. In LA Reid’s group, I think Vino is in danger (and he should not be because it was a bad song choice). In Demi’s group, I think Willie might be in danger, but I would have picked Jennel because I do not think she did as well as the judges heard in that theater. It pains me to say that since she is my second favorite contestant.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?