So You Think You Can Dance Top 16 to 14

24 07 2013

Opening Number

Song: “New World” by The Irrepressibles
Choreographers: Stacey Tookey and Peter Chu

Once again, I adored the opening number. It was very cool when they changed wardrobe from red to white. It was like a snake shedding its skin. Although I don’t like snakes, I do love this.

Panel of judges

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Grammys! Seven nominations. Congratulations! Woo-hoo!

The Bottom 6/Solos

Mariah, Alan, Makenzie, BluPrint, Jenna, and Curtis are all in danger, but they quickly send Jenna back to safety. The rest have to dance solos to help the judges make their decision about who is staying and who is going.

Makenzie starts the solos. She dances to “Claire de Lune” by Laura Sullivan. That was lovely. I liked how the audience kept quiet until the last 2 seconds to count. If they were like me, they were holding their breath and breathing with the dancer. Alan took the floor next and danced to “Return Of The King” by X-Ray Dog. It was a little strange. Like a Russian matador. I have not seen him dance like that since the auditions. The cape work was outstanding. Curtis danced to “Used To Love U” by John Legend. It was a nice reminder about how great a tap dancer he is. Dancing to “Set It Off” by Kardinal Offishall featuring The Clipse, Mariah showed us why it is important to keep a female krumper in the mix. The last person to strut their stuff was animator BluPrint to “Illusion of Choice” by Gramatik. I never tire watching him perform in his native style. Wow. That is going to be a tough call and I am glad I don’t have to make it!

Couples

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: “Mayhem” by Imelda May

Before I talk about the dance, I really like Tony’s longer hairdo. The song was fun. Tapper Alexis stepped up. The jive and the quickstep are dances that the audience has a very difficult time connecting.

The judges: Nigel felt they lost the bopping step halfway through the routine. Mary enjoyed the routine. She offered advice on how to make it better. Carly enjoyed it and liked Alexis’ dress and Nico’s facial expressions.

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Hangin’ By A Thread” by Jann Arden

You had me at Travis. Love this dude’s choreography. The story is Jenna has lost all control and is a puppet on a string. Tucker brings her back to life. Once again Travis makes me cry and Jenna and Tucker rocked this. I think it put them back in e forefront in my mind.

The judges: Mary was in tears. She believed they had that moment they were needing. Carly thought it was beautiful. Nigel thought they were both brilliant.

Dancers: Mariah and BluPrint
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Brian Friedman
Song: “Fall Into The Sky” by Zedd & Lucky Date featuring Ellie Goulding

Did BluPrint find personality within his dance is week? He was better for sure but he really needs to let it GO. I enjoyed the routine so much. It is something I will remember tomorrow. The fact that it reminded me of Stargate with their outfits hooked me in as well. It was good to see him smile at the end of the routine.

The judges: Carly thought it was fun and energetic. Nigel felt they carried off the routine pretty well. Mary loved three-quarters of it.

Dancers: Malece and Alan
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Bassline” by Chris Brown

Aliens bring us hip-hop. They should have spaced this dance out more from the last routine because there were a lot of similar features. Alan was too stiff. Their synchronicity was off. The pants were distracting to me. Sometimes my 17-year-old with disabilities defecates in his pants and it will look like that. Malece did a better job with the overall steps. By the end of the song I had lost interest (sorry guys)!

The judges: Nigel felt Alan did not have swagger and noticed the stiffness too. Mary thought Malece was on fire and Alan was not. At this point, I think Alan is going home tonight. Carly preferred Malece over Alan.

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “Don’t Let Go Yet (Radio Edit) by David J. Roch

The story of the song is that they are two people going in different directions, in this case, up and down. I love seeing the unique use of props. When they talked about a ladder in the rehearsals, I thought it was a metaphorical ladder. Hayley is a fiery powerhouse. Curtis continues to make progress but there is something I cannot put my finger on–it looks very amateurish. But when his inexperience fails him, his winning smile compensates. Eventually though, his luck will not hold out. I think Hayley also elevates him as we often see with contestants dancing with the all-stars.

The judges: Mary enjoyed the creativity. She reminded Curtis to drop his shoulders. He had great partnering. She adores Hayley. Carly saw great partnering and chemistry. To work on that, it was revealed that Curtis took her out for sushi. Will they be the new tWitch and Allison? People love romance! That will bring in some votes. Nigel was disappointed that Curtis is not working on dropping his shoulders. The whole routine was ruined for him by his shoulders (well I wouldn’t go that far!). He also was disappointed with his solo; however he thought Hayley was magnificent.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Hobo jazz? What the hell is hobo jazz?
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Under The Bridge (Sous le pont) by The Triplets of Belleville (Soundtrack)

They showed a picture of a younger Amy with a golden retriever puppy. Another brownie point goes to her in my fandom. That dance was adorably quirky. I gasped when she jumped up in his arms and then fearlessly went backwards. If Fik-Shun was not doing great partnering, she would have smashed the floor with her head with great force (like the kind in traumatic brain injuries). Wow! That is a lesson in trust now, isn’t it? I liked this routine even more than the alien routine with BluPrint and Mariah.

The judges: Mary and Carly were on their feet. Carly said it was perfect. Nigel thought Tyce gave them one of the best pieces of choreography he has ever done, and Fik-shun has grown enormously this week. He felt they were the couple to beat. Mary thought the routine was as sweet as a Twinkie. They are on the hot tamale train.

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Pretty Lil’ Heart” by Robin Thicke featuring Lil’ Wayne

The story is about a photographer and a 1930’s model. He is trying to get the sexy out of her. I was worried when the song first started that it would be boring but it was smoldering HOT. MERCY! Paul was a bit more hard-hitting than Makenzie by just a smidgen.

The judges: All three of them were on their feet. Nigel felt it was the sexiest routine of the evening. They are on HIS hot tamale train. Mary says he is 100% right–for once. Carly was on the edge of her seat the entire time.

Dancers: Aaron and Jasmine
Style: Quick Step
Choreographer: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini

Oh God help them! Having the final spot is strategic in either it is just mediocre but it will be the last thing in people’s minds OR the pimp spot was given because it was potentially the winning dance of the night. #AsTheJasTurns. Apparently Aaron sings. Wouldn’t that be cool to see Aaron try out for American Idol or The X-Factor or….(says quietly)…The Voice? I think tapping will be an asset to Aaron in his dancing of the quick step. I was worried about Jasmine’s costume for a wardrobe malfunction. I am not sure why but he looks like Michael Ealy’s cousin the way he is stylized (which is a good thing–love Michael Ealy). There were moments when I think Aaron was too stiff and moments when it felt perfect. Jasmine is perfect. She may be in my top 3 girls. That ending lifts were spectacular. When they were listening to the judges, it struck me that she could pass as Michelle Obama’s cousin. Yes, I have this thing about saying who people look like.

The judges: Mary loved it! She had some nitpicky things that needed fixing but she thought it rocked. She puts Aaron and Jasmine on the hot tamale train (third couple this evening). Carly thought it was fun and sexy. Nigel thought it was great.

The results

BluPrint will be the male contestant leaving tonight. Mariah will be leaving too. It’s always sad to say goodbye to people when they are really all so wonderful, but they do have careers in front of them. I’ve said it many times: One of the reasons why I love this show is that all these young people will have jobs when they leave the show. You’ll see them on other television shows (especially on Fox) or award show or movies.

My picks for the bottom this week

Alan for the guys and maybe Nico? For the girls, it is much more difficult for me. Alexis perhaps? At this time it is a matter of splitting hairs.

Who are your bottom picks? Let’s talk about it!





XFactor Season 2 Top 12 Perform

15 11 2012

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

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

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

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

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

Paige Thomas

* * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

Jennel Garcia

* * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

CeCe Frey

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Britney Spears’ Teens

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

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

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

Arin Ray

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

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

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

Diamond White

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

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

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

Beatrice Miller

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

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

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

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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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

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

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

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

Tate Stevens

* * * * * * * * * *

Simon Cowell’s Groups

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

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

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

Lyric145

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

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

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

Fifth Harmony

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

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

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

Emblem3

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

My picks for going home

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

Who are your picks to leave tonight?





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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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?





The XFactor: Top 16 For Season 2

25 10 2012

Demi Lovato made a very bad decision and let victory slip from her hands. She decided to choose Paige Thomas, CeCe Frey, Jennel Garcia, and Willie Jones for her team. It was not a surprise that she sent Nick Youngerman home, but JILLIAN JENSEN? Demi, have you LOST YOUR MIND? She is the only one in this competition who sings from her soul. Last year, I was screaming when Melanie Amaro was not picked, only to be relieved that Simon got to pull some strings and have an extra person on his team. I can only hope now that the same special circumstance might be granted to Demi so Jillian Jensen can be asked back. Willie Jones, while he seems to be a nice young man and has some talent, has nowhere near the level of singing ability and emotional connection that Jillian Jensen makes to every song she sings. Jillian is last year’s Melanie Amaro. Demi stated that this competition is not only about singing ability but about other factors (meaning, perhaps, that she does not have “the look” or “the vibe” that some of her other contestants have. Demi, you are crazy! Jillian DOES have the XFactor. The only thing that I can think is that Willie brings in a different type of voter–the country crowd which provides some variety to Demi’s team.

This decision makes as much sense as not putting Panda Ross through to the judges’ homes.

I did like that CeCe Frey lost her spots and shed some conceit in the process (a good thing). She always had a good voice, but I could not make any connection to her other than irritation at the way she was presenting herself during the auditions. It was a smart move on her part. If Jillian Jensen does not get to return to the competition, then I am throwing my support at this point to Jennel Garcia. However, that will depend on Jennel’s performances each week.

Baseball threw us a curve ball with programming last week. With a rain delay, Fox Broadcasting began showing a repeat of Ben and Kate. Then with the rain still occurring and the game still in delay, they showed exactly 2-1/2 of the decisions: Britney’s choices, L. A. Reid’s choices and 2 of the 4 of Demi Lovato’s choices. But the game was still in rain delay, so instead of just showing us the rest of Demi’s choices, they started showing the last episode of The Mindy Project and then cut it off in mid-stream as the game returned.

In addition to who we lost in Demi Lovato’s team, we said goodbye to James Tanner and Reed Deming on Britney’s team. I thought Reed would get to stay and Britney would send Beatrice home. On L.A. Reid’s team, I thought Tate Stevens and Tara Simon would go home (Tara being my new irritation), but instead he sent Daryl Black home (in addition to the obvious Tara Simon). Simon sent Dope Crisis and Playback home. In this group, Emblem3 is a great annoyance to me, and they did not perform well at the Simon’s home.

The teams look like this:

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults: CeCe Frey, Jennel Garcia, Willie Jones, Paige Thomas

CeCe Frey

Willie Jones

Britney Spears‘ Teens: Beatrice Miller, Arin Ray, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Diamond White

Beatrice Miller

Arin Ray

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Diamond White

L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s: Vino Alan, Jason Brock, David Correy, Tate Stevens

Vino Alan

Jason Brock

David Correy

Tate Stevens

Simon Cowell‘s Groups: Emblem3, LYLAS, Lyric145, Sister C

Emblem3

LYLAS

Lyric145

Sister C

YOUR TOP 16

The Top 16