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The theme of last night’s X Factor was “iconic movie soundtracks.” If you kept that in mind as the night wore on, you were probably more confused than Rick Perry at a GOP debate! Were the movies supposed to be iconic? Or were the soundtracks? It didn’t matter, because nothing about You, Me & Dupree or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is iconic. Unless the definition of “iconic” has been changed to “lazy, mainstream garbage.”
The judges all came out to the theme from Star Wars, but then the show switched gears immediately by taking us to the red carpet of the premiere of the Adam Sandler movie Jack & Jill, which just looks completely painful. 14-year-old Drew called it the funniest movie she’s ever seen, so mission accomplished, Adam Sandler.
To the performances. Stacy Francis did an uncomfortable rendition of “Queen of the Night” from The Bodyguard. Her stiff dance moves and heinous dress seemed to take the wind out of her and her sound was off throughout the middle of the song. LA bragged that he co-wrote the song but didn’t like it for her. Simon wanted her to wear the shiny red mylar balloon she was passing off as a dress at his house, but not on stage.
Marcus Canty covered “I’m Goin’ Down” from Carwash. His performance was excellent, but he, too, had a wardrobe misstep with a silver sequined jacket that he got stuck in while trying to take off halfway through. I liked that he did not oversell the faux-sexy facial expressions and corny dance moves. The judges thought it was magical but Simon hated the ugly jacket.
Drew sang Cold Play’s “Fix You” from the You, Me & Dupree soundtrack. Simon claims it’s one of his favorite movies. I say any flick that features Owen Wilson masturbating on a bean bag chair is automatically out of the running for “iconic” anything. I didn’t really get Drew’s performance and she was singing so slowly that I had trouble identifying the song. Her voice had the usual haunting, yodelling quality to it, but I was pretty bored. Paula blasted Simon for letting Drew go on stage in what appeared to be a dress from the Garbage Pail Kids Spring 1988 collection. But Simon informed Paula that Drew had designed the dress herself. HA! Paula felt super bad but says she was just being honest.
Leroy Bell sang “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which was on The Runaway Bride soundtrack. I’m not sure what he did differently this week. He sounded just as great as usual, but his overall performance was more engaging and he seemed more alert than usual. The judges thought he was more confident and Nicole said she felt like she was at a rock concert AND church.
Lakoda Rayne stuck with the pop country genre this week, doing “Love Somebody Like You” from the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days soundtrack. It’s a very countri-fied rendition, with twangy, plinky accompaniment and fringe and cowboy boots. No need to be confused, LA — fringe and cowboy boots! The group does a great job harmonizing, but turns in less-than-stellar individual performances. Simon’s just relieved they’re not dressed like Stepford wives.
Astro did “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile and it was amazing. The lyrics that he wrote (two verses!) were tight and so was his rhyming. The performance was just him on stage, but it was totally riveting. We also found out that Adam Sandler’s wife has a crush on Astro. The judges agree that his worth ethic is impressive and he has the x factor.
Melanie did “Man in the Mirror,” which was on the This Is It soundtrack. There were some tense moments earlier in the week when she was put on vocal rest because of a sore throat, but she came out sounding pure and she looked more confident than ever. It was a predictably good performance that was rendered terribly cheesy by the set, as words like “disease,” “poverty” and “hunger” played on the screens behind her. LA thought it was a good performance, but the song choice was predictable.
Everything about The Stereo Hogzz performance was weird. They did Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” from Get Smart. Iconic. Sigh. They don’t sound very good and I don’t understand why a group performance needs to include two sets of backup singers. Isn’t the group the backup singers? In any case, six extra people on stage didn’t help The Stereo Hogzz sound any better, although their dance moves were on point. Nicole says the performance was bananas. As in, crazy they’re still there.
Josh Krajcik finally did a Joe Cocker song, covering “With a Little Help From My Friends,” from Across the Universe. I’ve been waiting for him to get the opportunity to show off his voice on a song like this. The first half was a little too clean and polished, but once he got into it with the crazy eyes and weird faces, he dirtied it up a bit. Paula said his voice is like chicken soup for the soul.
Chris Rene did “Gangsta’s Paradise” from Dangerous Minds. Good lord, what a terrible song choice. Was “2 Legit 2 Quit” or “Ice, Ice Baby” not available? Chris wrote some of his own verses and I think changed the lyrics to “Palastine Paradise.” I don’t know, I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It was not good, especially considering what Astro did earlier in the show. Paula thought it was “amazing,” though.
Rachel Crow did “I’d Rather Go Blind” from Cadillac Records. It was a mature and serious performance — far less cutesy than previous weeks’. She hit some big “baby, baby” notes and Simon looked thrilled. LA said this proved that she’s a serious contender.
So that was the show! I think that Astro made the night worth watching and should be good to go for another week. Chris, Stacy and The Stereo Hogzz were the weak links in the evening and I’m guessing that The Hogzz will be performing for their lives again this evening — after Willow Smith gives herself whiplash. In the full recap we can discuss these terrible song choices, Drew’s Gaga style and what Josh Krajcik’s burrito might taste like.
In the meantime, if you want to re-live last week’s performances, click here!