Too much sexy face in one screen grab…
Wednesday night’s X Factor marked the first time that the public would get to vote on which act would be moving forward, so the judges showed up to work drunk and Steve Jones read the page from the script that explained how to vote over and over again. You either call, text or Tweet. Can I have Steve’s job now?
The Stereo Hogzz did a highly choreographed version of “Rhythm Nation” and Simon said that they were probably the best band in the world right now. That kicked off a long night of hyperbole, fawning and self-congratulations that extended through every act.
After a disappointing performance last week, Chris Rene turned in a less thuggish than usual version of “Until You Come Back to Me.” He sounded pretty good early on and “made it his own” about halfway through with a rap verse and some space heaters cranked up all over stage. Simon thought it was a much improved performance, although it looked like Chris was singing in hell.
The judges and editors on this show seem to think that Leroy Bell — and the rest of us — have Alzheimer’s, because they keep reminding us that he’s 59 and has dared to continue to try to live his dream before his six grandkids send him to the old folks home. He performed “I’m Already There” with a pianist on stage. As usual, he sounded great, but was less than exciting to watch. Nicole says he made dads across America proud. Mission accomplished?
I’m tired of calling Rachel Crow adorable, but she has been and continues to be and will probably remain that way until horrifying, horrifying puberty kicks in, rendering her a hideous, mean, crabby, teenage beast. But until that day, she will remain our cute, sparkly ring master, singing “Walkin on Sunshine” in a hot pink and glitter tuxedo jacket. Nicole said the performance reminded her of “Michael Jackson from the Jackson Five.” As opposed to Michael Jackson from The Monkees. Or Michael Jackson from around the corner.
Paula wanted the girls of Lakoda Rayne to each represent a different season during their performance of “Landslide.” The costume choices are a real indication of what’s going on in Paula’s head. Apparently, when she thinks of seasons, she thinks of cheap, toga-style dresses in bright colors that have nothing to do with any season at all. Since when has yellow been used to represent winter? In any case, the girls sound better than they have since they were first forced together. They do a great job of harmonizing and their only critique comes from LA who says that they need to stop straddling the line between country and pop and pick a side. Simon doesn’t like their outfits and doesn’t get the seasons thing, but Paula says that’s because there’s only one season in London: miserable. Burn. Also, you just alienated an entire nation. Way to go.
Nicole wanted Josh Crackerjacks to sing something fragile and different, so she chose Christina Perry’s “Jar of Hearts.” Crackerjacks is concerned that it might be too risky, but goes for it and gives an emotional, if slightly boring, performance. Simon thought the risk paid off and Nicole said she could feel Crackerjacks in her veins and he feels like burrito juice. Crackerjacks’s performance was so inspiring, he gets a great big hug from host Steve Jones, whose main purpose this week is talking about Twitter and fondling the contestants.
Simon doesn’t want Melanie Amaro to only do Whitney, Mariah or Celine covers, so he’s chosen “Desperado” to be her song for the night. It’s a weird choice, particularly because one of the groups already did it a couple weeks ago at boot camp. Melanie has an amazing voice that gave me goosies, but she made it look easy. Paula said that Melanie’s voice is like fine china that you only bring out on special occasions, which is a weird thing to say to someone who’s trying to be a mainstream pop star, but Paula probably celebrates quite frequently. Days ending in “y”… the changing of the seasons from red to purple… getting her prescriptions refilled. These are all reasons to celebrate.
Astro has decided to go full jerk and refuses to do songs that don’t include his own lyrics, so he’s got to write a couple of verses every week. This week he did a mashup of “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Get Your Freak On,” but he changed the lyrics to “get your beat on.” That’s not “writing” as much as it is “changing one word.” The judges liked his confidence and swagger and Simon thinks he’s a “total little star,” which is what every 14-year-old boy wants to be called.
InTENsity may be a group of squeaky clean-looking kiddos, but that doesn’t mean they’re afraid to take Paula and her corny song choices on. They did a mashup of “Kids in America” and “Party Rock Anthem.” They weren’t as good as last week, but their performance was still impressive, although I’ll admit, I’m easily distracted by flashing lights and confetti and dancing, so it was sort of geared towards me. And 11-year-olds. Nicole thought it was “fun-tastic and fun-omenal.” I found her irri-hating.
Drew (Just Drew) has been doing older, folky songs so Simon wants her do something a little more hip, rad, and b-a-n-a-n-a-s. So he had her do Nelly’s “Just a Dream” and it was such a weird-o performance, starting with Drew lying on a bed of rose petals and gazing up at the camera and tricking us into thinking she was singing a ballad and then getting up barefooted and dressed like a wood sprite to imitate a rapper who was popular during the last decade. The judges loved it, though, because they love everything she does.
LA Reid has given Marcus Canty a Bobby Brown song. In fact, it’s a song that LA wrote for Bobby. Marcus takes this as a personal challenge to dance and sing as much as possible and as breathlessly as possible. They tried to update “Every Little Step I Take” by mushing a verse from “Nothin’ on You” on the beginning, which didn’t really make sense. But like every other act, the judges thought he was a stah! The total package! America will love him!
The final singer of the night was Stacy Francis, who was encouraged/forced by Simon to sing something more spiritual than she’d been singing. Last week Simon called her a church singer. Stacy said that she finds that insulting. Yeah! Don’t you accuse her of singing gospel music! How dare you?! In any case, Nicole chose “Up to the Mountain” for Stacy, with Simon warning that he’d take credit if the performances was a success. I think that it was. Stacy kept it reigned in but was still able to give a strong and touching performance. Paula thought it was was the shining moment of the night and Simon asked for credit for the song selection AND a kiss.
So those were the performances and then the voting lines opened up. Who’d you vote for? I think they were all strong performances and no one screwed up too badly. So if you’re voting I imagine you’re doing it based on genre, personality, or you’re going with whoever was wearing the color that represents your favorite season. What are your criteria and who do you think is going home during the elimination show tonight? To check out the last full recap while you wait, click here.