November 3rd, 2011
12:33 PM ET
Fans of Fox's "X Factor" have been watching and waiting for weeks to weigh in, and Wednesday they finally got their chance.
The 12 finalists performed LIVE for the first time for the public, and it was the first time the viewers will decide their fate by voting for their favorites to stay on.
Every single act tried to bring their "A" game to stay in "the game". But let's take a look at who killed it and who left the crowd wanting more.
Stereo Hoggz took on Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation," and all five members really nailed the energy and moves of Jackson's song.
Let me just say, Stereo Hoggz has been a favorite from day one, and last night was no different. All of the judges praised them, and Simon even gave them one of the best seals of approval, saying, "I don't think there is a band in the world right now who are as good as you!"
This 13-year-old phenom belted out "Walking on Sunshine" and changed the words. The judges loved Rachel, but the lyrics not so much. Simon didn't take the criticism of his protege so well, telling Nicole that it was called "being inventive, darling."
Simon believes Rachel will be around for a long, long time and I think he's right. Rachel has the "cute factor" and a great voice that will no doubt take her to the last few weeks of this competition.
Every week, these four girls keep surprising me! Initially I thought they were average girls with average singing voices, but their rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" was so above par. It seems Paula really worked with them, and Simon noticed, telling them there was a "massive" improvement from last week (although he hated what they were wearing). Lakoda Rayne might just make it after all.
This man can do NO wrong. He hasn't had an off night yet, and on Wednesday's show he belted out "Jar of Hearts." All four judges said he was great and really got the essence of the song. That being said, I have to admit Josh is starting to bore me a little because he is becoming so dang predictably good. I expect a solid performance and he gives it each week. His consistent voice might just let him walk away with the $5 million contract, though – we'll see.
Melanie chose the Eagles song "Desperado" and wowed the audience. She hit the right high and low notes. Everyone, including LA Reid, thanked Simon for asking her to return after kicking her off the show.
So yes, Amaro is good, but don't count out her competitor Drew Ryniewicz just yet!!
Once again this uber confident Brooklyn teenager shocked us with a mash-up of Missy Elliott's "Get Your Freak On" and Naughty by Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray." And being a true lyricist, he rewrote the lyrics. All the judges were waving their hands in the air and bobbing their heads as Bradley rapped. It'll be interesting to see if a hip-hop artist who isn't even 15 yet can actually win a singing competition!
All ten members of this group sang "Kids in America." Their funky dance routine and red and black ensemble worked well together. It was like seeing a great musical with a tremendous amount of energy. All the judges got exactly what Intensity was trying to convey, but do you think the voters will buy it?
Another week, another great performance for this one!! Drew turned Nelly's "Just A Dream" into her own, showcasing her strong vocals. In the end it wowed all four judges over and made proud papa judge Simon so very happy. I hate to keep saying it, but this contest will come down to Drew and someone else.
Marcus decided to take on B.o.B's "Nothing on You" and then transitioned into Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step." He truly sounded like an R&B superstar. LA Reid loved seeing his star do his thing, and Simon chimed in, giving props. Canty is exactly what R&B needs, so I certainly hope he makes it far in the "X Factor."
Stacy Francis DID HER THING last night, taking the audience to church with her voice! I believe she sang better than she ever has on this show. She sang "Up To the Mountain" and left everyone with chills with her raw emotion.
She looked like she was singing at some awards special with her elegant ball gown and poised demeanor. Simon even says it was one of the best performances of the night! Stacy delivered a perfect 10.
MISSED THE MARK
What a difference a few weeks make for Chris Rene. I remember when he was the guy that we all thought might win it. But now LA Reid's guy Chris was just okay singing "Love Don't Live Here Anymore." Simon said he liked him and thought he was much better this week than last. But overall he got the “you did good, but NOT great" comments from the judges. I don't think Rene will be the last man standing.
Poor LeRoy Bell. He’s nearly 60 years young, looks phenomenal and has a stellar voice, but last night he seemed to have two things going against him: a bad song choice and lack of stage confidence.
He sang the country hit "I'm Already There" by Lonestar, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. The judges were polite, and only Simon kept it real saying, "I think you are a really good singer but I think you have a confidence issue."
He also thought his stage performance was dated, but his mentor Nicole Scherzinger simply shot back "Sometimes less is more." I'm rooting for Bell because I think he has had one too many lost opportunities in life, but if he doesn't exude REAL confidence ASAP this might just be his last week.
Tonight someone will go home and if I were a betting lady, my money would be on LeRoy Bell unfortunately. So who do you think should be sent home?
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