OK, so last night was perhaps my favorite show so far from Fox's "X Factor."
The contestants performed in front of a live audience once again, but unlike last week, the songs they chose to sing were from Hollywood movies. Being a big movie buff, I was in heaven.
But before they took the stage we watched video of the remaining 11 contestants attending the movie premiere of Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill.” They walked the red carpet and had photographers clamoring to take their pictures, with the point being to get them ready for the big leagues. No time better than now to prep for stardom, I guess.
And now back to the show: Not everyone hit the high note with respect to their films, so here's a breakdown:
Hit it out of the ballpark
Canty seriously knocked it out of the ballpark, people. He chose Rose Royce's "I'm Going Down" from the '70s film “Car Wash," tossing the dancing aside and focusing on his vocals. Smart choice for Canty to strip his act of everything and elevate his singing for the audience. I’m guessing he's not going home anytime soon!
Drew knows her stuff. She regularly stays close to home by choosing songs that highlight and showcase the strength of her voice, ones that are slightly a capella with long notes. This time it was Coldplay’s “Fix You” from the flick “You, Me and Dupree," and I think she made Coldplay proud.
But I also think L.A. Reid summed it up for everyone when he said, “I don’t know the difference between the three performances. I don’t know if that was a new song or the same song from last week…I need to see you do something different.”
LeRoy Bell chose “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” from the soundtrack of “Runaway Bride.” I like Bell, but I have to be honest - he's not the best singer in this pack. His voice is sweet and sultry and unique, but it doesn’t scream international stardom.
I’m not sure how long he will go in this competition, but I hope he goes far because he gives the older generation something to cheer for. He represents them well.
LaKoda Rayne took it up a notch and stuck with what they do best: belting out country tunes. Their song choice was from the film “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days," Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You.” All in all, LaKoda nailed it; they seem to be hitting their mark the more this competition goes on.
Astro (a.k.a. Brian Bradley)
It was only a matter of time before Astro broke out an Eminem track. Last night was that night as he did Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” from "8 Mile." And as you might imagine, he had the whole crowd rocking like they were at a concert. I still can’t believe he's just a teen - he sounds like he’s been rapping for a decade.
If a rap star wins the "X Factor," it will certainly change the rules of the talent competition game so to speak. And change is good.
Amaro took a big risk doing the Michael Jackson song “Man In the Mirror" (movie: "This Is It"), but Amaro got EVERY note right in that song. That's no easy task. Jackson’s voice was like no other, so when you take on the gargantuan job of covering his music you really have to bring it.
Amaro looked great and sounded better but left LA Reid wanting more. He thought it was predictable. But Nicole said “I love the song…and I think she made Michael proud tonight.” Even Paula said “You are a remarkable singer.”
It seems both Drew and Josh played it safe last night. Josh chose “With A Little Help from My Friends” from the film “Across the Universe.” He sounded just like Joe Cocker and even got some of Cocker’s famous facial expressions down pat during his performance. I loved it because he kept the authenticity of the song intact.
Rene decided to offer his take on Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the movie “Dangerous Minds.” He mixed it up a bit with a little rap here and some singing there, and his above par performance didn’t go unnoticed. Simon told him, “Welcome back. This is what we loved about you. I’m very proud of the fact that you have stuck to what you have done. Hopefully this show is going to make your life what you want it to be. I think you are a potential real star.”
Simply put, Rachel Crow brought the house down. She channeled Etta James, singing “I’d Rather Go Blind” from the soundtrack of "Cadillac Records." If James was watching last night, I’m sure she would have been proud. I’m not sure how Crow continues to belt out notes like a seasoned veteran at the young age of 14, but she does it. She even looked like a mini-Etta up there on stage.
Left me wanting more
Stacy decided to sing a not-so-famous song from the movie “The Bodyguard” called “Queen of the Night.” Her dance movies were tight, her outfit and hair on point, but the judges didn’t seem to love the song. They even reminded her that perhaps this wasn’t the best song for her to sing off the soundtrack.
I know Francis wants to be a pop star, but she still sounds sooooo R&B to me.
Last week, Stereo Hogzz were in the bottom two and nearly sent home, so this week they needed to remind people WHY they made it to the finalist category.
They sang Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man," and really put some showmanship into it, but they ended up looking more like a Vegas act and not a real R&B group. Simon added his two cents that “The problem I have with you as a recording group is that you have to become less cabaret and you have now got to be recording artist.”
I just don’t see Stereo Hogzz making it to the last two weeks.
Tonight someone is going home. If you were choosing the act, who would it be?
CROW IS YOUR 5 MILL WINNER DONT EVEN THING TWICE ABOUT IT
I think she's 14, but, wow is right ! That kid can sing ! Good future for her !
Rachel Crow can really sing! WOW! That girl is 13 years old and is better than most on the radio now! I really hope she gets to perform a Etta James song! When that little girl sings she will move your soul! Awesome! I really look forward to seeing how life turns out for her!
Josh did a great job. Melanie and Marcus are always good. I am not feeling either of the groups; maybe it's Paula's mentoring. I think we seen Chris Renae at his best during auditions, he's been going downhill since.
Drew can not siing, they are trying to build her up she is not worth 5 mill, Matter of fact none of them are. Well on second thought Melanie Amaro is worth it because she can sign. Rachel Crow what's with all the make up. The two groups SUCKS......Leroy he is ok and i do admire him and i also like Josh Krajcik
I am a huge fan of the song 'Queen of the Night' – it was my favorite song from the movie...and I thought Stacey did not do it as well as would have liked. Stereo Hoggz are actually pretty good – and will make a great 'boy band' for a currently missing niche. I think Chris Rene is unlikely to make it to the end. I want to pull for Leroy – just because it takes a lot of guts to be his age and compete against all these young kids. Favorite performance from last night was Drew.
Astro is a superstar. Crazy how much talent this kid has.
Agreement with Stacey Francis and the Stereo Hoggz being the weakest of the bunch this week. But I would include
Chris Rene in that pack as well. The combination of rap and singing did him no favors to me, in spite what Simon said otherwise.
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