'The X Factor' top 6 perform: Twice is nice
Remaining acts serve up two songs, Demi Lovato offers up some harsh critiques
Boy, how time flies when you're having fun. Or maybe I should say: How time flies when the people you root for are eliminated from the competition one by one. Yes, it is time for another all-new, live episode of "The X Factor"!
You may have witnessed last week's controversial double elimination, sending Vino Alan and Paige Thomas home. The question still on everyone's mind continues to be: "How is CeCe Frey still here?" Well, we may have found your answer, as mentor Demi Lovato campaigns for her lone act. Will CeCe finally give a showstopping performance? Place your bets now!
Oh, snap! Wednesday night's themes are unplugged and the Pepsi Challenge!
This means we'll hear CeCe's off-key singing without any background music to save her! But wait, there's more: The Pepsi Challenge is back! America has voted and chosen what these remaining six acts will perform in the second hour.
Congratulations to Mario Lopez for finally tying the knot over the weekend. Sorry to all of those "Saved by the Bell" fans who wanted their chance with Slater.
On with the show:
CeCe Frey (Young Adults) -- "The Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga
Here we go, America. Will you give in to Demi's pleas for votes, and will CeCe actually give a vote worthy performance? In the midst of mist, CeCe sits on a piano. I admire her fight and ability to bounce back from being in the bottom two time and time again. But there are better vocals in this competition. She looks very pretty, though.
"You know what you've proven CeCe?" L.A. says. "That sometimes we get it wrong." While he's become a fan, Simon does not feel that she is worth the $5 million contract.
Emblem3 (Groups) -- "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
Were you waiting for the boys to strip it down and play instruments? The time has finally come. Drew plays guitar as the brothers sit beside him, all contributing solos. The girls may have started screaming before the first note sounded, but Emblem3 actually give a great acoustic performance.
The judges are really coming out with the big guns on this night. "At least one of Simon's groups can sing harmony," L.A. says. Demi adds, "I think it's a downgraded version of what the Jonas Brothers did five years ago." How do comments such as these even help the artists to grow and learn?
Carly Rose Sonenclar (Teens) -- "As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber
Well, it's obvious this will be better than the original. The top vote getter of the past two weeks sits on stage with drums and guitar backing her up. It's a sensual take on the chart-topping hit. And again, Carly's voice can do things unheard of in dreams. Amazing.
"I love it when I hear unplugged versions of songs that are actually better than the original songs," says Demi, lending a more appropriate compliment as her feedback. All the judges are in agreement. Carly Rose is surely back on top of the voter board.
Move over, Demi!
Khloe stands in the middle of the crowd and asks a fan, "Who is your favorite judge?" The girl quickly answers, "Demi." "Do you think she's a little moody tonight?" asks Khloe. "I don't know, but I think I'm leaning a little more towards Simon tonight." Being rude equals losing fans!
Fifth Harmony (Groups) -- "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele
Ally is a no-show this week after losing her grandfather. Now Normani must step up and take a solo. Oh, just kidding! Ally comes back at the last minute. Was that whole package for them?
Lauren has such a strong voice, as does Camila. Normani definitely steps up for her solo, but L.A. was looking to hear more harmony from Fifth Harmony. Do they deliver? I believe that a group's ability to allow their audience to hear the notes in the background makes for good harmonies.
"They should have called you Fifth Unison," L.A. says in an attempt to sound clever. Demi believes that a couple of the girls should be solo artists. Simon argues that these girls deserve a shot at the music business.
Diamond White (Teens) -- "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown
Diamond is accompanied by piano, guitar, drums and a string section. That seems like more than what's expected of an unplugged performance. Anyway, her vocals are good, but she doesn't seem to be reaching her high notes properly. I will definitely give it to her, though. At the end of her performance, she kicks the microphone stand to the ground like a veteran.
Demi thinks that it was risky to sing a song that she already performed, but that mic-stand kick was what sold it. Simon liked the kick but thought her vocals were pitchy. What do you think?
Tate Stevens (Over 25s) -- "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
For an unplugged performance, would you expect to see Tate play his own guitar? I sure did. Alas, I'm disappointed. On the other hand, Tate can definitely sing. But is this the right song for him? Carly Rose will most likely take that No. 1 spot again, buddy. And where was the high note?
"You doing that song for unplugged week is like taking a goldfish for a walk," says Simon. You really have to love his imagery. He means to say that you simply cannot do it. The judges aren't impressed and believe Tate is going the wrong direction with his song choices.
Make sure you tune in Thursday for the live results show with performances by Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro and pop recording star Ke$ha!
Round 2 -- The Pepsi Challenge
Now, each contestant is left to the mercy of the fans. America will choose every aspect of their performances from song choice to hairstyles. This can either be super awesome or extremely scary.
CeCe Frey (Young Adults) -- "Part of Me" by Katy Perry
CeCe stands in an oval with her name attached in lights. Maybe America is ready for CeCe to go home because this is nothing short of terrible. "This is the part of me that you're never gonna take away from me," she sings while pointing to the leopard print on her face. No thanks.
"If there were ever a karaoke performance, that was one," says L.A. I agree. While Simon struggles to commend CeCe for her tenacity, Demi proves a bit of a point. "If the Princess of Pop is sitting here and she liked it, then it must have been good," she says. Then again, the Princess of Pop could be heavily sedated.
What do you know?
Khloe actually does a good job backstage with interviewing Fifth Harmony and Diamond White. Good job. Too bad she can't make a wardrobe change, though.
Emblem3 (Groups) -- "Forever Young" by Alphaville
The song is great, and the vocals are on point. The boys are even dressed nicely. My favorite part of the performance might be when the three jumped from a raised platform in unison and all the girls in the venue lost their minds screaming. Too hilarious.
Demi is really on some kick on this night. She wants to see the boys command the stage more from side to side. If they run from left to right each night, then she'd most likely have something to say about moving around too much. Khloe puts the young pop star in the spotlight, asking which of the boys she has a crush on. Now, Demi has nothing to say.
Fifth Harmony (Groups) -- "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato
Their best performance by far! The harmonies have definitely kicked up to that next level. There is no way L.A. cannot be impressed with these vocals. They look and sound the part!
"I actually heard harmonies," says L.A., "and it was very, very good!" Demi gives great compliments this time around. "I feel like this song should have been your song," she says. Fifth Harmony finally looks like a true girl group!
Diamond White (Teens) -- "Diamonds" by Rihanna
Diamond sits in a diamond that hangs from the ceiling while singing "Diamonds." Clever one, America. Male viewers may not relate to this comment, but her hair looks really great. I'm not too sure about her blue-striped pants, but she sounds like a diamond, sort of. That is my attempt at keeping with the theme.
"It's your luck that you're in a very, very competitive top 6 -- or maybe I should say top 5," says Simon. I wonder who that one left-out contestant he's alluding to is. Any guesses?
Simon says that he's thinking about implementing another week of viewers' choices for song selections next week. Stay tuned for more word on that.
Tate Stevens (Over 25s) -- "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks
It may be predictable, but this is what Tate does best. He looks confident singing a song by one of his musical influences. Great vocals. He should have done something along the same lines for his unplugged performance, too.
"Now that felt like a Tate Stevens performance," says Britney. On the other hand, Demi says she got a little sleepy. "I'm also really tired," she attempts to justify it. Is it just me or is she a little out of line on this night?
So, there we have it. Each of the performers has hit the stage twice, giving us one unplugged song and another chosen by the fans. Since the competition is so stiff, let's focus on the song choices themselves. Which song did you prefer for each artist?
Remember to tune in to live results Thursday night. Two more acts will be sent home, and we will have performances from Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro and Ke$ha!
"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
So, the show kicks off two (2) tonight, right? or 6 down to 4? Double elimination to the 'semi-finals'.
I say, in order of best, not worst: 1. Emblem3 (not just terrific singers and musicians, but they can actually ride skateboards!) 2. Carly Rose 3. Tate 4. Diamond 5. Fifth Harmony 6. Cece