'The X Factor' top 4 perform: Showing their swag
Emblem3 impresses with their rendition of a Beatles classic
It's the live semifinals, and the top 4 acts came out belting their best. Wednesday night, those cherubic harmonizing tots, Emblem 3, stole the show with a Beatles performance and Carly Rose Sonenclar put a little too much dazzle on a John Lennon classic.
Plus, there was information on how you (yes, you!) can be a contestant next season.
On this night, the final four contestants each performed two songs. For a semifinal show, it seemed a little lackluster. Come on, everybody. This is it. Down to the wire. Let's show a little enthusiasm here. Throughout the show, the judges looked even more melancholy than usual. Is it just me or is Simon Cowell starting to resemble William Shatner? Maybe everyone is keeping it low key until the live results show Thursday night, when the uber-smooth Bruno Mars takes the stage.
Tate Stevens (Over 25s) -- "Bonfire" by Craig Morgan
You've got to give it to Tate. He's been studying the Garth Brooks handbook, and he knows what works on stage: cowboy hat, blue jeans, goatee, dimple, wallet chain and an "aw shucks" humble attitude. Check, check and check.
For his final performance, Tate, who also happened to be celebrating his 15th wedding anniversary, wailed his way through the ballad "Fall" by Clay Walker.
Britney, who is now resorting to classic board-game jargon for her critiques, tells him, "I feel like that was a direct hit." Simon keeps the warm fuzzies flowing: "That was a great song. There is as much chance of you going back to your old job as me flying to the moon."
Carly Rose Sonenclar (Teens) -- "Your Song" by Elton John
When I see Carly Rose offstage, I half expect her to be clutching a Doodle Bear or a Barbie because she looks and sounds younger than her age. Then they slap a pair of wedge heels on her, and she starts to sing. There is nothing little about that voice.
On this night, Carly Rose brought some extra oomph by starting her performance of "Imagine" by John Lennon at the piano. Then she got up, shouted out a few high notes, strutted across the stage and sat back down.
Most of the judges agree with Demi, who declared it "amazing." But not Captain Kirk, I mean Simon, who said, "I would've kept you at the piano. There were five different things happening at once. You made a beautiful song fussy. It was over-complicated. Sorry." Pfft, I don't think he was sorry.
Emblem3 (Groups) -- "Hey Jude" by the Beatles
This boy band, who I describe as a hybrid of the '60s band the Monkees and '80s hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, solidified why they're in the semifinals when they harmonized, smoldered at the camera and got the audience on their feet with their unique performance of the Beatles' "Hey Jude." "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Peter Frampton, their first performance, also garnered some praise, but it wasn't nearly the performance their second choice was.
L.A. started off the unanimous kudos of the judging panel, "With the song choice, I was prepared to rip you to shreds … You are teen heartthrobs like the Beatles." Britney even told them to take a bow, which they did. These Beastie Monkees are still humble, but you can see the emerging star power starting to creep out from under the perfectly coiffed flips in their hair. You can see it in their eyes. They're already deciding which hotel to trash on their international tour. They know they're gonna be big.
Fifth Harmony (Groups) -- "Impossible" by Shontelle
The all-girl group took a risk by choosing a song they've already performed in the competition. Maybe they thought if they threw in some Spanish lyrics, no one would notice. Unfortunately, they were a "little pitchy, dawg." Oops, sorry. Wrong show.
L.A. summed it up with his critique, "I've heard it." Demi was a little more encouraging by reminding them they're the underdogs. But Britney just cut right to the chase and announced, "I would be surprised if you guys are here next week."
Simon, who would never admit he was wrong to encourage the girls to do the remix, tried to keep hope alive by saying, "You've been one of the strongest acts tonight. I really hope and pray America gets behind you tonight and puts you in to the final."
Do you have what it takes?
On this night, we were also reminded that, even though the "X Factor" crown hasn't even been placed on the winner yet, it's already time to look ahead to next season.
Audition across America: The five open casting-call cities were announced: Los Angeles, Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, Long Island, N.Y., and Denver
"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Emblem 3 have great personalities on stage, lots of confidence and they are so marketable.
Carly is amazing, hope she chooses better songs in the future.
The last two did not work for her.
Demi can be annoying and Britney has no personality or constructive responses.
What is Klohoey K even doing on the show? Kim is the one that put that family on the map by speding her legs for Ray J. Get her off the show!! lol
Please dont bring back Khloe next year. We have barely survived this season with her on there.