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November 29, 2012 - 10:01pm

'The X Factor' RECAP: A few acts slip off the tracks



Daily Arts Blogger Gibson Johns recaps the latest episode of “The X Factor.”

After a double elimination on Thanksgiving that saw Arin Ray eliminated before Beatrice Miller somehow lost a sing-off to CeCe Frey, “The X Factor” is down to its Top 8.

Last week’s rankings provided mostly the same story we’ve seen every week, with a slight difference – Carly Rose Sonenclar edged out Tate Stevens as the number one act for the first time. They should seriously stop revealing these rankings though because A. They take a lot of the suspense out of the results and B. They just kind of give the show an even messier feel than it would already have without them.

Diamond White’s performance last week was unbelievable and you can tell that this girl really wants to get to the top of the rankings. Britney is also clearly invested in Diamond’s success and it seems like she’s legitimately working closely with her to get her to where she wants to be. Her performance of “I Want To Dance With Somebody” was fantastic and showed her versatility — the song started off as a ballad before it turned into an updated version of the great dance song that it already is. I love Diamond and I love that she gets better with every week.

LA Reid changed Vino Alan’s song midway through the week because it didn’t feel right. Although that sounds like a good idea, he gave him a terribly boring song to replace it. Vino sounded great, as per usual, but there was literally nothing memorable about this performance. As Simon said, it bordered on “uncomfortable.”

I never quite got Paige Thomas until this week. Demi was trying to make her into this over-the-top Lady Gaga type performer and it just didn’t feel natural and Paige realized that. So, like any person with half a brain would do, she didn’t follow Demi’s advice this week. Paige took “Never Gonna Give You Up,” urbanized it, and channeled Rihanna in by far her best performance she’s ever given. Naturally, though, Demi took all of the credit for Paige’s winner of a performance during the judge’s comments. Ugh.

Fifth Harmony’s performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” was, like, extra-emotional this week because Ally’s grandfather passed away a few days ago. Visibly upset throughout their introduction video and performance, Ally looked to the other girls for support and got it. What I love so much about Fifth Harmony is that they are genuinely best friends and it shows in the extraordinary chemistry they have each week. Their performance wasn’t anything groundbreaking, though, so I really hope they can come back next week and deliver the epic performance I know they are capable of giving.

If Carly Rose Sonenclar doesn’t win this show, it will be nothing less than a tragedy. Every week her vocals are on a completely different level than anyone else in the competition and her maturity continues to amaze me. She sang a slowed-down cover of “Rolling In The Deep” and it was flawless (that is, if you don’t count that nasty hat she was wearing).

Tate Stevens wanted to change it up this week and just have fun. He sang the classic Keith Urban song from the end of “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days,” “Somebody Like You.” Although his vocals suffered a bit from all the moving around he did, Tate definitely made a smart move in going up beat this week because his performances were getting predictable. I still don’t think there is anything spectacular about what he does, but Tate is a solid singer and has yet to place outside of the Top 2 so he must be doing something right.

Honestly, how is CeCe Frey still on this show? She’s HORRIBLE. I couldn’t even finish watching her performance of “Lady Marmalade” because there was simply nothing good about it. Nothing. The fact that three out of the four judges kept her in the competition last week over Beatrice is appalling. I just don’t understand, you guys. I can’t even with this girl. Sorry. Rant over.

Simon said that he saved the best for last with Emblem3, and as much as I wish that were the case, that’s just not true. To give them credit, Emblem3 did what they said they wanted to do with this performance, which was to focus on vocals; they sounded great. The bad news is that Simon is pushing them in a direction that just isn’t them. He thinks they are One Direction, but they’re not. “I’m A Believer” is just not a song they should be singing. For once, Demi was spot-on in her critique when she said that it just didn’t seem genuine and that they’ve lost their spark. The reason why everyone liked Emblem3 in their audition was because they rapped, too, and I can’t remember the last time they’ve done that.

Overall, it was an OK night for “The X Factor” and there were some solid performances, but some of the acts need to get back on track before it’s too late. Tonight is another double elimination, but I’m sure most people won’t want to watch another drawn out results show dominated by Khloe Kardashian fumbling her words, so just watch what happens on YouTube.

Who Should Go: CeCe Frey and Paige Thomas
Who Will Go: CeCe Frey and Fifth Harmony (I hope I’m not right!)