X FACTOR RECAP: The Top 12 Becomes the Top 13; All the Performances!
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by Kelsey Denette
"We have some very important news," Mario Lopez says at the top of tonight's episode of The X Factor. What is this news? The top twelve has just become the top thirteen, with an act returning after being eliminated last week. Who is it? Read on to find out!
It's 13-year-old Diamond White, who probably does deserve another chance but...at the price of having to watch an extra week of Pepsi commercials? I don't know that there's anything that's worth bearing through Simon Cowell's horrible acting.
Arin Ray, from Britney's Teens, is up first with "American Boy" by Estelle. This week he seems MUCH more confident than in weeks past, but there's still something that seems a little copycat about all of his performances. It's not bad, though, and although his dancing does look a little like a middle aged woman doing squats at some points, it's probably my favorite performance of his so far. "Big, big difference from last week to this week," Simon says.
Paige Thomas, from Demi's Young Adults, is up next. They do an intro with Paige's adorable daughter, and I really do believe that Paige is as emotional as she seems to be about this. She's also the most theatrical, but I'm not sure I quite understand the vision to "Take My Breath Away" (there's, like, a bomb on the ground - for a nod toward Top Gun? - but Paige is dressed like a gladiator and then there's a guy dressed like he came from the 1800s and a parachute and trees what).
Vino Alan hits the stage representing LA Reid's Over 25s with the title song from When a Man Loves a Woman. I like Vino, and he's an awesome singer, but I'd like to see him sing something that doesn't sound stylistically just like everything else he's already done. That being said, he's really good and he definitely deserves to go through. Demi says that he's not a number one artist, but Simon disagrees, reminding her of Susan Boyle - because Vino and Susan are practically twins - and adding that he thinks this song went much better than last week's.
Emblem3, from Simon's Groups team, is up next with a mashup of "My Girl/California Gurls," with a One Direction song thrown in for good measure, presumably from the Katy Perry movie - or maybe no movie at all, because The X Factor chooses vague themes that they don't really follow through on. Demi thinks that Simon was trying to hard by asking Emblem3 to echo One Direction: "Bad idea," she says, and Simon argues that it was clever (though to be totally fair, I think Simon also thinks everything he does is clever).
Beatrice Miller takes on The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris." It's a little pitchy, and she's once again dressed like her stylist picked out five random clothing pieces and decided to add a coat or five for good measure. She is only thirteen, and she's clearly trying to relax more on stage, so the fact that she slipped on some notes doesn't seem like a big deal. "The tone of your voice sounds like a hit record," LA tells her.
Jennell Garcia takes the stage to "I Love Rock & Roll," and while I don't really like it as much as her performance last week, I'm super surprised that Jannell continues to have presence on stage - mostly because I remember her as the girl who kept weeping in the early auditions. "I don't like what Demi has done to the way you look," Simon says, and I do kind of agree in that it would've been better if she didn't look like she was trying so hard to be a rocker.
Tate Stevens chooses Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive." I'm not really a country fan, and I would definitely not change the radio station - his voice is resonant. It's not perfect, but for the first time I can see Tate getting the crowd really on his side and he lets go a little. "You nailed it," Britney says.
Lyric 145 chooses "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Seriously. They do. And even though they're dressed from Alice in Wonderland, not Mary Poppins, I actually find myself enjoying their performance again. Everything they do, they just do so wholeheartedly and they always bring so much energy that it's infectious. "It was a really good choice of song. It's not my personal cup of tea, but I think it was perfect," LA says.
Diamond White's up next on "I Have Nothing." I stick by saying that nobody on a singing competition should sing Whitney Houston, but it does serve as a reminder of how well Diamond can sing. "You know what, Diamond?" Simon asks. "You've come back fighting, gutsy, great vocal, and I'm so happy you're back in this competition."
Cece Frey hits the stage, singing "Eye of the Tiger." Her leopard print is back, only now it's covering half her head as well. Truth be told, I'm not a fan of this song. I know, Rocky and all, but it's just a song that's kind of never grabbed my attention. I guess Cece does okay, but even the judges are lukewarm about it. Simon, once again, says that Demi's guiding her contestants the wrong way.
Carly Rose Sonenclar sings Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain." It's probably not her best performance - definitely better than last week's, it's just not a song that does well when cut down to a minute and thirty seconds - but her voice is spectacular and she's still my favorite. "I think that this is you in your element, I would watch this over and over again," Demi says.
Jason Brock's song is "I Believe I Can Fly." The background is so cheesy. It's just tons of candles. And the performance is kind of the same (my musical-loving heart generally likes a chorus joining in at the end of the song, but everything about this was just kind of second season Idol). I like Jason, but he needs to do something new. "It's like you're in an Italian restaurant and just decided to sing 'I Believe I Can Fly,'" Simon says.
Fifth Harmony - formerly 1432 and before that LYLAS - takes the stage with Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years." They feature the girl that Demi liked last time, but I have to be honest, I don't really see her as a lead singer type. There's definitely see improvement from last week, and in more than just the name. "I think you guys nailed it," LA says. "I couldn't be more proud of you, what can I say?"