X FACTOR RECAP: The Top 16 Perform Live!
I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not very knowledgable about rap - still, Lyric 145 delivers a performance that's really entertaining on DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith)'s "Boom! Shake the Room" with a bit of "Gangnam Style" thrown in for good measure. Okay, so it's "not hip hop," LA Reid says over and over, but it was fun.
Cece Frey has ditched her leopard print face paint for bleach blonde and highlighter-yellow war paint. She declares that her mission is to become likable - I don't know if that's a thing you can make happen by putting it on your to do list, but I'm all for her giving it a try. She sings Patti Smith's "Because the Night" and she gives a very concert-like performance complete with rolling around on the ground, but vocally I just don't think it was there. "It left a little to be desired, but overall it was strong," LA says, and Britney and Simon agree (though Simon adds he doesn't think it matters that the vocal was weak).
Tate Stevens gets off to a shaky start on Craig Morgan's "Tough," but as usual he kicks into high gear when he gets to hit those big, soaring country notes. "You're just a good, honest man who needs a break," Simon says. "For me, you're a keeper."
Beatrice Miller's hair has been crimped all the way back to 2002, but what's even weirder is her outfit, which looks plucked straight from the set of Broadway's short-lived Brooklyn the musical. She chooses Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up," a song which I love this year, and it's kind of rough, which stinks mainly because I really hate to see these kids dejected. Beatrice handles herself well, though, joking that she hopes it's not her last performance and keeping her smile even though she's getting a little teary.
Remember Jason Brock's "vision" that he described in painstaking detail during his audition? With Vegas showgirls, smoke and the complete lights show, this is pretty close and he's clearly enthralled with the whole experience, which is a nice change of pace. His song choice is "Dance Again" by Jennifer Lopez...and it's a really poor choice, something that all the judges highlight. "Mario Lopez, can I pinch your butt?" Jason asks, and then goes ahead, causing Mario to laugh nervously through the rest of the segment.
LYLAS is now 1432 and they take on Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." I think a large part of this song's success has to do with the fact that Taylor Swift pretty much constantly exudes charm way more than the song itself, so it's kind of a hit-or-miss situation and for me, this one's a miss. I have to hand it to Khloe Kardashian, though - Demi gives a vague "Only one of you impressed me" and Khloe gets her to point out which one, which is something that never happens on these shows.
Willie Jones is up next with Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party," a choice that's kind of odd but winds up being a decent performance. "I feel like you're a true star," Britney says, but Simon disagrees. "I thought it was silly," he says. I think they're both right, in a way - Willie's definitely unique and that works in his favor (in addition to his voice) - but the whole thing was kind of hokey.
Britney's vision for Carly Rose Sonenclar is a school cafeteria, to emphasize how young she is (obligatory reminder: Carly and her voice are thirteen). As per her usual, Carly delivers a strong vocal on Flo Rida's "Good Feeling," but the whole setup is just kind of strange. LA tells her she didn't look like she was having fun, and I don't think Carly's the greatest at taking criticism because she shifts between sad and confused as each judge critiques her. I've said it a hundred times but it's still true: young kids are not cut out for this show. That being said, I still think Carly's really awesome and I'm still rooting for her.
Emblem3 will close out the show with Matisyahu's "One Day." It's actually not bad, but their moves are so cheesy. Vocally, it's pretty solid, and just listening to it I can totally get into it, but then I look at these pretty good-looking guys "dancing" and it kind of falls flat. Demi's totally into it, though - she insists that she can't look at them for fear of flirting with them.
Tomorrow, the two contestants are eliminated - tune in to find out who! How did your favorites do tonight? Did anyone win you over?