Thursday, November 8, 2012

'X Factor' Recap

Photo: FOX
Jocelyn Vena/MTV

Democracy seems to be the theme of this week. Not only did America elect President Obama for a second term, but this week they were tasked with voting for their favorites on the "X Factor."

Last week, the series kicked off the live episodes, putting Britney SpearsDemi Lovato, Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez to the test. And this week, the vote was handed off to the viewers, who must now dwindle down the finalists for Thursday's results show. "Tonight the power passes to you at home," host Khloe Kardashian said. "It's now up to you, America," Mario Lopez added.

But, viewers were thrown for a loop before they could dial in their votes. You see, the final 12 ended up being lucky #13 for one act, Diamond White, who was welcomed back to the show after the judges felt they had let her go too early. "We made a mistake," Cowell said, offering up a mea culpa to the teen.

The highlights from songs from the movies night:

Britney's Teens:
Arin Ray: Estelle's "American Boy" got a gender-bending twist from the R&B singer. The hopeful not only sang the hook, but he also spit some rhymes, which made Britney smile. L.A. gave him props for finally finding his "vocal identity," and Demi was left "speechless" by his swagger-fied performance. Simon commended Brit's mentoring abilities for helping to shape him into "a little pop star." "You owned it, you rocked it," Brit said.

Beatrice Miller: Her vocals on her stripped-down version of "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls were a bit shaky, but she still won the judges over and then some. "The tone of your voice sounds like a hit record," L.A. said. Upon finding out she's only 13, Simon said "You're like a great performer [already]... but I can see you working."

Diamond White: After getting the boot during last week's episode, White made the judges happy they brought her back with her stirring rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." Wearing a white suit, she stood alone on the stage, with just her talent to speak for her. Demi was brought to tears and L.A. assured the young singer, "You know you brought it home."

Carly Rose: After going big last week, Carly reeled it in for her version of Bruno Mars' heartbreaking ballad "It Will Rain." Despite her youth, her voice carried the emotional power of someone decades older than her. L.A. called it "heartfelt," Demi called her "incredible," and the hard-to-please Simon said she has "guts." "Nobody can follow that," her mentor added.

Demi's Young Adults
Paige Thomas: Descending from the rafters, the edgy singer took on Berlin's "Take My Breathe Away" (done up like a character from "Mad Max"), belted her way through the classic '80s ballad. Reid said that he was "not completely blown away" by her theatrical performance. Simon shared that "it needed to go somewhere... to be incredible." He warned that he hopes that Paige, with Demi as her mentor, doesn't turn it into a karaoke contest, which left Demi pretty annoyed.

Jenell Garcia: Full of bad-girl swagger and wearing lots of leather, she hit the stage and blasted through Joan Jett's sassy "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." L.A. called it a "parody." Simon also wasn't into her new makeover, via Demi. Brit disagreed, calling it "hot, hot, hot." Demi was on the defensive once again, standing by the decisions she made for her.

CeCe Frey: Given her blue-collar roots, she hit the stage to pump out Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." Still done up in her Ke$ha-esque styling, the singer had the energy to go for it and whatever she did worked as Spears was into her "little rebel" vibe. But, Cowell hated what she did, calling her song choice "horrible." Demi, however, once again stood by her mentoring abilities.

L.A. Reid's Over 25s
Vino Alan: The singer's scruffy voice added some of his own flavor and soul to "When a Man Loves a Woman" (made famous again in the '90s by Michael Bolton). Vino made it just about his voice and the song's emotion. "I feel like you're performance was really stripped," Britney said, calling his voice "unique and special." Demi was left "speechless" by his performance but knocked him down a few notches sharing how she's unsure he can ever be a pop star. Simon disagreed, calling him a "hero."

Tate Stevens: True to his country-star vibe, he put his spin on Bon Jovi's classic "Dead or Alive," complete with twangy vocals and fireworks. "You're a slice of America," southern belle Spears said. "I think you have what it takes," Texas-bred Lovato added. Simon and L.A. also gave the performer two thumbs up.

Jason Brock: "Mr. Entertainment" slowed it down with R. Kelly's inspirational ballad, "I Believe I Can Fly." Staying true to the song's gospel roots, Brock's voice soared, but not high enough. Spears and Lovato felt like they were still watching a lounge act, dubbing it "predictable." "I like you but I don't believe you could fly," Cowell snarled. L.A. stood by his act.

Simon Cowell's Groups
Emblem3: The boy banders hit the stage and performed a version of the Temptations' Motown classic "My Girl" to the melody of One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," (the group will be on the show Thursday) and with the lyrics of Katy Perry's "California Gurls" thrown in for good measure. It felt a bit all over the place but L.A. called the performance "perfect." "You owned it," Spears gushed. Demi hated the fact that the 1D melody was used feeling it clouded their own boy band-ness, but Simon called that decision "clever."

Lyric145: The trio put their hip-hop spin on the "Mary Poppins" track "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Given the wackiness of the tune, using it as a sample in which to base a rap song on kind of worked to their advantage. "I hated it," L.A. said before saying that "it was really good" and it was "inventive." Mixed messages much? Spears thought it was "intriguing." Cowell seemed pleased with his group calling the performance "bloody fantastic." FifthHarmony (formerly 1432): Perhaps now finally settled on a name (this is their third), the girl group opted for Christina Perri's sentimental ballad, "A Thousand Years," using their ear for harmony to carry the tune and the simple performance. "I was impressed with the singing," L.A. shared, though he was critical of their band name. Spears said they "shined," Demi thinks they are "powerful" and Cowell loved their "transformation" and "potential."

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