Last week, all those cute kids in inTENsity were sent home, leaving us with just 11 acts remaining. It’s Movie Night on The X Factor, which Steve tells us means that all the songs will be from “iconic movie soundtracks.”
After a long and boring product placement segment in which the Top 11 went to the premiere of the
awful-looking new Adam Sandler movie, it’s time to get down to business.
Stacy Francis, “Queen of the Night” by Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard) Why would you pick this song? There were a lot of better songs on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard. Or the soundtrack to any other movie, for that matter. Stacy sounds okay, but not amazing, and she’s in a red metallic vinyl dress that doesn’t look bad but doesn’t really suit her. “You did much better with it than I thought you would,” L.A. tells her. “You are a diva, there’s no mistaking that... I really never liked the song,” Paula says.
Marcus Canty, “I’m Going Down” by Mary J. Blige (Carwash) Wow, Marcus is wearing the world’s shiniest silver sequined jacket. That thing must be visible from space. His performance is awesome -- maybe a tiny bit overwrought, but he sounds fantastic and he’s got great stage presence. A very solid outing. “You’re like a vision up there. What I love about you as a singer is you taste and you mean and you enjoy every single word while you’re up there,” Nicole says. “That was a thousand percent better than last week... thank God you threw that jacket off halfway through,” Simon adds.
Drew, “Fix You” by Coldplay (You, Me and Dupree) Uh, You, Me and Dupree is an “iconic movie soundtrack?” Okayyyy. Drew is sporting some crazy colored hair extensions and she’s dressed as 80’s Punk Rock Wedding Barbie. It’s weird, but sort of interesting. The performance itself is fine, although not as good as her UK counterpart Janet Devlin’s performance of the same song. “I don’t know if that was a new song or the same from last week... I need to see you do something different,” L.A. says. Paula compliments her performance and makes fun of Simon for putting her in that dress, which it turns out that Drew designed herself. Awkward!
Leroy Bell, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 (The Runaway Bride) Another “iconic movie soundtrack,” eh? This theme is silly. LeRoy, however, is tearing up this song. He sounds great and he looks confident and it’s approximately one million percent better than last week. Yay! “America has definitely found what they’re looking for and it’s you, LeRoy,” Paula says. “I’m used to working with older people... the fact that you at 60 years old and came out and sounded like a 20 year old... you were dignified and in control, it was classy,” Simon tells him.
Lakoda Rayne “I Wanna Love Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) Lakoda Rayne is probably enjoyable if you’re into country music. We’re not, particularly, so it’s kind of just okay for us. They sound nice, though, and they look terrific, all in white and tan outfits that are much more casual than last week’s gowns. “You’ve become my favorite girl group in the entire competition,” L.A. says, which, haha, they’re the only girl group, how clever. “I grew up in Kentucky... do you know how popular I would be if I took y’all home with me? I got to hear you each individually shine tonight and I loved that,” Nicole says.
Brian “Astro” Bradley, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (8 Mile)
Well, Astro has the benefit of this song being awesome as hell to begin with, but credit where credit’s due -- he kills it. He’s rewritten the verses as usual, and he’s just selling it and lighting up the stage and it’s great to watch. He shouts out Heavy D and Joe Frazier at the end of the performance. “I’m just in awe of you right now... this is what separates the good from the great, the amateurs from the real contenders. Honey, you are a champion tonight,” Nicole gushes. “You have that work ethic, you are incredibly creative, I think you actually are a great role model right now... Astro, you have the X Factor,” Simon adds.
Melanie Amaro, “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson (This Is It) Melanie sounds great, of course, despite a warning in her pre-song package that she’s sick. Not only does she not sound sick, she looks the best she has yet. Every week she’s coming across a little edgier and a little more like a pop star. It’s great to watch, and that slow and steady growth as a performer will serve her well in the competition. “That was really good...I didn’t find it that inventive, but you’re a great singer,” L.A. says. Simon points out that the song was a tribute to MJ. “To use a British expression, you were bloody fantastic,” he tells Melanie.
The Stereo Hogzz, Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera (Get Smart) Last week the Hogzz were on the brink of elimination, so this week they have to come back strong. Which they do, mostly. They sound fabulous and they look fabulous (sharp suits and fedoras for all!) and the choreography is, well... fabulous. That being said, the whole thing feels a tiny bit like a performance you’d see on a cruise ship. A really nice cruise ship, with talented performers, but nonetheless. “All I’ve got to say is: bananas! That was my favorite performance from you yet,” Nicole gushes. “My problem I have with you this week is you’re not performing the record you would make... you’ve gotta become less cabaret and become recording artists,” Simon argues. Word, SiCo.
Josh Krajcik “With a Little From My Friends” by The Beatles (Across the Universe)He’s singing the Joe Cocker version, obviously. Man, Josh has a terrific voice. There’s a whole wind machine thing happening which is blowing his hair around and it’s a little silly, and there are occasional crazy eyes, but vocally he’s very much on point. “One of my favorite voices, one of my favorite songs, well done,” L.A. says. “Your voice is like chicken soup for the soul, you’re amazing,” Paula adds.
Chris Rene, “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio (Dangerous Minds) Like Astro, Chris has re-written his song, and it’s pretty affecting, talking about his experience as a recovering addict. It’s no Amish Paradise, but it’s definitely impressive. He’s stronger on the verses than on the chorus, and overall it’s his best performance since his audition, for sure. He seems incredibly confident on stage and the room is obviously feeling it. “You were real, you were honest, you were truthful, you were amazing,” Paula says. “All I can say is welcome back, Chris Rene... you are a potential real star,” Simon adds.
Rachel Crow, “I Would Rather Go Blind” by Etta James (Cadillac Records) Despite having a ton of potential, Rachel’s been sort of middling the past few weeks, and Simon admits that he hasn’t gotten it quite right with her. This week, though, it seems like he’s figured things out, because she’s absolutely murdering this song. Uh, in a good way, we mean! She’s in a funky animal-print dress and she’s got one of those old-fashioned microphones, and she sounds amazing and suddenly seems much older than she usually does. The crowd is loving her and Simon is clearly ecstatic. “Up until now I wasn’t sure if you were a true contender... tonight you proved that you have your eye on the target,” L.A. says. Nicole congratulates Simon on picking a better song this week, and Rachel interrupts. “Can I tell you something? I picked my song this week,” she says. Ha! Awesome. “You reminded me tonight of a mini little Beyonce,” Simon says.
And that’s our show! Tomorrow night, Jessie J and Willow Smith perform, and someone goes home! We think Stacy Francis could be in trouble -- will an early slot and a mediocre performance spell doom for the single mom, or are you predicting someone else to get the boot?
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