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‘X Factor’ top 12 performance recap: diva night

Carly Rose Sonenclar could win this competition. CREDIT: Fox

Carly Rose Sonenclar could win this competition. CREDIT: Fox

I’m not sure if tonight’s performances would change anybody’s minds on last week’s rankings. The top acts are coming into sharper focus.

My favorite three were Carly Rose Sonenclar, Vino Alan and Emblem3, three acts who will be around awhile.

The acts in trouble? It’s hard to say exactly. The bottom could include any of these acts: Arin Ray, Paige Taylor, Lyric145, Beatrice Miller and CeCe Frey. My bet is Lyric 145 and Paige Taylor will go home, given that it will be a double elimination. I think CeCe’s pimp spot and all the negative judge commentary will help her weather this week.

1- Jennel Garcia (”Proud Mary” Ike & Tina Turner/ Demi’s team) – From a technical standpoint, she is fine. She stays in key and sings with some level of enthusiasm. But while she has a bit of Diana DeGarmo in her, I just don’t get any “star power” in her. It’s a good karaoke performance is best I can say. Grade: B

2- Tate Stevens (”From This Moment On” Shania Twain/ L.A.’s team)  – He ranked a surprising No. 1 last week but given that he is the only country guy in the competition, perhaps that’s not a surprise after all. He has to unfortunately cover a really boring Shania song. Vocally, he hit the big note and while I’m still not sold on him, he certainly pleased his fans. “So heartfelt,” Britney said. “Vocals were amazing.” Simon said it’s annoying to please “Mr. Smug,” saying it was “better than last week.” Grade: B/B-plus

3- Diamond White (”Halo” Beyonce/ Britney’s team) – She sounds shaky in the opening verse but once she hits the chorus, she sounds strong and confident. As Simon says, she does have the makings of a star. She’s not quite there but she has the potential. Grade: B-plus/A-minus

4- Beatrice Miller (”Time After Time” Cyndi Lauper/ Britney’s team) – A significantly slowed-down, stripped down version of this 1984 classic feels too languid in the verses but she certainly sounds pretty in the chorus. A good performance, not a great one. “So cute,” L.A. Reid. “Not the greatest song choice because you didn’t get to peak.” Grade: B/B-plus

5- Lyric 145 (Mashup of “E.T.” Katy Perry & “We Will Rock You” Queen/ Simon’s team) – This felt sloppy, loud and vaguely annoying. The lead singer felt forced. “I think you’ve lost your way,” L.A. Reid. “They should be doing hip-hop tracks,” Britney said. “I don’t get it,” Demi said. Grade: C-plus

6- Arin Ray (”Crazy For You? Madonna/ Britney’s team) – It’s another simple performance with no back-up dancers or smoke, though there are back-up singers during the chorus. I actually like the purity of his feelings and his vocals, though I’m not convinced he is really a star. “I was really bored watching it,” Demi said. Simon said it was the wrong song. Grade: B-plus

7- Paige Taylor (”Last Dance” Donna Summer/ Demi’s team) – She starts strong but once she gets into the dance portion, it’s a bit shaky. Her voice simply doesn’t hold up in the lower registers. And what’s up with that hideous outfit with the oversized shoulder pads?  I have yet to be overly impressed with her. Grade: B/B-minus

8- Fifth Harmony (”Hero” Mariah Carey/ Simon’s team) – This “Franken-group” created by Simon is getting better. This was their most coherent, best harmonized performance to date. That’s not to say they have any real shot at winning. Grade: B-plus

9- Carly Rose Sonenclar (”My Heart Will Go On/Celine Dion/ Britney’s team) – She has an interesting voice, with enough grace notes and depth that she could be a great recording audience. Even when she doesn’t quite hit the right note, it’s oddly not a turn off. She has star potential in a way that most of the others don’t. She pulls off a Celine Dion song with aplomb. “You could be looking at the winner,” L.A. said.  “You can’t do that at 13,” Simon says. “That last note was incredible.” Grade: A-minus

10- Vino Alan (”Let’s Stay Together” Al Green/ L.A.’s team) – I am warming up to Vino. He blends rock and soul nicely. It’s a good sign when I wanted to hear more than 90 seconds. “I was a little bored,” Demi said. (Side note: is Al Green a diva?) Grade: A-minus/A

11- Emblem3 (”No One” Alicia Keys/ Simon’s team) – Arrogance aside, this trio is talented. I admire their panache and they can sing, too. I expect they’ll do better in the rankings this week for sure after finishing a surprisingly low 6th last week. “You have the perfect vocal blend,” L.A. said. Grade: A/-A minus

12- CeCe Frey (”All By Myself” Celine Dion’s version/ Demi’s team) – The pimp spot? Really? The producers try to instill sympathy for her because her family can’t afford to come to Los Angeles. (”All by myself!” Get it?) But this is about performance, not back story. She is given yet another image makeover– big blond hair, wind machine. She hits the big note but is shaky in between. It still isn’t good enough for her to deserve votes in my mind. “She will be at the bottom again,” L.A. said. “I don’t get it,” Britney said. “It was very cabaret,” Simon said. “They’re way too hard on you,” Demi said. Grade: B-minus

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76 comments Add your comment

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:02 pm

Songs of Divas?

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:08 pm

Hey! AnyonE watching XF?

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:11 pm

I thought she was just ol

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:11 pm

I’m here Harriett! I thought Jennel Garcia was good not great maybe an A-

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:12 pm

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:13 pm

Wonder how the guys will do?

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:14 pm

What criteria makes a female singer a diva? I’m clueless!

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:17 pm

I always thought it was a derogatory term, sort of like prima donna. Shania Twain is a diva???

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:19 pm

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:24 pm

I thought Tate was pretty good but I agree about it being the wrong song. Simon needs to button his shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sick!

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:28 pm

He thinks it expresses virility or something.

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
8:28 pm

Scale of 1 to 10 Jennel gets a 5. Not the right song for her voice, but she looked better, more natural. Singing first is not a good position in the draw.

Tate gets a 6 – but the song was well at the top of his range and pushed to the limit. He may get a 10 from some voters who like the romance and story of his marriage and family, which is fine. Just my opinion of the song – he did hold pitch and put a lot into it.

Squishy

November 14th, 2012
8:30 pm

I can’t believe I’m saying this – but please bring back Robohost.

AC Slater & the girl are beyond horrible…

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:32 pm

I usually love Diamond but using Rodney’s scale I’d give her a B+ Her lower registry at the start was weak.

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
8:34 pm

Diamond – not bad, just a little shouty in 2nd phase of the song. – rated at 6. Some have the theory that like Melanie, she was brought-back to be a shoo-in for the win. I don’t think that will hold true.

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
8:38 pm

Nice AI commercial. Same network and some of the same producers as X-Factor.

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:38 pm

Agree about Diamond, and agree wit you, Seth about Tate

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:41 pm

Kind of sleepy

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:43 pm

Beatrice Miller is too fragile emotionally and should not have been put on the live shows so for her sake I hope she goes home sooner rather than later. I don’t want to see another meltdown! I’d say she was a B+…maybe!

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
8:45 pm

I think Beatrice has a good, soulful voice too. But agree with Simon that the song was boring. My rating = 6 1/2.

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:46 pm

Fragile is an apt description. She could be really hurt by this experience

Squishy

November 14th, 2012
8:46 pm

This is my first time watching XF this season – is it just me or has this show jumped the shark?

I’m all nostalgic – I miss Astro!

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:47 pm

First time I have enjoyed Lyric 145

Lil Red

November 14th, 2012
8:49 pm

I’m only 45 minutes behind but I laughed when they called Simon a diva

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
8:51 pm

We Will Rock You=Diva Song? That’s a bit of a stretch not to mention it didn’t rock me! Lyric 145 might be in trouble this week! B-

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
8:54 pm

Lyric 145 – it’s not about the singing, but quasi- hyper entertainment value of HopPoppin Riotous Rap. Didn’t care for the garb, but a high-energy group. Rate them at 5. .

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:54 pm

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
8:58 pm

Another sleepy

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:01 pm

I don’t hear anything special in Arin’s voice. He’s fair, passable as a singer for some things, seems like a great young man —- but over his head in the competition. Rated at 4.

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:01 pm

Arin has the look, a nice voice but is lacking something. Maybe charisma! B-

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:05 pm

His pizzy attitude won’t win him any votes. He was angry

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:09 pm

Agree with LA and Simon

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

I liked Paige a lot more than I did last week! Should be safe! A-

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:10 pm

PaigeAva – more over-production from Demi’s camp. But Paige did well herself Rated at 6.

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:16 pm

5th Harmony – the song struggled on harmony a couple places; but over-all — the other contestants are lucky some of these girls are not in as solo artists. Didn’t like the songchoice, but still
Rated at 7.

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:17 pm

I like 5th Harmony but if I’m being honest I didn’t think they were as good as the judges made them out to be! I think one of them had a mic problem and the song was pitchy in places. BTW where’s Pitchy? I give them a B+

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:19 pm

I hope Harriett didn’t doze off!

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:23 pm

Almost, Dan! But Carly Rose woke me up

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

As Britney would say, Carly Rose is amazing for her age. Rated at 9.

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

Waiting for my favorite, Vino next

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:26 pm

Carly, regardless if she wins or not will be a HUGE star! A..

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:35 pm

Agree totally with Simon. Vino better last week

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:35 pm

Vino Alan – I could do without the crotch motions, but a very strong, powerful singer. Didn’t like the song choice. Rated 7.

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:37 pm

I agree Harriett but he puts everything he has into the song. I think I like him more than Josh Krajiik from last year. I said I think! He should be safe. A-

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:39 pm

I wish he’d stop that too. He was so good just standing and singing without the pseudo Eminem thing going on. He’s so good that he doesn’t need all that crappy posturing

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:46 pm

Emblem3 was good and if the truth were known they probably already have a record deal with Simon!

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:48 pm

Emblem 3 – best I’ve seen them so far, Not a Boy Band fan, but they did very well vocally and brought good, fun energy to the song. Rated 7 !/2.

Harriett

November 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

So CeCe gets pimp spot.

DanJ

November 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

If X-Factor USA follows X-Factor UK they will be a live tour ala Idol after the show ends!

Seth T

November 14th, 2012
9:52 pm

The background stories they are pushing onto the show, will hurt more than help many of them.