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‘X Factor’ top 6 performance show recap: a good night had my (almost) all

THE X FACTOR: 6 Perform: Diamond White performs live on THE X FACTOR airing Wednesday, Dec. 5 on FOX.  CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

THE X FACTOR: 6 Perform: Diamond White performs live on THE X FACTOR airing Wednesday, Dec. 5 on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

More power to “X Factor” tonight with two ideas that brought the best out of the final six competitors.

First they went unplugged, which helped us see the artists stripped down and without all the smoke and doodads the producers like to distract us with. Second round features songs picked by the public and we should give ourselves a pat on our collective backs for giving the remaining singers good song choices for themselves. So overall, there were a lot of great performances.

CeCe Frey, by far the weakest of the remaining bunch, is hopeless to me and again, I will predict she’s going home. I have to get that right eventually, right?

Then it gets tough. Carly Rose Sonenclar (brilliant as always) and Tate Stevens (fine for who he is) are certifiably safe. I think of the other three acts, Diamond White is going home, though I do like her a lot. She just doesn’t seem to have a strong enough fan base to make it to the final four. Then again, if she competes with Fifth Harmony for the final fourth spot, she could win over the judges. I give cred to Fifth Harmony for stepping it up this week. As for Emblem3, they might be in trouble only because Simon is steering them very very pop and that isn’t really who they are. We’ll have to see if their fans save them anyway.

1) CeCe Frey (”Edge of Glory” Lady Gaga/Demi’s team) – Stripped down, her vocal performances was decent, not great, as Britney said. I don’t get why she’s still here. She simply isn’t likable to me at all and lacks real star power. “I don’t think you’re worth a $5 million recording contract,” Simon said. “It was more cabaret than unplugged.” Grade: B/B-plus

2) Emblem3 (”Just the Way You Are” Bruno Mars/ Simon’s team) – A total mixed bag. Vocals veer from okay to horrid. Ditto with the harmonies. “That was pretty good,” L.A. said. “At least one of Simon’s groups can sing harmony.” “I used to really love you guys. I feel like it’s a downgraded version of the Jonas Brothers five years ago,” Demi said.  Grade: B/B-minus

3) Carly Rose Sonenclar (”As Long As You Love Me” Justin Bieber/ Britney’s team) – This girl is just 13. That never ceases to amaze me because she is incapable of singing poorly. She is mature beyond her ears on stage. She could probably sing”Who Let the Dogs Out” and make it work. In this case, she turns a pop song into a sultry love song. Adele, meet your maker! “What I loved about that performance is you showed some restraint. That was the best for my taste,” L.A. said. “You sang it better than Justin,” Demi said. Grade: A

4) Fifth Harmony (”Set Fire to the Rain” Adele/ Simon’s team) – Arguably, most of these women are better individual singers than CeCe Frey. That’s the problem. Some of these ladies should be solo, as Demi said. The woman with the thick eyebrows, for instance. L.A. harped again on their lack of harmonies. “The group thing doesn’t work for me,” Demi said. Grade: B-plus

5) Diamond White (”It’s a Man’s World” James Brown/ Britney’s team) – I’ve always liked Diamond but she’s overshadowed by Carly’s brilliance. Diamond feels more like a teen play-acting while Carly is truly singing. But this is one of her best performances to date with passion and verve. “You brought attitude and I love attitude,” L.A. said.  Simon’s critique: she’s done it before. Grade: A-minus

6) Tate Stevens (”Living on a Prayer” Bon Jovi/ L.A.’s team) – I haven’t found him terribly compelling to date but this was pretty darn good. Sure, Demi complained he didn’t go for the high notes. Simon felt it wasn’t a good song choice.  Grade: A-minus

The second half were “Pepsi Challenge” songs picked by fans (though I presume their choices were fairly limited)

7) CeCe Frey (”Part of Me” Katy Perry) – Strip Katy Perry’s charm, vocal skills and looks. You get this. A horrifically fascinating sparkly, tri-color outfit. Lots of attitude but not much else. “Karaoke,” L.A. said. Grade: C

8) Emblem3 (”Forever Young” Alphaville) – These guys have lost all their edge now that Simon wants to turn them into OneDirection. This was sweet and sentimental but had attitude, which they could use.

9) Carly Rose (”If I Were a Boy” Beyonce) – She makes this extraordinarily difficult song  sound easy. Heartfelt and commanding. Again. “You never let me down,” L.A. said. “Phenomenal,” said Britney, who does want something more uptempo. And did Simon not know that Beyonce sang that song?  Grade: A

10) Fifth Harmony (”Give Your Heart a Break” -Demi) – This is the very first time I thought this Franken-group actually sounded like a group. Great song for them, too. “I actually heard harmonies!” L.A. said. “This should have been your song,” Demi said. “It was energetic and fun. Simon actually did a good job this week.” Grade: A-minus

11) Diamond White (”Diamonds” Rihanna) – She actually brings more soul to this song than the original. I thoroughly enjoyed it. “I didn’t love your rendition of it,” L.A. said. Grade: A/A-minus

12) Tate Stevens (”If Tomorrow Never Dies” Garth Brooks) – Tate can sing any country song and give a respectable version. He does so again here. Vocally, he rarely misses. As an artist, I’m not sure how interested I’d be in him. “Brilliant,” Britney said. “Got a little sleepy on that performance,” Demi said, though she blamed her own fatigue. “You have a huge future ahead of you.” “Welcome back Tate Stevens,” Simon said. “You remind me of Garth Brooks.” Grade: B-plus

The ratings for the show are way down from last year: 6 to 9 million viewers during the live show. Last year at this point, they were drawing 9 to 12 million.

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110 comments Add your comment

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:02 pm

Anyone here live?

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:03 pm

Good evening. Anyone hanging with me this evening?

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:12 pm

CeCe looks and sounds better. I think one of my problem with her is her enunciation while singing! Doesn’t always sound. Not to mention I still remember the mean girl.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:13 pm

I meant to say doesn’t always sound natural!

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:16 pm

Good evening, DanJ. I got in late, fixing me a quick dinner.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:16 pm

Traffic was a bonafide NIGHTMARE!

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:17 pm

I didn’t think it was great. It was ok (Emblem 3)

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:19 pm

Demi’s face looks bloated. Could be my TV set.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:19 pm

Hello Pitchy, Sorry about the traffic I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it except when going to see my mother in Duluth! I thought Emblem3 was just okay to quote Randy Jackson.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:25 pm

Wonder is Harriett is lurking?

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:25 pm

Hi guys. Just catching up.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:27 pm

Came in late and had recorded first part. Caught up now

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:27 pm

Perhaps it’s just me, but I can’t imagine singing anything by Bieber? Is Carly singing one of his songs? If so, 100% better than his version, not that I really know what his version sounds like.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:28 pm

Carly Rose is amazing!

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:28 pm

Chatting with some company here, watching the show with me. Didn’t like CeCe’s choice of songs for the unplugged version. Gave her a 4 out of 10.

Emblem 3, got a 5, a good song choice for them.

Carly Rose is a little Diva pro. 7 1/2..

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:29 pm

I see Demi agrees with me.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:30 pm

5th Harmony with an Adele hit??? Hmmm, should be interesting.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:30 pm

I agree with you too Pitchy! lol

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Hi Seth glad to see you in da HOuse! Of course the HO is for Rodney. Jeez hope I don’t get censored!

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:37 pm

Well, our little XF group is here. Hey, everyone. I liked Carly’s version much better too. First time I have heard all the lyrics

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:41 pm

I liked 5th Harmony & their song choice. Rated 6 by us here.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:42 pm

I think LA’s digs are nasty, childish and very unprofessional. He needs to give more constructive critiques and stop with the dang digs!

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:43 pm

I actually like 5th harmony more than Emblem3!

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:44 pm

I agree Pitchy, you expressed it very well.

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:45 pm

And agree with Dan J, Harmony was better than Emblem 3.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:47 pm

I did too, Dan

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:48 pm

Diamond? This ought to be interesting

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:53 pm

Hi Seth T. Glad to read you.

Harriett, that was my stance as well. First time I’ve heard the lyrics to Bieber’s song.

Diamond was very good. Not sure about such a mature song (lol), but since we’re rating, I will give her a 8.5, with Carly getting a 9.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
8:53 pm

Diamond was good not great but she couldn’t carry Carly Rose’s lunchbox!

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:54 pm

I think Diamond was about a 5, the song was cool, but a little too big for her to fit it around such a young voice. A little screechy to me.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:56 pm

I would love to hear Carly Rose sing Dido’s “White Flag.”

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

You say too big, I say too mature song for Diamond, but I agree.

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

Tate is in his range, but nothing special to highlight his dynamics – about a 6 imo.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

Tate was good, but I still know better singers.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

Any of you familiar with “White Flag?” Love, love, love that song.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:01 pm

Pitchy, it was done last week by Beatrice. She did a pretty good job but was sent
He

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
9:01 pm

@Pitchy – now I’m going to have to listen to Dido’s “White Flag.”, later – you’re making me work overtime.

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
9:02 pm

Tate was good but I agree that he shouldn’t have done another Bon Jovi song! It was kinda boring. But he gets kudos for drinking beer!

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:02 pm

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
9:05 pm

What?? Harriett, are you saying Beatrice did White Flag???

Seth T, looking forward to hear what you think of the song?

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
9:06 pm

Cee Cee is going home.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:09 pm

Yes, Pitchy. Check YouTube

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

Enter your comments here

DanJ

December 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

CeCe is like a cat. She has 9 lives as far as surviving on the show. No wonder she wears the spots! I honestly didn’t care for it and she SHOULD go home!

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

Must say, White Flag is a mature song for any of these contestants to sing with conviction.

Pitchy

December 5th, 2012
9:16 pm

Ok, Harriett, I will. Sorry I missed that.

Also love Forever Young. Can’t imagine Emblem 3 doing justice. Ok, apparently, I’m thinking of a different song.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:16 pm

Right, Pitchy. Love that song. She was singing for survival and she cried at the end

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
9:16 pm

From a guy’s point of view, CeCe is hotshot of the show. She did a fair job vocally considering all the running around, to keep the song on-course. With CeCe, it’s not 100% about the singing, but also the entertainment value – that’s why she’s in the top 6.

With another double elim, and CeCe singing first (called the “end of the road spot”) twice tonight, her chances of making the top 4 are about 200 to 1.

Harriett

December 5th, 2012
9:18 pm

You thinking Dylan or Rod Stewart?

Seth T

December 5th, 2012
9:19 pm

I liked Emblem 3’s forever young performance – they get a 7 on this one.