The X Factor USA went live tonight with the judges eliminating their weakest links. It was interesting to see if they would push some of our favorites through and send the worst-of-the-best home. They had to send five home to get to the final 12 contestants…so who went home?
The boys opened the show, with teen rapper, Brian Bradley, singing an energetic rap. While some viewers have criticized him in the past, in my opinion, he is actually a very good rapper. He didn’t miss a beat and remembered a lot of words. So big props to him giving a confident and exciting performance.
Then one of the favorites, Chris Rene, hit the stage. With everyone rooting for him and the pressure to stay clean and give a GREAT performance, he did not disappoint. I don’t think he is the best singer in the competition, but he is very likeable and memorable, which goes a long way in this type of show.
To summarize the other contestants; sorry but Philip Lomax sucked, too cheezy. Marcus Canty sounded better than usual, even dancing around the stage, so the mentoring definitely worked. The Stero Hogzz stepped up their game, mixing old music with rap, Paula rocked this group! The Brewer Boys actually sounded good, but they could have cut the middle section out completely. InTENsity gave a strong performance, but I am done with the “Glee Effect”, it is getting old. Lakoda Rayne was the final group to sing, and although they had a horrible sound check, the end result turned out to be one of the best of all the groups. Paula was an extremely good mentor and should be praised for her efforts.
On to the over thirties. Kicking it off was Dexter, and while Nicole did him a favor by giving him a second chance, he was in way over his head. He did the best he could but seriously, he kissed a girl and liked it, yuck! LeRoy Bell held his own and rocked it, especially for a 60-year-old. He gives everyone hope, and looks really good! Too bad Simon bashed Nicole for her mentoring of him and nearly brought her to tears. One of the favorites of this group and phenomenal singer Stacy Francis, stayed consistent an blew it out the water. Wow! Her ex was totally wrong, she missed her calling, maybe she can get it back. Josh Krajcik continued to amaze with his soulful voice. He sang as though he wanted to make sure never to sling another Burrito. Josh is certain to make it to the finals and my top pick, giving the best performance of the night.
Finally, Simon made sure to put his girls last. He knows the last singers are remembered most by viewers, and we know he likes to win. Simone Battle, who is my least favorite, did what she does best, looked cute and sounded terrible. She stirred up the judges even causing L.A. Reid to check Simon; “You must be really rich because 5 million dollars must not really mean much to you” what a blow! Rachel Crow was just mediocre, and was also probably in too deep. Drew Ryniewicz had not had a “moment” like her first rendition of “Baby” early on, but she did shine tonight. Her sound is very unique and she should make it far. Tiah Tolliver, who has caused a feud with the judges from the beginning, once again did not wow me either. Simon needs to get over it and realize he is fighting too hard. She is just not as great as he thinks and he is fighting a losing battle. Melanie Amaro, almost missed this opportunity, when Simon picked Simone instead. But good thing he got smart and brought her back, although she seemed to have a few pitch problems, she was still amazing!
In the end, the top 12 selected were no really big surprises with the following NOT moving on to the next round. For the boys, Phillip got the boot, this was just not his night. The groups ended up being the toughest, since they all did well, but surprisingly enough, The Brewer Boys did not make it. The over thirties was a no brainer with Dexter going home. And finally for the girls, Simon thankfully sent Simone Battle home. But she should have left with Rachel Crow. However, he finally sent his girl Tiah home when he came to his senses.
The prize is incredible…winning a 5 million dollar recording contract should cause voter’s to pick the very best. If a mediocre singer wins all that money, it will anger a lot of viewers including me.
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