The X Factor Top 10 Performance Night: Follow Along With Our Pithy Judgments

It’s Rock Week on The X Factor, so brace yourself for an overdose of heavy-metal hair thrashing via Nicole Sporeblinger, various instances of rock-and-roll hand from Paula Abdul, and at least three cases of L.A. Reid indignantly declaring “I’ve never heard that song before!” [UPDATE: Read Slezak’s full episode recap here.]

If you don’t want to face those kinds of shenanigans alone, then please consider this live blog post as your pithy, mildly inebriated viewing companion.

The X Factor Top 12: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Suggested Song Choices

As the episode rolls on, I’ll update you on who’s performed what and offer my opinions of said performances in five words or less. So keep refreshing the page for all the good, the bad, and the inevitable cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” (Prove me wrong, mentors!)

LeRoy Bell: Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” — Pretty but paint by numbers.
Rachel Crow: Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — Rough opening, strong finish. Believable?
Chris Rene: Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”/”No Woman No Cry” Not flawless, but fierce. Marketable!
Stacy Francis: Meatloaf’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” — Oh how awful.
Melanie Amaro: REM’s “Everybody Hurts” — That just made me cry.
Josh Krajcik: Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” — Sound Mix, 1; Josh, 0.
Astro: Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” — A tad hectic? (Hella talented)
Lakoda Rayne: The Outfield’s “Your Love”/Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” — Solid but somewhat desperate?
Drew Ryniewicz: U2’s “With Or Without You” — True fact: I’ll download tomorrow.
Marcus Canty: Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” — Very fun. Those sleeves, though! (Also: I might actually be psychic. Or else I just watch too much reality TV.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. BeachBum says:

    Not as good as last week. He’s usually dead on key but tonight had a few bum notes.

    • Drew stunk last night. Sorry.

    • rritter72 says:

      Astro is on the wrong show. He should be on America’s Got Talent…not the X Factor. I am sorry but this is a singing competition and just like rock week showed, you have to be able to adapt to all styles. L.A said that each week Drew is the same, well what about Astro? There is no doubt that the kid is very talented and will be a big star, but I just think he is on the wrong show.

  2. Saulo says:

    ROCK? If Lakoda Rayne isn’t going all the way to Nashville with its song choice tonight… Now I’m 100% sure they’ll be eliminated tomorrow!

  3. Javabooknut says:

    Leroy is talented and good looking. He finally broke out with U2 last week. Why would he follow it up with that droll song? He’s already been compared to Michael Bolton, a talented but dated singer. His voice does have similarities in tone. He’s got to do more of what he did last week or I agree with Simon that he won’t win. This was his week to shine and I do believe he failed.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      HEY HEY HEY, Darcy’s Evil Twin curses you! Bob Seger’s “We’ve got Tonight” is one of my favorite songs! Leroy’s version was just boring. Seger’s is perfection.
      I thought Leroy’s diction was sloppy on that song. And I wish Nicole would stop making such a huge deal out of his age. There is not supposed to be an age limit on X Factor so why is this an issue?

      • GingerSnap says:

        But this was, by far, LeRoy’s best performance of the season. His problem is that he has such a long way to go to become commercially viable. Line him up next to Josh or Melanie, and he looks and sounds sad. But his performances have been far better than Stacy or Lakoda Rayne. Just don’t think his sound appeals to this generation.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I thought his U2 performance last week was better. Granted, I don’t really like anyone but Seger singing “We’ve Got tonight”. and that especially includes the horrible Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton cover.

  4. Lili An-noln says:

    The judges think LeRoy is not a contender but I don’t buy it.

    He’s going nowhere anytime soon. At 60 years old, he is the sexiest contestant… Look at that smile! He might be the next kinda “Tim Urban” contestant!

  5. Javabooknut says:

    Am I watching the wrong show. Alert Annie Barrett! Hideous Fringe Alert!

  6. T says:

    I wonder what Astro’s gonna do with Rock Week?? Only thing I can think of is “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and Run DMC. And which one of them is getting “I Can’t Make You Love Me” since that seems to be a standard singing competition rock song. Stacy and Tina Turner seems pretty likely/predictable too. I guess we’ll see…

    • Susan says:

      Ooh, he could do that I did it all for the nookie song – who was that band? Sort of rock/rap lite. I bet he could do a hilarious, clever take on it.

      • Tess says:

        It was Limp Bizkit…and I am ashamed of myself for knowing that.

        Doubt they would ever consider a song like that for a show like this – for one thing, Astro is only 14 right? Hardly a good message to send on a family program; for another thing, even a reality competition show like this has some standards!

        I thought Astro should’ve done “Walk This Way” too…at least it would’ve been more rock than a rap song that sampled a rock song. I couldn’t believe after the great “is Bob Marley a rock act?” debate that no one called out the use of Diddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” rather than Astro making his own rap to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”-which I was sort of thinking Simon would’ve claimed for Drew actually.

        Overall…lousy show. Only one act actually rocked and that was Josh. But sadly, I couldn’t understand half of what he was even singing…I didn’t realize what song it was until he hit the chorus!

  7. Shindig says:

    DUDEEEE what’s in the judges’ kool-aid?! A standing ovation for Rachel Crow? Really? It was awful. Leroy was better, imo. Looking forward to Josh though. I really hope it gets Pearl Jam or somethin’. I’m interested to see how they manipulate the rock theme to let Astro slide by.

  8. Gorm says:

    Im sorry, who on this planet buys tickets to a rachel crow concert? Who wants to see her stomp through all 12 words of Satisfaction? What? What happened to actual talent. Its clear as day that she has nothing sale-able to the world at this point in her life. That may change someday, but what size concert hall could she move tickets for?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree. Rachel Crow belongs on Disney, ABC Family, or Nickelodeon. Give her age-appropriate songs to sing on a cute program. She could be “That’s So Raven”‘s long lost cousin or something.

  9. Tim says:

    Should be an interesting night, can’t wait to watch on the West Coast. I’m assuming Lakoda Rayne will get massively pimped so that Paula won’t have to be put on suicide watch.

  10. Javabooknut says:

    Amazing, Fun, Original! Go Chris Rene! I may have to purchase that cause i could listen to it all day.

    • Dotes says:

      Love Chris Rene’s unique voice but lose the Political “Occupy Wall Street “Shirt. Really?? ALL of those judges are MULTI millionaires and capitalists. And not one of them commented on that ridiculous T shirt and those hypocrites stinking up Wall Street.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I’d say Chris knows his place – and it’s NOT on this program. Of course he’s not any worse than some of the other contestants.

  11. Margo says:

    Bob Marley songs with the exception of Redemption Song should be banned from singing shows because people just can’t do it justice.

    I do give Chris props for trying to make it his own but when he started singing…no ma’am!

  12. Javabooknut says:

    No more off theme than the Bob Seger song. I loved it. Don’t know what the judges are smoking.

  13. Shindig says:

    I have to admit I liked Chris leagues over Rachel. But, please, can someone punch LA in the face already?

    • BeachBum says:

      This !

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      @Shindig – you get a “Made Me Laugh” :-)

      Funny how L.A. made a HUGE deal about Melanie not singing a rock song. Simon should have given him a big, fat “Right back at you” when Astro performed (I REFUSE to call it singing).

  14. Javabooknut says:

    My ears hurt and Stacy just started singing. She has talent but she needs to control her tendency toward being nasally and her lower register isn’t working on this song. Ouch.

  15. *lg* says:

    Stacey, just STOP! I don’t know if my ears are going to stop bleeding.

  16. BeachBum says:

    Ouch! Stacy please go away. That was painful.

    • Yo says:

      Stacey is fine; she is just doing a Bartok number.

      • Joseph says:

        I do not normally watch this show BUT , saw a comment and thought I would check it out the Stacey performance ,, DUDES ,, that really sucked , it was slow , had sounded horrible ,, using vocal tricks does not make a singer , how ever worked out that cover should really stop doing crap like that

  17. BeachBum says:

    Girlfriend doesn’t take criticism too well :)

    • unicornwasp says:

      her eyes were flashing with rage!

      • GingerSnap says:

        She’s gotten into a delusional head space where she thinks she’s got the goods to win! No wonder she never made it in the music biz. She’s 42, it’s time for her to grow up and find a real job.

        • GingerSnap says:

          You know, Stacy’s performance is usually the kind of thing that brings out Simon’s “self-indulgent” comment, because that was what it was. The only person who thought that was good was Stacy.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            GingerSnap – I was thinking the exact same thing. I kept wondering, “Where’s the self-indulgent comment”? I think that performance was SO dreadful he had plenty of other bad comments and didn’t feel the need to pull that one out of the hat.

  18. Steph says:

    Girl needs to wipe off that bitchface… That was terrible.

  19. Shindig says:

    I know I’m in the extreme minority, but I actually kinda liked Stacy’s performance tonight more than her other ones… maybe it’s just because it’s a Meatloaf song, I dunno, but I DO know Simon and LA know jack…spit about rock music genres. Yes, because every rock song is a Rolling Stones concert immitation. uh huh.

  20. Aubry says:

    Please America send Stacy HOME she makes my ears bleed!

  21. Tim says:

    That’s only three words, Slezak.

  22. Javabooknut says:

    I called it as soon as he said REM. Amazing so far.

  23. Margo says:

    Really Simon and Melanie?!

    This girl has an amazing voice…can we use it sometimes soon??? What an underwhelming performance and Nicole was right, she certainly was not raw enough. That is not the type of song that you need to take to church.

    Its rock week…whatever happened to songs from Tina Turner and co, I am bored week after week with Melanie’s performances despite her phenomenal voice

    • Shindig says:

      I am SOOO glad she didn’t do Tina Turner. Honestly. I love R.E.M. but I’ll agree with Nicole, it was.. missing something. it was too pretty.

      • Margo says:

        I would have loved to see either Melanie or Stacy do Tina because they can actually sing, its just a matter of keeping the vocals controlled and having fun with it.

        There were so many other crazy fun uptempo rock songs that could have been done by these two females with big voices but they both were let downs.

        • Shindig says:

          I totally understand where you’re coming from, and you’re right, it’s just that for me personally I’m very sick of the “diva” sound on the singing competitions. Melanie has a great voice, but it’s just so… rehashed sounding to me. R.E.M. was a mix up at least

        • GingerSnap says:

          Ew! If you’re a DIVA on a talent show, you gotta stay away from Tina Turner. That sent Pia home on AI.
          Simon is right to develop Melanie along an Adele/Alisha Keys path. That’s her market. This arrangement of that song went nowhere. But I still. love. her.

    • cathy says:

      the song was considered rock enough when Zayla sang it on “Rockstar SuperNova.

  24. Andie says:

    Why didn’t Simon point out that Drew sang a hiphop song two weeks ago? Last time I checked, I’m pretty sure Nelly would consider himself and “Just a Dream” hip hop. Oops, LA.

  25. BeachBum says:

    I wish Simon would have giver her something a little more upbeat, like Losing My Religion

    • Shindig says:

      Yesss. Yess!! I was hoping she got Losing My Religion, or Imitation of Life, or Man on the Moon — anything different. I’m glad she didn’t get a pure diva number though.

  26. Javabooknut says:

    I wish they would clarify the themes more and stop fighting with each other. Especially Simon and LA. It’s getting on my nerves. REM is a Rock Band. Everybody hurts is a ballad. In its original form there is a heavy rock edge in the music behind the vocals, a lot like Fix You by Coldplay. They should just decide if it needs to be up tempo or simply by someone considered rock. They spend to much time arguing with each other.

  27. Aubry says:

    That was NOT Rock. Melanie has a good voice but she doesn’t move me.

    So far Rachel was best!

  28. Irishize says:

    This is a lame rock week, where’s the rock? These performances are leaving me wanting a lot more…seems like they’re all playing it safe, no one’s really trying something outside their zone, really rockin it out….so disappointing

  29. anna says:

    I don’t know if a 13-year-old girl should really be singing that Rolling Stones song :)

  30. JJ says:

    Stacy was awful! Xenu must be mad at her.

  31. Aubry says:

    NOW THAT IS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love Josh’s voice and that so worked. Great song and it rocked!!

  32. Javabooknut says:

    FINALLY!!!!! Rock Band – Check, Rock Song – Check, Head Bop unavoidable – Check, Screamed Woohoo at end – Check. BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT. Maybe ever on this show. I’ll buy tickets to the show now!!

  33. Irishize says:

    Finally an actual rocker!! That was the best Josh performance this season! Even if you’re not a fan, you gotta say, he really rocked it out, and so far he’s the only one.

  34. BeachBum says:

    FINALLY !! Josh was great.

  35. Shindig says:

    Josh won the night for me already — I really don’t expect anybody else to pull off the rock theme better. It wasn’t Pearl Jam, but I loved it. And I had NO idea Nicole was in Days of the New, I actually really like that band, lol. Fantastic guitar work in their songs.

  36. Javabooknut says:

    I also appreciated that despite staying close to the original he threw some original phrasing and major Rock performance.

  37. Javabooknut says:

    Michael? I’m confused. Josh 0? You disappoint me.

  38. Aubry says:

    Astro is just amazing! He soooooooooooooo talented. I can really see him winning. I do not even like rap but I like him.

  39. Irishize says:

    OK, I know Astro is talented at Rap, but that is it, one trick pony, and I just can’t like him. He’s like a little spoiled brat, like Beibers evil twin or something. Sorry, but every song he does is the same same same. And that was def NOT a rock performance.

    • Irishize says:

      I don’t know why they even bother to have themes if they’re not going to stick to it. Just because the song was recorded by a rock group does not make it a rock song. Especially when backed with a church choir (Leroy was doin great til then) or done in a rap style. This is so frustrating.

    • joy says:

      I’m fine with letting Astro stick to what he does best, but how is it that this was the *least* on-theme performance of the night, and yet practically the only one to slide by without anybody complaining that it wasn’t “rock” enough? If the rules don’t apply to Astro, how about giving everyone else the freedom to adapt the theme to their own styles, too?

  40. Shindig says:

    Really Michael? Like I said in the other post, I love you, but yer a little skewed it seems.. Like Tim posted though, you did hate Haley at first. And Josh is from a similar strain. His performance was way more enjoyable than Melanie’s.

  41. Gorm says:

    The level of dishonesty in this show is remarkable. Its like praising a painful bowel movement that has been dunked in glitter and put under neon lights. Sad as my life is, I have to admit I’ll keep watching, but only to enjoy snarky recaps.

    Speaking of which, Slezak you should put together a few idoloonies-light video reaps to stay in fighting shape prior to the launch of the the big Youtube/TVLine collaboration. You wouldnt want to come out of the gate all rusty, would you?

    • Irishize says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, although I could have done without the lasting visual of a glittery bowel movement. bwahahahaaa And now I got to get back to the sorority sisters rockin out(???)to go your own way…why can’t they just go A way??? Pleassssee

  42. sarah says:

    Will Simon EVER give Melanie something more upbeat? She has a beautiful voice, but seriously, enough.

  43. Lisa says:

    umm Astro was far from rock!! that was straight up RAP!! can he do anything else? that kid has talent but annoys me cuz he thinks he is perfect and untouchable! do believe he claimed to be better than jay z at 1 point! umm nope your not!!

    • Don says:

      Jay-Z is a sell out clown who stopped being hip hop 10 years ago. Go Astro bring it back young man, these haters can go eat toenails!

    • Irishize says:

      He’s a talented kid but I stand by my one trick pony reference. If he’s able to do anything else they sure haven’t shown it. He’ll no doubt have a successful career with a tweenyrapper following, but to me he’s just boring, same thing every week. No surprises there.
      And yes, it’s necessary to be confident, but not ARROGANT.

      • Lisa says:

        i agree!!!!!!! as soon as any other competitor did anything slightly less than rock they jumped all over it but he does RAP and not 1 word!!

    • Margo says:

      It was “rock” because it sampled The Police.

  44. Aubry says:

    Lakota Ryne is doing well. Not a fan but they definitely did well enough to stay.

  45. Javabooknut says:

    They still struggle on their harmonies, but Lakota Rayne had solid song choices and I had fun watching them. I wouldn’t put them at the top or bottom.

  46. Cristal says:

    THIS. I loved him last week- watched it on the ‘tube a few times, too, which I haven’t done for anyone else. This week wasn’t as great as last for me, but I still liked him and

  47. ana_muti says:

    I really think that what Michael is saying about Josh is that the sound production was drowning Josh out? Because Josh was the best of the night so far. Oh, and I heard him just fine, myself.

    And he’s the only one who rocked out.

    Man cans sing anything.

    • Irishize says:

      I thought the drums esp were too loud, it would have been better if the vocals had been more frontal. Still, it was a great performance, the best of the night no doubt at all

  48. BeachBum says:

    I like the Dixie Chicks and I like Fleetwood Mac. I didn’t hate Lakoda Rayne and thought it was probably the best they’ve done BUT I still don’t get why a group should have 6 backup singers helping out.

  49. theonedeej says:

    I wish they would stop comparing Lakota to the Dixie Chicks. The Chicks are more than just vocals but incredibly talented musicians and songwriters. They did start out being packaged and created but they came into their own. I can’t see Lakota doing that.

    • BeachBum says:

      So true

    • Tusk says:

      Miss the Dixie Chicks. As popular as they were I think they were vastly under rated as musicians.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Unfortunately the Dixie Chicks didn’t know how to keep their mouths shut (Natalie Mains in particular). In any other genre of music fans forgive all sorts of ridiculous and offensive behavior but country fans hold performers accountable for their actions. Too bad – incredibly talented musicians, songwriters, and performers that were poised on the edge of superstardom.

  50. Don says:

    Josh won because it was rock night DUH! Lets see him on r&b night. Watch Astro rip country night with a Johnny Cash classic.