The X Factor Semifinal Recap: Feel Good Inc.

The X Factor: The Search for the Star of the World’s Next “Iconic” Pepsi Commercial reached its semifinal round on Wednesday night, and there was plenty of good news to share.

Nicole Shapeshifter announced that “God is good” and the boos (booze?) she’d been receiving from the American public had not only made her stronger, but inspired her to wear an obscenely ugly rainbow-colored gown with a black lace overlay. Simon Cowell reported that despite last week’s gut-wrenching ouster, Rachel Crow is alive and well and, though he hadn’t laid eyes on her, was not actually being kept in a sensory deprivation tank labeled “Do Not Open Till Christmas.” And the producers set Steve Jones’ internal dial to “chipper” mode, resulting in a steady stream of adjectives ranging from “well done” to “amazing” to “divine.” (Yes, divine!)

Plus, thanks (or no thanks) to some Pepsi-sponsored ridiculata, America got to choose the first set of songs performed by the four remaining acts. “We’re all involved!” shouted Steve, who if he can prove himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish, will be turned into a real host by the Blue Fairy at season’s end.

But enough about Steve! Let’s go directly to the music without passing “Go” and without collecting $5 million.

Marcus Canty: Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You”
Just like Murder on the Orient Express, there were so many hands involved in strapping Marcus down to the expressway and into the path of a speeding bus for the duration of this performance. Let’s count, shall we? 1) America, for choosing Boyz II Men’s grotesque “I’ll Make Love to You.” Honestly, every time Marcus groaned the line “I will not let go till you tell me to,” my dinner traveled three inches back up my esophagus. 2) That chick lasciviously sticking her tongue out and trying to get Marcus to give her the white rose he was clutching during the opening stages of the performance. 3) The show’s director, for cutting to Simon’s exaggerated bewildered face (the likes of which we haven’t seen since Fantasia performed “Bore Me (Yawn)” during an American Idol Season 7 results show.) 4) Simon, for making the aforementioned face. 5) L.A. Reid, for allowing “The Interpretive Dance of the Three Red Negligees” to upstage Marcus from the back of the stage. 6)  Marcus himself, for agreeing to the white rose antics, and for uttering, “this is for that special lady” at the start of the number. 7) Nicole, for declaring that Marcus makes ladies get excited “in a classy way.” (Girl, don’t.)

Chris Rene: Sugar Ray’s “Fly”
There’s no denying Chris kind of sounded like he’d run a half-marathon before taking the stage to perform a wisp of a song that may have been selected by fans of Melanie, Marcus, and Josh as an act of open warfare. At times, Chris’ raspy little voice was like a sailboat in the middle of The Perfect Storm of aggressive backup singers, a blasting backing track, cheesily positioned “just hangin’ out” dancers, and blaring lights. And yet, despite the vocal shortcomings, the performance was breezily…enjoyable? Maybe it’s because Chris is like that weather-beaten pair of jeans that’s infinitely more comfortable than the starchy new pair you just picked up at the mall. Or maybe, as Paula put it, his “heart resonates with the world.” (Uff da.)

Melanie Amaro: Mariah Carey’s “Hero”
The second I heard viewers had chosen this world-class slice of treacle for Melanie, I wondered if Steve Jones would interrupt and announce that Pepsi had withdrawn its sponsorship out of sheer embarassment. Thankfully, though, Simon and Melanie cooked up a minor-chord arrangement that obliterated the “I believe the children are our future,” “Danny Gokey was here” vibe of this too-frequently-covered ballad. Paula was right that the new rendition of “Hero” didn’t soar and swell like Mariah’s original, but I liked its plaintive, questioning quality. Melanie delivered the kicker “you finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you” as more of a theory than a definitive statement, and while perhaps that was a little disconcerting at first, it certainly wasn’t dull or predictable. Nicole, however, took things too far, insisting to Melanie that “you’re liberating to all of us.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN IN THIS CONTEXT, YOU DOSEY FOOL?

Josh Krajcik: The Beatles’ “Come Together”
This rock-solid effort wasn’t Josh’s most thrilling vocal to date, but it a wise move to add hard blasts of guitar to the arrangement, the better to separate himself from the pop-R&B leanings of his three competitors. And, to her credit, Paula made a solid point that part of having the X factor involves the ability to sell tickets to live shows, something that shouldn’t be an issue for a veteran of the road like Josh. Did “Come Together” rise to the level of recent Idol efforts by Kris Allen, Crystal Bowersox, or Carly Smithson (sorry I forgot to mention her in my Wednesday live-blog!)? I can’t honestly say it did. Yet while I call nonense on Nicole’s “living and breathing that fire” critique, I’ll also admit that sometimes a B+ is good enough.

Marcus Canty: Wham’s “Careless Whisper”
I’ve watched “Careless Whisper” several times now, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Certainly, Simon’s volley of insults — “grotesque,” “a joke,” “Vegas in 1983″ — was unneccessarily harsh, and probably just his attempt to get a Melanie-Josh-Chris finale that will provide the maximum suspense and ratings on a finale that occurs only days before Christmas. And yet L.A.’s boast that Marcus “looked like a champion” seems equally preposterous. I kinda liked the guy’s white tux with black piping, and the boldness of a dance remix, but by the time the song was done, he’d been upstaged by that army of ballroom dancers and too much falling confetti. And that’s not the final impression you want to make before the public votes on which three contestants make the finale.

Chris Rene: Alicia Keys’ “No One”
I know L.A. Reid probably thought he was helping Chris by declaring that “stardom was never about singing” and that his protege connects with the public because he has “lovability,” but really, that robbed Chris of the credit he deserved for a deep, soulful spin on a tricky Alicia Keys hit. Yes, it’s true Chris’ voice isn’t as big as his competitors, but as they say about other aspects of life, it’s not the size of the wave… And when Chris got behind that piano and declared that “no one can get in the way of what I’m feeling,” it was the most meaningful lyric of the night not because he held the note harder or longer or more bombastically, and not because as Nicole said “[his] spirit transcends across the universe,” but because he breathed his personal life experience into the words, made you feel them even as that distracting red grid patten blared on the screens behind him and 20 random dancers cavorted nonsensically to the beat. I like that Chris can do more than stand stock still and sing a ballad. I like that he’s already proven he can write music I’d like to download. And no one can get in the way of what I’m feeling.

Melanie Amaro: “Feeling Good”
Thank you, Simon, for finally giving Melanie a song with some genuine tempo, some serious sass, and some real opportunities to show off all the colors of her Godzilla-sized voice. I loved the little side-eye she gave during the opening verse, I loved that flash of falsetto on “river running free,” I loved how she was feeling it to the point that she almost lost control of the ending, and I loved the conviction she brought to the line “freedom is mine, and I know how it feels.” I didn’t love that the blast of floor lights almost rendered her invisible on occasion, but that’s not Melanie’s fault. Naturally, L.A. gave what sounded like a major compliment but really didn’t mean much when you consider it’s only Season 1 — “you’re the greatest female that’s ever graced this stage” — but who cares? Fire was breathed. Buildings were crushed. And the opposition should be running in terror.

Josh Krajcik: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”
I know The X Factor is not American Idol, or any other TV show, but that doesn’t mean I am able to set aside the knowledge that “Hallelujah” has become the “running to the airport to tell her you love her before she gets on the plane”/”kissing in the pouring rain on a quaint city street”/”falling to the ground as the building explodes in the background” of reality singing competitions/TV telecasts in general. I’m tired of it. I want its jersey hung from the rafters, with no chance at a comeback till at least 2015. And while Josh sang “Hallelujah” tenderly, and with plenty of heart and conviction, I can’t join Nicole in crossing my hands over my chest in a display of raw, manufactured emotion, and I have to agree with L.A. that the performance lacked some excitement. I still hope Simon was right, that the performance sent Josh straight to the finals, because he deserves his shot at the Season 1 crown. But I’m still waiting for a followup to “Wild Horses” that has me waking up in the morning ready to go to iTunes and download it.

Anyhow, that’s my take on The X Factor semifinals. What did you think? Is there any way Marcus doesn’t get outsted on Thursday? Who’s your pick to win it all. Sound off in the comments, and for all my X Factor commentary and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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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82 Comments
  1. Kristen says:

    I’m just really hoping for a Melanie/Josh finale.

    • Kim R says:

      I am too. I am not feeling Marcus…it doesn’t seem like he’s real with his emotion. Not like Chris. But to me, Josh & Melanie have the true talent needed to bring people in. We’ll see. I do wish Josh could pick his own music. I do not get the choices Nicole makes for him. :)

    • gregk says:

      My wife could not get through on our landline to vote for Melanie most of the night. Great sign for her but very frustrating for us. Can’t they have two lines open for each contestant like on Idol? I got through on my cell phone to vote for Melanie with no problem though.

    • Erin says:

      Hoping for Chris/Josh here. Melanie is a phenomenal singer, but unless she starts singing currently relevant music and not overdone ballads, she won’t have radio/iTunes success after the show ends. The remaining guys (even Marcus, regardless of his vocal limitations) are better entertainers than Melanie, though she is without a doubt the best singer. If this is truly a competition to find the best entertainer, it’ll be a disappointment to me if Melanie wins.

      • mary says:

        Refresh my memory what current song has Josh done. He has a nice voice but I
        Am not feeling star power. His looks alone are a torn off. If he wins I don’t see him
        Doing any better than the voice winner, who you don’t even here about. The demographics for this show will vote for him but will they buy his records or go to his
        Shows, don’t see it happening.

      • joecocker says:

        Yes, pls tell me how & when joe cocker suddenly became current?

    • meli says:

      xfactor will have 3 finalists. In the u k i t makes more sense as they have live voting and one of the three gets eliminated in part one of the two part finale. this show has really sucked this year but you’re right melanie and josh are the best – but wish mel would sing something uptempto and something that hasn’t been done to death by idol or by jennifer hudson weight watcher commercials

  2. Tim says:

    Marcus’ trainwreck last night was the final stake to his heart-the guy should have been outta there early on in the competition.

    Couldn’t disagree more with you and LA Reid re “Hallelujah”-Josh’s rendition was very beautiful and not by-the -numbers as it could have been.

    Melanie-she was the absolute best competitor from her very first audition. Her mighty voice has saved THE X FACTOR from being a disaster in its first season.

  3. Red in Denver says:

    Music is always just a matter of taste, preference (unless of course you can’t even carry a tune in a basket). Having said that, here’s my thoughts on the final four:

    Marcus is a sweet guy, but his vocals are not the best.

    Similar feelings about Chris (but, in addition, I’m getting SO SICK of the “UH” fillers he throws into every song/rap).

    Melanie has an amazing “DIVA” voice; but I’m not a big fan of diva-type songs.

    SO….. Josh is my favorite, as I love bluesy/raspy voices better than anyone’s struggling to succeed, drug-addicted back story.

    Josh sounds like a combination of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Cocker – and as far as I’m concerned, THAT’s a combination that should be hard to beat.

    • not says:

      I agree with all of this except re Chris. His voice is pretty bad, but somehow I like the “uh” thing more than I generally like that sort of thing. He’s surprisingly entertaining and I think his backstory helps pull a lot of votes, so he could be the dark horse of the competition.

      But I think Josh has the best combination of good voice, performance quality and saleability and should win it.

      I’m also glad to see everyone being basically nice to Marcus. Nice kid, okay voice, probably shouldn’t have come this far but doesn’t deserve abuse b/c the judges/judging system are stupid.

      • akdar says:

        My feelings are similar.
        1. Josh is by far my favorite.
        2. Melanie has a magnificent voice, but she generally isn’t my cup of tea.
        3. Marcus is a nice guy, but not quite in the same league as the others.
        4. Chris is growing on me. I like him much more when he does his own stuff than when he is forced into LA’s pre-fabricated commercial music mold.

        • The Performer says:

          I’ll agree that Josh is the mostlikely choice; I have to disagree about Marcus. He gave a solid performance and with the right song, he could prove that he is indeed in the league. I would put he and Chris Rene on the bottom 2.

          Melanie Amaro is indeed magnificent, and I’d have a cup of that tea any day. My guess is that she or Josh will take it.

  4. Michelle says:

    If Marcus makes it through to the finale, I’ll apply for a driver’s license (considering I’m totally blind, that should say something). I personally found his Careless Whisper pretty wretched, and anyone who tackles I’ll Make Love to You, including the original “artists,” should be dismissed from the airwaves stat. It’s shame, because I sincerely think Marcus has vocal talent second only to Melanie’s…but that’s now a pretty freaking distant second. I still think her Earth Song trumps her Feelin’ Good, but if she goes home tonight I’m rearranging my Wednesday watching schedule to exclude the finale.
    And speaking of the finale, can any X-Factor UK veterans fill a girl in on how these proceedings go down? Three face off, I gather…Is one eliminated before a showdown of the final two? Do they ever get ranked? Is there simply a winner declared on Thursday night?

    • Jaime says:

      Tonight, one act will go home and then next week Wednesday at the end the show another act will get sent home, placing 3rd

      which leaves two acts left for Thursday’s finale, where they will perform 2 songs, with the winner being announced at the end of the episode.

      You can still vote during Thursday show as there will be musical guests playing (most likely) in between the final two’s songs.

      • Michelle says:

        Thanks for this breakdown. Man, that’s a convoluted system! Is the winner decided solely on voting totals? I sure hope so!

      • probably not says:

        I know that’s how they do it in the UK, but their audience is all in one time zone. It won’t work in the US unless only the east coast gets to vote, or they air it outside of prime time (i.e., actually live) elsewhere — I can’t imagine they’d do either.

        • Jaime says:

          That’s a good point actually, I hadn’t thought of it, What have they done with American Idol in the past???? Maybe, they’ll adopt something similar.

    • The Performer says:

      Yeah, I guess that’s why it won what; Song (or record or somethin’) Of The Year for Boyz To Men. “it’s a shame”? NOT. The women loved it.

  5. jonbua says:

    Yes, it’s time for Marcus to leave..
    It would’ve been nice to see Drew at least leave tonight, just before the final.

  6. bECKY says:

    No, there is no way Marcus does not get ousted. I wish this season’s X Factor winner could be cloned with these three traits: Melanie’s voice (duh), Chris’ charisma, and Josh’s emotional center. Oh, wait. I think I’ve just described the winner of Season 1 of American Idol.

  7. raftrap says:

    As long as Melanie is in the finale I’ll be happy, I won’t worry about anything else (Nicole Schnookie-dooukums), if she has to completely destroy Marcus in a finale against him, then so be it, as long as she is there. Now let’s start the bet to see if Simon is gonna pick “A moment like this” for her finale song.

  8. Andrew says:

    Melanie/Chris Top 2 would be my ideal. Josh is talented, no doubt, but a viable recording artist worthy of 5 mill dollars? I’m not so sure. It’s clear America has connected with the other two, but even Melanie I have my doubts about. I think Simon’s trying to make her Adele/Leona Lewis like, but even they stop and do some cool, upbeat stuff once in a while. So maybe Chris should win…

  9. Ashlee says:

    CHRIS WILL WIN!!!

    • flower says:

      Chris is the only relevant musician left. The rest feel like music from a different decade (each from a different decade, pick one).

  10. Jenks says:

    Sure, I want to see Melanie and Josh in the finals, along with which of those two other dudes makes it. But what I REALLY can’t wait for is Nicole “singing [her] heart out for the universe.” Can this woman become any more ridiculous? That crossed arms-across-the-chest while gazing rapturously at Josh was the most insanely fake “look at me” moment on earth, if not the universe. Between her and the also-insane overproduction of nearly every number, this may be my first and last X Factor season. Too bad, because some of the talent was actually very good, but that doesn’t seem to be what this show is about.

  11. Heather says:

    I liked Marcus’s version of Careless Whisper! I’m SO SICK of hearing Melanie sing “diva” ballads, Chris try to sing anything other than the stuff he wrote himself, and Josh try to be a pop star. I am emotionally invested in NONE of these people, except maybe Marcus, just because I know they want him gone more than life itself. I so wish Drew was still there…I don’t care if she only sang slow songs…they all sounded beautiful. Melanie does the same crap, and nobody complains about her! Hell, I even miss Astro at this point!

  12. Jim says:

    Melanie is a joke. Pick an accent and go with it! All she cares about is the money. Josh is more genuine and more original. Mariah carey will be back singing soon. We don’t need two of her, which is exactly what melanie is. As for tonight, Bye marcus.

    • Melanie Amaro says:

      Gal you wan’ dem a sing, but cha also say dem a speak witout de accent. G’wan say dem ting pon de compatishan, me real speak, me Melanie “Carib Godess Gal” Amaro. Dis de real islands riddim, de real voice of da Amaro bredren.

    • The Performer says:

      She’s a powerhouse vocalist! The world could always use another one like her. And her look so cute in de makeup mon.lol.

  13. gregk says:

    Slezak’s comment that Steve Jones might be turned into a real host by the Blue Fairy really cracked me up. His befuddledness in the midst of the pandemonium during Rachels’ elimination was a sight to see.

  14. Amber says:

    Love you, Michael, but did you look at the song choices America had to choose from? For Melanie the choices were “Hero”, a Whitney song, and a Christina song. None of the contestants had any “inspired” options to choose from.

  15. Xfactress says:

    Listen, when Jason Castro sang Hallelujah, it singularly got me hooked on Idol. He had done it like Josh did last night, meh, I’d still be flipping channels. And I’m a huge Josh fan and voted for him the whole time. I’m with Michael in that I hope he has another Wild Horses in him. Hope he’s saving HIS best for last and isn’t picking songs just for votes and isn’t letting Nicole bat her pretty eyelashes and talk him into mediocrity.

  16. Paul says:

    I am rooting for Melanie at this point. I’ve always ‘liked’ her, but no one has really made me jump off my couch and full heartedly root them on this season. But Melanie’s performance last night was really great, and so I voted for the first time this season for her. I hope she takes it all.

    I get that Chris has a great story, and I can see how much emotion he puts into his performances… but I don’t think he should win. He doesn’t have the pipes to back it up. And yes, I know it’s not all about singing, but singing has to count for something in a music competition!

    Josh I really liked at the start of the live shows, but now I’m just not particularly excited about him.

    And Marcus… he tries really hard. I think it’s his time to go tonight, but I could be wrong.

  17. You forgot to mention that since Jason Castro, no one, NO ONE, has done that song the true justice it deserves on a reality TV show. No.One.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      On “The Sing-Off” Christmas Special Street Corner Symphony (one of the groups from a previous season) sang Hallelujah and I thought it was quite good. But then I’m kind of an “a capella junkie”.

  18. JJ says:

    Melanie is the clear winner here. Her voice is incomparable. Josh is talented but haven’t we seen this before when Taylor Hicks and . Marcus is a decent competitor but he’s not Final 3…heck he should even be Final 4…material. Lastly there’s Chris who in my opinion is an average to poor singer whose performances overall have been rather awkward at times. I’m 100% failing to see why people vote for him other than a genuine pity voted they’re masking by the fact they’d be pleased with themselves by giving him the winning knowing how happy he’d be. Chris winning would be disastrous for X-Factor as the show absolutely needs a Kelly Clarkson winner in the form of someone who could have a career and Chris will be lucky if he can outsell Lee Dewyze when all is said an done. Every performance is about 70% background vocals DROWNING HIM OUT so I can’t see why folks are voting for him. Vote for the voice that you’d stop and listen to on the radio…that’s Melanie….stop voting for the person you think you’re a fan of but in reality you pity his past…that’s Chris.

    • Irishize says:

      Honestly, I think you underestimate Chris’ fan base, I don’t think it’s just a pity party at all. I didn’t start out a fan, but I’ve come to like him quite a bit and find his performances enjoyable. Would I buy his music, yes I would, and that’s the real test. Would I buy any of the others, probably not. Why? Because while there is some real talent there, there is really not anything original about any of the other three. You could easily replace any of them with several artists already recording. I think Chris has a unique voice and tone that appeals to a lot of people, I really think he could have success.

    • The Performer says:

      Comparing Josh to Taylor Hicks??? Not the same level at all. Josh is more believable and a stronger vocalist. I found the Old Gray-Haired one to be rather boring and corny.

    • Seri says:

      Josh is the real deal, an artist and true musician. Taylor Hicks was just a player, and an incredibly mediocre one at that. Chris isn’t a strong singer, but he’s a powerful songwriter. Both these men bring talent straight out of their souls and translate it into art — and that’s musicianship. Melanie has the gift of a great set of chops — she can sing power numbers — and sounds like Whitney and Mariah and Celine. But she’s a vocalist, not an artist. She doesn’t write, or play an instrument, or bring anything new or creative to what she does. She just sings powerfully — songs in exactly the same style as the divas who went before her. If she wins, she’ll be the next diva in a long line of divas. Yawn. But Josh and Chris? They bring unique gifts. They change the world of music with their souls.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Taylor Hicks is an “entertainer”. He’s a decent singer, he’s likeable, and he connects with his audience. I would agree he’s no “artist” but there are room for all types of performers in this industry.

  19. KSM says:

    The only problem that I had with Melanie singing Feeling Good is that the whole time I kept thinking “someone has already done an awesome version of this… who is it?” And once I remembered it was Adam, the song was over, and I had missed the whole thing. There are thousands of songs out there, I don’t understand why the judges keep picking the same songs over and over again.

    • Irishize says:

      Agreed! I don’t even like that song, but at least Adam gave it a nice sexy twist…I hate that they keep picking songs that have either been done to death, or songs that someone else has done in such an epic way that it would be near impossible for anyone else to top it. There’s so much current music out there, really no excuse for that crap.

  20. Irishize says:

    Ok, I wasn’t a big Chris fan in the beginning, but I have come to like him the best as the contestants are whittled down. It’s not the sob story, hey, we all have one, I just really enjoy listening and watching him perform when he has the right music. I thought his songs were good tonight, not as good as his originals, but still good.
    I love Josh’s style, but tonight felt like a trainwreck for me. I hated his version of Hallelujah, It sounded awful to me. Just not a good song choice in my opinion.
    Melanie has a great voice, but she’s so predictable, another diva with a big voice.
    Marcus, well, he’s very likable, but I just don’t see him as the 5million dollar man.
    Tonight will be interesting

  21. PatD says:

    I can’t wait to come back and post on this forum when Chris is a platinum selling artist.

    I hope Simon keeps Steve Jones. I’ve liked him since the auditions, when he was sincerely supportive of the contestants and their families backstage. Then, last night when he tried to tender-hug Chris’ tears away, I was sold for good. Jones is such a dork, but a really likable one.

  22. Jeremy says:

    Dying laughing at the Fantasia “Bore Me (Yawn)” reference. Loved tasia on that! At least she brought some life to the stage unlike marcus

    • Noelbelle says:

      I had to click on that and watch it because I didn’t remember it. Then (as is the nature of Youtube) I saw a million Haley Reinhart links on the side and was distracted for half an hour.

      • Billy says:

        Glad to hear it’s not just me that falls prey to that temptation, but really now – only half an hour? You’re a stronger person than I.

  23. Irishize says:

    One more comment on the whole “people are voting for Chris out of pity” thing….WTH, they make sure every one of the contestants has a sob story to accompany them, I think the only one I can remember that didn’t was Astro and you see where that got him.
    Forget all the backstories, think of who you enjoy the most, and there’s your vote.

    • PatD says:

      I don’t even know where people are pulling “sob story” out of their hats. Rene’s isn’t a sob story. So far, it’s a pretty damn happy story.

  24. karenb says:

    Am I the only one around here that cracks up at Slezak’s each and every recap?! :) :) :)

  25. Kat says:

    I’d like to see a Melanie/Josh finale with Melanie taking the prize. I think she has the best voice in the competition!

    Marcus needs to go home and can someone please tell the audience that overused and cliche like songs cannot be submitted to Pepsi in future competitions? I think the only one they missed was Black Velvet!

    • Irishize says:

      Nooooooooo don’t even mention it!!!!!!! Don’t put it out there in the universe!!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Nobody’s done “Against All Odds” yet.

    • Noelbelle says:

      I wrote weeks ago that I’d put money on someone singing “Hallelujah” before the end of this season, but I thought for sure that it would have been one of Simon’s contestants. Because of all these shows covering it ad nauseum I can’t even listen to Jeff Buckley’s version (the one that really made the song famous, even if it is a Leonard Cohen song) without racing to click “next” on my iPod.

  26. darcy's evil twin says:

    Just watched the DVR from last night. Hallelujah, I’m Feeling Good, so let’s Come Together and find a Hero.
    Enjoyed Josh’s “Come Together” the most.
    Melanie has solid vocals, like it or not, and I am guilty as charged for being a sucker for “Hero”. It always makes me think of Mariah Carey singing it in a restrained manner, wearing a simple black dress, at the post-9/11 concert. The song really meant something when she sang it that night.
    I agree with Mr. Slezak – Chris’ performance of the Alicia Keyes song was the best he’s done, in my opinion. He doesn’t have the necesary vocal chops to be a star, IMO but Tim McGraw also has that thin voice and he’s a huge star.
    And then there’s Marcus. (sigh). Shaking my head. Sorry, L.A., you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  27. Tater says:

    I think Josh deserves this the most….I think he could be one Bob Seger cover away from sewing this competition up…There is really no solo artist like him right now. Plus I highly enjoyed his cover of “Hallelujah” The only other contestant on a show like this that I have liked equally as good as Josh’s version was Lee Dewyze’s version. Also like Melanie’s “Feeling Good”..I think those 2 should be the final 2 with Josh getting the win.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      My husband has said from the first time he heard Josh sing that he sounds like Seger and a little bit of Michael McDonald. I’d love to hear Josh cut loose on something like “Hollywood Nights”.

      • Tater says:

        Agreed…He could totally make “Hollywood Nights” his own. I and after last nights performance I could see him doing a fantastic job on “Turn The Page” with his vocal skill set I think a Seger performance could sew it up for him.

  28. Tim says:

    I wouldn’t call any of these four “artists”. They’re just good karaoke singers.

  29. I find that I am tired of most of the songs the contestants have sung because they’ve been done so often. I cannot take hearing “Hallelujah” again (although Josh did a good job) or “Feeling Good,” (though Melanie did a good job. too). They even did the former on THE SING-OFF and claimed it was a holiday tune! Ha! As for the latter, everyone sings the Michael Buble version with no originality (the song is originally from a musical–ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, SMELL OF THE CROWD!). I’d find it entertaining if someone did it a la Broadway, but then Simon would have a fit.

    Speaking of Broadway, here’s Nicole Scherzinger doing “Phantom of the Opera.” Thoughts? http://www.playbill.com/news/article/157660-THE-SCREENING-ROOM-Nicole-Scherzinger-Sings-The-Phantom-of-the-Opera-With-Four-Phantoms-Video

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Okay, that was surprisingly good. I’d only ever heard her sing crap songs before. Thanks for posting. You would think someone with that vocal ability would be a better coach and critic.

    • GingerSnap says:

      It’s just reinforcement that if you are classically trained and can sing, you can sing anything. My guess is that Melanie Amaro could deliver an equally stunning performance.

    • cookie love says:

      Very surprised. She’s really good and that’s an incredibly difficult song. But……I still can’t stand her as a judge. (Love all those Phantoms!!!!!!!!)

  30. Irishize says:

    As an aside, When they cut to Nicole with her hands crossed in front of her like Joan of Arc, an expression on her face like she just saw the second coming…..I almost spewed on my screen. Gah. Is there no end to her ridiculousness?? I used to think Paula was bad, but she makes even Paula look grounded.

  31. sternum says:

    Great recap but you should replace that goober they have writing over at EW.com now.

  32. Jim says:

    Josh deserves this. He is amazing. He is a mixture of seagar, mcdonald and bolton. He is something special. Nothing like him out there. We already have mariah beyonce, keys, kelly clarkson and the rest of the ‘divas’ we don’t need melanie. Josh is the x factor. That’s all.

  33. yeah says:

    Well you do have to at least give Nicole credit for singing live whatever you think of her horrendous non-ability to carry out the voting portion of her judging responsibilities, a certain female judge on Idol would never dare do that. Nicole put some passion into it and hit her notes whereas a certain Haley-hating hater AI judge might have needed 9 takes for that happen.

    • RTW says:

      I actually agree with you, but allow me to take it a step further….Nicole is a saint, yes, a SAINT compared to that worthless “In it to win it, from me to you, yo dawg, I think it’s a tie between, you should be singing runs at the end, it sounded like you were at the top of your range, it’s so risky to sing an unknown song, the “great” Michael Jackson, etc. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

  34. GingerSnap says:

    VOTE FOR MELANIE

  35. JJ says:

    I’m no Taylor Hicks fan and won’t defend his talent but my point in referencing him is that he won American Idol and people were saying the same things about him they say about Josh.

  36. KristiLee Cooke says:

    I’m shocked that this recap made no mention of Haley Reinhart, Jesse Langseth and Kendra Chantelle! Hallelujah!

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