The X Factor Recap: Unplugging Away

cece frey part of meThis just in (my brain only): Simon Cowell was so happy with the results of The X Factor‘s Pepsi Challenge — during which viewers weighed in on contestants’ songs, hairstyles, wardrobe and staging — that he wants to extend the intiative for the rest of Season 2. The first of next week’s viewer polls will read as follows:

What change would you like to see behind the judges’ table?

A. Simon buttons his damn shirt already.
B. Britney without tranquilizers!
C. Demi Lovato eyebrow topiary.
D. Paula Abdul’s back…and this time, it’s personal!
E. L.A. Reid chair-dancing exhibition.
F. A seat for Mario Lopez, so he can offer insights like “America chose Diamond [White] in a diamond, which is very clever, by the way.”

That dude is Rated I…for I Cahhhhhhn’t! But hey, at least this week’s performances were — on the whole — significantly more enjoyable/tuneful than what we endured for Top 8 night. Let’s get to the grades, shall we?

Unplugged Set
CeCe Frey: Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” | “She’s relevant, she’s beautiful, she’s a sweet girl,” said Demi, introducing her last remaining act in the competition. And while you could say it’s telling that Demi never actually commented on CeCe’s singing ability, I’d argue she was using “relevant” as code for, “half the people on the Billboard Hot 100 can’t sing in tune, so do you really give a crap if CeCe can’t either?” The good news for the leopard-faced postal worker is that she had a better grasp on pitch than she did the last five weeks — and actually nailed the big belty notes on “the edge, the edge, the edge.” The not so good news? CeCe is always a hair or ten under the note whenever she doesn’t have her personal volume cranked up to 10. “It was one of your best vocal performances,” said Demi, but, again, that’s not saying much. A yak getting its hooves trimmed would’ve sounded better than CeCe’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” from Top 10 night. Grade: B-

Emblem3: Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” | Maybe instead of going skateboarding, Emblem3 shoud’ve stayed at home and worked on their vocals. Of course, that would’ve meant the blonde one wouldn’t have an excuse to rip off his shirt in front of the X Factor camera crew. Priorities, people! Anyway, we were promised instruments and originality, and instead we got Blondie limply holding his guitar for half the performance and singing in a vaguely British-esque accent that may have been an homage to Green Day but landed closer to Britney Spears’ new mess with Will.i.Am. (He really should stick to “rap” or “sing-speaking,” yes?) The other two kids were marginally better, but the bottom line is that given the choice, anyone with functioning ears would choose Bruno Mars’ original 100 times out of 100. Simon whined that Demi was being “incredibly dumb” with her critiques, but I thought her description of the boy band as “a downgraded version of the Jonas Brothers from five years ago” was one of the night’s most astute bits of feedback. Grade: C

Carly Rose Sonenclar: Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me” | I’ve been critical all season of Carly Rose’s ability to truly connect with material, to stir the soul as well as the brain, but maybe the real problem has been with the song choices, not the singer. Freed from the confines of Adult Diva Ballads, 13-year-old front-runner cooked up a brilliant rendition of Justin Bieber’s much whinier original, somehow managing to catch a genuine groove despite things being stripped back to a heartbeat-like drum and acoustic guitar. The refrain — “We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke/ As long as you love me” — could just as easily be sung to a parent or a relative as it could a middle-school crush, but no matter where Carly Rose drew her inspiration, I actually Beliebed, er believed the kid. Grade: A

Fifth Harmony: Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” | I’m not sure L.A.’s had a genuine moment on The X Factor since Season 1, but tonight he had me howling when he suggested Simon Cowell’s girl group change its name to Fifth Unison. Seriously, if these chicas want to take home the $5 million prize — and I actually think they’d be a viable, radio-ready choice — they have to do more than take turns singing the melody while the other four gals quietly provide backing “oooohs.” Maybe Sister C could come mentor them next week? Or maybe they could Google the definition of harmony: “The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions with a pleasing effect.” That kvetching aside, there’s no denying Fifth Harmony’s individual members have scads of talent, and when Demi remarked that a couple members of the group really should’ve been solo artists, I wondered if she was secretly daydreaming about swapping out CeCe for Lauren or Dinah Jane. Grade: B

Diamond White: James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” | I’m glad Simon called out Diamond for having already covered James Brown’s soul classic in her audition. The repetition especially seemed a peculiar choice given that Diamond’s No. 6 ranking going into the week should’ve prompted “Britney” (or the team of producers assigned to Britney’s acts) to make a bold, unexpected move. I also thought Diamond’s phrasing got a little wonky on the verses — as if she couldn’t figure out when and where the band would kick in — but in certain moments, there were hints of a young Michael Jackson in her upper register, which might be a good direction on the slim chance Britney’s “other” act cracks the semifinals. (Side note: How exactly was Diamond’s performance “unplugged,” what with the full string section and very obvious track? Grade: B-

Tate Stevens: Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” | I liked that Tate managed to make me take a second listen to a set of Bon Jovi lyrics I’ve heard a gajillion times since my high-school days. I didn’t so much like the way Tate awkwardly changed keys midway through every chorus, almost like he was dipping low just to make sure his voice didn’t crumble on the high notes that he actually never attempted. Was it accidental? Tate seems like too much of a pro for that kind of mistake, so it’s hard to say. Demi (not surprisingly) was the only one who made a small mention of the strange arrangement, with Britney and Simon instead harping on Tate’s song choice, as if “Living on a Prayer” is as far away from country music as Mario and Khloe are from Ryan Seacrest and Cat Deeley. Grade: B-

“Pepsi Challenge” Set
CeCe Frey: Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” | CeCe is like your friend who gets a little tipsy when you go out for mojitos and suddenly decides that she’ll die — actually die! — if you don’t all go to a karaoke bar. There, of course, she’ll belt song after song as if she’s got a dozen backup dancers and an imaginary archway over her head decorated with her name spelled out in bright, shiny bulbs. In other words, she’s genuinely having a great time — and, as Britney (!) astutely noted, that’s an important attribute in a pop star. Whether or not your friend has any real vocal ability, however, depends on how many drinks you’ve consumed yourself. Alas, as I write this (stone cold sober), I can vouch that CeCe hit that one big glory note she went for, but was pretty much sharp for 90 percent of the song. I won’t even mention those guttural yelps between verses — or the shredded daisy dukes and craft-shop bustier America decided she should wear. Sure, CeCe herself would brush off those critiques as “sticks and stones and all that,” but it doesn’t mean they’re not true. Grade: C- (for vocals)/A- (for ridiculata)

Emblem3: Alphaville’s “Forever Young” | I seriously don’t understand the X Factor judges. When L.A. excitedly declared that Emblem3 “nailed it,” did he mean, like, they nailed the song to a tree? When Britney insisted it was “a superstar performance,” was she being facetious? I mean, “Forever Young” was certainly easier on the ears than “Just the Way You Are” — although Blondie confirmed his gurgling singing voice should be forever silenced (just let him rap and flex, Simon!) — but it still was chock full of flat notes and dropped phrases. Plus, Demi had a good point that for $5 million, it’s not too much to ask the guys to work the stage a little. Nice followup message from Khloe Kardashian, though, that a female judge can’t make tough comments without having a crush on the object of her critique. Ugh! Grade: B-

Carly Rose Sonenclar: Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” | It’s looking less and less likely that Carly Rose is ever going to hit a questionable note in this competition, and if I was being fair, I’d just join the audience chants of “Car-ly! Car-ly!” and leave it at that. After all, compared to so many of the people with whom she’s shared the stage this season, the kid is sweet relief, a life raft of tunefulness in a sea of blood spilled by so many violently assaulted songs. But note-perfect as Carly Rose was on “If I Were a Boy,” I felt like she lacked some of Beyoncé’s broken-down resignation — the tired sigh with which she tosses off “but you’re just a boy,” the ferocity of “I swear I’d be a better man.” Simon was right that the lyric was “slightly old” for a girl who’s barely into her teens, and given that she did nothing more than a straightforward cover, those emotional shortcomings were harder to miss. Grade: B+

Fifth Harmony: Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break” | In the words of Etta James (and my Reality Check cohost Melinda Doolittle)…at laaaaaaaast, Fifth Harmony did actual harmonies! And they were fan-flipping-tastic. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, the quintet was inexplicably flanked by four backup singers (should we call them Ninth Harmony?) but the sound mix was good enough this week to individually hear Normani, Dinah Jane, Lauren, Ally and Camila shine bright on their solos as well as their supporting parts. I loved that Lauren was physically feeling the music and expressing it with her occasional shimmying, and I loved the way Dinah Jane just roared with her standard operating passion when it came time for her to bring the song to a close. Simon is right that X Factor wouldn’t be the same without this girl group; now here’s hoping we don’t have evidence of that statement next week. Grade: A-

Diamond White: Rihanna’s “Diamonds” | Diamond may have been a little wobbly on the opening verse, but let’s not forget she began the performance barely strapped into a diamond-shaped cage suspended from the rafters. That’s a high (and frightening) degree of difficulty that those Emblem3 foolios would never be asked to pull off. Plus, “Diamonds” is a very strange choice for a reality-competition setting: It plays like a chant more than a traditional song. And yet once Miss White escaped the confines of her sparkly prison, her voice opened up and she tore the lid off the number in a way that Rihanna could never do without the help of a qualified producer and a host of electronic gizmos. If Diamond is destined to fall on the tracks of the Carly Rose Express, this was a pretty admirable last impression. Grade: B+

Tate Stevens: Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes” | Tate’s rendition of Garth Brooks’ sentimental ballad was the “buttered toast” portion of the evening’s 12-course meal. Nothing wrong with it, per se, but is anyone going to remember it by the weekend? If I’m going to fault Fifth Harmony on their harmonies or Carly Rose on her emotional connection, I think it’s only fair to ask why Tate never really seems to take any risks — with his vocals, with his song choices, with his staging, with his arrangements — despite being one of the more experienced acts in the competition. Dude shouldn’t be resting on his front-runner status, but rather using it to experiment with bold choices that stamp him as an artist to watch, not just a competent vocalist who’ll eventually hit No. 32 on the country charts. Side note: Was it just me, or did Simon’s critique sound more like a “thanks for playing, old man” farewell speech than genuine praise? Grade: B

And finally…predictions!

Should go home: Emblem3, CeCe

Will go home: Emblem3, Diamond (with, perhaps, Tate in the singoff)

With that, let me turn things over to you:

Who were your favorites from The X Factor‘s Top 6 performance telecast? Who’s most likely to get booted come Thursday night? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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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    • Bryce says:

      Give Your Heart a Break was the perfect song for them, they did up tempo and harmonized to an extent that LA could actually hear, and Lauren/Dinah sounded great as usual!

      Simon needs to stop being so offended when Demi critiques Emblem3, they’re nowhere as good as he thinks.

    • mariah says:

      it was amazing! Vote for 5H!

    • gregk says:

      Interesting that Fifth Harmony performed an Adele song since Simon said (more than once) that he does not approve of contestants doing Adele material.

    • Leila says:

      Everytime I hear Give You Heart a Break I think: this song should be sung by a girls group. So I was really hoping to see 5 Harmony singing it.

  1. Sam says:

    “Emblem3: Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” | Grade: B-”

    What in the world? They sounded awful especially the old one. Take away all the glitz and they really can’t sing.

    • Seriously! Demi was the only one who was able to see how mediocre they are. So frustrating.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Good catch, Sam! (That’s what I get for cutting and pasting to save time and get this posted ASAP.)

    • Colobo says:

      The middle one is the only singer in that group. If they dont win the $5m prize, he should really cut the bro-therly dead weight loose and find a clean path to a few years of pop fame as a solo act. Nobody is going to miss Kid-Bro and Shirt-No.

      Also, how fooking irresponsible is it for that glorified choreographer to put Diamond White, a 14 year old child, into a rickety cage 30 feet above the stage secured by a simple lap belt? If that contraption tilted, a slim slip like Diamond would slide right through and smash into the electrified glass floor. Paige got a full harness, J-Lo was also harnessed into her stage riser on Idol, but Dimaonds’ fame-blinded unfit stage mother lets her daughter dangle in mid air with a belt that hasnt been legal in cars for a decade.

      The X-Factor production disgusts me. Someone should have shut that down tonight and fined whoever allowed it.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      BINGO…I thought both of their songs boring and slowing them down did show how bad their vocals were

    • greysfan says:

      I would give Emblem 3 a D at best. It was well and truly awful. CeCe also was bad again which is no surprise. Both these acts should be going home tomorrow. The top 4 should be Diamond, Tate, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rose. They were well and truly better than the other 2. If America votes that way that is another story.

  2. K. says:

    I absolutely loved Carly’s rendition of the Bieber song, it’s my favorite along with Somewhere Over The Rainbow :)

  3. Lynda says:

    I loved Tate Stevens songs tonight. Cece was pretty good too. I think they are over doing the comments on Carly though she is really good. I don’t care for the way Emblem 3 acts or sing (if you can call it that) Fifth Harmony nailed their two songs. Diamond White I think will be in the bottom two tomorrow night along with Emblem 3 but then you have to figure in the teenage vote so they may not be.

    • Sg. Grant says:

      The best part about this performance was Boyce Avenue doing backup vocals and playing he instruments. Not sure why they did that, as they are more talented than anyone on X-Factor.

  4. Wesley says:

    Round one-
    1. Carly
    2. Diamond
    3. Tate
    4. Fifth Harmony
    5. Cece
    6. Emblem 3
    Round two-
    1. Diamond
    2. Fifth Harmony
    3. Carly
    4. Tate
    5. Emblem 3
    6. Cece

    Seriously, Emblem 3 and Cece need to go.

  5. SSDD says:

    Michael I think you are grading on a curve tonight. Most of them were awful or just boring.

  6. Forwarddad says:

    Michael – why are you so derogatory to Britney? Other than that you are spot on. America send E3 home.

    • Colobo says:

      Michael gets paid… modestly for writing 1000 word performance critiques that are some of the best out there and has done so for many years. Britney gets paid exorbitantly for reading out 10 word critiques and has only had to work for 9 weeks.

      That would chap anyone’s ass. Give the man some slack. Brit has been a joke each and every week. Its taken how many live performance shows for LA to finally get permission to interrupt one of her lean-in, drive-by “awesome, but i didn’t get it” $400,000-per-day critiques.

      Brits a joke, Slezak makes jokes. Dont bite the hand that feeds around here.

      • Kevin says:

        sorry, but I think britney did the best job as a mentor, and she’s also the smartest judge, she knows she doens’t have a lot to say, so she keep it short. Keep it cute or put it on mute.

      • gregk says:

        Slezak wrote what my comment was going to be about Diamond’s performance having half an orchestra helping her. Also, I had looked up the definition of harmony last week on Wikipedia and it was basically what he said here, a somewhat complicated definition that really got technical in terms of music theory the further you read. Harmony is no easy task.

    • jaxguy says:

      Probably because she says about 2 words and so low key it’s almost like she’s asleep. (Although I am getting a great kick out of her as a judge and I think she looks great.)

    • Patrick says:

      Wondering if Brit still goes commando.

  7. April says:

    I would be so glad if Emblem 3 went home.. Simon NEEDS to be taken down. And I love how Demi just didn’t care and just dragged them to the pits tonight.. “You’re like the downgraded version of Jonas Brothers from 5 years ago” LOL

    • Frank says:

      …and then she subsequently admits to having a crush on one of them, which invalidates all her criticisms for the past 2 weeks because it makes her look like she is just trying to get away from her “I swoon for them” comment on week 1.

      • Mary says:

        I actually think she was being sarcastic to shut Simon up. I think her critiques were right on the mark. Emblem 3 are not good singers and their personality doesn’t help. Unfortunately they will probably be safe due to the girls voting, but CeCe and Emblem 3 were clearly the worst of the night. I wish Simon would push for the girls more because I think they have more talent.

    • Daniel says:

      And I like how Demi had to inform Simon that “If I were a Boy” was sung by Beyonce. Shouldn’t Mr. “I’ve sold millions of records” already have known that?

      • teatime says:

        Last year Simon’s 13 year old Rachel Crow sang If I Were a Boy. So I am not sure where he was going with his comments before he was interrupted. Probably just another pointless nagative-sounding comment by one of these XFactor judges.

    • jaxguy says:

      I agree with you although I don’t think I would send them home to bring down Simon a notch but because they are as bad as CeCe who I like.

  8. Frank says:

    Am I the only one who thought EMBLEM3 was really good (especially on the second song)? I still think they are the most marketable act in this competition and it would be a shame if they left tomorrow night.

    • JT says:

      yes, you are the only one. or at least i hope you are

      • Frank says:

        I hope not. If they are voted out first, I’ll be quite upset. If they are in the sing-off, I hope they stay. It depends on who they are up against but I have a feeling it could go to deadlock.

      • jaxguy says:

        Ditto. You are the only one.

      • Ted Sutton says:

        Thank you JT. I hope they go home too. They have been full of themselves since the start of this competition, but apparently feel that they don’t need to get any sleep or prepare for the performances. These are the guys that nearly got the whole show kicked out of their hotel because of their loud late night party ways.

        Clearly they are eating Simon’s praise 3 meals a day. They deserve to go home. They have not taken this seriously since the beginning, acting like it was in the bag for them. They are way too full of themselves for the amount of singing talent on display when they are on stage.♠

    • Sam says:

      Yea, I just don’t get it either. I usually agree with Simon, but I just….uugh, no.

    • PBJ says:

      400 votes for them so far with 45 minutes left!!

    • kavyn says:

      Forever Young was a song from my childhood. I wanted to kill them after how badly they butchered it.

      You’re obviously not the only one to like them seeing as they’re third place. Although I assume most vote them through for Keaton’s winning smile.

    • Mary says:

      Sorry I hope your wrong. The second song might of been a little better but both were really bad.
      I can only hope they are the lowest and go out first then the judges won’t have a say. I think 5th harmony has more talent but unfortunately in today’s music it doesn’t matter if they can sing.

    • Lynda says:

      I thought they were fantastic! Cant wait to see what they will sing next week. They are excitement on the show.

  9. mariah says:

    Vote for Fifth Harmony!!!!

    1-Fifth Harmony
    2- Carly
    3- Tate

  10. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    Carly best of the night. I felt like she sang with a bit more true connection this night too. She really is damn good. A+ both songs, no doubt. I’m a touch surprised that Michael did get a bit more strongly converted over to her tonight.

    5th and DW next best, good nights for them.

    That would be good for 3 of the top 4 and then hey toss in CeCe it seems fitting, why should she not be there at this point? E3 have become annoying and Tate is dull, I know the country-loving crowd will vehemently disagree and perhaps rightly so but I was with Demi on that maybe it was good but I was sort of drifting off, I’d rather CeCe.

  11. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    Demi was kinda fiesty. Probably for the best. Whether some of what she suggested was ridiculous (and some probably was) or well reasoned (and some probably was), heck, at she kept it lively, and at least other than perhaps regarding her own team, which you can toss off, seemed to give her honest best effort to actually say what she really felt and to give some criticism as opposed to the two on the end who either say nothing but blah blah perfect even when things were maybe only good or decent or worse or say what seems like nothing less than pure gamesmanship BS that they don’t even believe themselves.

    It would be nice to see Britney freed up to say a bit more, it’s almost like they want to make sure she doesn’t say anything to lose even one fan so now that it is live they keep her under wraps a bit, although she did at least start making some non-poker face expressions again so there was that, if not quite to the full on form during the taped bits.

    Enough decent performances tonight that I got suckered into watching the somewhat better part of the show tonight again.

    • jaxguy says:

      I like Demi and I liked her tonight. Her only mess up was when she kinda criticized Carly for If I Were A Boy. It was the public choice not Brittney or hers.

  12. Nedsdag says:

    Emblem3 was the epitome of tone deaf tonight; they were horrible!

    Nevertheless, the tweenie girls will vote them into the semifinals based on history. In all honesty, NONE of those guys are cute, but then again I’m not a tween.

  13. dj says:

    I hope that Cece is on the edge of going home. I like everyone else, but I feel Emblem3 and Diamond White are the weakest next to Cece, so one of those acts should go, too. But I won’t be surprised if somebody really good goes, because that’s the way it’s been lately on these shows.

    I like your suggestions for changes behind the judges’ table. Simon’s banter with Paula worked somehow. With Demi it’s cringe-worthy.

    I would have reversed the grades on Carly’s two songs. I liked the second one better because I felt her emotion on that one. In the first one, I saw a quick smile at some point during the performance, like she was smiling because the singing was going so well and the audience was responding. To use an acting term, she didn’t stay in character. In the second song, she did. Both songs were great vocally, though.

    • Sam says:

      I agree about Simon and Demi. The chemistry is just not right. The banter between them just feels hostile.

      • Colobo says:

        Its so uncomfortable to watch them one can readily imagine that they are having, or have had nasty mentor-on-mentor sex during season 2. Its very risky for them to couple up, if Demi’s eyebrows get caught in Simon’s chest hair, they’d need the epilady of life to separate them.

      • Mary says:

        See I don’t know, I actually appreciate Demi knocking Simon down a peg or two. The execution hasn’t always been perfect but Simon believes he knows everything. She was right on about Emblem 3 Simon wants another one direction but I think he would be better served pushing 5th harmony instead.

  14. dj says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, I liked the songs America picked for the acts to sing, but I didn’t like the outfits and the staging. I thought Cece looked like some alien ho from the original Star Trek series, and Diamond looked ridiculous dangling in that big diamond.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      watching CeCe I kept thinking she should try out for RuPaul’s Drag Race, but only if in true drag style she promised to lip-sync

  15. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    One oddity. I decided to bother to vote tonight and I have Carly a vote, decided may as well hit redial a few more times and busy and busy and tried again a few minutes later busy, busy almost the entire first 15 minutes. Which is very weird, because I live in a part of the country where people tend to not vote a lot on these shows and I’ve just about never heard a busy signal for anyone on any show ever. Just once or twice a season for a few seconds, at most. So how her line was busy for what appeared to be perhaps a 15 minutes solid chunk…. either she is gonna be #1 by a landslide this week or she is getting somehow secretly bused.

  16. MDEP says:

    I just do not get the Tate love. To me, he sounds off key and bland.

  17. Tony says:

    In order of who has marketable careers in front of them: 1. Tait Stevent 2: Carly Rose 3: Emblem 3 4: Diamond White 5: Fifth Harmony 1,489: Cece Frey. I think Cece is picking up the pity vote, and probably votes from the tone deaf.

    And I’m hoping Demi goes away after this season. With the exception of Cece, all the remaining acts are more talented than her, and her criticism sounds like a 3rd grader weighing in at a school board meeting about curriculum.

    • Mary says:

      I disagree I think she has valid points but many do not like it when people go against Simon. She was on the money with Emblem 3 and if Simon was not so egotist he would see that. The boys have even said they are not a boy band, but Simon wants another one direction and he is pushing them that way. The unplug portion proves they cannot sing – which in today’s music I guess it doesn’t matter, but I guess I am greedy I want both a singer with the Xfactor. I honestly believe that the X factor that everyone is looking for is manufacture and some stick and some don’t.

  18. Becca says:

    I think that Diamond should be judged with a grain of salt for her Pepsi Challenge performance. She used that song to audition!

  19. Allyson says:

    Anyone getting annoyed with Demi. Sometimes I feel as if she is crictizing just for the sake of it. I am tired of her negativity.She has a talented voice, but as a judge not to so much. I think Emblem 3 has the potential, but I think Simon is trying to make them into the American version of One Direction. I think Carly Rose has the most potential to win.

    • dj says:

      I think Demi is being more critical now because she is trying desperately to keep Cece in the competition, so she is pointing out any flaws she can think of in the others.

      • Mary says:

        They are valid flaws and should be pointed out. If the other judges did their jobs it would not seem like Demi is nick picking. None of the judges pointed out that Emblem 3 singing was way off, but it didn’t stop them on a few other contestants. I hope Michael is right and Emblem 3 and CeCe go.

  20. Jack says:

    1. Carly
    2. Tate
    3. Cece

    Diamond goes home first. Emblem3 and 5th Harmony sing-off. The judges split and due to tiebreaker, America voted for 5th Harmony. Unless Cece is forced to sing-off, if she does the judges would send her home ASAP, but I think Diamond and Emblem in a shocker.

    Diamond has been constantly in the bottom, and she’s been singing the same songs. Emblem are truly godawful, terrible vocals, bad attitude, etc, I think they could be a dark horse elimination ala Vino. 5th Harmony have been in the bottom mid-range, but I think they could potentially win sing-offs. I think Cece will get enough of Demi’s fanbase to keep her going just 1 more week. I dont get how she gets ridiculed, but Emblem’s vocals are weak.

    • kavyn says:

      Well they saved her twice, why not save her a third time if it means other acts get an extra week? They did it with Bea and Vino.

  21. Clarissa says:

    Demi was right about dollar tree Jonas Brothers tho. Hoping they go home. *prayer circle*

  22. Olivia says:

    Carly Rose Sonenclar is fantastic, Emblem3 totally bomb they can’t sing send them home as well Cee Cee.

  23. Julie says:

    I agree with L.A. — there is no actual harmony in Fifth Harmony’s performances. And they are so boring. All of the girls are decent to good singers, but they don’t work for me as an actual group. Also, there are no girl groups that are successful in the US, and there haven’t been for years and years. Maybe the music buying public simply aren’t interested in girl groups anymore?

    Carly Rose and Diamond outdid all their elders tonight.

    Cece and 5th Harmony should get voted off.

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      Pussycat Dolls were only three years ago, not years and years and years and years ago.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      since they have only been a group for a very short time in a very stressful situation you don’t think that after the show is over they could take some extended quality time to get some choral coaching to help get them on track? I think they have a lot of potental that needs exploring

      • jaxguy says:

        For me the top 2 are Carly and Firth Harmony. Those girls are downright great. I would buy their records because love great singing.

        • Mary says:

          They are my top two as well. I only wish Carly would sing an uptempo song. I know she could handle it. I am starting to get a little bored hearing the same type of songs. If the public picks again I hope they have a popular upbeat song to choose from.

  24. Aria says:

    Wow, does L.A. have some douchebag comment to make before every single performer sings? And does Demi have something obnoxious to say to every single performer afterward? And does Demi’s obnoxious comment inevitably result in Simon obnoxious demeaning her? And does Britney never exceed six words per comment, three of which are always “that was amazing” or “you’re a star”?

    I only watch for the groups.

  25. Rhiannah says:

    Haha, America made Carly sing that she wants to drink beer with the guys. Nice going, folks.

  26. Jordan says:

    A much better show overall tonight. I loved seeing the contestants perform two songs each, allowing them to redeem themselves.

    1. Carly Rose – so above and beyond everyone else on the show. Her rendition of “As Long As You Love Me” showed a completely different side of her, a much more youthful one, and she still nailed the vocal.

    2. Fifth Harmony – I’ve never liked this group, but tonight, they changed my mind with their performance of “Give Your Heart a Break”. There were harmonies, each girl nailed her part, it was fun, etc. I still think they sing too many solo parts, but there was improvement tonight. Rather than each girl getting her own part, I think Simon needs to play around with having them sing in groups of two and three. That’s what being a group is about.

    3. Cece Frey – is she the best singer? No. Were her vocals tonight on? No. But she’s a great performer. Britney nailed it with her critique of “Part of Me” – kudos, Britney! Cece can captivate an audience, like other female artists. She’s like Katy Perry, Ke$ha, etc. They sacrifice the vocal quality to put on a stellar performance, and I saw a star tonight when Cece performed.

    4. Tate Stevens – he bores me, and I don’t think there’s anything special about him in comparison to other country singers. Every performance sounds like he’s trying to mimic those who came before him. But he’s a good singer, especially in comparison to the other contestants.

    5. Diamond White – I think she’s adorable, but it’s her time to go. If Carly Rose wasn’t in the competition, she would have a much better chance. But every week, and it may not be fair, but I compare the two, and Carly always wins. I think she’ll be successful one day, but now is not her time.

    6. Emblem3 – I have no words. I feel so terrible for Wesley because he single-handedly has to carry their performance every week. And I’m disappointed in the judges. None of them commented on the TERRIBLE vocals that Muscles has? He cannot sing. Thank God Demi is there to bring them back to earth each week. They need to leave.

    • John says:

      How can Cece Frey be above ANYONE? She’s terrible! She couldn’t even nail “Part Of Me,” and Katy Perry essentially sing-talks that song anyhow…

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        I don’t understand how she could take on Whitney (successfully) and make something vocally out of a nothing like I’m Sexy and now she misses the pitch on a third of her notes for weeks. Are they pumping some weird off key crap into her earpiece? Is she not able to hear what she is singing with the crowd and band making a racket?

      • TheBeach says:

        CeCe was sharp her entiire second song.

      • Jordan says:

        Because, honestly, I would much rather listen to one of her songs on the radio than anyone below her on my list. I know she’s not the greatest singer, but these days, you don’t have to be the best singer if you’re a great performer. It may not be fair, but it’s the truth.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      I wonder how Tate is with his band away from doing covers other people pick for him…he didn’t do good on the chorus of Living On A Prayer but I was absolutely intrigued by the twangy acoustic instrumentation with his vocals…thought the second song was really good and showcased him at his best…thoght Slezak under-rated him tonight

    • jaxguy says:

      I think I agree with everything you said.

  27. Divine says:

    Cece needs to go….she cannot sing. I think she accidently gets her higher notes on the right pitch but that’s about it. I don’t know why she is still here. Simon should have sent her home that first time she was up for elimination. Now I have to suffer through her off pitch songs and watching her continue to convince us that she deserves a 5 million dollar singing contract.

    Carly is going to win and if by some horrible fluke she doesn’t win…she will still be EXTREMELY successful. She is the reason I watch.

    • Mary says:

      Lets be real Britney earns 15 million for saying I’m so proud of you. Many of top pop artist cannot sing and makes way more money than they should, because I guess kids now a day enjoy this manufacture sh..t. Simon kept her on for entertainment reasons and to give his groups the best shot. I think it would be funny if it backfires on him and Cece ends up winning the whole thing. I don’t think it would happen but it would be amusing.

  28. Josh says:

    Carly is the Best followed by Fifth Harmony Emblem3 sucks that is all

  29. Patrick says:

    Fifth harmony needs to do a Britney song.

  30. Didi says:

    Really bad night for E3.
    Now hat they got songs that required actual singing, it clearly showed that they can’t.
    Forever Young was especially horrible, sounded like drunk guys in a bar climbing on the tables hollering songs.

  31. You have got to check out the Billy Moore audition on the uk Xfator. funniest thing I have ever seen.

  32. Sinclair says:

    The Simon/Demi sparring is a ratings ploy … have to create some kind of drama at that judge’s table, ’cause Lord knows Britney is so dazed and confused that she brings nothing to the telecast. As for last tonight’s performances, I’d love to know what compels people to vote for CeCe, unless it’s a sheer sympathy vote. If you walk out of the room during one of her performances (like I usually do), you can really hear how off-key she sings. If there is any justice in this world, this no-talent, narcissistic twit will be heading back to the post office after tonight’s show. And oh, did I mention how much I think Khloe and Mario stink? The show would be better off with schmucks dressed as Bozo the Clown and Frosty the Snowman as co-hosts. At least they would be entertaining.

  33. Slatina Whorinova says:

    I give Emblem3 an F because blondie forgot to take off his shirt (and pants). I want those pecs! The armpits! The biceps!

  34. Stacey says:

    I think Britney is doing a fine job. Sure she doesn’t speak. But most of the time, she gets it right. She’s made errors. But others have made errors. The show doesn’t need Britney to speak in many verses. They have Demi for fighting with Simon. LA a lot of times doesn’t say a lot. If he does, it’s either “it’s not your best.” or “Not bad”. So I wish Michael would stop bashing Britney. And her music. No one sees her as the best vocalist. But she’s successful. And her music is catchy. Is Scream and Shout artistically relevant. But half of what Rihanna sings isn’t either. So just because Britney is not slamming singers, and using her time to talk and talk… Doesn’t mean she isn’t doing a good job. I actually think she’s one of the better mentors. Demi has never gotten her singers. Simon is trying to create the next One Direction at the expense of Fifth Harmony (who I think might actually have the better future). LA hated his group, but is forced to deal with Tate’s popularity. Dimond is very good, but her odds of getting past tonight are slim. Since on CeeCee is really only the obvious to go! And depends on how popular Fifth Harmony is…

  35. dmelamed says:

    i watched the x-factor last night for the first time, and it was pretty bad. i mean – if thats the top 6? ouch. there are maybe 3 talents there that deserve to be recognized. the others are just eh that will be forgotten in less than a year.

  36. Andrea says:

    I wish Emblem 3 and Cece would go tonight. Emblem 3 thinks they are much better than they really are!

  37. db says:

    Mike if you have any influence call them and tell them to shut up the girls screaming through the songs. Its irritating and makes no sense…..

  38. Jack says:

    I know you aren’t a musician, but there’s a huge difference between dropping an octave during the chorus and changing the key during the chorus. Tate was still very much on key when he sang the chorus of “Livin’ on a Prayer.” He just dropped an octave. Key ≠ octave. Done.

  39. Mark Burnett says:

    This show has become completely about the judges taking shots at the other judges through the acts on stage. I’m a big Cowell fan, but it’s becoming unwatchable. L.A., Demi and Simon keep taking shots at each other at the expense of the people performing, just like L.A., Nicole and Simon did last year. Luckily for Britney, she’s there for nothing more than the paycheck, good on ya lassie. Not to mention the god-awful hosts but whoever thought it was a good idea to put a Kardashian on network television because they are “relevant” should be fired. This show has become brutal from top to bottom. Do yourselves a favor, spend your reality singing competition tv watching time on The Voice. You’ll thank me later.

    • jaxguy says:

      Watch the Voice if you want to see America blow it every year. I’m done with that show.

    • Mary says:

      The voice is all about the judges. I will grant you the singers are more polished but the judges are there for a paycheck and to help sell their music. In a way it is worst because it is clearly not about the voice, false advertising, it is popularity. X Factor never claims to be about singing – looking for the manufacture star.

  40. Mark says:

    I think it’s unfortunate that Emblem 3 is humiliating themselves in this competition by being forced to sing other artist’s songs. Wesley is an okay singer (the goat-like tremors on sustained notes drives me bonkers, though. Drew is, to be kind, a limited vocalist in both his ‘power’ and range (half an octave at best) while Keaton is competetant only as a backup to his older brother.

    Emblem 3’s original material is written to showcase their strengths (musicianship and an ability to write catchy instrumental hooks and choruses) and to distract from the above stated weaknesses.
    What is really needed in the TV landscape of these types of talent shows is a Battle of the Bands and Soloists show that showcases original material performed by the songwriter/artists. That would present enough trainwreck material for rubberneck viewers as well as promote genuinely talented artists. On that type of show I think Emblem 3 would excel, but on X-Factor it’s just painful to watch, and even more painful for the boys to perform material that is beyond their narrow vocal capabilities week after week.

  41. RD says:

    Please,for the love of god,get CeCe out of there,america.And she can take the shirtless wonder boy and his cronies with her while she’s at it.

  42. George B says:

    My Christmas wish list
    Skidmark goes home.
    Demi goes away.
    Not a lot to ask, is it?

  43. Alex says:

    BEST overall: Carly Rose, who never sounds bad, and Fifth Harmony, picking up steam as the members learn to be a group
    WORST: Tate, who always sound the boring same, and Emblem 3, an incredibly ordinary group of singers

  44. Sharon says:

    Agree w/ Michael re: Tate, but! Did you ever see Garth Brooks, for example, step out of the pre-ordained, macho, country singin’ man box and “take risks”? Or.. Tim McGraw or Zac Brown? or or or? It’s the genre, dude! He ain’t ALLOWED to leave that damn box!

    • Julie says:

      That’s true, country music doesn’t seem to be an area where you are encouraged to take a lot of risks. Still, Tate does seem like he’s become a little complacent.

  45. Julie says:


    Should go home: Emblem3, CeCe
    Will go home: CeCe, Fifth Harmony

    No way Tate or Carly Rose will be in the bottom 3. Their fanbases are obviously the strongest. And the tweens/teens/older women who love Emblem3 despite their constant underwhelming performances will keep them safe.

    • Mary says:

      I hope your wrong I like fifth Harmony. I would even suffer thru CeCe one more week if Emblem 3 got voted off. I know it is too much to ask but maybe America will get it right this time and send them both home (E3 and Cece)

  46. cj says:

    Did anyone see the four back up singers (2 at each side) for Fifth Harmony? My guess is that they were singing the harmonies – and why would a GIRL GROUP of FIVE need back up singers. Seriously!

  47. Callum says:

    Go Demi! She’s getting a bunch of her friends to get their fans to vote. Sia Furler, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus, and a bunch of others. Also, she said that CeCe’s voting number was her actual number and for fans to “call her”. Which means that CeCe will most likely NOT be going home this week!!!

  48. mikey says:

    Simon ruined Emblem3. Were did those wild kids go that were running all over the stage rappin and raising hell. He turned them into a sub par boyband. Even they hate it.
    Fifth Harmony has the most underutilized talent in the competition
    Love Carly
    Like Diamond
    Not into Tate. Lots of guys sing that well. Lots!
    CeCe rocks the house everytime she takes the stage. Pitch? Get real wannabe musicians. I am a musician and she is on most of the time while taking risks and going for it like none of the others do. Hers is the concert I would pay money for. I mean really…you wouldpay to see Emblem3 do Monkee covers.