The X Factor Performance Finale Recap: Anything Could Happen, So Let It Be [Updated]

fifth harmony demi lovatoYou can’t believe everything you hear on television, or so our mothers told us. But tonight’s X Factor Season 2 performance finale drove home that message loudly, grinningly and cacophonously.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, let me present a selection of the bald-faced lies that dropped during the course of a strange, though not entirely un-entertaining two-hour telecast:

* “That was one of the most fun moments I’ve had on this stage: It was just amazing. I had a blast.” –Carly Rose Sonencla to LeAnn Rimes, following their cataclysmic duet

* “I remember the first time I saw you on stage.” –Britney Spears to Carly Rose Sonenclar (Oh come on! Britney can’t remember what she had for lunch!)

* “There’s no second place. There’s no third place. There’s only the winner.” –L.A. Reid (Um, whether or not X Factor producers withhold that info or announce it come Thursday night, one act will, in fact, be the runner-up when the phone lines finally close.)

PHOTOS | The X Factor: The Inside Story on Season 2′s Wildest Production Numbers

* “It’s a really, really big deal.” –Mario Lopez, mentioning that the Season 2 X Factor champ will have his/her/their debut video double as a Pepsi “pop-star commercial”

* “Guess what? The new love of my life is country music!” –L.A. Reid, who just doesn’t care and will say whatever it is they’re yelling into his earpiece, since he’s not coming back next season anyway

Clearly we need some truth to counterbalance the deceptions. I can assure you the following set list is 100% accurate to the best of my ability (to Google search country-music lyrics). My grades? Well, as much as I’d like to think they’re factual, too, they’re merely one humble blogger’s opinions. Read on!

Round 1: “Greatest Hits” (aka Save Money By Not Clearing Any New Songs Round)
Carly Rose Sonenclar: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” | Carly Rose is obviously a powerful vocalist with prior acting experience (that X Factor producers have never acknowledged), but I’m not sure Meryl Streep could’ve pulled off the task of looking into Britney Spears’ half-interested eyes during their final mentoring session and convincingly delivering the line “I just wanna make you proud.” (Somehow, I suspect the kid has more important motivations than bringing glory to a woman who probably gives her no more than five lucid minutes per week.) Anyhow… Carly Rose kicked things off atop a flight of steps, just like every reality singing competition performance of “Feeling Good” ever — but in a departure from her Season 2 audition she delivered the lyrics with an oddly heightened pronunciation — “fish in the sea,” for example, became “fish in the say-ay” — while an odd squeak cropped up on the final repeat of phrases “new dawn” “new day” and “new life.” That latter hiccup served as a reminder that I was watching a middle-schooler gussied up in leather pants and knee-high boots and delivering lines like “freedom is mine!” Strange. On the plus side, Carly Rose commanded the stage in a way few contestants have all season, but when the show cut away to her hometown celebration and a random shot of a woman with tray of cupcakes, it reminded me how much more I enjoyed this song when Jennifer Hudson belted it in her legendary Weight Watchers commercial. And also when Adam Lambert did it on Idol. And even when Melanie Amaro did it on X Factor last season. And yeah, when Dez Duron did it on The Voice just a few weeks prior. (That’s a lot of people “Feeling Good” lately; maybe the song needs a time-out in 2013?) Grade: B

Tate Stevens: Randy Houser’s “Anything Goes” | I’m not sure if it was on the teleprompter or just an unfortunate ad-lib from Khloe, but I will admit I chuckled when she introduced Tate as “a simple street worker from Belton, MO.” Then, of course, we got Tate’s most overt/obnoxious get-out-the-vote speech of the season. “They want to win,” he said of his teenage female rivals. “I need to win.” Seriously, dude? Did you forget that Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane lives in a house with 32 of her relatives? Also, if quitting your day job actually put your family at risk of financial ruin, maybe you shouldn’t have spent the last three months burning bridges with comments like “I can’t go back to laying asphalt.” (A job, mind you, that tens of thousands of out-of-work Americans would be quite happy to have.) Okay, okay…end of rant. Tate delivered “Anything Goes” with a certain amount of schmaltz, but I suppose that sentiment is as vital to the song as a chemical patina of maple syrup “flavoring” is to the McGriddle. It wasn’t exactly exciting, but it was most certainly in tune — and it was maybe the sweetest moment of the season when Tate got choked up after his hometown mayor revealed that the Belton water tower had been painted with the message “Home of Tate Stevens: Live the Dream.” Tone-deaf Mario, of course, couldn’t leave a tender moment alone, barking that Tate was choked up “because he doesn’t have to go back to work. That’s what that’s about.” OMG, Mario, shut your carefully groomed pie-hole (even if you haven’t actually allowed yourself a slice of pie since 2003)!!! Grade: B

Fifth Harmony: Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” | You can find more nuanced examples of villainy at the end of Scooby Doo episodes than what Simon did to his “other” group Fifth Harmony to kick off the Season 2 finale. I mean, I know the acts were all giving encores of their best performances, but 5H’s first attempt at “Anything Could Happen” occurred only seven days prior — during the Season 2 semifinals — and then Simon had them deliver it with the same exact pastel Mad Hatter tea party staging (save for the addition of a GIANT PEGASUS on the backdrop). Why not give them a new set? Or new costumes? Or a new arrangement? They could’ve done it a capella! Making matters worse, La Cowell shared that 5H’s semifinal showstopper “was the moment I saw something special in these girls” — essentially implying that he’d spent almost an entire season less-than-impressed by their body of work. (!!) My biggest problem with this rendition, though, was that the backing track was blasting so loud, it was hard to tell if the quintet even had their mics turned on. Yeah, you could hear Lauren, Camilla and Dinah Jane when each gal took her turn on lead vocals, but the final third of the performance might as well have been pre-recorded by five of the Kardashian sisters, filtered through 27 computers, and spat back out through the X Factor sound system. That tactic made no sense considering every memeber of 5H has a legitimately good singing voice, but I can’t in good conscience give the performance anything higher than… Grade: C+

Round 2: Duets With Established Artists
Carly Rose Sonenclar (with LeAnn Rimes): “How Do I Live?” | “Was Lindsay Lohan not available? What about Kanye West?” I thought, when I first heard Carly Rose had been paired with tabloid staple LeAnn Rimes for her finale duet. Even putting aside Rimes’ questionable current Q-rating, though, Carly Rose simply isn’t a country artist. But if the pairing made little to no sense on paper, it became even more baffling in practice. For starters, this particular arrangement of “How Do I Live” felt like it had been pruned down using a hacksaw — the opening line “How do I…get through a night without you?” was dropped wholesale, so when Carly Rose (in ghastly orchid leather pants!) began the song with the words, “if I had to live without you,” I wondered if somehow she’d missed her cue from the band and botched the intro. (In retrospect, though, that wasn’t really a lyric you’d want to hear from a 13-year-old.) Things got even crazier when Rimes took the stage for verse two — adopting a languid, behind-the-beat phrasing that was chock full of unnecessary runs and hinky enunciation. When Carly Rose joined LeAnn on the second chorus — singing the melody in a straightforward fashion — it sounded like the two women were singing two completely different songs in unison, the musical equivalent of a toddler hitting a wooden spoon against a toy xylophone. If Carly Rose loses out on her long-expected X Factor coronation, then this is the moment where the queen had the crown knocked out of her hands. Grade-A Mess

Tate Stevens (with Little Big Town): “Pontoon” | Last week Tate gave us “Bonfire,” a working-class party anthem about kickin’ it with pals low-fi style. “Pontoon” offered a variation on that theme, only with the sexy ladies of Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild’s gold pants were the single best piece of fashion on the X Factor stage all season) and a water theme instead of a fire one. I loved that Tate danced playfully during Fairchild’s verse, delivering the classic “come on over here” hand gesture with great gusto; dude looked and sounded like he’d managed to briefly escape the overarching awfulness of the X Factor experience and genuinely enjoy this collaboration — even if it’s one half of us might forget by this time next season. (“He was groovin’! I’ll tell you that much!” yapped Mario, who really should stick to the teleprompter.) Grade: B+

Fifth Harmony (with Demi Lovato): “Give Your Heart a Break” | Speaking of fun collaborations, 5H and Demi looked so joyous and sounded so on-point here that I briefly forgot that Simon had saddled his last remaining act with yet another repeat performance from earlier in the season (they first tackled “GYHAB” on Dec. 5). Combined with their semifinal rendition of “Impossible” and their double-encore this week, that made for three consecutive repeats from the underdog girl group. (Is Simon punishing them for coming into the X Factor cafeteria and eating the lunches of teacher’s pet Emblem3? Perhaps. And perhaps even just subliminally.) There wasn’t a moment of this simple, straightforward arrangement that I didn’t enjoy, and Dinah Jane’s solos were particularly awesome. If the ability to exist and thrive in the real world is a requirement for an X Factor winner, 5H did a pretty stellar job of making their case on this performance. Grade: A-

Round 3: “Emotions”
Carly Rose Sonenclar: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” | This was a prime example of the whole being less than the sum of its parts: We had a classic tugs-the-heartstrings ballad, a 187-person (approximately) Gospel choir, a heavenly setting of billowing white fabrics and chandeliers, and an angelic teenage vocalist — but it simply didn’t resonate with me. Maybe it’s because “Hallelujah” has been sung by so many reality competition contestants and been used in so many “dramatic montages” on scripted TV that I’ve become numb to it. Maybe it’s because at the tender age of 13, Carly Rose doesn’t really have the depth of experience to bring to life the song’s esoteric lyrics. Or maybe it’s because all the trappings of Carly Rose’s performance came together to spell out cynical, test-marketed message — in all caps — yelling “YOU ARE WITNESSING A MOMENT! THIS IS WHERE SHE WINS!” Alas, though, when something’s been processed so absolutely, it’s hard to appreciate that it might have been produced from anything real or organic. I don’t mean to rain on a little girl’s dreams, but “Hallelujah” confirmed my nagging suspicions that Carly Rose could use another five, or maybe 10 or even 15 years of seasoning before I’m going to be really interested in buying any of her post-X Factor musical output. Right now she’s an actor on a stage, reciting lines about love and loss and life, rather than an actual human being whose shared experiences are so vivid and true that it knocks me for a loop, awakens memories and emotions from my own life as I’m listening to her delivery a melody and a lyric. That’s what great music is supposed to be about — and that’s exactly what this rendition of “Hallelujah” was not. Grade: B-

Tate Stevens: Chris Young’s “Tomorrow” | “I always enjoy what you do,” said Britney, and while maybe that wasn’t the most insightful critique, there was an unfussy honesty to it. Tate once again chose a “man rocks woman in his strong arms” ballad — albeit this time with a twist of regret and turmoil adding some bitterness to the cocktail — and sang it on pitch, in a cowboy hat, without any backup dancers or crazy set pieces. The guy is good at what he does. Like windshield wipers and forks and sweaters, there’ll always be a market for him. Is there a $5 million market for him? I’m not sure. Will I be upset if he wins the whole enchilada? Absolutely not. Is he ever going to turn me into that fanatical woman from his hometown party who’s got a dog named “Tater” and a look of crazy adulation in her eyes? Not as long as I have the number to a good therapist. Grade: B-

Fifth Harmony: The Beatles’ “Let It Be” | It was strange hearing Simon call out his last remaining act as not really being a group so much as they are five talented young singers. I mean, hasn’t he been beating the “sisterhood of the traveling microphone” drum for the last two months? Nevertheless, though, the comment/criticism made sense after watching Lauren, Ally, Normani, Dinah Jane and Camilla pass the melody from one to the next without really doing any kind of harmonizing or vocal blending whatsoever. Still, vocal cohesion is a slow broil kind of thing; you can’t just pop five gals in the X Factor pressure cooker and expect a fully completed dish 15 minutes later. So while “Let It Be” wasn’t 100 percent cohesive, all five portions of it were beautifully sung. I even liked Dinah Jane’s doubled-up “Mother Mary” and Camilla’s rapid-fire scat on “let it be, let it be, let it be.” I mean, I’d have flipped my lid if Emblem3 had added a rap to “Hey Jude” last week, but I’m not such a purist that I don’t think you can play a little bit with a Beatles’ melody. Grade: A-

And with that, let me turn things over to you! Who should win Season 2 of The X Factor? Who actually will take the crown? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality TV recaps, commentary and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!–4

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. Lol why is the poll for the voice?

    • You realize that half the sound of 5H is coming from backing vocalists standing on the edges of the stage? You can see them in wide shots. We don’t really know what 5H sound like without assistance. They’re a female Milli Vanilli.

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        I did get the bad feeling that 80% of their first performance was an auto-tuned backing track plus singers hidden at the sides. I mean it all worked super well but in a singing contest I’m not quite share how fair it was to the other two. Only the fact that the show is called xfactor, maybe, maybe lets it slide, since that is how a girl group like theirs might produce a pop single but….

        But compared to Carly who 100% carries it all, all the time and Tate who reasonably largely does so…..

        • TheBeach says:

          Tru dat. While Carly and Tate use backup singers as “backup singers” they are both front and center with their vocals. It’s quite a different thing to intentionally deceive the audience.

        • Jazzy says:

          Take a listen to the itunes live recording of their Anything Could Happen reprise (you can probably find it on youtube). They are definitely singing it all live. The live mix for the show seems to favor the bg singers, but the itunes favors the feed coming straight from the girls’ mics. The girls WERE doing all their own harmonies.

          • Snow says:

            Thank you for directing to the itunes performance because I was bothered by the audio we saw on the show, but yes you can hear their distinct voices on the recording which was a relief. I am a fan of them and was disappointed with Anything Could Happen last night because it didn’t seem like they were doing much singing.

    • Mick says:

      After seeing how good UK XFactor winners Little Mix are at harmonizing and generally singer I can say I’m not really loving 5H. They are ok though and did the best tonight.

      • ktbanks says:

        Little Mix is amazing! They have such great harmonies, especially a capella! I think with more time Fifth Harmony could get there. It’s hard to gel in such a short time period like this.

        • Owen says:

          That is a lie. A group of singers in a community theatre production of Music Man can learn tight harmonies in one rehearsal. These girls are not a group. Some of them are quite good soloists, but that’s not what X Factor is pushing and Slezak should know this. Slezak is awful.

    • Owen says:

      When a recaper for a singing show doesn’t care if a song is auto tuned, or if the contestant sings on key its time for said recapper to be fired.

  2. I Heart Chuck Bass (and Damon Salvatore) says:

    I’m only voting for Fifth Harmony if Demi joins them and they rename themselves again — this time, call them Demi and the Demettes.

    • Wiol says:

      Demi and The Eyebrows
      Demi and The Poor Career Choices
      Demi and The Downhills
      Demi and The Raspies
      Demi and The Makeovers
      Demi and The CeCes

      Sorry. But I’ve had enough of that Lovato creature to last forever. Someone put her away or let Disney harvest her amino acids to reconstitute into a new tweenlet singer. The expiry date has passed on this host body.

  3. Mary says:

    Michael you need to change who should win, the voice was last night we are on x factor.
    I really do not care who wins, but I would like 5H. Carly is a little young, and I cannot picture what her music would be like. I am not into country music so Tate doesn’t do anything for me, he does not stand out and after saying The kids want it but I need it just sounded so desperate. If he was that concern he should not of quit his day job. I was not impressed with the final, but I thought 5H stood out the most and I think with a little work they could be marketable.

  4. Jrs says:

    Fifth garm

  5. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    “Hallelujah – B-” ???????
    What?!?? That was amazing, on of her best and best of the night! Did you actually listen to LA Reid being an ‘impartial’ judge on that one??

    And 5th’s Let It Be – I don’t know about that, they were definitely singing most of it this time at least, granted…. individually. Anything Could Happen worked way better for them, although I do have the same sneaking suspicion that it was 80% backing tracks…. so I’d give it an A- but then some sort of bad mark for cheating perhaps.

    5th w Demi was a fun performance and they all did well.

    Carly was a little more reserved and less free on her first one than during her audition, especially the first part, but it was still good.

    I was actually surprised that Carly’s voice blended with LeAnn’s. Just because it sounded like there was no chance they could mesh their voices, when they harmonized it blended well.

    • Mary says:

      I thought that was the worst duet ever. I actually thought Leann was on medication or drunk she did not sound good. Carly would of been better off by herself.

      • BarbL says:

        Leann was sick–she was on Fallon (I think it was him) last night and he mentioned it.

        • Wiol says:

          Then she should have excused herself and let one of the hundred other people that could have filled in taken the slot. Its not like they reheresed that much or that Leann is anything close to the ratings-getting star she once was. I question the worth of letting another addict like her around impressionable children anyway. But this is the show that keeps Unfitney Spears close to the tweens.

          It was a horrible performance between a scared girl and an old, frog-eyed mop.

      • Tara says:

        the second Leanne came out, I thought she was drunk…she was atrocious…eeks

        did anyone else feel like they were setting this whole night up for a 5th harmony win??

        • Mark says:

          Team Brandii all the way.

        • Ted Sutton says:

          Tara…it sure felt like that too me. I admit that their “Anything Can Happen” could be a radio hit, but that performance sounded very much like a recording studio mix, not a live singing contest mix. Backing track for sure. Sometimes it felt like there were 15 singers on the stage.

      • BarbL says:

        Leann was sick, as she stated last night Actually, it was Jay Leno

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        yeah LeAnn had a shaky start, gave it her best being sick. It was a weird pairing to think of doing to begin with. But that said, when they both sang, it wasn’t like some twang clashing with Carly’s tone and it did blend. In some ways maybe it made Carly look even better?

      • Danny says:

        Spot on. That’s the second time on one of these shows I thought that a contestant was vastly better than an established singer. The first time ironically, was w/ Michael’s co-host Melinda. Back in her season I thought she was a lot better than who she sang with at the AI Finale.

      • jean says:

        exactly, leeann seemed drunk, she even either stumbled coming down the stairs, or burped at the beginning, even carly kept on giving her looks and didn’t know how to respond to her actions

      • Kim R says:

        Leann over sang Carly, there was a lot of hollerating and it just did not sound good. I was kind of embarrassed. If she was sick, she should have stepped down. When Carly started singing I was kind of hoping Trisha Yearwood would come out. :)

    • BarbL says:

      I totally (though respectfully) disagree with you on Carly’s Halleluiah. There should be some law that 13-year-olds can’t sing Leonard Cohen songs. I cringed–she in no way has the gravitas to pull that one off. She may be technically ok though tonight she got on my nerves too much, but she still has no connection to the songs she’s singing. And she’s a bit too self aware for my tastes.
      Do I dislike her? No, but when she’s done with this competition, I hope she ends up singing something more age (and experience) appropriate.
      Do I think she’ll win? She has a good shot at it, but I don’t believe she nailed it tonight.

      • S7 Fan says:

        I agree with you BarbL. Carly’s performance of Hallelujah left me cold.

        • jaxguy says:

          It was easily one of the best performances of the season. And for gods sake for all of you who bitch about her over singing she was beautifully restrained. She deserves to win. I hope she does.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:


          • BarbL says:

            No one’s “bitching” about her singing. I didn’t like the song choice. And no amount of technically brilliant singing is going make a 13 year old sing that song with authority.

          • ejones says:

            You know very well that in the early low, slow part of the song, Carly was struggling to stay in tune. In all her songs when there is a low/slow she has struggled, comes into her own when she ups the volume.

      • Linda says:

        One word about Halleluiah. Katie Lang. Carly Rose did not even hit a high note at the end-because she couldn’t- she did not reach anyones soul imo. As for the person who dissed Cohen. He is an icon and I have never heard of the song being anyone elses. It is his signature contribution. If anyone else comes close to owning it is KD Lang. Find her on youtube and you will be blown away.

        • MyTake says:

          I’m with you sister! When KD Lang sang that song it made me cry it was so incredibly magical. Unfortunately, she’s ruined the song for me hearing anyone else attempt it. Nobody else has even come close.

        • BarbL says:

          Oh I love KD’s version of the song too–as a matter of fact, I like KD Lang singing Roy Orbison’s “Crying” too.
          Leonard Cohen wrote the song and sang it the way it was meant to be sung.
          Also, Alexandria Burke from X Factor UK was great, as well.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            I have to disagree. His recent live versions sounded verging on cornball and were more spoken than sung. I heard his original version now too and that is better but it still not my cup of tea, sound like some sort of bullfrog dirge sing-talking with the occasional Captain Kirk-like phrasing (although not nearly as much as in the youtube where it. is all. phrased just like. in this. way.) in some sort of 1940s country-folk style or something. It has more feeling than the versions I heard from him on you tube but it mostly doesn’t move me a lot. Not a fan of that style or the general production of it either. He wrote a fantastic song though and certainly has accomplished a lot of course though.
            His version is so radically different from Carly’s that if you grew up loving that I can see how this would be such a turn around that you might just automatically hate it at first without even giving it a chance. Her version is certainly closer to Buckley’s.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            Just to make it clear I don’t mean to knock 40s (and other era folk singers and songs) although it may have sounded like in one part of my post below. Lots of great stuff there.

        • TheBeach says:

          I’m with the rest of you. k.d. lang singing this at the Vancouver Olympics was pure magic…any doubters are free to check youtube.

        • jaxguy says:

          omg there are so many people who have STUPID things to say about Carly. And it’s not Katie. It’s kd. If you can’t get her name right maybe you’re no expert.

        • Yo' says:

          I have heard many beautiful rendition of this song; sadly, Carly Rose’s was not one of them. Give her ten or twenty years.

          • Owen says:

            Okay, why would you purposely parrot what Slezak said. Are you eight years old? Jeeze. And if you’re going to parrot him, try to at least repeat one of his more clever and/or less prejudiced quotes.

          • Jenny says:

            10 or 20 years? You mean you think she’ll be ready when she’s 33… What a stupid thing to say. Stop using her age as why she should not win. Judge her damn voice!!!

        • vincent dante says:

          Jeff Buckley. That is all.

      • Ted Sutton says:

        Barbl…that is one of the best comments about Carly this season. Spot on. Totally agree that 13-year old singers don’t have the gravitas for adult songs with themes outside their experience.
        While technically good Carly does not really connect with the material in a way that will make the listener really feel the song. A good actor will give you a cathartic experience. A good singer can do the same thing, releasing emotions held deep within a person.

        Carly never gave me a cathartic experience this whole season. If she can’t connect with the material, and feel the song, she won’t be able to make you feel it either. She just is not old enough to sing adult songs.

      • George B says:

        Barbi…I couldn’t agree more. If you ever want to hear the song done right, check out kd lang’s version. After that, every one else should just sit down adn be quiet.

      • syb says:

        I wish there were a law that says no more reality show contestants can sing the song.

        I also think it might behoove those handling a 13 year old girl to consider that the song is not a religious hymn of purity. It has religious references to biblical couples, and yes, I know she didn’t sing about tying anyone to a kitchen chair, breaking his throne and cutting his hair. But this is a melancholy song about how lovers grow apart. It bugs me how this song has become a substitute for Amazing Grace or the like, because all people hear is the word “Hallelujah” and they think its a spiritually uplifting song.

    • Mike says:

      I don’t normally read his reactions to the show. Is he always this hard on Carly? Hallelujah was AMAZING. And I really enjoyed her duet with Leann. The arrangement was different but it didn’t ruin the quality of the voice. She’s the most original of the finalists. As much as I love Tate, he’s basic country…great, but nothing out of the ordinary. And girl groups are nothing new either. But the last time I remember such a young girl with a big voice…Leann Rimes. Not the norm. It’s more unique. Isn’t that what this show is about?

      • kevin says:

        carly’s always technically excellent, but the problem is I don’t feel anything when she sings, other than thinking wow, she can sing so well. if you guys remember jeffery adam gutt’s hallelujah back in the audition rounds, he did it better than carly. I felt the emotion back then.

        • Byrdie says:

          omg exactly.

        • jaxguy says:

          maybe it’s you that has no feelings. nothing but dumb criticism. Just admit you like mediocre music

          • kevin says:

            LOL, someone’s a little too invested. here we go again with the personal attacks. smh.

          • Ted Sutton says:

            jaxguy…Carly is a 13 year old Broadway actor with a good voice. She does not however connect with the material in a believable way. Not her fault. Children can not sing adult songs that are outside of their experience and sound convincing.

            Actors give a cathartic experience to an audience, but only if you believe the character is real. Otherwise it is just acting. Singers can do the same thing, making you feel emotions from deep inside of you, but only if they connect with the material.

            On a song like Hallelujah a 13 year old just does not have enough life experience to give you that cathartic experience. Carly is the perfect example of someone who would have been so much better if she had waited 6-7 years before coming on the show.

        • Ted Sutton says:

          Kevin…you are so right! I had forgotten about him. His Hallelujah was way better than Carly’s! Way better! He made you feel the song. Carly is a Broadway actor with a nice voice, but she does not believably connect with the material.

          Whatever happened to Kevin? He had the most shocked look on his face when he got cut. I remember his little boy running out on stage to hug him after he sang, and then Simon made some great comment that made him, and me, think he was a shoe-in. I was really looking forward to hearing more from him.

          Am I alone in thinking that this years X-Factor was a little boring? And the judges. LA is leaving.
          Good. Now lets not spend another $100,000 a word on Britney Spears. There is no way she contributed 15 million dollars worth of value to the X-Factor.

          I like Demi but she was not a good mentor. Her make overs ruined her contestants. Can a 20 year old a year out of rehab for 2 different issues mentor singers? No.

          We need adult judges who really know the business and care about the contestants. This stunt casting of judges has to stop. These shows are supposed to be about the singing talent.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            I was stunned. They barely even showed him in Hollywood and he was gone. I would’ve way taken him over some of the others in the crypt keepers. Maybe some weird disaster happened in Hollywood?

        • Ted Sutton says:

          Kevin…I mean whatever happened to Jeffery. Got your name mixed up with his, but I remember him. His Hallelujah was outstanding!

    • scorpiosue1102 says:

      I thought Carly was completely boring while singing “Hallelujah”. Only Jason Castro on Idol has done that song some justice but the song is Jeff Buckley’s, even more than Leonard Cohen.

      LeAnn Rimes may have been sick but there have been plenty of singers that have been sick yet sound decent. Carly kept looking at her like she was trying to keep up with her. It was NOT a good performance by LeAnn Rimes.

      • Carter says:

        Whoa whoa whoa, calm down. Jeff Buckley did a great version but no one will ever sing it better then Leanord Cohen.

        • Wiol says:

          Cohen rumbles and farts out the lyrics. He dosent sing. Sorry to upset your delusion on that one.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            Agreed. At least on his later attempts. Took a look at some on youtube and he phrased things like Captain Kirk and people complain about Carly having no lyrical connection tonight?? It was all stuttering and flat from Cohen. Buckley and Lang at least had better phrasing by far and a LOT more emotion than at least the live Cohen versions most easily found on youtube. I’m not as gaga crazy over KD’s as many are though. I actually like Buckley’s by far the best. I liked Carly’s a lot too. The Cohen versions I have heard I did not like at all, maybe his earlier performances were different and better. His sounded like a semi-country Captain Kirk version almost. And half the time he was like reading the lyrics not even singing them and not in any dramatic way either. Sound like some style from the 1890s or something. Again, maybe I need to be pointed to some much earlier and definitive performance of his though.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            I don’t get how talking out half the song and stop starting like Kirk is amazingly deep and emotional and Carly’s empty?? or Buckley’s?

          • Ted Sutton says:

            Wiol…You are not worthy to carry Leonard Cohen’s bag’s.

      • MyTake says:

        KD Lang singing that song during the Vancouver winter olympics was the best that song had ever been sung before and to this day. Even Leonard Cohen said he’d never heard it sung better and didn’t think he ever would. Carly performed it well but not fantastic and it didn’t move me.
        Tate, win or lose will have a career in music.

        I still love 5th Harmony and hope they win.

        I wish them all the best and hope they all go on to great success.

      • MyTake says:

        Everyone should go to Youtube and search for KD Lang Winter Olympics Hallelujah and hear what singing perfection truly is. I’m not trying to pump KD Lang, but I believe anyone that loves music should hear that sung at least once in their life :)

        Here is a quote posted by someone and I did hear this repeated in the news at the time as well.

        From Wiki: Cohen’s partner, singer Anjani Thomas, said: “After hearing k.d. lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, ‘well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection’.”

      • jaxguy says:

        the greatest version of hallelujah ever done on tv was kd lang for the winter olympics. Boring is a stupid critique. Just plain stupid. At least if you don;’t get, which you obviously don’t come up with something original. You are boring.

    • gregk says:

      Very disappointed: nine performances and pretty much zero magical, goose-bump inducing moments. Carly and LeeAnne’s “duet” was a disaster as most commenters noted. Really liked her all season, but also agree with comments that she should not have sung the vastly overdone Hallelejuha. Would have loved to hear her sing Memory or The Music of the Night. 5H was decent, especially with Demi (maybe the best performance) but Let It Be was nothing special and a bit odd in places. Tate was OK but again nothing really stood out.

    • I think LeAnn tried to overpower Carly instead of showcasing her as most of the stars are there to do. LeAnn still has insecurity issues and Carly’s voice was so much prettier than LeAnn’s, not to mention the screech she held out while Carly did vocal acrobatics during one part. Would have rather heard either separate than together

    • Jenny says:

      Slezaks a Carly hater… I mean if this recap is any indication.

    • Alienate says:

      Yes, B- is about right. That was prolly the 6th best Hallelujah of the past couple of sing show seasons. I got “no goosies” from Carly last nite.

  6. dan says:

    I’m surprised, Fifth Harmony and Demi sounded pretty good together. And was it just me, or was Lee Ann a mess with Carly? It sounded like she barely rehearsed with her.

    • I’m at a loss at to why anybody thought LeAnn Rimes would be good with Carly! The only song that would have been remotely suited to Carly’s style was “Love is an army”. Honestly, it is as though they asked who would be the worst possible match after Rick Dees turned down their request to do “Disco Duck” with her. The person who jokingly suggested “any down-and-out country singer current being slammed in the public and may or may not have serious drug issues” is in store for a nifty holiday bonus now.

      • teatime says:

        My thought was they put them together because LeAnn was a star singer at a very young age. The problem is, she is no where near Carly’s age any more.

      • Dan says:

        Carly should have sung the song she did, but it would have been glorious with Trisha Yearwood. Rimes was a mess. Her recent media coverage should have been a clue.

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      it was a weird decision, the other two made total sense. Despite all the talk about Carly being some plant picked to win I don’t really feel like they are pushing her to win AT ALL the last few weeks.

  7. BarbL says:

    Carly singing Halleluiah was just wrong. I was bemused by Simon’s response to Carly; he looked as though he bit into a lemon.
    I think that Tate was too nervous tonight, and 5H hit too many bum notes on their last song. I wish people wouldn’t sing the Beatles unless they can own the songs.
    I hope Tate wins, as he’s got the most personality, but they all will do well, they’re a talented bunch.

    • jaxguy says:

      All of you had earplugs in tonight. It’s ok if you didn’t like her performance but you are all saying stupid things. And for Tate to win because he’s got more personality is stupidity at it’s most blatant. For gods sake this is not The personality factor. He just ok and anyone with ears would hear that.

  8. Alicia says:

    I think Carly and Tate are boring, so I hope 5H wins. With that being said, I fully expect them to be the 3rd place finishers, no matter how much praise has been bestowed upon them.

    • jaxguy says:

      again boring is not a critique. find something new. I don’f find either of them boring. In Carly’s case you apparently don’t have any musical taste.

      • Alicia says:

        Boring IS a critique. Boring doesn’t top charts. Clearly YOU don’t have any musical taste. If you want to listen to a young teen sing over the top emotional ballads with which she has zero connection due to lack of life experience, be my guest.

        • Jenny says:

          Just because Demi uses the word boring a lot… Does not make it a critique .

          • Alicia says:

            Are you the same person as Jaxguy? Just because you say that boring isn’t a critique doesn’t make it a fact. Boring is absolutely a critique. You can sing a ballad and make it completely heart-wrenching and impactful – Adele does this regularly. Carly and Tate do not (Carly lacks the life experience, and Tate does on occasion but they all sound the same), and so much of what they do sounds the same every time. A too-mature Carly ballad will not top the iTunes charts. As opposed to, say, a Cassadee Pope country ballad (and I’m not even a fan of hers), because at least she is believable singing what she is singing, and she knows how to switch things up on occasion.

          • Jenny says:

            Don’t know who jax guy is…. That said you’re delusional to say Carly isn’t ready or shouldn’t win. Stop using her age as an excuse. She was a star since her audition. Not always has the right song been chosen for her but she’s always been amazing vocally. You can’t deny that. Look at her while time on X factor. most consistent of the 3 finalists. Carly is gonna win this.. Although I’m not surprised if Tate wins cause of the huge country vote. Really want it to be Carly so all you haters can shut the hell up.

          • Alicia says:

            I never said she’s not a star, just that she’s boring. And regardless of what you say, it IS a critique, and I’m not “delusional” to say that a contestant shouldn’t win a reality show. We all have opinions, and you’re delusional if you think your opinion is automatically the right one. You like Carly. I get it. Great! If she wins, that’s great for you. But you’re basically saying that everyone else who isn’t a fan of your favorite is crazy.

  9. Tara says:

    with all the things going on in this show…it’s lacking one thing–authenticity

    everything in x factor is so orchestrated…if you’re going to spend all of this money and script all of this drama…why not just hire meryl streep and anne hathaway to be judges…at least they can act

    I tune into idol because every once in a while there’s a MOMENT…someone sings a song and explodes or just takes off…x factor doesn’t even have the chance for a moment like this

    they’re just so scared and stiff that no one even has a chance…4/9 performances tonight were repeats…enough said…there were maybe, maybe 15 of NEW…snooze

    • teatime says:

      Yup. The “moments” are the main reason to watch these shows. They are getting fewer and far between. All the interventions from producers, judges, and mentors just serve to stifle “moments” where everything about the performance just clicks and gives us some wonderful performance we never would have expected.

    • Princess Adora says:

      I agree the show is so contrived. It seemed like the judges just chose their favorites and weren’t invested in any of their other acts (except maybe Demi). The saddest part is that I felt there was so much potential, I was routing for a lot of the acts. Before the live shows started I thought CeCe could sing, and we had Jillian Jensen (I was so sad to see her go and Paige stay). Lyric 145 was amazing, but had no support. Fifth Harmony has so much potential, but Simon couldn’t stop drooling over E3 to pay any attention to them (and btw 5H is my only reason for watching to this point). Carly has this amazing voice, but the songs she sings are not appropriate for her – she sings old, adult contemporary music, which I doubt she actually listens to at home, making her performances dull and unemotional. I actually liked Arin Ray, but he was saddled too many times with songs that his voice couldn’t handle. And Beatrice, OMG, I miss her, she didn’t get the support or songs that she needed. Finally, the last act that I was initially excited for: Sister C. I really don’t know why people didn’t like them. This show just makes me sad and question each week why I watch it.

  10. Mafer says:

    Carly was by far the best of that finale!!!!that mess on her second song was totally LeAnn’s fault and shouldn’t be blame it on carly IMHO

  11. busy says:

    i think leann ruined it for carly, not that carly would have a post x-factor career anyway

    • Mike says:

      um, isn’t Leann Rimes proof that Carly could very well have an excellent career as such a young girl?

      • kevin says:

        no, it’s because she is so young that she won’t have a career. what’s she gonna do after she wins? go back to school or put out a record? she still needs her schooling so she can fall back on her education if her singing career fails u know.

        • Mike says:

          Teens do this in Hollywood all the time. They spend time on their shows/movies and have tutors. It’s not like she’d be the first child star ever. What am I missing?

        • Jenny says:

          All of you hating on Carly sound like a bunch of bitter adults. Carly has amazing star power at such a young age, ya’ll are jealous.

          • Ted Sutton says:

            Jenny…I’m not jealous of Carly. I have a good career as an actor, (Google Ted Sutton) and know how to give a performance that will produce a cathartic experience for the audience. For a 13 year old girl it is almost impossible to give an audience that experience if she is singing about things outside of her own life experience.

    • jaxguy says:

      So you speak for all of America? How presumptuous of you. I would buy her record tomorrow.

  12. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    Carly FTW without any doubt whatsoever. She can hit anything and jump straight into really tricky notes compared to what she hit just before without a single pitch wobble. And for all those saying she is so whatever this and that well none other than Julie Andrews said something along the lines of Carly is by far the best one here so….
    She is a really rare find. Tate is good but you can find other Tates way more easily.
    If it had to 5th I wouldn’t go crazy, but I would be pretty disappointed since Carly is such a rare talent. 5th does use a LOT of backtracking tracks to make harmonies for a 5 person group and in one song, granted pulled off superbly, the live performance seemed like mostly pre-recorded and a bit auto-tuned played with (not so much to fix pitch but to enliven and zip) although for a single that would work fine and sell but it seems a touch unfair during the competition stage, then again it is called X-Factor not The Voice. Carly sang everything 100% front and center.
    If it is Tate………

    • Byrdie says:

      a great talent, but SOOO boring and no pop star. She belongs on broadway and I mean that as a compliment. This whole thing feels beneath her.

      • MC says:

        I think Carly would have a more interesting, satisfying and diversified career on Broadway. Time is on her side, though. She will be more adult contemporary than pop if she records some albums.

        • Timmah says:

          Carly looks so jaded to me. I think 5H or Tate would be much more appreciative if they won.

          • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

            Doesn’t because she may be more introverted about putting her own emotions out there like that does not mean she cares any less or is any more jaded. The people working with her even said she cares about it like mad. Just because she doesn’t freely let herself go and is a bit introverted in some ways doesn’t mean you should start thinking she doesn’t care or feel as deeply.

        • Jo says:

          She’s been on broadway since 2006, she’s no amateur. Which is why she shouldn’t win, leave it to the non pros that need it more!

  13. DQ says:

    The Voice was so much better!!!

    • MC says:

      But what was so great about it? The production values are top notch, but the top three left me cold. Terry could not even sing a decent version of Let It Be when he had the opportunity. That’s a red flag there. Nick is okay, but his upper register is average at best. Cassadee has no lower register and a thin voice that often breaks. She simply isn’t very good. Oh yeah, what a treat. I think people love Adam and Blake too much and critical reasoning goes out the window when they watch The Voice.

      • Mike says:

        For all of Cassadee’s perceived faults, you can’t deny she’s selling herself really well. So you don’t like her. Go look at Itunes and tell me she’s not appealing to the masses.

        • MC says:

          The masses, in this case, are easily impressed 12-25 year olds who buy lots of itunes and vote relentlessly for whoever is the fad of the moment. No thanks.

          • Mike says:

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ll buy anything she has to sell(as I would the other two. I thought the final 3 were pretty good). Hell, I did before the show and it only reaffirmed my opinion of her.

    • BarbL says:

      I personally don’t care for the Voice that much at all.

    • jaxguy says:

      Yeah Cassadee Pope is so much better than anyone on this show. The Voice blew it this year and last. Mediocre people won for 2 years in a row. America didn’t vote for the real talent. I’m done with that overrated show. But maybe you are typical America.

  14. Billy says:

    Fifth Harmony better win they are the only act that can have a decent chance at a lasting career…Tate might be able to eek out a hit if he’s given the right material to sing and unless she goes back to how she was when she sang As Long As You Love Me its going to be impossible for her have a career (ex.Melanie Amaro)

  15. Whimsical says:

    Carly a B, and a B-? We’re obviously watching difference shows as both of those were A+ performances.

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      Yeah I just do not get that at all. I mean come on!

      On perhaps side note, I’m really afraid that it will be all about perceived personality as in many of these shows and the fact that she seems like sort of a reserved, brainy, shy, introverted sort of kid, at least when not singing, (or if not that, then it is just being 13 in the big lights) is gonna cost her some votes. (and yes one can be introvertedish and a touch shy and still love the stage and big lights and all, although 100% pure extroverts tend to totally not get that and misread it all)

    • MC says:

      Carly also nailed her half of the duet with Leann. Carly’s pitch was perfect and she sang it really well. People who downgrade Carly because Leann was sick and off her game are being ridiculous.

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        And the way she can just jump into any note from any possible preceding note with either power or subtly and any choice of tone, 100% pitch perfectly even for the trickiest jumps is just stunning. I don’t think people realize how tricky some stuff she pulls off, while not even making it look the slightest bit tricky, which is the real deal trick, is.
        And she is hardly failing to connect emotionally that badly (others who don’t even do as well in that regard have been praised to the heavens by some of the same ragging on Carly like crazy. I’ll admit I’d liked Beatrice better at first since she connected well and Carly was a touch programmed seeming, but Carly has done better with that as it has gone on and she has simply put out some crazy mad vocals since, from anyone left she has got to take this).

        • MC says:

          ITA. The emotion component can only get better with her. In the meantime, people cannot expect her to sing Puff The Magic Dragon just because she’s 13. You don’t grow by limiting your choices.

          • TheBeach says:

            LOL can you imagine the brouhaha that would ensue if this 13 year old girl sang a ’60s song about the virtues of marijuana? I think I would love it:)

    • Didi says:

      An A performance would require her to convey the emotions needed for those songs. She can’t (yet).
      She is technically really good, but needs a few years to get to A level.

      • Timmah says:

        Exactly. Plus she looks completely bored up there.

      • jaxguy says:

        So you are an expert? I totally connect to her music. That emotional connected stuff is nonsense. You just don’t want her to win.

        • Mary says:

          I think you are missing the point. Carly has a beautiful voice but she goes through song with no emotion. Many people feel a song or it means something to them when they hear it, Although Carly sung it well It didn’t move me and obviously many others to say wow. It could be that it was
          done on the voice, much better I believe, than tonight. This is one song that usually brings tears to my eyes when sung and tonight I thought it was perfectly sung but nothing. I hope Carly or 5H
          wins over Tate but I do think Carly would benefit waiting for a few more years. If she does win, I hope to god they give her good music and market her correctly. I do not believe she is a pop star and that would crush her career.

        • Didi says:

          Jaxguy, I wouldn’t mind her winning at all. She has a bright future.
          But none the less, she needs a few more years until she has the maturity and emotional connection to deliver these kind of songs. (we were talking about a specific performance, not saying she is bad, non-deserving of a win or anything)
          If you liked her delivery anyway, good for you, enjoy it, no harm done.
          But please don’t say bringing emotion to a song is nonsense. That’s just silly and every musician will disagree with you.
          We all have our favorites, but that shouldn’t warp our perception of reality.

          Anyway, I am guessing she didn’t choose the songs in most cases, so it’s not her fault anyway. It’s the producers/mentor choosing and clearing the songs, and they picked some suboptimal ones for her.

  16. BarbL says:

    I’ve already posted this but it bears repeating–Leann was sick, as Leno mentioned and she stated on The Tonight Show. She probably shouldn’t have sung, but I’m sure she didn’t want to let Carly down.

    • S7 Fan says:

      But she did let Carly down, so Leeann’s choice to sing was a stupid one.

      • BarbL says:

        I didn’t think that duet was as bad as some say. They have similar voices. As a matter of fact, I liked the duet better than Carly’s Halleluiah.

        • Ian says:

          You and me seem to be the only ones on here that liked the duet. I noticed that Carly sounded a bit shaky on the song not saying she was horrible just saying it was a bit shaky at the beginning. People want to make a story out of this which in turn is talking away from Carly’s performance. I am glad that she may win. She behind Jillian and Jennel were my faves. Its a big stage and she was singing with a big star. She said she felt at ease with LeAnn and I believe she meant it. Saying she was trying to help her doesn’t mean that she thinks that Carly was off it just means she is trying to help her. Nothing more nothing less. I also thought the sound was la ittle off like I said on my comment below.

  17. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    Ugh going by busy signals it is gonna be Tate. :( And 5th a DISTANT 3rd. If I try to read tea leaves.
    XFactor doesn’t seem to have paid for nearly as many lines as either The Voice or AI do. All three contestants were 100% busy here to start across all six lines. That never happens, especially by cell phone, with any other show where I live. Either they are playing with the lines or far more likely, with lower ratings than expected, saving money or perhaps in it with Verizon to try to get more people to send by TXT which is not free for some people unlike phone calls after 9PM?
    Anyway 5th’s lines became open a while before the other two (which shocks me since I’d think they’d easily outdo Tate in the area I live, something vaguely in Carly’s backyard territory) and Tate’s came open last (a very bad sign if his lines stay busy longest to start considering that where I live there is not even a single country music station on FM and I know zero people who like country, so yikes, if he does well up here, add in his home base vote and yikes).
    Ever since all three opened up I’ve put in a few dials for each now and then and 5th is always clear. I tried to not test Tate’s line much at all (did end up voting for him 3 times though) hah, but it has been busy a few times even way deep into voting period, which is hard to fathom for where I live, where nearly literally nobody listens to country. Carly seems to hit busy stretches too still.
    Seems like Carly is moderately beating Tate here and both are over-taking 5th by a mile but if Tate can be so close in an area where I’ve even know anyone who listens to country…. I just don’t get how that is even possible. It’s not like he is such a radically different and exciting country singer as to excite fans out of his genre, I wouldn’t think. And I have to think he will more than moderately beat her in his region.
    Tate then Carly then 5th? ugh. Hope it is somehow Carly then 5th then Tate.
    Seem like it is hopeless to hope 5th can pull it off.
    Man I sure hope Carly pulls it off.

  18. YowzaPowza says:

    That Leann Rimes “duet” was the most entertaining thing I’ve seen on TV all week (including the Homeland finale) for all the wrong reasons. I mean wow. Just…what a mess.

  19. Guitar Blue says:

    It’s all a popularity contest at this point. Tate Country vs 5th Harmony Pop vs. Britney & Carly’s facebook/twitter fans. —- Who sang well and who might have slipped a little on one of the song choices – is not a crucial factor. Voters will vote their genre or who they like.

  20. Arc Drako says:

    Overall, IMO, Fifth Harmony were the best, Tate was only “ok” in his 3 songs.. kinda boring in some parts, and it wasn’t Carly’s day, she wasn’t as good as she can be, but at least she had, In my opinion, the best performance of the night with Hallelujah.

    Round 1: 5H > Tate > Carly
    Round 2: 5H > Tate > Carly
    Round 3: Carly > 5H > Tate

  21. Lee88 says:

    I think carly is really talented, but I think lauren and dinah from 5h sing just as well, if not better. I think people are just blinded by her young age. I dont think shes ready to be a legit recording artist just yet though. She could act or go back to broadway, but I dont think she has a full grasp of what kind of artist she would be. Tate annoys me with his vote pandering, it comes off condescending and desperate. Hes nothing special tbh. Fifth harmony should win. They have the most potential in the real world, and the show needs a successful winner to be taken seriously.

    • jaysybil says:

      agreed!! I wish Dinah was a solo artist because I don’t think she gets the credit that she deserves…they let her sing the powerful notes…but other than that, she usually gets stuck singing harmony…if you compare Dinah’s audition to Carly’s version of “If I were a boy”–Dinah Jane’s version is clearly better and more soulful



  23. Molly says:

    After the latest Reality Check, all I could pay attention to from Mario was AND…BUT…OR… I pointed it out to my husband who said “thanks a lot!”

  24. Danny says:

    I think Tate or Carly should win. 5H has come on strong, but if ya take a seasons worth of songs, those 2 I felt had a better season. 5H was even with them these last 2 weeks, but overall I think the winner should be between Tate or Carly.

  25. of all the songs performed on the Voice and XF, Anything Could Happen is the only one I can’t get out of my head.

    • teatime says:

      Anything Can Happen is my favorite song of the X Factor live shows. The other real memorable X Factor performances for me this season are Beatrice singing Titanium at the judges’ houses and Vino singing Sober at the judges’ houses. Oddly, after that my next most memorable performances of this season were about a dozen different auditions that I thought showed real promise.

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        It is interesting that two of three performances of the season choices were from the auditions. In addition to the ones you mention I think Carly did have some memorable ones too.

        • Mary says:

          I agree, Xfactor is overproduced. I know they are looking for something other than singing, but I truly believe that comes in time. In my opinion they should gradually introduce the probes. I go with the less is more but unfortunately with the reality shows that could not be as entertaining.
          It is very rare that an artist is an overnight sensation.

        • teatime says:

          Carly is always good. I realize her audition is her most memorable performance for me, though, so I included her in that group.

  26. dj says:

    Bottomless Mario FTW!

    Just kidding. I don’t really care who wins at this point. This show has been such a trainwreck. I will actually miss Mario and Chloe. My husband never fails to mention that Chloe looks like a guy. He calls her the football player. And Mario is just so in love with himself and brain dead.

    I kind of hope 5th Harmony wins so we can watch Simon preen himself and take all the credit, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Carly and Tate have gone back and forth from first to second place all season, so I think it will be one of them. I really don’t think they should have another season. The show is bad.

    • gregk says:

      For once Khloe actually looked half way decent tonight along with most of the judges and performers. Never will be a fan or hers or Mario though and they were no better than Steve Jones, which is impossible to fathom. Also not really caring who wins and both this show and The Voice have gone downhill

  27. Shaun says:

    I think the whole night was a mess.Tate was forgettable,Carly got hosed with crud songs and bad duet,5H had 2 rerun songs(Not to mention no Girl Group songs all season).People need to be fired over this(I’ve heard Producers were loose in the nuthouse assigning songs)!!

  28. Linda says:

    I think Tate will win- he is the only strong singer. Carly really doesnt have a range imo-everything sounds the same and I am not clear who her audience will be-what teeny bopper wants to listen to the types of songs she does?? Tate will get the middle america vote and he must have a great campaign going because he has hung in this long. None of them are special – XFactor is bad for that. I never hear about the winners after the fact. The Voice is the same-how long can it take to put out a record – even a single. When a singer has the IT factor they become popular right away. jmo
    I like the girls alot but I think Tate has the best ground game and keeps winning because of it. Middle America loves his brand of wholesome. (I do not want him to win but I think he is the best of the three.)

    • Mike says:

      I think that’s why the Voice started incorporated Itunes sales this season. They want an idea ahead of time if this person can generate sales. What I don’t understand is how people can continually wonder who would buy her stuff when millions of people are voting for her weekly. If even a quarter of these people bought her first record it would be pretty impressive.

      • Hannah says:

        Not necessarily. Consider the low ratings of X Factor, and the fact that a small percentage of those people actually vote. A small number of these people spend hours voting, giving skewed results. I doubt any of these three final acts will be chart toppers, although 5H does have potential (but they are as likely to win as Trump is to get a wig that doesn’t look like an animal corpse).

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      Wait what? Tate is the only strong singer? Carly has no range of any type?? So Tate who had to leave out so many key notes in a song one week because they were way out of his range and who does the same country twang country each week has more vocal and genre range? Every single girl on 5H probably has greater vocal range than he does.
      Let me see Tate do 1/10th of the tricky things Carly does all the time without mistake.
      Not that you have to be able to do that to be good and/or successful, you don’t, but say he simply has a better voice, more range and is a stronger singer??

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        Tate does have a decent country tone and generally hits the pitch well and certainly isn’t bad. But to call him the only strong singer left when almost all of the other can do more, even a lot, lot more vocally and to say he has the best range when he could be scientifically verified to have a smaller range than most, and perhaps all, of the others in the finale….

    • jaxguy says:

      You don’t have to like Carly but to say she doesn’t have range. Are you deaf? That is the dumbest statement anyone has made all year.

  29. Brendan Holder says:

    Tate forgot some of his lyrics on Tomorrow. I hope that was enough to kick him out of the top. I hope he gets third. I liked him at first but lately he has been boring and the same. I love country music but I don’t believe he needs to win. Fifth Harmony has my vote. I love the underdog and have rooted for them and Beatrice since the beginning. i will not be sad if Carly wins. I will just be glad that someone other than Tate wins.

  30. me says:

    Why does it seem like contestants sing the same songs over and over again? Hallelujah has been done to death, 5H sang Anything Could Happen just last week, and Give Your Heart a Break was also a repeat. Kinda annoying. X Factor needs to widen their song selection list.

  31. RM says:

    The voters for Carly and Tate are the same – older wives and grandmotherly types. It isn’t 5D and Carly splitting the votes. It is Carly and Tate’s fan bases splitting their votes. 5D might slip through for the win. Did they outsource building roads and sidewalks in the US? Why can’t Tate find a job? Seems like road construction has been paying the bills for his family over the past 20 years. 5D is changing the way groups perform. Everyone rotates through the verses of a song. It is very democratic. Hallelujah is so overused in reality singing competitions. Why, oh why did she have to do it?

    • MC says:

      People forget she’s thirteen. You sing the songs that you are most familiar with and/or they fit her vocal register nicely. Some of these “overused” songs sound fresh to her because she’s thirteen. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Also, a really good vocalist wants to tackle highly regarded songs at some point, not step around them. Carly doesn’t have much support on this thread, but people are rightly raving about her “Hallelujah” on YouTube. She also did great on the duet, but most people were too distracted by Leeann to notice how good Carly was in the face of that.

  32. Davey says:

    Remember when Jason Castro did Hallelujah on American Idol and it was so refreshing? They need to stop singing this song on competition shows. Find another inspirational song.

  33. Booya says:

    Lots of musical experts here tonight huh? Fifth Harmony sang one good song all season and people think they deserve to win? Straight trippin’. Tate will fade into irrelevancy. His pity-party story got him far though.

    Carly Rose Sonenclar is the truth. Combine all the talent in the competition and it still wouldn’t touch her abilities as a vocalist or as an artist. Wake up before life passes you by people.

    • Mary says:

      I agree however, in today’s music world it does not matter if you can sing perfectly. Not that I agree but auto tune is the way of the world. The XFactor is looking for the it factor not the singing factor. Carly can out sing all the contestants but she showed not versatility on the songs.
      I think people are having a hard time figuring out where she would be marketed, because of her age certainly not Disney- she is better than that, and sorry she is no pop star so what radio station will play her. I agree about Tate, I am not into country music, but he does not really stand out above the already crowed market of singers. 5H with the right song could be market more easily and yes a few of the girls can sing. Unfortunately I think Tate will win due to story and the demographics of the show; however, I am hoping for a 5H or Carly win.

  34. Jazzy says:

    Michael, when I watched it live, it didn’t look like they were singing along with the bg singers on the choruses to me either, but I’m listening to the itunes recording of the performances, which takes its audio from a different feed, and their mics most definitely were on. You can hear their voices clear and distinctly–you can even hear them taking breaths before the “ooh ooh ooh oohs”. I noticed the same thing on the itunes track last week as well. You should give them a listen.

  35. Yo' says:

    Carly Rose is a talented young girl, but she needs to mature before she wins a contest. Her affectations and melisma are so over the top, she is hard to watch. Apparently, this is what big voiced singers feel they must do to win a contest, because I noticed all but one of Fifth Harmony do the left handed pointy manoeuvre, also. I was pleased at the one who just held on to her mic; she deserves a career. Sometimes less is more.

  36. luli says:

    Simon is screwing up with 5H. seriously? he gives them 3 songs that they’ve already performed and one was last week… he clearly said to diamond when she repeated a song “ I actually wish that you had chose a different song because we have Heard you sing this before. “ so why the hell do you choose the same song for them 3 times in a row? that’s horrible and I think fifth harmony should win…

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      It was a bad scenario for them. The first song was break-out performance of the season or something like that and Anything Can Happen WAS that for them. But unfortunately for them it happened to have occurred jsut the week before while for the others that was not the case. I suppose he could have gone with the Demi song as the breakout, but that sort of just happened too plus then everyone would say two Demi songs in one night where is the variety? So they seemed to be kinda of put in a bit of a stuck spot there.

  37. AMindLost says:

    None of these acts deserve a $5 million recording contract. Carly Rose can sing beautifully, but lacks the necessary life experience and performs in the wrong style (ballad, ballad, ballad, OMG another ballad) to be a relevant pop artist right now; she’d be better off going back to Broadway. The 5th Harmony girls need far more experience to learn how to become an actual group rather than five moderately talented solo singers who are occasionally able to harmonize together; they have the potential to eventually be a successful pop girl group, but they aren’t quite ready yet. And Tate, while pretty good at what he does, will get lost in a sea of country artists who are far better at what they do than he is at what he does (if that makes sense).

  38. Xandra says:


  39. Jim says:

    Your constant insults to Britney come across so desperate and juvenile. My god, be professional.

  40. Ian says:

    I have a feeling that most people saying how much LeAnn sucked just love to see her fail. I heard she was sick I also hear that there were issues with the sound. I have been following the show but haven’t watched it most of the season after Jill and Janelle were eliminated didn’t really care who won but I think that Carly is a great singer. I would like all of you to sing with a Grammy wining superstar and see who you do. The song was not written for two people and I listened to it this morning after I heard all the buzz around it. I didn’t think it was that bad. The sound did sound a little off. And Another thing when she first came out she looked down at the stairs so she didn’t fall. Most people look to make sure they are walking down the step correctly doesn’t mean she was drunk. I am a LeAnn fan as well as a fan of Britney so I was surprised that Britney didn’t sing with her.

    • Ian says:

      So now that LeAnn has come out and said she was not drunk (which I knew before she came out with a statement) now all the people bashing her are now saying she was blaming her performance on Carly. I can read and she does not blame her. She was helping her. I noticed in Carly voice that she was nervous. I wouldn’t blame her singing with a huge singer like that would be hard for anyone. Read into it what you like but I think that LeAnn was trying to help Carly and the sound made it look like she was trying to outshine her.

  41. Timmah says:

    If the generic country singer wins, put a fork in this show.

  42. Leela says:

    Tate deserves to win because he’s been the most consistent, is the most genuine, is the most deserving. Carly is too young. The 5 singers who aren’t really a girl group have not proved themselves worthy of anything.

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      At least just keep it to his singing. What is with all the other stuff?
      Why is he the most deserving? Because of his construction job and non-stop crying? This is a singing competition. He has been generally consistent, probably more than 5th (although they had a big disadvantage at the start having never worked together), but less, if anything than Carly. And where are his wow performances? The other two have more wow moments I’d say.
      And what is this most genuine nonsense?
      What sort of a contest is this?
      And how does having the personality type to feel free to bare all your emotions and tears make you any better or more genuine in the larger sense? Maybe more genuinely out there in an interview and yet then again. What if someone else didn’t feel like having cameras on an anniversary date and is a more private person and hides themselves more from the interview cameras with acting, so what?
      I mean he does seem like he is probably a nice guy and a cool guy but what are we voting for?
      Then again that is how many vote for many things.
      Heck just look at almost any recent presidential election and whichever candidate seems like the cooler guy to kick back and have a beer with seems to win as crazy as that sounds. I know there are lots of other things going on in the world and so on and a lot of it is just coincidence and yet it does seem like it is always that guy who wins doesn’t it?
      I mean Obama might not totally seem to be that guy but vs Romney or McCain? yeah.
      And then W vs Gore and Kerry. And then Clinton vs Dole and then Clinton vs Bush and Bush vs Dukakis is a tough one but Bush was taller and didn’t do the ride around in a tank with a floppy helmet thing and then Kennedy vs Nikon. At weird as it sounds it does seem to fit crazily well. The political views of the winners sure have little in common. Again some of it is just see-sawing back and forth and vs Congress and so on but it is kind of at least a bit interesting all the same.

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        Nor do the winning candidate’s experience or apparent knowledge and depth necessarily seem all that similar.

      • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

        And I forget Reagan. And there you go again. Reagan vs Carter and Reagan vs Mondale.

        (Side note, for all the talk about how Carly has all the mom and old people vote. It seems like of the people who are most getting on her in threads it seems most of them are in the older demo.)

        (And if she is so soulless and still doesn’t connect even in any more recent performances, blah blah blah, why did Julie Andrews just go on such a rave about how amazing she is?)

  43. Name That Tune says:

    Still haven’t watched an episode this season.
    ->Combine WGWG with the country vote (that’s IF the country vote is even aware of this show), Tate wins.

    ->If Carly Rose wins, then you’ve got a very young version of Cassadee Pope, pretty much.
    These shows are boring because they give you the same old winner every time. The Voice got away from that formula its first two seasons. The X Factor was looking for anything but a male winner last year and got it. But these shows aren’t really looking for the best talent. They just want viewers on finale night.
    What are we, about a month away from AI? Wonder which WGWG will take that crown (YAWN)

  44. Mikko Makitalo says:

    I think I just understood, how Carly appears to me. When I hear her subtle, sensitive voice and the tune of it, it is something so beautiful, that goes even beyond comprehension. Many times I am on the verge of nearly shedding tears, because the sounds are so lovely and gracious. And her being is so aristocratic (in a good way), she is a real lady.

    When I am struck by Carly, it is like finding a rarely beautiful nature place and sitting by the river watching the river flow. It is the nature magic. The sounds are so refreshing.

    But it is the sound and atmosphere rather coming from the nature, not so much from the human being. I love this kind of nature and am dependent on it, but I am also dependent on sharing my world with other human beings and their experiences and feelings of joy and suffering of it. I feel that Carly does not yet have that human being in herself, but she is “only” reflecting nature.

    So when I listen to her, I am shaken by her beautiful nature vividly and appreciate it beyond words, but I lack the human contact to the singer and the song, meaning my heart will not get in the full bloom, whcih may happen with the less perfect (nature) voices I may come across, because they touch me as a human “living in this nature”.

    To overcome this challenge even as an older person can be really difficult for her (because the approach may have its roots from the culture of many hundred years of creating beautiful quality art, that do not have to relate with everyman or other people), but if she would succeed, you had “the singer of all time”.

    • CzarekM says:

      Exactly! Watching Carly perform is like experiencing the nature itself! It’s so lively, youthful and vibrant. Yes, I agree, there is no human connection, but that is not necessary when you experience the nature. The nature is not aware of its emotional meaning, it just is!

      • Mikko Makitalo says:

        Ah, it is so nice to get these kinds of deep replies and comments! Thank you! And I think, that the reason for that, is the depth we can experience in Carly in so many ways.

        But it is really tricky for me to say anything about her “Hallelujah” because of the reasons that I think I made clear there above…except I quickly have to say – for all good’s worth – that she was won-der-ful in it, like usual…because one has to appreciate the fact, that you even get ot hear a singer like she is, she is like an angel.

        But in the years to come, if she overcomes the possible challenges she has, everything could even go to another phenomenal level, and she could perform this song also – …I cannot say “better”, because that would be like critisizing Mother Nature…- in the different way to human hearts.

  45. CzarekM says:

    I think Michael’s comment on Hallelujah was a kind of nonsense. I don’t get it – so the actor in order to fully act mourning somebody’s death must actually kill his own father to truly experience it? Or the singer to sing about some emotions must fully feel it every time she sings it?
    If so, the singer must be on drugs 24/7 to deliver it, otherwise it’s simply impossible!

    You are implying a 13-years old child must sing only about school grades and phone gadgets in order to be believable!

    In art, which includes singing, painting, acting, writing, etc, it is NOT important what the artists feels, but it is crucial what the reader/listener feels. And if an artist completely fakes everything, but delivers the piece in the way the reader/listener feels it as if it were his/her own experience, that’s what really counts!
    Plus, you have no idea what Carly felt. You are the receiver of the song, not a psychologist trying to understand what inside Carly’s mind. You cannot assume Carly’s feeling, but you are judging what you are receiving on your own end. And you focus only on that!
    I loved Carly’s rendition of Hallelujah. It was different from Cohen’s, and even more different from Buckley’s. In fact, I hate Buckley’s version – it’s bad, depressing and overdone.
    I love what Carly did with it. A fresh, youthful and very positive version of the song. I loved it!

  46. Jordan says:

    LeAnn Rimes just released a statement saying that she wasn’t drunk but was trying to help Carly because she was having trouble with the song. More like she’s bitter because she got outshined by a 13 year old. How pathetic.

    • Ian says:

      And you know this how. Your the one being rude. Your not them. I am sick of people who enjoy bringing other people down. Which is what most people on here and other places seem to be doing. TMZ wrote a story that was full of lies and then ran with it and then other blogs picked it up. If you are a fan of Carly how about focusing on Carly instead of LeAnn. If I was singing with a very popular singer I would be nervous too which showed in Carly voice, which people are failing to hear because they just want to jump on LeAnn.

  47. Alex says:

    Tate continues to reek BAD. Carly did well, and Fifth Harmony sounded pretty nice!

  48. Guitar Blue says:

    5 years from now : 1. Carly will have her place in Music & entertainment field, regardless of winning or not.
    2. Tate will need the win and recording contract, in order to stay moderately relevant in the Country field, as times move-on, new young singers emerge and family pressures weigh against long trips on the road.
    3. Lauren and perhaps Ally of 5th Harmony, will have moved-on to become single artists and try their hand in the Pop field.

  49. Angela says:

    Only a 13 year old whose parents went to the Dina Lohan school of parenting would even consider allowing a child to be in a competiion like this. Winning could be the worst thing that ever happens to this kid, the second being her money-crazy parents.