The X Factor Top 10 Performance Recap: ...And It's Getting More and More Absurd [Updated]

The-X-Factor-Lillie-McCloud-Womans-WorkWelcome back to another recap of The X Factor! Or as Paulina Rubio likes to call it, “Where am I? Who am I? And why is there a camera in my face?”

Too mean? Oh well. I mean, yeah, PowPow (as I affectionately think of her) managed to correctly identify all three of her contestants tonight for the first time, but her total butchey of the universally recognized moniker “Mick Jagger” (aka “Meek Yaggar!”) means she’ll continue to play the role of human piñata in this recap zone. (Side note: Why is nothing in my apartment filled with CANDY?!)

In other news, Kelly Rowland drew all her design inspiration this week from Game of Thrones (hey, Beyoncé has House of Dereon, Kels has House of Baratheon); Carlito Olivero got upstaged by an army of holograms; the coaches tried to sell us on the idea of Tim Olstad as the new Robin Thicke (Rated W…for What the What?); and Simon made a last-second effort to sabotage Lillie McCloud by declaring her one of four acts who should be worried come Thursday’s results show (along with Carlito, Tim and Ellona). (Was that Simon’s subliminal way of inspiring her voting base, or simply an act of unabashed douchery?)

While you ponder that question, let me cut to my letter grades for tonight’s performances:

Jeff Gutt X FactorJeff Gutt: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Grade: B- | Jeff’s pitch and power were solid here — despite some iffy spots in his falsetto, he’s one of the better vocalists in the competition — but his performance lacked the wickedness and theatricality needed to fully sell a rock-opera composition with lyrics like, “So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?” Granted, “Bohemian Rhapsody” should never, ever be condensed down to a sub-two-minute ditty for the purposes of a reality singing competition — sorry, Kelly, but that was misstep No. 1 — but the lack of “oomph” is on Mr. Gutt. (Side note: I need this dude to stop mentioning his son — and his need to win to give said son a better life — in every pre-performance package. If the situation is truly that desperate, then maybe it’s time to take a note from Dolly Parton and start workin’ 9-to-5, no?)

Tim Olstad: Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” — Grade: Beige Paint | Tim started out decently enough — although I’m not sure he was actually responsible for the main piano line we were hearing — but the minute he stood up and walked away from the keyboard, his bitch pitch wobbled and swayed like Paulina’s mind trying to form a cohesive thought. Far more egregious, though, was the way Tim’s delivery boiled away any shred of originality or emotional connection, leaving the audience with nothing but a husk of a song. But, wait! If dude sticks around till December, maybe we’ll get a chance to hear him deliver Handel’s “Messiah” with all the dramatic tension of “Chopsticks”!

Khaya Cohen: The Beatles’ “Let It Be” — Grade: C+ | Simon was right when he said Khaya’s Bottom 3 finish last Thursday was “a joke” — her Winehouse-ian spin on “Borderline,” after all, was fresh and well-sung — but this time around, it was as if Demi pulled a prank with an inscurtable song choice, bizarre staging (was the spinning, lit-up globe a subtle product placement for Sprint?) and an outfit so hodge-podge it even had PowPow momentarily lifting her head up off the judges table and declaring, “the wardrobe, you need to stand it up a little if you’re gonna be a pop star.” Worst of all, Khaya overbaked the vocal, caterwauling and yelping in an effort to drag the Beatles’ classic ballad into a church-y kind of soul jam. Speaking words of wisdom, I hope Khaya survives into Top 8 week, but here’s hoping she wrestles back artistic control from her mentor once she’s there.

Josh Levi: Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — Grade: B | Josh, who is most likely too young to have ever used a public payphone, began his performance in a red British telephone booth with a slowed-down minor-chord rearrangement of one of the greatest songs of the ’80s. I didn’t especially love the finished makeover, especially when a rubbery dance beat kicked in and Josh dropped the “some of them want to abuse you/some of them want to be abused” line from the chorus, but the kid stayed in tune while busting out a few energetic dance moves and proved willing to aim for something more than simple mimicry. Kelly had a decent point that Josh needs to loosen up and “experience more freedom on stage” — but then again, that’s easier said than done when your mentor’s got you dodging a squadron of dancing police officers.

Alex & Sierra: One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” — Grade: A- | Let’s hear it for the one act tonight that actually managed to improve on the original version of the song they covered — and look positively adorable while doing it. With an easy, romantic electricity flowing between them and harmonies tighter than an ER nurse’s tourniquet, the Florida-based duo took a trifle of a pop song and infused it with a warmth and romanticism that was very different than the dangerous sexiness of “Addicted to Love” or naughty flirt of “Blurred Lines.” I don’t really buy the complaint that Alex & Sierra don’t vary up their performances enough: I mean, just because a pizza restaurant serves only pies doesn’t mean they can’t offer a wide range of interesting variations, right?

Rion Paige: Elton John’s “Your Song” — Grade: A- | Will you promise to finish reading this recap if I admit to greeting with extreme cynicism the news of Rion covering “Your Song.” (Yes, I’m embedding the Twitter evidence of my awfulness below.)

OK, so maybe the Mario Lopez mention isn’t relevant — but it’s true! But back to Rion. I’ve got to be honest and admit that in previous weeks, I’ve found the judges’ adoration for her to be completely mystifying. But tonight was far and away her best vocal of the season — lilting, accurate and with just the right amount of restraint. As Simon said, it was “beautiful to listen to” — and it sounded like a relevant record from a budding country-pop artist, no?

Carlito Olivero: The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — Grade: D+ | Honestly, I couldn’t get past the holograms of Carlito bumping and grinding — and then randomly sprinting! — in the background. (How Simon called the staging “sensational” makes me wonder if he banged his head against the wall too hard last week after Sweet Sensation’s ouster.) The vocal wasn’t terrible terrible, but then again neither are four or five performances one happens to hear on karaoke night at any given bar or pub across America. And in a week where Alex & Sierra, Rion and even Josh got creative with their arrangements, Carlito’s paint-by-numbers work wasn’t special enough. The funny thing is, I believed Kelly and Demi when they told Carlito they think he’s capable of more and better, but we’re too deep in the competition — and the mentoring feels too fleeting all around — to make me optimistic that we’ll see the needed growth between now and the Dec. 19th finale.

Kelly Rowland Awe Face X FactorLillie McCloud: Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” — Grade: A- | I can sum up my feelings about Lillie’s performance with a single screengrab of Kelly Rowland’s “awe-face” (pictured, right, and snapped midway through Lillie’s set). Seriously, the woman handled every word of Kate Bush’s haunting classic so delicately it was the vocal equivalent of polishing and putting away champagne goblets at Buckingham Palace. If Simon’s prediction is right and Lillie winds up going home Thursday night, I’m hoping the L.A. County coroner is on hand to rush out on stage and call “time of death” on the entire X Factor franchise. What? I’m not even trying to exaggerate!

Ellona Santiago: Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” — Grade: C | Look, I know this is a singing competition — wait, Rachel Potter went home last week, so maybe it’s not? — but I have to be honest: While Ellona looks and occasionally belts like a pop diva, every time she speaks (in her pre-performance packages and when interviewed by Mario) she has all the passion and joy of a robot with a malfunctioning battery. It’s a baffling juxtaposition, watching her strike poses and hit her high notes one minute, then press her internal Siri and use a voice totally free of tone or human spirit to tell Simon she doesn’t want to be perceived as a singing, dancing puppet. (I wouldn’t have been shocked had Ellona followed up her plea by adding that the British judge should turn left in 40 feet, then bear right at the fork in the road. Badum-bum!) Also problematic? The way Ellona fell off pitch during the second verse of “Burn,” probably not coincidentally coinciding with her step down from the fainting couch and into the arms of those gold-painted dancers. As far as X Factor Ellie Goulding covers go, Ellona’s no Fifth Harmony, and this was no “Anything Could Happen.”

Restless Road: Coldplay’s “Fix You” — Grade: C | Uff da. Was Simon listening to those botched harmonies? When he rose from his chair at the end of the country hotties’ performance, I thought he was about to flee the arena in shame, but apparently that was a standing ovation! And sorry, but if “Fix You” was worthy of such positive feedback, then I’m wondering why my hubby didn’t whoop and whistle after I finished what I felt was a really spectacular brushing of my teeth midway through updating this recap. (While we’re on the subject, give yourself a Standing O for opening your Web browser with such zeal and finesse!) Colton’s solo bits were better than usual — see, I’m not a total monster, America — and parts of the chorus sounded OK when the backing track kicked in and I couldn’t hear any more live vocals. But as Demi cheekily noted, it seemed as though Simon spent more time with RR on staging than he did on actual singing. (Oh, who am I kidding! He barely spent any time with them at all — unless that 30-second phone call counted!)

Should Be Bottom 3: Tim, Carlito, Restless Road
Will Be Bottom 3: Ellona, Carlito, Jeff

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Top 10 performance night? Who will and should be at risk? Who were your faves? Take our poll below, then share your thoughts in the comments!

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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98 Comments
  1. hunter says:

    love alex and sierra

  2. Dan (Haleyloony) says:

    X Factor… such unabashed foolery.

  3. Lillie McCloud was the performance of the night! It’s nice to finally see her shine. Also, Rion was way better than she usually is, and even Tim got better. I think you rated Josh too highly; even though he was my performance of the night last week, his arrangement of Sweet Dreams just didn’t work. It all fell apart when he got out of the phone booth and the cops started dancing around him.

    • Dan (Haleyloony) says:

      “…when he got out of the phone booth and the cops started dancing around him.” That’s kind of hilarious.

    • Matt says:

      Very late responding as I only just got through the DVR of this but I have to say that Lillie completely butchered this song. The fragility and tenderness of the songs lyrics were buried under her grandstanding need to belt out every word at the top of her lungs whilst blindly missing the subtlety of phrasing the sing requires. Lillie clearly had no understanding of the words she was singing and demonstrated that she is a voice and not in any way an artist.

  4. Also, not having Khaya sing Amy Winehouse was the dumbest move of the night. Almost as dumb as Demi telling Carlito to sing in Spanish on British Invasion Week.

  5. Chablis says:

    I don’t understand why you hate this show so much. These are kids and adults just trying to deal the best they can with the cards they were given. They don’t pick the songs. Lighten up on them or just don’t watch .

  6. Destinie says:

    Paulina sucks as a mentor. Carlito can be way better if he did something like Devin from American Idol. Josh Levi’s arrangement was just horrible. Ellona is praised too much. My bottom three would be Tim, Carlito, and Ellona. Lillie over does it most of the time. This season is not that great there’s nothing like season 1.. total down hill and to me it’s the judges take out demi and paulina add someone like P.Diddy, and fergie or alicia keys.

    • RS says:

      Season 1 was so promising and this is what pisses me off so much…Simon singlehandedly has destroyed this franchise by doubling down on everything that makes is suck.
      In Season 1 he told the Stereo Hoggz that they were “the best band on the face of the earth”…at that point I know Simon was delusional.

  7. Eric says:

    Carlito did good tonight, I like the staging, his voice was on point, and the song was good. Tim was good too, just needs more vocal acrobatics. Josh was amazing. Paulina is a really good mentor. And Michael learn some Spanish will you, “I” makes the “ee” sound in Spanish, stop bagging on her back.

    • Dawn Kieballs says:

      We don’t use a soft J in English, but I can still pronounce the name Juan.

    • RS says:

      Paulina is garbage…go back to Meh-hee-co.

    • nobody special says:

      Spanish IS my husband’s first language. he can still say “Mick Jagger” instead of Meek Yagger. he could also pick better songs for some of those contestants out of a Cracker Jack box. yeesh, how can we expect them to shine when their mentors set them up to fail so miserably? i don’t think Slezak hates the show so much, i think (sorta like me) he hates the judges-slash-mentors-albatrosses around each contestant’s neck.

  8. McKenzie says:

    I thought Ellona was horrible. She was pitchy and did not do that song justice. I was cringing the whole time.

    Also, Simon (and the rest of the judges) think Restless Road are way better than they actually are. I think they’re an awkward, not very good, boring group.

    As always, Alex and Sierra are the only ones who consistently do an excellent job and actually make the songs their own, instead of singing a famous song exactly like someone else already has.

    • Josh says:

      They know they’re suck but they’re three attractive guys and that’s all Simon cares about.

      • Ted Sutton says:

        Sorry Josh…Restless Road can’t sing that well and I would not call them “three attractive guys”. Their first couple of times on the live shows they were fair, but after that it has been a hot mess.

  9. Chablis says:

    Agree enough with the bashing, Michael.

    • BuzzHardDude says:

      No! Grow a pair Chablis. If someone stinks, call them out, or how will they ever learn?
      This show SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS!

      • Eric says:

        Well then I’ll call you out on your stank response, get off the blog if you don’t like people who like the show, you’re in the business of bashing and that’s never a good thing. Anytime you want to talk down to a fan of the show on here, I’ll come back with my right to shut your response down with my opinion. Fix yourself!

        • RS says:

          Eric, YOU get off.

          Ive been a fan since season 1 and Ive been following the X Factor UK for 5 years and I am pissed at what Simon has done to that franchise…do you care that it will be cancelled at the end of this season or are you one of those who will hold your hands to your ears when people try to talk sense and go LA LA LA.

          • Justin P says:

            Eric, either you are mentally handicapped or you have no clue about the music industry. This show is a legitimate DISGRACE to all singing competitions out there. From Paulina’s inadequacy as a judge to the over-the-top (almost comical) staging, this show is a complete train wreck. The only reason I do watch it is to get a good laugh, with the exception of Alex and Sierra. They are the ONLY act that has a chance to make it in the business. Restless Road is a complete joke. How they made it this far is beyond me. It’s just a sad thing to see how it got this bad from Season 1. This will be the last season for the show in the US without a doubt.

          • The Beach says:

            Simon Cowell, who was once admired as a thoughtful and insightful, if harsh, music critic has totally lost every shred of credibility with this show and his head-scratching comments. What a shame.

          • Eric says:

            What’s a disgrace, a show that cares to see if any of there acts make it in the real world, or a show that just throws them out into the trash after they’re off the show. I know the music industry and I know these shows, I’ve watched all of them, including the international ones so I know a thing or two, I’m a fan and I think the show is doing a fine job, all the acts are talented and they have people who truly believes in them behind them. Justin P you clinical butt wipe, don’t you dare call me out of my name unless you wanted to be call out of your own. Your a heartless butthole who only calls people out online for no reason. I think your whole life is a disgrace for what you say.

          • Justin P says:

            Eric, I will reply with you name whenever I want. First off, you know nothing about me, and I guarantee, based on your previous post, you know NOTHING about the music industry. To say that all of these acts have talent is absolute rubbish (yes I said rubbish). With the exception of Alex and Sierra, there is not one SINGLE ACT that would even make it past the blind auditions on the Voice. Don’t get me wrong, I still love watching the X Factor (for comedic purposes only), but enough is enough already. Look what happened with Tate and Melanie. What are they doing now? NOTHING. Like I said before, this will be the last season of the X Factor in the US, so enjoy it while it lasts.

  10. Titina says:

    I actually think Paulina was great tonight! She is a hoot and I love her. BTW she is actually a great mentor much better than Simon. She helped Josh with last week´s awesome Straight Up performance and this week 2 of her acts did pretty good again (Josh, Carlito).
    Anyways, Restless Road should go home soon, this group just doesn´t work.

    Lillie to me was the best of the night.
    I think Khaya, Ellona and Tim will be the B3.

    • HTGR says:

      Does anyone think the reason Paulina sometimes sounds crazy (you seemed a little pitchy and I’m not so sure abou tthis and yes and this is why I love you and wish you were on my team!) haha is because she tries to mix pre-written producer’s notes for her with some honest opinion? hah I don’t know what else to say, I just realize tonight that that might explain it. Maybe she tries to sneak in some of her own words among pre-written script?

      • Meek Yaggar says:

        I cringed when I heard some of her comments. She mostly follows the lead from Kelly or Demi. Then she gives her take, which as you pointed out contradicts itself sometimes. Yeah, it’s like she says “I don’t know, you were off, peeachy, it’s not your best performance and this is why I love you so much and wish you were on my team. You are so amazing tonight”. It’s better than an SNL skit. LOL!

  11. Kristin says:

    For me, Alex & Sierra blew everyone else out of the water. Rion was a very close second – her vocals were fantastic tonight. I felt this was Restless Road’s weakest performance by far (though I often think they go flat on the harmonies). However, do I think they should be in the bottom this week? No. I’d much rather see Josh, Carlito or Tim go home.

    Everyone else was really just “okay”. The biggest problem I had this week was the song choices! Boring, overdone, etc. Couldn’t Jeff have performed something (ANYTHING) else besides Bohemian Rhapsody? Been there, done that, with Constantine on Idol. And I agree with the other comment about Khaya – to not have her perform something by Amy Winehouse was just odd. I get chills thinking about how GREAT she would’ve been on something like “Back to Black”. Maybe they really should start letting the contestants choose their songs.

  12. Robbie says:

    Beige paint! Omg slezak you’re killing me! xD

  13. Chablis says:

    Perhaps Amy W. Songs aren’t cleared ? If one hates the show why watch ?

  14. Grumply Ol' Lady says:

    Amy W’s songs have been sung in the British X Factor–Matt Cardle did one for his audition and ended up winning that year.

  15. Dawn Kieballs says:

    I think this season is very weak. Josh has the capability of being a big star, but I don’t think this is the right platform. Alex and Sierra are a cute couple and he has a nice voice. Lillie had amazing vocals, but it’s hard to learn to be a diva from a 2nd fiddle.
    I wish the show would drop the theme weeks. I’d prefer each contestant just sing what’s right. I’d also prefer less judges and more contestant.
    I do agree it was nice of PowPow to finally learn to pronounce her artist’s name. If only Simon can be taught to say Mario not Maryo.

  16. Jim Welker says:

    Such praise for Carlito who WAS SO AWFUL I HOPE HE GOES! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD! RION A SURPRISE…VERY GOOD…LILLIE TOO!

  17. Jim Welker says:

    Oh I forgot…when is Tim leaving…Another Sanjhia (not sure of spelling)! Remember him from AI? He couldn’t sing but went on and on!

  18. Jim Welker says:

    Rowland mentoring McCloud….should be other way around! She could teach her a little about singing!

  19. danin says:

    Totally agree about Kahya as an Amy Winehouse shoe in. Me&Mr.Jones.Let It E was not good for her. And I want her to excel. Yeah, the country boy group eesh..can not harmonize.Lily did a beautiful job.Sierr&Alex were boring or their dong was.

  20. My Ears are Bleeding says:

    I don’t know if there is something wrong with my TV compared to most of you, and even compared with The Voice but every week I watch this train wreck and every week, every contestant is pitchy at some point or other. I can’t remember one performance that was flawless yet. Come to think of it, it can’t be my TV since there have been several excellent performances on The Voice. I have to say the bottom half of The Voice Performances are still heads and shoulders better than the best performances on X-Factor.
    .
    Right off the bat Jeff Gut sounded like a cat in heat. Michael I can’t figure out why you and I hear things so differently but B- for that? I spent half that song wincing and grimacing because he was so out of tune and pitchy and just all over the dang place. That was possibly the worst performance I have ever heard on ANY singing show.

    • Dawn Kieballs says:

      I agree about The Voice contestants being so much more talented. There are a couple contestants who I think could be successful, but a competition at this level deserves better talent (and us viewers deserve better entertainment).

      • RS says:

        The Voice is AMAZING this year, their final 8 is amazing and there are 2 or 3 folks that can win it all. Pls have a look if you arent already…it more than makes up for the crap that is the X Factor 2013.

    • RS says:

      The only performance that moved me was Danie Giemers audition…and she got cut before the live shows (no surprise there)

  21. Jim Welker says:

    Stupid Demi says in rehearsals that Allona sounds pitchey and is straing and screaming! If so, why force the issue if the song isn’t right???? There’s how many British songs???? Give us a break Demi….how foolish!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. HTGR says:

    After last week’s votes the whole thing became a joke to me. I ended up decided to DVR it in the end, missed the first part though, sped super fast through the rest, sped so fast Im not sure my comments are valid but it seemed like:
    .
    Alex and Sierra and Lillie were perhaps the two who stood out above the rest? (I didn’t get to hear Jeff and more or less didn’t get to hear Khaya either.)
    .
    Tim seemed a lot more boring and with weaker this week to me than last week (I wasn’t nearly as down on him last week as many, that said I’d rather he left than Rachel or SS, although that that said I had some others below him last week) although the judges seemed to talk him up more this time (crazy or crazy like a fox trying to get rid of sympathy votes???).
    .
    The female judges seemed willing to against Simon on RR finally.
    .
    It seemed like Rion perhaps did her best ever and maybe gets the honorable mention along with maybe Ellona.
    .
    I did zip threw so fast even much of most performances though so whether I got it right I can’t quite say for sure. I sure would’ve been more interested to have seen what Sweet Suspense did this week than Restless Road and I sure would’ve liked to hear from Rachel Potter over a whole lot of them.
    .
    Sadly look at Michael’s grade it sounds like Jeff stumbled again? I missed it. Then again he has been down on him for so long I don’t know, what did others think of Jeff? I liked him a ton the first few weeks but he seemed a worn out mess last week for sure. Did he rebound or, as Michael says, not?
    .
    I almost missed most of Khaya so I can’t comment there either. His grade doesn’t sound promising.
    .
    Not sure I’m feeling this season. The voting was a joke last week I don’t know, maybe not enough left for me to care enough.

    • Mary says:

      I think it is safe to say Michael was spot on with his assessments. I actually would of graded lower on most of them. IMO Jeff is not that good and this song choice did him no favors. Khaya who I like, butchered that song. I think she is a goner. A & S were top. The others nothing to brag about. I think they should get rid of the mentors and judges, the contestants seem to do better when the pick there own songs.

  23. HTGR says:

    “but her total butchey of the universally recognized moniker “Mick Jagger” (aka “Meek Yaggar!”) means she’ll continue to play the role of human piñata
    .
    I’m not sure that is quite fair since you make it sound like that is some insane pronunciation coming from nowhere, but that is exactly how a Spanish speaker would pronounce it, they, along with almost every language that is not English turns those “i”s to “e”s and in Spanish they turn the J to Y. Granted Mick Jagger is ultra famous, but

  24. Kaba says:

    I actually loved only Khaya and A&S >.>

  25. LPR says:

    As a perfectly bilingual Latino, I find Slezak’s treatment of Paulina offensive, and frankly, xenophobic. I know he would be offended (and rightfully so) if someone calls an effeminate performer with slurs such a “grow a pair”, “be a man”, and others that cannot be published here: it is as offensive to make fun of a person for being gay as to make fun of him/her for not being born an English speaker. Paulina’s first language is not English. I understand that she is a judge in an american competition, and her command of the language is limited for the task she has to perform, but Slezak’s repulsive treatment of her only denotes the limitations of a person that pretends to be open minded, but know nothing outside the boundaries of his narrow universe. I have a good command of the English language, but as Spanish is my first language, sometimes my brain plays tricks on me. I cannot recite the vowels in English quickly (I always ended up saying a vowel in Spanish). I cannot understand English spelling by phone unless you spell to me slowly, even if I am an intelligent person with a PhD. Learning English as an adult puts limitations on you, specially under stressful conditions. I would love to see Slezak trying to chat in another language, or basically to say more than 2 coherent words together.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      LPR, fair enough point that if I’m going to mock Paulina for her dreadful performance on the show, there are more fruitful targets than her pronunciation of “Jagger.” (Her choice of running-man holograms behind Carlito, for starters…) Just to be clear, though, I picked up on that snafu mainly because she’s been so uninvested this season that it took her till Top 10 week to grasp that Tim Olstad is not Tim Olson (and that, to my mind, is not a matter of accent, it’s simply not bothering to learn the dude’s name). Anyhow, I do read comments on here, and will keep your message in mind going forward. I still contend Ms. Rubio — much like Britney Spears before her — does not have a firm enough grasp on the English language to perform her job successfully, but I will try to be more sensitive in how I joke about that going forward. Thanks for taking the time to express yourself so thoroughly and passionately.

      • LPR says:

        Thank you for taking the time to reply Mr. Slezak. Having said that, you made a valid point regarding her detachment to Tim; also, the fact that her first language is Spanish, could be an excuse for some free pass in the pronunciation department, but not a free pass for not providing a critique other than “I love you”, “you are amazing”, and so on (we agree there too). For those like me who know her before this show, she is an interesting artist as a singer, but kind of lunatic; the facet I dislike of her is that she is sometimes arrogant and tries to speak Spanish with an Madrid accent that sounds completely fake on her. I guess she has had to eat some humble pie now.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        “I still contend Ms. Rubio – much like Britney Spears before her – does not have a firm enough grasp on the English language to perform her job successfully.”

        This quote might be the funniest sentence he has ever typed. And he’s had some excellent zingers.

    • MC says:

      Very well said and ITA. The jokes at her expense are usually not funny imo. I don’t think Paulina is stupid at all and her relatively mild errors in English are understandable to those who have even the slightest grasp of Spanish pronunciations. The producers should take the blame for not helping her with Tim’s last name. It was her most obvious error and they should have corrected it. They are also the ones who hired her. Paulina should also not be blamed for taking a job that was fairly offered to her. Who would turn down that money? Not me.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I dunno. I don’t even watch this show, but I read these recaps because they’re pretty damn funny. I’ve seen clips of Paulina, and she comes across as a raving lunatic. I know plenty of people from south of the border, and I don’t know a single person who acts like that, even one of my friends whose English pronunciation makes Paulina sound good. But c’mon, Meek Yagger is funny! I’ve lived overseas myself where I had to speak Italian for 6 horribly hot months. They were all making fun of my Italian like it was the funniest thing ever. It happens. Whatever. We move on.

    • Dawn Kieballs says:

      If Paulina can’t be bothered to learn to pronounce her own artist’s name she is the one showing a lack of respect, not those who call her on it. Primary language is irrelevant. I can properly pronounce the names of all my International friends. It’s simple when you want to do it.

    • RS says:

      I dont care about her grasp on the english language, English isnt my 1st language either but they arent hiring me to JUDGE AN AMERICAN TALENT SHOW.
      Christ…if Simon went to judge the Mexican X factor Id expect them to slate him as equally for his lack of espanol.

  26. Meek Yaggar says:

    It’s so and so this season for me. Last season, I couldn’t wait for the Carly Rose show every week, along with Diamond White, 5H, Lyric 145, and even a little bit of country with Tate. Plus the CeCe Frye was also entertaining.

    Jeff Gutt: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” — B
    Tim Olstad: Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” — C
    Khaya Cohen: The Beatles’ “Let It Be” — C-
    Josh Levi: Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” — A
    Alex & Sierra: One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” — B+
    Rion Paige: Elton John’s “Your Song” — B-
    Carlito Olivero: The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — C-
    Lillie McCloud: Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” — B+
    Ellona Santiago: Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” — B
    Restless Road: Coldplay’s “Fix You” — C

    Luckily for Paulina, she has a potential pop star in the making in the form of Josh Levi. He has that mega watt smile just lights up the stage. Plus Ellona Santiago is so high energy, she needs those high energy songs.

    • MC says:

      I know this is not a popular sentiment on the internet, but I agree with you that the talent on X Factor last season was extremely good. It was event television for me, especially in regard to Carly and 5H. It’s too bad one of those two acts did not win the contest because they seem to be on the verge of commercial success. Carly imo is a dual threat as an actress and a singer.

  27. woodyinho says:

    This show is just terrible now.

  28. Grumply Ol' Lady says:

    The problem with Tim is that his parent(s) are voice coaches. What I see in him is the struggle for perfection, to sing things “correctly.” In doing so, he’s taken out the personality of a song. What he’s left with is a good instrument, one that would do well in the chorus of a musical but not in the world of contemporary music. If he isn’t able to free himself of that kind of mind set, he’s gone as far as he’s going to go with his vocals.
    .
    Josh is being over produced; I think his voice is better than the direction he’s headed. The material he’s been getting hasn’t done him any favors.
    .
    Lillie has had Billboard charting recordings under the name Nichole McCloud; of course she’s good! For the “judges” to pretend that somehow she’s just now becoming a singer/diva is absolutely ridiculous. I have nothing against Lillie, but I do hope they drop the whole “singing dream finally coming true” schtick. Lillie was glorious tonight–as someone who’s been in the industry for decades should be.
    .
    Alex and Sierra have been my favorites, but I’m beginning to feel that the stress is getting to them. I would love to hear them sing something more upbeat next week. I think they are the most creative people on the show this year.
    .
    I didn’t think Jeff was that bad, but then I hate that song. Maybe my TV is broke, because to me it sounded like Rion was pitchy throughout her song; everyone seems to think she did great, so what do I know.
    .
    I think Khaya was pretty good, but she needs more voice coaching. I think she’s the best girl singer in the competition. There’s no reason why she couldn’t have sung an Amy W song.
    .
    I think Carlito’s voice is good; he’s just getting poor mentoring. And poor styling, in my opinion. He’s more mature than the clothes they’re putting him in.
    .
    Best vocal of the week goes to Lillie, most creative and interesting, Alex & Sierra.

    • MC says:

      Rion was pretty good, but listen to Holly Henry (from The Voice) sing “Your Song” on YouTube. It’s really a great cover of that song.

    • Irene says:

      I totally agree about Tim! I refer to this as choir boy syndrome because I know someone that does the same thing. Sings like an angel but no performance ability because they’ve been hindered by by the staunchness required by an an organized school choir. The requirement of crisp pronunciation is a hinder as well although I haven’t noticed that in Tim.

  29. Tom says:

    Michael, you may want to fix the part about Tim Olstad. You said his “bitch” wobbled! ;)

  30. Colleen says:

    On a positive note, I think Alex and Sierra are fantastic. And on the other end of the spectrum, my mind is blown by the fact that Carlito the butt-kissing cheeseball and Tim the human sedative are still in the competition. What a joke!!!!!

  31. christopher bee says:

    Hopeless Road is terrible and only for deaf Redneck chicks suitable. Paulina & Mario are useless clown puppets, this show has a deathwish. Please make it happen.

  32. darcy the slutty twin says:

    Restless Road cannot go home yet! At least not until they’ve performed a Magic Mike number! Khaya was not good. I’ve had enough of Jeff Gutt and his constant pimping of his son and poverty. Get a job! Lillie was lovely, Ellona was ok and I was pleasantly surprised with Rion. I really liked her rendition of Your Song. Tim Olsen’s continued presence on this show baffles me.

  33. RS says:

    Michael, I am shocked you still are carrying on with this recap, the show is THAT bad…but thank you…now I don’t have to watch it to revel in its awfulness :)

  34. Maria says:

    Oh, this recap made my morning….”couldn’t get past the holograms of Carlito bumping and grinding — and then randomly sprinting”…good thing I’m in the office alone as I read this. I too am sick of hearing about Jeff’s son, second only to hearing people say, “I was BORN TO DO THIS!”

  35. John Anthony says:

    Reading these early comments proves my point. This bunch are all average at best. By Spring you won’t remember any of them unless Simon gets his record company behind Restless Road and Alex and Sierra. It won’t work because in the end you need talent and they are average at best as well. Better talent left this show!!!! Maybe the speculation is right and Simon’s going back to the UK after this season leaving this train wreck to anyone who wants to run it. Stop the four chair stupid challenge, the backgrounds with super star flashing and dancing, leave all the voting to the public, and find a lot better talent than this bunch. The ratings are the worst ever because you can’t fool the public with a bunch of singers who belong back on the ranch, farm, bedroom, and in their local church choirs. Next week The X-Factor will be lucky to draw 1% of the viewing audience

  36. Mary says:

    Wow there wasn’t three performances I liked. Top of the night was A & S. I actually liked Lillie song this week, first time ever, but sorry she still in not current. I honestly do not think she will have a career after Xfactor show. I thought you were two generous with Jeff.
    I actually like Kayhla but she murdered that song, not in a good way. I think she might be leaving tonight. I think the judges overpraised Tim so people would not pity vote him. He needs to leave asap. I will be totally surprise if this show is renew next year.

  37. Babybop says:

    I don’t watch this show… But reading how ridiculous the staging is so funny! Why would anyone think bumping and grinding holograms in the background of someone singing is a good idea?

  38. Nedsdag says:

    As someone said previously, last season was “Must See Television”. This season is more like, “I taped Survivor to watch this?” Alex & Sierra were good, but not great. Plus Simon should have given them a better song such as “Two of Us” by the Beatles or since he’s on a One Direction kick, perhaps the song “Moments” would have been a better choice. Also, some of the songs played in the background would’ve made for better performances than the ones chosen. For instance, during Restless Road’s video, the song “Good Thing” by Fine Young Cannibals was playing in the background. That would’ve been a better song for them to sing instead of the overplayed Coldplay one. They could have countried it up and had fun with it. Also, it would’ve been memorable.

  39. MariMari says:

    I’ve seen some comparisons made between Ellona and Idol’s Jessica Sanchez. Please, child. Umm – no. Well – they are both young, small with long, dark hair.

  40. spongebob says:

    A: Rion
    A-: Lillie, Alex & Sierra
    B+: Colton (I don’t want to include him w/ the rest of Restless Road), Josh
    B: Jeff, Tim
    B-: Restless Road, Carlito, Ellona
    C: Khaya

    Prediction:
    Eliminated first: Khaya
    Showdown: Carlito, Jeff (Carlito eliminated)

    Oh, and stop it with the Paulina barbs. It’s not her fault English isn’t her first language. There is a fine line between being snarky-funny & being mean.

    • MC says:

      I don’t completely understand the Paulina barbs, whether from the blogger or anyone else. She deserves to be teased about Tim’s last name, but people can take it too far. She’s eccentric and peculiar, but that’s different than being a “lunatic.” Unfortunately, I’ve met people who could be clinically classified as sociopaths or even psychopaths. Those people are lunatics; Paulina is just a goofy and eccentric celebrity.

  41. jw says:

    This is still a thing?

  42. perfesser says:

    I’m just curious why he gave Lillie an A-. I thought she was impeccable, one of the best performances I’ve EVER seen. (Wicked Slezak makes me laugh out loud with his Paulina comments)

  43. jaxguy says:

    Alex & Sierra should win the whole thing. They are wonderful!

  44. jaxguy says:

    Rion Paige was impeccable. Great performance. She’s making some real strides on this show. She may go very far this year.

  45. David jones says:

    Go Alex and Sierra u guys can win it

  46. David jones says:

    Don’t u guys think so

  47. Bee says:

    Paulina looks like a rat. Her weird little mouth is disgusting to me , her rodent nose os icky. She can’t speak either. Yellow hair – ugghhhhh

  48. Bee says:

    Lilly is boring but OK as a singer, Jeff is boring but OK as a singer…Carlos, LOL, sorry, too many of these people including the short hispanic chick have no charisma, like the chubby guy, no charisma…….

  49. Jim Welker says:

    I think the worst 3 in order were, Carlito, Tim, and Restless Road! I think Carlito and Tim should go, with that AWFUL RESTLESS ROAD JUST GETTING BY! If Restless Road wasn’t mentored by Simon, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN GONE WEEKS AGO!

  50. Jim Welker says:

    Didn’t realize Michael had same bottom three as me! I think we’re both righton!