The X Factor Top 8 Performance Recap: Big Band That Rocks the Cradle [Updated]

Carlito Olivero X FactorThanksgiving is nigh, and the forecast calls for excessive gluttony and three-to-four inches of pie on Thursday afternoon. But that didn’t stop Simon Cowell and his X Factor minions from attempting to cram their barely concealed agendas down America’s gullets during Wednesday night’s Top 8 performance telecast.

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Yes indeed, Big Band Night brought out the best in two or three contestants, but bizarrely, they weren’t the ones to receive the most enthusiastic praise from The One Whose Reaction Shots Are Oh So Gif-Worthy, The One Whose Acting Is Better on Glee, The One Who May Not Actually Know the Names of Her Two Remaining Acts Unless They’re Written on the Back of Her AmEx Bill, and The One Who Already Knows Which Acts He Wants Signed to His Syco Label — and Will Do Anything to Ensure One of ‘Em Comes Out on Top.

In other words, how did not one single judge mention Restless Road’s screaming massacre of “Life Is a Highway,” the only relief from which arrived when the 25-piece orchestra managed to intermittently drown out the dubious country trio? And why was everyone acting like Ellona Santiago was the second coming of Beyoncé when she hit at least a half-dozen wince-inducing notes that would’ve caused the Lady Knowles to wish the perky teenager into the cornfield alongside Latavia and Latoya?

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What’s more, I can almost guarantee that 99 dentists out of 100 would recommend watching and listening to Josh Levi’s “Treausure” over Rion Paige’s “Swingin’,” and yet from the feedback they received, you’d have thought they were absolute equals. Urgh!

I know, I know, at this point in the shelf-life of the American reality singing competition, producer manipulation should be about as shocking as a Kim Kardashian selfie on Twitter. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop hoping for honesty and transparency in the process.

On that note, let’s cut to letter grades for the week’s performances — and because I’ve got early-morning holiday travel, I’m keeping my reviews to a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less:

Rion Paige: John Anderson/LeAnn Rimes’ “Swingin'” — Grade: C- | “Swingin” is such a one-note song, and alas, that note was not pitched correctly for Rion whose voice strained like cold butter through a sieve for most of the song.

Restless Road: Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway” — Grade: D- | Colton’s tone on his solos was bafflingly reminiscent of The Swedish Chef (maybe that inspired Paulina’s Muppets comment later in the telecast), and the harmonies on the bridge had me dialing 1-800-Jesus-No.

Jeff Gutt: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” — Grade: B | Not exactly an inspired song choice from Kelly, considering it’s been done in the recent past — and with far more gusto — by Adam Lambert, Melanie Amaro, Jennifer Hudson and even Dez Duron. But Jeff was still above par, hitting all his notes on a song with a high degree of difficulty.

Josh Levi: Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” — Grade: A- | Josh showcased more charisma and energy floating, spinning and leaping around the stage tonight than Restless Road has mustered up in 6 live performances combined. Oh, and the kid’s vocal was spotless, to boot!

Carlito Olivero: Ricky Martin’s “La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life)” — Grade: A- | Yes, Carlito was cheesier than a plate of stuffed shells, but c’mon, he was covering the official anthem of the 1998 World Cup. And he did it with high energy, wicked enthusiasm and darn near note perfection. I can’t be mad at it!

Alex & Sierra: Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” — Grade: B+ | The whole staging was verrrry Sonny & Cher — in other words, fantastic! But while I once again have to tip my imaginary hat to the duo’s creative rearrangement — it honestly took me half the song to remember that it’s a T-Swift original — the end result had a few moments that sounded a wee bit strident. (Vexing, though, was that once again the biggest risk takers get some of the harshest feedback from the judges.)

Lillie McCloud: “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess) — Grade: B | Simon was right that Lillie’s decision to once again stand stock still on a pedestal drained some of the rawness and energy from her performance. Does she probably have the best, most polished voice of the season? Sure. But did it feel a little like she was coasting? Kinda. And shouldn’t Lillie have been aware of — and strenuously avoided — a song that Fantasia Barrino has forever ruined for the reality singing competition genre? Abso-freakin’-lutely.

Ellona Santiago: Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” — Grade: C+ B- | OK, OK, my initial C+ was a tad harsh, but while Ellona razzled and dazzled like she was the star of her own Baz Luhrmann production number, I felt like — once again — she went intermittently sharp on most of her ad-libs, probably because she was expending so much energy dancing. And the judges’ failure to call her out on the problem probably means she’s doomed to repeat it.

And nope, I’m not bothering to judge the group performance of “Cry Me a River.” Like Simon said, we’re really supposed to critique people based on a few lines — or in Lillie’s case, a sentence fragment? Nope, let’s call it what it was — Pure Theater for the Sake of Filling Out the 120 Minutes — and leave it at that.

Should go home: Restless Road, Rion
Will go home: Lillie, Rion

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Top 8 performance night? Who were your faves? Who surprised you? Who will and should be at risk? Take our poll below, then expand on 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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  1. Kaba says:

    I saw Ellona’s performance of “Mama Knows Best”….God that was underwhelming.
    I’d been picturing a big band performance of “Mama Knows Best” for about a week now and….I immediately went and watched Amber Nicole and Sarah Simmons performances of the song to feel right in my soul. Then I watched Jessie J saang it.
    Nonetheless…God I’m tired of the excessive. The EXCESSIVE amount of mellodrama this show adds to the lives of their performers. This is the only show that’ll add “In the Arms of An Angel” to the background of someone talking about irrelevant stuff like a scraped knee and how a song is dedicated to it.

  2. Hugh says:

    Wow Michael, I think you’re being ridiculously harsh here. Personally I felt everyone (bar Restless Road) were absolutely stellar tonight! There were some amazing performances! For one, Alex & Sierra’s amazing arrangement of the Taylor Swift song, especially Sierra’s cool inflections and licks. Lillie was also amazing! That woman can sing her butt off, and I loved how jazzy the backing to Summertime was, it was gorgeous with her deep voice and immaculate phrasing. Carlito gave his best performance ever on this show, full of life and energy, great production and a slick vocal. Ellona gave a really sharp, commanding vocal and she’s got so much star presence!

    I thought this was the best live performance show of US X Factor ever! I’m so sad to see you were down on this show! I enjoyed every minute of it for once, and I never thought I’d say that about this show!

    • Eric says:

      Yeah I really liked tonight’s performances, they were inventive and they all sounded great, except for Restless Road

    • HTGR says:

      I have to say I saw it closer to the way you did. Although I definitely wouldn’t say it was the best xfactor live week ever by any means.

    • Matt says:

      Hugh, I agree with you on all accounts. Spot on comments! I am also getting a bit put off by Michael’s obvious bias against The X-Factor in favor of The Voice. While I don’t think either shows are perfect, Michael’s reviews are overly harsh in regards to The X-Factor.

      • Betsy says:

        That’s because the X Factor is horrible and the Voice is so much better.

        • BenM says:

          Its true, but I think its also true that a chunk of Michael’s grade for each performance is based not only on the singer, but everything that goes around it – often which is the shortcomings of the show. Ie the show being worse naturally effects the grading of performances even if the singing, as such, may not be worse.

        • Castiel says:

          Too bad The Voice US haven’t produce a single famous star with all those superior vocalist, Music industry is not a vocal olympics

          • Kaba says:

            And what has Xfactor produced? Sorry. Nothing as well. At least the Voice seems to care that their contestants actually are more concerned about music than being some over the top, auto-tune ridden pop-star.
            And 5th Harmony and Emblem 3 hardly count as breakout stars considering Simon is draining all his bank accounts just to force them into the public eye. So it’s not like Xfactor genuinely did anything for them.

          • HTGR says:

            Well since he runs XFactor and if he is dumping all his money and effort into them to get them heard then it kinda DID do something for them though. That’s the very definition of a show really doing something for you. Might’ve been nice had Idol done the same for Haley and many others.

        • Rachel says:

          Agree completely– this show pales in comparison to the Voice – though this season the voice has a bit too much of the same – but they are all talented. Lillie has talent but this performance was terrible – too many acrobatics – she should just sing. I hated Trouble. They were trying just too hard. I enjoyed Jeff … But I’m not sure anyone on this show has a career ahead of them.

      • HTGR says:

        He probably can’t win though as the other week he graded them on the same scale as the other shows and then got attacked for going soft on the show and not grading them more harshly hah.

      • SS says:

        Totally agree with Matt. And the voice is so incredibly overrated. I’ve sat through 3-4 episodes of that show over the years and just can’t get into it. X factor has been entertaining and I think this season has had a good top 10. It is difficult to come here and read these recaps when they are so biased for the voice.

    • silverwhite says:

      Those who think he’s grading XF more harshly than TV are deluded. Just compare the A minuses this week (Josh and Carlito vs Tessanne and Will) and the answer is obvious

    • RS says:

      Hugh , next time try to come down before commenting… to say that this was the “best live performance show of US X Factor ever” discredits everything you have to say.

    • Scott says:

      I completely agree. I loved Lillie and Alex & Sierra. This is the first time I’ve paid attention all the way through one of Carlito’s performances, it was fantastic. I agreed with the judges about Ellona too.

      I thought that Josh was actually the weakest of the night (even worse than RR, who improved so much over last week), so I was very confused to read Michael’s thoughts. Although it seems that whilst I usually agree with his grades for the voice, our opinions almost never line up on in regards to the x factor.

  3. MAB says:

    I had to watch some of the acts twice because I could not understand the praise because it sounded rough to me. I was especially turned off by Rion and I thought Elona sounded to harsh. I didn’t like it at all. I think Restless Road may be going home tomorrow, they are really not bringing it. I feel guilty saying this because I think she has so much spunk and is truly an incredible person but I just can’t get into Rion’s vocals.

  4. HTGR says:

    I was glad to see that Jeff was back again this week. I’d put his, Lillie’s and Ellona’s as the best. Alex & Sierra for the honorable mention.
    Restless Road easily the bottom. Why oh why did they get saved instead of Sweet Suspense. Whatever you thought of the latter, you just know they had to have done better than that. FAR and away better.
    It was a bit uncomfortable to watch say Demi say talk about how awesome Restless Road was while her facial expression looked like she had just seen someone vomit…. all over her clothes. Notice how much more lit up her face was when she was saying the same words about some others. It’s all in the face with these shows. The producers may nudge them into “please be easier on RR this week” or whatever, but the face still tells all. [note to type setters: cut and paste long Haley judging rant (reactions vs. read script) here to hopefully drive Dr. Phil bonkers]
    I’m shocked Ellona was given only a C+.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      You’ve been reading Michael’s recaps so you should know how he operates. Just as he blindly praises his favorites, once he decides to dislike a contestant, it won’t matter if she sings perfectly and puke her guts out with emotion, he’ll find a way to criticize her. I find I’m in disagreement with Mr. Slezak a lot of times.

      • MC says:

        Regrettably, this statement is absolutely true. However, he offers the most brilliant metaphors and similes on a weekly basis. He’s an outstanding writer, but he is very stubborn regarding his likes and dislikes.

  5. kyle92 says:

    I think this was a little harsh. Yes, Restless Road was rough, but it wasn’t cruel and unusual punishment bad. I still think they ought to go home, though. I actually think this might be the X Factor’s best performance show ever. If you’re just going to hate-watch it, I don’t really see the point in writing a recap on it.

  6. Byrdie says:

    Restless Road was AWFUL. The first verse from the brunette lead singer may have scarred me.

  7. Jim Welker says:

    Why is Restless Road still here! The judges say they are greeeeeaaaaaaaat! Are they serious? They were pitiful….the worst of the night! UNBELIEVABLE! THEY STINK! I LIKED A&S, ELLONA AND GUTT! I Personally don’t think Levi is so wonderful! He’s ok! A-, NO WAY!

  8. Jim Welker says:

    Is something a little fishy….RR stinks every week and THEY CLAIM THEY MADE IT? I’ m beginning to wonder if the votes are minipulated! Why would ANYONE vote for Restless Road! Does Simon have HIS HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR, so to speak????????????

    • HTGR says:

      possibly because of all the screams you hear whenever the guy with the way deep voice sings a few way deep notes. Scotty road that way deep voice things to a breezy win (sure production helped in his case too, far more even, but it seems like he had it locked anyway, although surely someone else would’ve made the finals with him in a fair game). That said I’m not sure they will win this by any means since they failed to poll above Sweet Suspense during that live twitter poll they held the first week, which seems a bad sign for them long term. Scotty at least hit all of the notes just about all of the time.

  9. Titina says:

    I agree ! Carlito & Josh to me were the best of the night!
    Who would have thought that Pau Pau was such a great coach? Anyways they need to stay!
    And please, for the love of God America, send Restless Road packing! It´s time.
    Enough already! Simon.. They are not happening, mmkay.
    How could the judges praise such a mess? They were horrible! No harmonies whatsoever. Ugh..

    • HTGR says:

      I think the how is:
      1. Simon still keeps seeing One Direction $$$ in any boy band and he figured, America, country music and the (comparatively) easy sales, three country guys, boy band, one with deep voice = easy $$$$$$$$$$$$$ (but I think he is actually going to be disastrously wrong and he would’ve been far better served having treated RR as his third group instead of SS). Thus his extreme praise.
      2. Simon ‘suggested’ that the Three Witches of Eastwick go a little easier on them this week, if at all possible. (did you notice how Demi looked like someone had vomited on her when she was praising RR to the hilt? And how on the other hand she looked excited, smiling, bright when she was praising some others to the hilt? I mean maybe she really meant what she said, but at the very least, she certainly didn’t appear to be nearly as truly gaga over them as she was over many others.)

  10. Jim Welker says:

    Carlito A-? Truth of the matter is he shouldn’t even be here?

  11. Um, no says:

    Carlito’s grade is completely out of whack. He did a karaoke version of those songs and brought absolutely nothing that was original. I find it odd for someone who is always praising “originality” over actual singing talent that Mr. Slezak didn’t seem to notice. Me thinks Mr. Slezak was probably too entranced by Carlito’s tight pants to care.

  12. Grumply Ol' Lady says:

    I’m giving Alex and Sierra an A. They’re the only reason I’d willingly listen to that song. I don’t know if they’ll win, but they are refreshing to listen to, and I have a feeling they’ll do just fine long after the X Factor becomes history (which will be as soon as the end of this season).

  13. Jim Welker says:

    One last comment…As far as Ellona goes, she’s always entertaining to watch, unlike the others! Great showmanship…Never Boring!

  14. guiaoshi says:

    Agree about Ellona, she just did a competent job for her standards. But totally disagree about Carlito. Like somebody else said, he was pure karaoke.

  15. Interesting that you gave Josh an A- tonight. I thought he was the worst of the night, I was actually wincing he hit so many bad notes.

  16. Jim Welker says:

    I just listened to the group song and Ellona definately was the bright spot! Mike always has something to say about Ellona, negatively! I feel her energy and showmanship improves her performances and I have always maintained since her first audition, she will win it! She still has a chance! And mike actually said she could leave one week! She has never been even close to leaving! Also tonight, I didn’t like Lillie’s performace like I usually do!

    • Castiel says:

      yeah this guy is obviously hating on ellona but it doesn’t matter because I don’t even find this guy credible of writing such review. Some Youtubers has a much more insight than this guy

    • SS says:

      I agree about ellona, she is an incredibly fierce entertainer who puts everything into her performances. I didn’t care for her much early in the season but I have to give it up to her, she is now turning into one of my favorites.

    • jess says:

      you are right, he should never commenting if he never have a valid reason. very negative on ellona while even her performance is the best of them all. ellona has the x factor package, young, beauty, can sing with strong vocals, move and dance and act. Michael probably is experiencing an old man illness temporary blind and hearing defects.

  17. Britt says:

    I think Rion and Useless Road need to go! I just can’t get into their voices at all. Plus Simon thinks he’s slick. Every time RR performs, the music is soooooo loud that you can’t hear much of their performance. But it didn’t work because they still can’t harmonize. Same thing happened to Rion (at least I think it did. I stopped listening while reading this recap).
    Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!!

  18. Kaba says:

    Just watched Lillie’s performance…
    Finally, someone put Simon in his damn place. Man has been drinking the brain kool-aid ALL season.

    • rio says:

      It surprises me that Michael didn’t even mention Lillie’s remarks, or how Simon instantly turned to ice. It’s clear to me tgat he sees much greater dollar potential in 3 country cuties than in a gifted grandmother. That said, Lillie’s decision to sing the song that won Fantasia her AI season–and in such an extremely stylized fashion–was a mistake. I winced, and I watch this farce each week solely for her. But Simon’s agenda is clear–and it ruins the show. Along with the puppet judges.

    • My Alter Ego says:

      OMG! OO-MM- GG!! With exception of the jazz waltz version (instruments only) that’s been dancing around in my head for a long time (no, you don’t need to know just “how long”), no one has ever done that song right, prior to Lillie, in the way that I want to hear it.

      I’m a huge Rodgers and Hart/Gershwin brothers/Cole Porter fan, but “Summertime” is one of my least favorite songs that came from that extraordinary coupling of the Gershwin brothers. It’s usually “oversung/overwrought/overdone.

      But Lillie. just. nailed. it! OO! MM! GG!

      I’m I awe.

  19. Kaba says:

    I’m sorry, it’s time for Rion to go…
    And complete another season of children being sent home on Thanksgivings day

  20. Chablis says:

    Usually not a good thing when contestant talks back to Simon. Love Kelly but hated the fact she told Simon to shut up. Not so much it was Simon but the fact she says it is so juvenile. I agree mostly With Michael except about Eliona. Thought she was entertaining. Any possibility no one goes home on Thanksgiving?

  21. Adrian says:

    X Factor definitely stepped up this week but I am getting tired of the “sensationalization” of some of these story lines. You can’t use the same thing for all 8 acts! Also the theme night idea is not working, as some of these acts are not really Big Band. I honestly think Alex & Sierra and Lillie continue to dominate the show, as they are the only two acts with consistent vocals and some creativity. They have their own styles and can even compete in the Voice and actually go far. Ilona – I honestly think Michael is a bit harsh, and have more issues with her costumes. She is a high school student and maybe I am old school, but those skimpy outfits are not appropriate. However, Ilona needs to conquer her fear of doing a proper song without all these dances. She needs to take some risks now and if she cannot overcome this obstacle, she can’t go to the end. She needs to show that she can sing ballad and has a big voice too. As of this point, I just think Restless Road needs to go.

  22. crystal says:

    I personally love Restless Road and know that everyone I know that watches the show likes and votes for them weekly. The show is about picking the most entertaining act and RR and Alex and Sierra and occasionally Ellona are the only ones ever bringing an interesting performance. Personally my least favorites are Rion (from the very beginning) and Lilly but they each bring their own eliments of sob stories which has kept them on, plus Lilly gets the older votes. Thought Carlito sounded much too karaoke for being this far in the show and also Josh seemed to butcher treasure too… Basically I didn’t agree with anything in this post but to each their own.

  23. christopher bee says:

    It´s a Travesty that such crappy singers like Hopeless Roach´d are allowed and be praised on Live TV. Simon is too needy for an other (P)SyCo Success and he´s willing to anything to destroy the contestants with real Talent. He´s finished.

  24. spongebob says:

    1. Josh – That was an AMA or Grammy level performance and almost the same level as Bruno’s. First time I truly connected with him.
    2. Alex & Sierra – A very Postmodern Jukebox arrangement and I loved it. It could use more dynamics though. I have a huge crush on both of them. May they never break up. Love them. :)
    3. Lillie – One of her best. Love it when she hits the low notes.
    4. Carlito – Authentic. His best. He nailed it in the face-off round.
    5. Ellona – All-around performer. Her best. I am getting tired of her using her right leg to step on things (chair, car etc) while singing. I feel like it’s cheap choreography.
    6. Jeff – I really love what he did to the song.
    (gap the size of Simon’s ego)
    7. Restless Road – The one on the right is showing more personality while the one on the left remains a statue. That little harmony at the end, I want to hear that throughout the song.
    8. Rion – Her worst. It’s a shame because she’s improving every week.

    Eliminated first – Lillie
    Showdown – Rion vs Jeff with Rion going home

  25. Dani says:

    My favourite is Ellona, and in my honest opinion, showing the backstory about her sister was appropriate. Sooner or later she has to talk about her dying sister, and not until today did they really approach it. If they really wanted to milk her backstory, they could have showed us about how hardworking she is, her sister, and that she probably has family in the Philippines that was affected by the typhoon, from day one, but they didn’t. She’s great and backstory or no, she deserves those praises.

  26. starship says:

    Josh Levi and Carlito had the best performances. I struggle to pick a third one, but I guess Lillie, just for talking back to Simon (obviously she’ll be kicked off the show for that, but still…). Alex and Sierra sang ok, but they murdered the song with this awful arrangement and it’s really clear at this point that Alex is a great singer and Sierra is dragging him down, he should cut the dead weight and go solo after the show.

  27. Castiel says:

    this is more like a bias opinion rather than a recap/review… obviously you have some issues over the other contestant specially Ellona which I’m not a fan of.. but I totally give props to her dedication and hard work on stage. If this is your day job, it would be best for you to find another reality show to review that you’d be good at, like cupcake war or something.

  28. Johan says:

    Lillie McCloud is undoubtedly the best singer in X Factor 2013. Attend a recital of Lillie McCloud, or perhaps Alex & Sierra. I’m not sure to go to one with the other participants.

  29. shawn zx14r says:

    Tho show suppose to find xfacto, it should not be only based on voice, ellona has the voice, the look, and stage presence, this is what you need to have xfactor and she has it..

  30. Sid says:

    What’s michael’s beef against Asian-American singers in these reality shows? It’s becoming too obvious. Even if they’re really good. He had bashed Jessica Sanchez, Jasmine Trias, and a number of other Asian girls who used to be contestants in American Idol. And now Ellona who arguably has the best performance last night. I probably not read his review of any show again after this.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      He hated Ramiele Malubay too, which I found odd back then because I thought Kristy Lee Cook was the worst of the bunch. Not that he didn’t criticize Kristy Lee, but he reserved his special brand of haterade for poor Ramiele, who was a competent singer at worst. Meanwhile, Michael’s favorite that time was Amanda Overmyer, and let’s just leave it at that.

      • Ramiele Malubay wasn’t terrible at the beginning, but the only thing she did on the show was sing songs other Idols had already sang, but not as well. Look at the songs she chose: You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, Alone, Against All Odds…she just kept getting worse. Kristy Lee Cook, on the other hand, had a train wreck with 8 Day A Week, and was just as bad the following week, but she eventually got better and better with her covers of God Bless the USA and Anyway. I was actually sad to see her go, I haven’t seen a contestant improve as much as Kristy.

    • Kate'shomesick says:

      I’m sorry but he LOVED most of Jessica Sanchez’ performances…He didn’t only critique Kristy, he made fun of her all the time and still uses the “7 days a week” cover as example for horrible song adaptations…Amanda was in no way his favourite (as wasn’t Ramiele…). He liked her attitude. Quote: “Anyhow, while I can’t say I’ll really miss Amanda’s singing, I will miss the gnarly jolt of hairspray and eyeliner and gin-soaked angst she brought to the stage each week. And really, wouldn’t you rather have downed that wicked cocktail for another couple weeks as opposed to the bland tap water that is Ramiele ”Crinkle Nose” Malubay?” …harsh but true :D

      • Kate'shomesick says:

        haha it’s 8 days a week…I apologize. I didn’t want to harm that song any more than it already has been harmed..

    • jess says:

      I agree, lets give. Michael a knock on his head. My dog probaly knows best

  31. lilly says:

    I agree with the judges who are knowledgeable. Ellona had the best performance last night…individually….and as a group….

  32. t says:

    Maybe it was because of the live band but I thought tonight’s show was great from top to bottom. I didn’t even think RR was bad. I half expected to see about 6 A’s from Mr. Slezak and was surprised he thought it was such a bad show.

  33. tara17 says:

    Summertime… the kiss of death of singing competitions. Lillie rocked it, but she’s doomed. Here’s hoping she lasts another week.

  34. Jim Welker says:

    I’ve been praising Ellonal from day 1 abd I still predict a win! I am so glad others are now giving her praise! Up until now there hasn’t been much talk about her! Mike is so quickly able to give Carlito, Josh, and even Rion, in the past A-! However, no matter how well Ellona does, he just won’t give her high marks! Like I said, he gave Rion A- marks at times!????????? Carlito isn’t better than Karaoke singers I have heard! Levi is very overrated! I wish Lillie wouldn’t have talked back….big mistake! As far as RR, I’m sure Simon will ATTEMPT to make them stars, regardless how far they go! So why not be honest about their talents? A standing ovation that time????? Come on Simon! I think Rion and Restless Road really nead to leave! I looked on line and a couple of Sports books, off shore, actually have odds posted for RR to win it all (some have A&S #1)! If Restless Road wins this thing, it will be the biggest FARCE in television history! I hope it doesn’t play out that way! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  35. RS says:

    The band was the best! After that, Alex &Sierra, Lillie & Josh. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, all the dead weight would fall away with an a capella theme night.

  36. Erin says:

    Does anyone know why they don’t give us the voting results/order at the end of the results show anymore?

  37. Jim Welker says:

    I don’t care how famous that Buble is….he stank up the place! I remember when he had his first single; I used to call up the radio stations and tell them what a bum he was! The public is so brainwashed! The judges all stood up clapping ( not Simon during performance), acting like he was putting on a terrific perfotmance! Had he been a contestant, he would have been blasted for such trash! There’s one AI winner in particular who has achieved great success who sounds like a whining, irritating mess! I’m a good judge of talent and so far so good, all the singers who were subpar left! We need RR and Rion to be eliminated by all fairness!

    • MC says:

      Kelly or Carrie?

    • SS says:

      Oh yes I totally agree, Buble’s song on Wednesday night was underwhelming. The first two thirds he sounded flat and lazy, he finally only came alive in the last third of the song. I couldn’t believe Mario called him “the king of big band!” Wtf?????

  38. Victor says:

    Ellona is the most complete singer in this competition and this performance was really good ! i think alex and sierra are good too but ellona is better !

  39. AIFanatico says:

    I almost always agree on the recap/reviews by Michael, but this one got me off-put. I mean most of them weren’t that bad. Yeah I agree with Restless and Rion, but Josh, Lillie, A&S, Ellona, and Carlito were great tonight. I think they have all done their “best performance” tonight.

  40. Jim Welker says:

    I find it interesting that the oddsmakers still have A&S and RR #1 and #2, respectively, as the favorites to win the title; even after RR’s miserable performance! Well, country artists go a long way in competitions…Scotty, Tate Stevens and a performer who one year won AGT who was nothing! Carrie Underwood won as well as other country artists on various competitions! RR is country and they have the influential judge Simon…..A 1,2 punch! I hope they go tonight! If not, they very well may be in the final! Let’s hope not….that is insane and wrong!

    • SS says:

      Rion and Rachel were country singers and look how far they got this season…

      • HTGR says:

        Neither did all that much pure country so far (especially not Rachel, which was cool IMO) and, I’ve been the well known country music, country singers hater, and yet I loved Rachel so haha there you go. I guess if I love a country singer it figures that will be the one country singer the whole middle america crowd will turn on. It really stinks I was like finally someone I favor will win! Hah! Oh well. :( Sorry Rachel for cursing your chances.
        I wonder if it is not Rion’s twang seeping through in a weird way that is why she starts sounding weird when she sings certain parts of these songs, on some of the moderately high bars, her twang seeps through into the pop in a weird way that gives her a vocal timber that sounds flat just the timber itself even if on pitch and a trace thin and whiny in some weird way.

  41. Jim Welker says:

    The wrong singers usually win anyway! Look at Idol that one year; Melinda Doolittle was miles better than Blake and winner Sparks! Doolittle was perhaps the best singer ever on Idol! Jennifer Hudson lost that year she was in it! The list goes on and on and on! It’s funny that when a contestant is brought back, they usually win! Sparks got the lowest votes one show and was supposed to go! Well, Simon decided they would wait till the following week to add up votes and Jordan was spared! Melanie Amoro was brought back and won X factor! So, look out for Levi….who knows? At least Tim finally left and he should have gone weeks earlier! I really believe that when a person loses and is eliminated, it’s not fair to bring back that contestant! That’s breaking the rules! Anyway, we’ll see what happens with this uneven show!

  42. Jim Welker says:

    In answer to comments why they don’t tell us who got the most votes this week….I think they figured it ibfluences voters! Also, after an average singer Tate Stevens won the comoetition, that’s when they really felt there was too much influence if they revealed the viting! This is my best guess!

  43. Alan Dvorkis says:

    I enjoyed Carlito’s performance the most. He was confident and moved with great flow. His voice was strong and in tune. He looked like a star and sounded the same. I enjoyed Ellona as well. She too put on a good show, good enough that the occasional odd note did not get in the way. As usual Restless Road embarrassed themselves. It is sad that Simon’s ego sent the rugby player home in season one and now bludgeons us with these 3 kids, who seem very nice, but are better suited for photo shoots than a singing competition. Jeff bores me. Each and every week, his cliche choices of song are done with a total lack of originality. Hey, he loves his son. He needs to go home and take care of him. I agree that Lily played it safe. Her versions of Summertime was good, but good is something she can do in her sleep. Rion was very average. She did nothing to “wow” and her voice was erratic. I think she is in trouble. Alex and Sierra again were terrific. I think anything they sing will be both fun and interesting. I hope they win. I am torn with Josh. Yes his performance was terrific. You could see him selling out arenas in 5-10 yrs, but I did not enjoy his vocal. He was in tune but it fell a little flat for me. His upside is immense for sure, I just do not enjoy his singing. This weeks show surprised me as most acts did songs that I not only did not mind, but also would listen to again.

  44. Jim Welker says:

    To MC……FB!

  45. Can we talk about how terrible Michael Buble sounded in the opening song? I was surprised by how bad he was.

  46. Jim Welker says:

    Mr. RICHARDS: Look at my comments 9 above yours! That bum has always stank! The public is brainwashed! There are plenty of famous singers that stink! It’s who you know! Those phoney judges standing up and going crazy for BubleI How that creep made it I’ll never figure out!

  47. Jim Welker says:

    Well, we all have our opinions I guess! I can’t stand him, and I like all kinds of music, including his! There are several talent show winners that I can’t stand as well! Fantasia sounds like a baby in a grown body…a whining voice! I can’t understand…Broadway, a movie on her….Come on now! She doesn’t hold a candle to Jen Hudson, or Melinda Doolittle for that matter!

    • rio says:

      Fantasia’s in another Broadway show right now (“After Midnight”), and her reviews were great.. I couldn’t get tickets!

    • Of the three that season, Jennifer has the biggest voice, Latoya sang the most beautifully, and Fantasia was both the most emotive and the most distinctive. I would listen to any of them all day any day, but I think Fantasia’s “Lose to Win” on the results show last year was the best performance ever on the Idol stage.

  48. Jim Welker says:

    That’s funny how subjective singing can be! I hated that performance on Idol….that same baby, whining voice! My opinion, she stinks….many, many singers better, by far!

  49. marni dulay says:

    What was the music playing before alix and seirra amazing performance is what I ment thank you

  50. jess says:

    Michael, some of your comments I agree, but totally infuriated with your negative comment and substandard asscertion with Ellona pure strong enteraining performance. Did you see any one from this contestants with stage presence? She is become a beyonce type of singer and even Demi Lovato performance lately, she is more entertaining.