Went 0-for-2 (vocally speaking) during Top 13 week, especially that results-night Cher cover where the line “you haven’t seen the last of me” was so off pitch it felt like a threat. What happened to the chick whose “Sexy and I Know It” had such sass and style at Judges’ Houses? (Plus, her self-applied cheetah print looked better than the fungus-y looking one the show’s makeup artists gave her for the big stage last week.)
11. Diamond White
(Last week not ranked, due to her elimination on Top 20 results night)
The show made a huge deal about bringing Diamond back from the ashes, but her rendition of Whitney Houston’s done-to-death-and-back “I Have Nothing” was surprisingly strained and uninventive. In other words, despite the hype of her return landing her at No. 4 for the week among voters, the long-range view says she’s no Melanie Amaro 2.0.
10. Paige Thomas
(Last week No. 12)
Two weeks running, she’s been swallowed whole by Demi’s aggressive staging and costumes, but all those X Factor trappings wouldn’t be an issue if her vocals were stronger and more self-assured. If CeCe returns to top form, Paige could easily be singing for her survival come Thursday night — and that’s a problem, considering she’s never given a performance that makes her look like a potential X Factor champ.
9. Vino Alan
(Last week No. 11)
Okay, yes, he was ranked No. 3 among X Factor voters last week, but conventional wisdom says Simon Cowell released those numbers to spur younger artists’ voting blocs and stop the momentum for Over 25 stalwarts Vino and Tate. More importantly, Vino’s cover of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” while more in his wheelhouse than Nickleback’s “Gotta Be Somebody,” lacked any kind of nuance or dynamics. Dude won’t be able to shout and growl his way to the Season 2 crown, but does he know any other way to deliver a ditty?
8. Beatrice Miller
(Last week No. 2)
Brought soul and believability — but also a few pitch problems — to her cover of “Iris,” and it landed her near the bottom of America’s pecking order. Likely losing votes to fellow Britney protege Carly Rose, thought it might help if Beatrice’s mentor stopped dressing her in 47 layers of rags every time she hits the stage.
7. Arin Ray
(Last week No. 10)
His No. 11 ranking in the Top 13 Week voting should motivate his fan base to speed-dial him to safety this week — provided he conjures up the same star power and smooth vocals he did on “American Boy.” In fact, if Arin succeeds in that mission, he might start to look like a legit contender. On the flip side, a return to his middling Top 16 rendition of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” could make him the Teen category’s first Season 2 casualty.
(Last week No. 7)
Simon was shocked the boy band only ranked No. 6 with voters after their “My Girl”/”California Gurls” mashup, but upon closer inspection, their vocals were messier than a seventh-grader’s bedroom. They’ve got plenty of momentum right now, but if they can’t sing consistently on pitch, they might not be as invincible as their mentor hopes.
5. Lyric 145
(Last week No. 4)
Their staging and costumes have brought seizure-inducing levels of lights and bling and color, and yet their song choices (an absurd mashup of “Boom! Shake the Room” and “Gangnam Style,” followed by Mary Poppins‘ “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” have been genius in their audaciousness. No question frontwoman Lyric Da Queen is a potential superstar — although whether the show’s audience will carry a rap act all the way to the finale remains an entirely different debate.
4. Tate Stevens
(Last week No. 6)
His perfectly fine, low-concept performance of “Wanted Dead or Alive” landed him at No. 1 among X Factor voters after Top 13 week. (Insert sound of Simon weeping into his morning porridge here.) Tate is likable, he’s self-deprecating, and he knows the kind of artist he wants to be. And quaint as it sounds, that’s often a lot more important than descending to the stage from the rafters or thrusting your pelvis at an army of backup dancers.
3. Jennel Garcia
(Last week No. 1)
Simon accused Demi of making over Jennel to the point that she’d steamrolled everything America loved about the Massachusetts teen in the first place. But that critique didn’t give enough credit to Jennel’s gritty, spot-on cover of “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” that included several nifty detours from the original melody, and plenty of genuinely sexy stage presence. Demi might need to find a happy medium between original Jennel and Jennel 2.0, but the girl is not going anywhere anytime soon.
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
(Last week No. 5)
Freed from the icky/sexy schoolgirl choreography of Top 16 week, Carly Rose had nothing to worry about but delivering a top-notch vocal on “It Will Rain,” and it catapulted her to No. 2 among X Factor voters for the week. Still comes off a bit fusty for a 13-year-old, which may lead to some more awkward mentor moments, but the talent cannot be denied, and talent is what it’s all about (or so we can hope).
1. Fifth Harmony
(Last week No. 3)
Finally learned to harmonize a little during Top 13 week — and not a moment too soon, considering they’d just changed their name from Lylas to Fifth Harmony. Whether or not the quintet has fully gelled as a group matters less than the incredible growth they’ve shown from “Impossible” to “A Thousand Years.” There are few things reality show voters love more than a story of hard work and improvement — and those themes are prevalent indeed in the story arc of this pre-fab female answer to One Direction.
Who are your favorites from Season 2 of X Factor? Take our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!