The X Factor returned to the Fox airwaves on Thursday night to continue the Judge’s Homes round with performances by the teens and over-25 singers.
As the competition continued, the remaining singers had to sing for their lives to book a spot in the final 16. With only four singers from each category able to advance, the pressure was high at the homes of X Factor judges Britney Spears and L.A. Reid.
The over-25 crowd
On Wednesday night’s X Factor, fans saw that L.A. Reid wasn’t happy to get the over-25 category. This week, he let the singers know. And with that burden in mind, Reid was soon joined by guest mentors Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun to help ease the pain. The contestants knew they had to step up their games after watching several favorite standouts fall flat due to poor song selection.
When the vocal action got going, Jason Brock was weak on Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. Brock started off at a high register and got a little too carried away when he tried to hit higher notes. However, David Correy was brilliant on Jessie J’s “Domino” before Daryl Black (who we barely even saw before this episode) sounded great on the Hall & Oates hit “She’s Gone”. Although Black has a great voice, he could be at a disadvantage since he hasn’t connected with viewers due to a lack a screen time.
Next it was on to Tate Stevens who performed a country version of Brian McKnight’s “Back at One” before Vino Alan rounded out the male contestants with Pink’s “Sober”. As much as we loved Vino at the start of The X Factor, Thursday’s performance was more gravely and way too forced. Still, Vino could go through.
As for the girls of the over-25 category, the only female singer was Tara “I think I’m so fantastic” Simon who took on Hoobastank’s “The Reason”. This has to be the end of the road for Tara. She hasn’t even tried to make the viewers like her. If she gets into the Top 16, she’ll be gone the first week, no question. At least Cece “face paint” Frey showed some vulnerability on Wednesday’s episode.
Next it was off to the L.A. home of Britney Spears who was joined by guest mentor, will.i.am.
Diamond White went first with Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You”, an interesting choice for Diamond who connected to the emotion through the song’s gentle melody.
Next was Reed Demming who did the Plain White T’s “Hey There, Delilah”. Sure he was adorable, but was the song great enough for the Top 16?
As the teens continued, Arin Ray gave a scaled back acoustic version of Nicki Minaj’s “Starships”. Ray has been highly touted all season since he was the only returning singer from last year’s competition. This week on The X Factor, Ray proved that he’s a great solo singer.
Nearing the end of Britney’s group, Beatrice Miller took on David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium”. Although Miller started strong, she lost herself slightly in the middle. Despite the flaw, Beatrice was one of the stronger singers of the night. Even will.i.am called her “fresh.”
Next up, James Tanner rapped (?) “Party Like a Rockstar” by the Shop Boyz. James was fun to watch but this could be the end of the line.
The final singer in the teen category was Carly Rose Sonenclar, one of my personal favorites since her first audition when she belted out Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. Prior to a slow version of Karmin’s “Brokenhearted”, however, Britney Spears told Carly to use her competitive nature and channel it into her performance. Carly absolutely nailed it. This girl has to make it into the finals, seriously!
Although each contestant gave it their all this week on The X Factor, L.A. Reid was right when he said that it all comes down to marketability. A good voice means nothing if the audience can’t connect with a singer. That was the biggest issue with the over-25 category. Since the teen group offers so much adorable talent, The X Factor needs an older singer that the unique story of someone like Susan Boyle. Unfortunately, none of the over-25 singers really stood out except for David Correy.
What did you think of the singer’s on The X Factor?