The X Factor returned on Wednesday night for the first week of audience voting in a live movie-themed soundtrack show in which fans got a big surprise.
Although young singer Diamond White was sent home from The X Factor last week, judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears, and Demi Lovato chose to bring White back for another shot at stardom.
A week ago, White lost out to Arin Ray and was forced to exit the show despite her talent. The return of White was similar to last season’s winner Melanie Amaro who Simon let go early in the competition but felt he made a mistake. It was the same last night with Diamond White.
Let’s face it, format aside, Diamond was too good to go home. Will White follow in Amaro’s footsteps and win The X Factor?
As for the top 13 …
Arin Ray: “American Boy”
Britney Spears saved Arin from elimination last week and the 17-year old didn’t disappoint on the Estelle hit. Ray proved that he has the pop star potential to win. Even if Ray makes it deep into the competition but doesn’t win, he has what it takes to become a successful solo artist.
Paige Thomas: “You Take My Breathe Away”
Paige Thomas was solid but not spectacular on the Berlin hit from the Top Gun soundtrack. Within a lavish stage show and suspended in mid-air, Paige was lowered to the stage in billowing dress for a bigger production. Was it enough? Of course! Paige did what she had to in order to remain safe.
Vino Alan: “When a Man Loves a Woman”
This week Vino Alan gave fans his best performance of the competition. The classic Percy Sledge tune was Alan’s saving grace. Vino finally got a song that showcased his gravelly, soulful vocals.
Emblem3: “My Girl/California Girls”
The Huntington Beach trio maintained their momentum from last week with a cool mashup of “My Girl” by The Temptations and Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” Although the group hit the stage with a fun, energetic vibe, Demi felt that Simon was turning them into another One Direction. That’s fine with us, but is that who the boys really want to be?
Beatrice Miller: “Iris”
13-year old Beatrice battled through strained vocal chords to deliver a solid rendition of the Goo Goo Dolls hit. Miller used her enigmatic stage presence to win over the crowd. Despite a dropped vocal riff in the middle, Beatrice showed a lot of maturity to become one of the night’s front-runners.
Jennel Garcia: “I Love Rock n’ Roll”
Although Jennel took on the powerful Joan Jett anthem, she didn’t show the necessary confidence to make it her own. Both Simon and L.A. told Jennel that she’s a much better singer than her performance reflected. It was all a bit too much too soon.
Tate Stevens: “Dead or Alive”
Tate Stevens finally got the chance to rock out in front of America. It couldn’t have come at a better time. With pyrotechnics ablaze at his back, Stevens performed like a true star. It was a great way for Tate to prove his worth as a strong contender.
Lyric 145: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”
This week Lyric 145 proved that a group could win the top prize. Their song choice was so ridiculous it was fantastic! It was another memorable performance. You’ve got to love a group that’s not afraid to take risks. They even chided L.A. Reid during their performance by asking, “Was it real hip-hop enough for you Mr. Reid?”
Diamond White: “If I Don’t Have You”
Brought back by the judges, 13-year old Diamond proved that The X Factor is only a stepping stone to stardom with an incredible rendition of Whitney Houston’s “If I Don’t Have You.” Diamond White left it all on the stage and forced the competition to raise their vocal games.
Cece Frey: “Eye of the Tiger”
If anyone on The X Factor personifies the pop star prototype, it’s Cece Frey. But this week, Survivor’s power anthem made for a confusing performance. Although Frey was a contender in the earlier rounds, CeCe appears to be running out of gas when it comes to diversity. Someone give her Rocky’s phone number.
Carly Rose Sonenclar: “It Will Rain”
This week was Carly at her best, with a soft vocal throughline that showcased her incredible range. Hands down, Carly has been the most consistent performer this season. Her take on the Bruno Mars hit reminded everyone why she could make it to the finals.
Jason Brock: “I Believe I Can Fly
After last week’s disaster, Jason Brock rebounded to give fans his strongest performance to date. Was it enough? Despite the improvement, Brock’s rendition didn’t go over well with Simon, Demi, and Britney. Jason could be sent home after two consecutive weeks of so-so performances.
Fifth Harmony: “A Thousand Years
The group formerly known as Lylas, previously known as 1432, finally found a name as Fifth Harmony. Although this week was a slight improvement over last week’s near elimination, Christina Perri proved to be a bit too much in the timing department. Unless Simon calls in Criss Angel, David Blaine or David Copperfield to help with some magic, Fifth Harmony is destined to become “no harmony.”
Who do you think should remain on The X Factor? How do you feel about the return of Diamond White?