It took me several days to digest this past Tuesday's episode of The X Factor. I like this show, but even I agree that 150 minutes of it in one sitting may be too much. I found the judge's to be aggressively mean to judge Simon Cowell, calling him out, unjustifiably, on many decisions he made about his five contestants. First of all judges, out of all of you, Simon did the most impressive job mentoring his contestants.
In order of most impressive mentoring, here is my ranking of the judges:
1. Simon Cowell --- The Girls, I found it difficult to pick who the two eliminated should be because these girls all shined. I saw why Simon saw potential in them, even if I didn't originally like them. I found myself liking Simone Battle for the first time, and even routing for her after she was voted off; I see shades of Beyonce and Amerie. Melanie Amaro clearly emerged as a favorite to win the entire competition with Drew right on her heels. Drew reminds me of Taylor Swift in a way, there is something about her personality, she sings with such abandon and sincerity. Rachel Crowe, as the youngest contestant, needs to continue to grow and remember to act her age. Tiah really grew on me and she clearly did work on her vocals, I could actually see her doing some acting in the future. If Simon believes in her as much as he portrayed, maybe he will even help her get her career started.
2. Paula Abdul --- The Groups, The groups grew on me although I still believe that 4 Shore and The Anser should have been here. I was satisfied with at least two of the groups Paula kept, Lakoda Rayne and The Stereo Hogzz. Both groups have a lot more potential than they showed, however, you can tell Abdul clearly worked hard with these groups. The Stereo Hogzz need to develop the other singers in the group; the lead singer is excellent but you cannot just rely on your lead. Lakoda Rayne will hopefully continue to grow with every passing week that they are together as a group; It's already amazing that they have done as well as they have, considering that they were just recently put together by the judges.
3. Nicole Scherzinger --- The Over 30's, Nicole is a hard worker and I believe her when she says she spent tons of time mentoring these people, but Nicole, your song choices overall, were not very good. Stacy Francis and Dexter Haygood(poor guy) in particular were not good choices. The reason that LeRoy Bell and Josh Krajcik shone so brightly is a testament to their talent, and not necessarily the songs they sang.
I would have given Dexter a Rolling Stones song to sing, some Michael Bolton or Tevin Campbell for LeRoy, and Stacy could have sang some Whitney Houston from the Preacher's Wife soundtrack.
4. L.A. Reid --- The Boys, Overall, I am sorry but this was disappointing. I did not like any of the song choices, I thought they were awful. They did not showcase the abilities of these young male talents. I was most impressed with Marcus Canty who made the best of a not so good situation. I think I was so impressed because he has the biggest personality, and he's a triple threat. We could potentially see him singing, dancing, and acting for years to come, if he is managed by the right people. Poor, poor Phillip Lomax, I feel horribly that he was given that dreadful, "I'm a Believer" song. Chris Rene was extremely pitchy, and the song did not showcase his sweet vocals. Astro also could have benefited from a better song choice considering his concise rap skills.
I would have given Marcus some Usher or New Edition to slay, some Justin Timberlake for Chris Rene, a little bit of Michael Buble for Phillip, and maybe some Bow Wow or J. Cole for Astro. L.A., please take note, and don't embarrass these talents again, you're supposed to be the expert.
I hope that this coming week's episode is more impressive than this one was. Fingers crossed! I look forward to seeing the top 12.