Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Holds Barred Drama on The X Factor

After last week's performance show, I was pretty sure who was going home. Despite the fact the Chris Rene turned in a sincere performance with his original song titled, "Where Do We Go From Here", I was sure that he was going home. His collective performances were just not strong enough in comparison with the remaining contestants: Rachel Crow, Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, and Marcus Canty. I felt Melanie and Marcus both turned in two strong performances, Josh's second performance was powerful, and Rachel was her usual charming self despite a questionable song choice for her second song. She chose Music & Me continuing last week's Michael Jackson theme.

Then came elimination day, and Chris Rene was the first person announced to be safe for next week's semi-finals. There went my theory, and there left me wondering, who is the American public voting for and why? Josh Krajcik was announced as safe next, and then a nervous Melanie Amaro found out that she too would be coming back next week.

Once again, Marcus Canty was in the bottom two, for the third week in a row. My question is, what is this boy doing wrong? In my eyes, he has been working harder than everyone else, and putting more emotion into his performances than anyone else. You cannot ask for more than that. Also sitting in the bottom two was the sweet and panicked Rachel Crow, who at the age of 13 is the youngest contestant in this competition. Marcus is used to being in this spot now, and he has always delivered on his "save me" song. This week would be no exception, Marcus sang "I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige, and he really controlled his voice well in this performance. Rachel sang "I'd Rather Be Blind", and I must admit she really knocked this performance out. However, if I was judging it based on the previous night's performances, Marcus was the stronger contestant.

When it came down to the judges votes, L.A. stayed loyal to his guy Marcus, Simon stayed true to Rachel, Paula picked Rachel to stay, and the vote came down to Nicole who said she loved both of these contestants and couldn't possibly choose which one to send home. She confirmed that she wanted to go to a deadlock, and Rachel was sent home. She collapsed onto the stage crying and calling for her mother, Nicole began crying, and Marcus Canty leaned down to try and console Rachel.

Following this decision, there was so much backlash, people hated Nicole blaming her for Rachel being sent home. Marcus Canty received lots of nasty posts on his twitter and Facebook, prompting the Maryland native to seriously consider dropping out of the competition. I want to say how disgusted I am with how people acted following these results. First of all, these were the results of the people who voted, so how can people be mad at Nicole for how they decided to vote? How can people be mad at Marcus Canty? Just like Rachel, he is a contestant who got on that stage week after week and competed like a warrior for your votes! Just like everyone else left in this competition, he deserves to be there, he earned his spot. It is immature for people to act like this when these contestants are working so hard and enduring so much.

On a side note, is it just a rumor, or is Chris Rene using again, there was some controversy last week when a post on Twitter sent chills up the spines of twitterers everywhere. Was it true? I have no clue. I am not going to post it here, if anyone is interested you can look it up for yourselves. M.J.'s Big Blog has a story on it.

Until next time. ;-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We're Down to Five on The X Factor

So, which two acts went home after last week's Michael Jackson tribute? I must admit I was rather surprised, but at the end of last week's results show, Astro and Drew were sent packing. What happened? Who knows.

What I loved about the performance night is that several members of the Jackson Family were in attendance. It is always difficult to sing Michael Jackson songs, and it was surprising that some of his more known hits did not make their way into the show. No one sang Human Nature, You Are Not Alone, or Beat It. In fact, some of the song selections were rather obscure.

Josh Krajcik, one of the most talented voices in this competition sang Dirty Diana. He has a great voice, but this was the wrong song for him, I didn't like the arrangement, and Josh seemed uncomfortable. Luckily, the past weeks have redeemed him this week.

Astro took on Michael's Black and White, and while I certainly appreciate Astro's creativity it would have been great had he sang Michael's lyrics, I think it would have been more powerful. Even though Astro was voted off, I predict he will have a presence on the rap scene, but will he compete with Jay Z, Kanye, Drake, or Wayne remains unproven to me.

Drew sang Billie Jean and while her vocals were on point, the other judges questioned whether or not Drew should have sang another slowed down song. She was also sitting in a chair, some argued that this made the performance more powerful because she would have to harness her emotions more, while some said it took away from what the performance could have been which was rousing. It turned out to be the wrong move for Drew as she was sent home after her save me performance against Marcus Canty.

Simon picked the song Can You Feel It for Rachel Crow which confused me a bit. Why was she singing this? It's not like there weren't any better Michael Jackson songs to choose from. I can see not wanting to choose something like ABC, but this was kind of a disaster, I am a bit surprised Rachel wasn't eliminated.

Marcus performed an over the top version of PYT. I didn't like the way they rearranged the background music for the song. It took a lot of the natural soul out of the song, there was the beat to Usher's D.J.'s Got Us Falling in Love in the background. I understand that maybe L.A. was trying to modernize this version, but this didn't work. Marcus has a classic R&B voice and therefore that's how the song should have been sung. The way he sang his save me song is the way he should always sing. He shouldn't leave any doubt of his passion for music, anything he does have should be left on the stage.

Chris Rene sang I'll Be There; this was not good. In short, I want to say that I love Chris, I admire what he has overcome, but I think he should have gone home.

Melanie Amaro blew me away with her rendition of Earth Song. There was lots of power behind it, and Melanie remains my favorite to win this competition. Nicole even went as far as saying that it was her favorite performance of the entire competition so far.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Paula's groups are no more on The X Factor

Last week was all about being "thankful", who would no longer be thankful once the results show took place? It was anyone's guess. This was surprisingly a week where I believe everyone turned in a strong performance on an individual level. Many contestants turned in a performance that was their personal best thus far in the competition.

It was also a double elimination week which was unfair because everyone was just starting to get in their zones.


How crazy was it hearing Rachel Crow's story, apparently her biological mom was a crack addict and therefore when Rachel was born she had an addiction to the drug. Rachel did a good job with her performance, but it wasn't the right song choice. Simon? What is going on?

I loved Marcus Canty singing "A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men for his mom. I felt it was the most real emotion he has shown since he started on the show. Simon agreed saying he felt that this most connected he felt to him. Apparently viewers didn't feel that way saying Marcus was under pitch and his voice cracked. Sometimes it's more about the emotion and less about having perfect vocals. Viewers take note.

LeRoy Bell performed a sincere, stripped down version of "Angel" by Sara McLachlan in memory of his mom who passed away. Mr. Bell, your mom would be so extremely proud of you. Simon even congratulated LeRoy on a fantastic tribute to his mom. I couldn't agree more.

Last, but certainly not least, to perform on the night of giving thanks was Josh Krajcik. He absolutely stunned me with his rendition of "Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones which he dedicated to his daughter. I literally found myself getting goosebumps in addition to tears coming to my eyes. Josh received the ultimate praise from each judge; he was without a doubt: breathtaking and powerful.


Who knew that Melanie Amaro was from The Virgin Islands and that she had that crazy sexy Rihanna accent? Is there anything that we won't like about this girl? I really don't think so. She is probably the most consistent performer in this group in terms of her voice. She never misses, even when she had laryngitis.

It was so ridiculous that Astro came up with this completely original song, and his attitude was totally 180 from last week. If he continues acting like this and continues being unique and pushing himself, he may just make it into the top three or four. I loved that his song sampled "Show Me What You Got" by Jay Z, great beat and background for his song to be built around.

This performance was amazing, but what was ridiculous was L.A.'s comments about Drew's performance. Drew sang the very poignant "Skyscraper" by young rising star Demi Lovato. L.A. tried to argue that this song was too old for the teenage Drew, well that doesn't really make sense because Lovato appeals directly to Drew's age group. Actually, I thought his comments was so strange that I need to quote M.J. from M.J.'s Big Blog: LA Reid decided to actually “critique” a performance, and what he had to say had me feeling second hand embarrassment for him. It’s hard to believe that a record executive has no idea that “Skyscraper” was recorded by a teenager for fellow teenagers. Drew, completely out of character, began arguing with LA about the song. By this time, the show was completely off the rails.LA: He tells Drew he thinks she’s a great singer but that her mentor is giving her songs for people who are 40. WHAT? Is it possible that LA has no idea that an actual teenager–Demi Lovato–recorded the song? Teenagers LOVE this song. I’m feeling second hand embarrassment for LA. Drew talks back to him, uncharacteristically angry. She’s probably as taken aback by his stupidity as everyone else.

Not So Good:

Chris Rene's rendition of "Let It Be" had a good reason behind it, but at the end of this week on competition, his vocals were all over the place. I had the impression that after this, he may be in trouble in terms of votes.

Lakoda Rayne had the right song with "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift, but their harmonies were painful at times. I am confident that in a couple of years, these ladies will be the new Dixie Chicks.

The Results:

And in the end, Lakoda Rayne was eliminated with the least number of votes, knocking Paula Abdul out of the competition as a mentor. LeRoy Bell and Marcus Canty
faced off to sing for their lives. Although the judges agreed that Leroy gave the better performance that night, Marcus was better overall. L.A. voted to send Leroy Home, Nicole voted to send Marcus home, Paula voted to send Marcus home, and the vote came down to Simon who chose to send LeRoy home bringing this decision to a deadlock. The person with the actual number of votes would be sent home and it was LeRoy.