Josh Krajcik performs on THE X FACTOR - Season 1 - "The Top 9 Perform" | ©2011 Fox/Ray Mickshaw

Josh Krajcik performs on THE X FACTOR - Season 1 - "The Top 9 Perform" | ©2011 Fox/Ray Mickshaw

Judges: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Antonio Reid, Nicole Scherzinger
Network
: Fox
Original Telecast: November 22, 2011

THE X FACTOR was all about giving thanks this week, with the contestants picking songs that mean something to them and inspired them the most.

Of course there was the good, the bad and the emotional – and picking on singers now feels like I’m taking cheap shots with it being an inspirational week, but with two people going home this week, there isn’t time for people to skate by. Every note, every song choice, every statement uttered is going to determine he should stay and who should go.

One thing I am enjoying about THE X FACTOR over AMERICAN IDOL, is the selection of songs aren’t as obvious. Some are downright obscure – and I think that’s a good thing, since it sets up more individuality with the performers early on (except when an unfortunate Beatles or Michael Jackson cover pops up now and a again).

So here’s this week’s recap:

Rachel Crow
What’s Inspired her the most …
her adoptive parents
Song
: “I Believe” by Yolanda Adams
What the judges said:
L.A. Reid – “I really loved it”; Nicole Scherzinger – “You made a believer out of me – you’re such an inspiration”; Paula Abdul: “your vocals were spot on … you are magnificent”; Simon Cowell – “you are part of the reason we were so right to do this” in relation to dropping the age limit to 12 for performers on the show.”
What I say:
Here’s a kid, unlike Astro, who is grateful for her situation and the upbringing with her adoptive parents. I love her fire – she’s got Aretha pipes for a young kid and she is a phenomenal performer beyond her 12-years. That said, and it’s always hard to criticize such a young performer like this, I didn’t feel like this was her best performance. Emotionally and songwise, it hit a nerve, but there were some wobbly vocal moments throughout. It’s about being honest here, and yes, you have to sugarcoat with kids a bit, but it’s down to business now with nine left. I also don’t understand why Simon keeps pushing that Phil Spector Wall of Sound production value on her songs. It’s starting to get repetitive – and it is a bit retro. I’d like to hear Crow do something a little more modern.
Grade:
B-

Marcus Canty
What’s Inspired him the most …
his single mom
Song
: “A Song for Mama” by Boys II Men
What the judges said:
Nicole – “that was so beautiful and precious”; Paula – she mumbled something about passion and then said “you did it again”; Simon – “you’ve had a yo-yo ride so far … first time I felt a connection between you and a song.” L.A. – “…you are as great as any great singer I’ve ever worked with including the guy who wrote this song Babyface and the group that sang it Boys II Men.”
What I say:
After getting off to a great start with him just singing alone on stage, Canty is soon buried in the mix by his background singers making it hard to determine if he’s missing notes or not. By song’s end – the song is a mess even though clearly it means a lot to him. He should have stood on the stage and sung it alone with a basic musical accompaniment the entire time.
Grade:
C

Melanie Amaro
What’s Inspired her the most …
God
Song
: “The World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly
What the judges said:
L.A. – “that was really good … I cannot criticize it”; Nicole – “you are so courageous, can I give you a hug.”; Paula – “I have waited week after week for the vulnerability of who you are to come out, and it came out”; Simon – “outstanding tonight”.
What I say:
A very good song selection for her. She doesn’t get buried by the Gospel choir, and she takes a rather obscure R. Kelly song and really infuses it with her personality and vocal stylings. At this stage, this is what it’s about – taking something and making it your own which she does with flying colors. A truly great, uplifting moment.
Grade:
A-

Chris Rene
What’s Inspired him the most …
Tim Fry, his counselor at rehab who saved his life
Song
: “Let It Be” by The Beatles/“Young Homie” by Chris Rene
What the judges said:
Nicole – “so grateful we have you”; Paula – “so nice to hear you get back to where we fell in love with you in the first place”;  Simon – “I didn’t think the first song worked, and thank God you went into the second song, which reminded people why we liked you”; L.A. – “I believe in you”.
What I say:
A Beatles song again. Ack! Please stop the madness. A moratorium on all Beatles song on ALL singing reality shows. That said, at least Rene put a hip hop back beat to it and then managed to sing it . He mixed in his own rap “Young Homie.” It’s a  clever mash-up and gave a glimpse into the two sides of Rene. Pretty original which makes up for the fact that it’s another damn Beatles song thrown into the mix.
Grade:
B

Lakoda Rayne
What’s Inspired them the most …
Dani and Hayley are thankful for their dads; Paige is thankful for her boyfriend; Cari is thankful for her grandma
Song
: “You Belong To Me” – Taylor Swift
What the judges said:
L.A. – “it was pretty good”; “Nicole – “I felt like I was watching you in concert”; Simon – “this is by far, you best performance to date. I’m not going to say the vocals were perfect.” Paula – “you are amazing, I’m so proud”.
What I say:
Taylor Swift has a wobbly voice, but that’s part of her charm and what makes her unique. Having four girls sing harmony vocals and trying to emulate that warbly quality is a huge mistake. The song got off to a rough start, had a few moments of goodness, and sucked whenever they sang together. These girls are good – I’ve seen it, but Paul needs to figure out a way to connect these voices together in a more cohesive whole. They can be HUGE, but sadly, tonight, they will likely go home.
Grade:
C-

Leroy Bell
What’s Inspired him the most …
his mom
Song
: “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
What the judges said:
L.A. – “I have to be honest and tell you, to me it wasn’t your very best”; Paula – “I finally feel there was so much passion and connection”; Simon – “A great version and I think you really made your mark this week”; Nicole – “this is your moment”.
What I say:
Poor Sarah McLachlan. In an attempt to shed light on unwanted animals, she lent this song to those sad, depressing commercials and have ruined her song. It’s hard  to hear it and not think of the parody during this season’s “Crack Baby Athletic Association” episode of SOUTH PARK. That said, Hill brought something different to the song, and it hit an incredible emotional spot. Hill is still a bit sleepy for me with his song selections, but I like him a lot. He’s got some incredible pipes and offers something different than we usually see on these singing competition shows. He really shined – especially when the Gospel choir kicked in. He’s breaking out of his shell – finally (even he tackled this McLachlan song).
Grade:
B+

Astro
What’s Inspired him the most …
his fans (or at least the few ones who are left)
Song
: “Show Me What You Got” an original song
What the judges said:
Nicole – “always remain grateful, that is what’s going to take you all the way”; Paula – “you are well on your way to becoming prolific”; Simon – “for the week, I don’t think it was the perfect song, but showcasing your talent, I can’t fault that”; L.A. – “all I can really ask is for you to be a gentleman and it’s going to be tough moving forward, because we don’t know what obstacles are there.”
What I say:
Oh boy, damage control time this week after snot-nosed Astro decided he was “too good” to perform to stay in the competition when he was in the bottom two last week.  He still doesn’t sound like he’s sorry, and I’m not buying it. When everyone else is apologizing for him, and his apologies are still not sincere, there’s a serious problem. Of course, it doesn’t matter what he does, the audience wanted him gone last week, and because of what a brat he was, they’re going to guarantee he goes home this week.  Yes, he’s a kid, but I don’t think giving $5 million to someone who doesn’t understand what being grateful is, is really going to help him grow. Contrast Astro to Crow and they are two entirely different people. That said, what did Astro do tonight? The same shtick he does every week. I’m impressed he writes these raps week after week. He’s talented. He will go places, but he also runs the risk of being a novelty act if he can’t take his young kid rap act into adulthood (remember Kriss Kross?). I don’t think he will last very long on the show, and if he’s going to do his own thing and own songs, he needs to have better production value behind his raps so they stand out in a different way each week. Yet, even after the song is over, I still see his apologies  as a “show” he has to put on to save face, and they’re not truly sincere. Where’s the emotion – not here.  Plus, they’re giving him way too much time to apologize. Come on. Kick him off, give him a recording contract and let someone else be THE X FACTOR benefactor of that huge prize.
Grade:
D

Drew
What’s Inspired her the most …
her best friend Shelby
Song:
“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
What the judges said:
L.A. – “You don’t do age appropriate music”; Nicole – “I felt you rocked it out more this week”; Paula – “I loved when the tempo picked up”; Simon – “I’m very proud of you”.
What I say:
My favorite singer. The maturity and uniqueness of her voice has carried her far for such a young age. Again – the humbleness is mind-boggling when you compare her to Astro. However, not her best performance though, even though I’m glad the song picked up the pace mid-stream, but it took too long to get things going. Too many slow songs from her. She’s really good and I hope she takes home the recording contract, but not that big a fan this week even though clearly she connected with the song. Sorry Drew. Though I do agree with Simon – what was up with L.A. calling this an old person’s song? Huh? And he’s a record executive? He just wants her off, because he knows she can knock right over his pouty boy Astro.
Grade:
C

Josh Krajcik
What’s Inspired him the most …
his 13-year old daughter Rowan
Song
: “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones
What the judges said:
L.A. – “You have the right amount of everything … you have everything it takes to win this competition”; Paula – “you are larger than life”; Simon – “that’s what it’s all about … great song, great voice and you meant every word you sang”; Nicole – “Beyond this competition, I strongly believe your music can change the world”.
What I say:
Of the guys, he’s my favorite and if Drew doesn’t take it, he should. This guy rules. One week it’s Foo Fighters and this week he takes it down a notch to do this Rolling Stone classic. And he does it HIS way with only himself sitting a piano. He’s got the best story too this week. Really, truly emotional and inspiring. He slays everyone else tonight – he is the victor. Polished, honest, sincere – this guy deserves the $5 million contract and then some.
Grade:
A

So who will be in the bottom three? It’s obvious that Astro will be there, Lakoda Rayne and likely Rachel Crow.

Who will go home? I’d be shocked is Astro was saved for another week. He’s a goner, sorry kid. And, sadly Lakoda Rayne, you’re out.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – COMMENT BELOW!

Click on Link : TV Review: The X-Factor – SEASON ONE – “The Final 11”  elimination

Click on Link: TV Review: The X-Factor – SEASON ONE – “The Final 11 Perform” 

Click on Link: TV Review: X-FACTOR – SEASON ONE – “The Top 12 Compete”  

Click on Link: TV Review: THE X-FACTOR – SEASON ONE – “The Top 17 Compete”

Click on Link: TV Review – THE X FACTOR – Season 1 – “Auditions No. 1” – Series Premiere

Click on Link: Simon Cowell is convinced THE X FACTOR could be the next AMERICAN IDOL

Click on Link: Simon Cowell on Cheryl Cole’s exit from the THE X FACTOR

Click on Link: Paula Abdul talks about reuniting with Simon Cowell on THE X FACTOR

Click on Link: Simon Cowell talks about Mariah Carey joining THE X FACTOR as a mentor

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Article: TV Review: The X-Factor – SEASON ONE – “The Final 9 Perform” 

 

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Comments:

  1. Leroy HILL? It is Leroy Bell! What a stupid mistake.

    Raz
    • It’s fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

      Carl
      • Sorry if I sounded rude. You might also want to fix the rest of the paragraph where you refer to him as “Hill” :)

        And change Drew’ score to an A while you’re at it. 😉

        Raz
        • No worries. Fixed the other reference.

          I would love to change Drew to an A, but didn’t really vibe on the song this week. As I said, she’s my favorite singer, but I have to be honest in my critiques.

          I really liked Haley on IDOL last season – and she had a couple of TRAGIC weeks too.

          Drew will be fine – the best female singer remaining in the competition. Melanie is good, but Drew will last much longer. That voice is AMZAZING!

          Carl
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  4. Chris Rene did a great job with Let It Be. He has done a lot of growing over the past few weeks becoming more comfortable performing each time.

    Chris Fan

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