RECAP: X Factor Brings on the British Invasion

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It’s British Invasion week on X Factor, which only means one thing: I hope you have your alcohol ready for the X Factor drinking game because this might as well have been called, “One Direction’s New Album is Coming Out Next Week, So We Need to Remind You How Successful They Are Because of X Factor, In Case You Forgot.” And guess what, ONE DIRECTION WILL PERFORM ON THE SHOW TOMORROW!

The mentors mostly had strange song choices for their team members, which led to disappointing performance after disappointing performance. With British acts crossing over so well to America recently, it’s a shame that the mentors picked mostly songs from the old big guns: The Beatles, Elton John, Queen, and The Rolling Stones. More contemporary artists would have made the show more entertaining. There was no Adele, Cheryl Cole, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, or an obvious choice for Khaya Cohen, Amy Winehouse.

Jeff Gutt opened the show with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” While Jeff has a cool voice, Kelly was delusional in thinking he could hit Freddie Mercury’s notes, and alas, he didn’t. He struggled here and there, and made no attempt to make the song his own. The stage set up with the thrown was beyond cheesy. Jeff is becoming more and more a caricature of rocker. If he doesn’t find a way to become his own artist, he’ll be out soon. The judges loved it, though, Simon even calling this Jeff’s best performance.

Tim Olstad decided to get behind the piano to show more personality with Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” While the piano playing allowed for Tim to look slightly more comfortable on stage, he was still dull. Some people can sing, but not all of them can be entertainers, and unfortunately, this just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Tim. I’m not sure what Kelly and Demi saw onstage, but they went so far as to call Tim sexy. Simon called him a hamster. If Tim doesn’t go home this week, there is something seriously wrong with X Factor.

Khaya Cohen went with The Beatles’ “Let It Be.” I can’t really wrap my head around this. Why did she not sing an Amy Winehouse song? Was Demi purposely trying to sabotage her? The performance was good, because girl can SING, but not one of her best vocals. I feel for Khaya, she shouldn’t go home, but there’s a strong chance she will. Simon told her, “The fact that you were in the bottom two last week was a joke.” He also said her shyness was holding people back from voting for her, and that she needs to “smile, bring puppies,” whatever it takes to come across more likable.

Josh Levi was up next with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by the Eurythmics. This kid is definitely the most commercial performer on the show, but needs to take more control. The staging was cheesy, and the dancing took away from focus on his vocals. Kelly says he needs more “freedom” in his performance, and Demi admitted the dancing needs some work. Simon told Josh,  “Your mentor is actually mad.” There was a battle of accents, but Simon was right.

Alex and Sierra sang, wait for it, One Direction’s “Best Song Ever.” (Take a drink!) I love that they are artists. Every week they show something original. The rendition was really cool and collected, but Sierra was all over the place. Alex upstaged her a bit with his vocals and overall better stage presence.  Kelly felt the same as she said, “Alex, you were so much stronger than sierra.” Demi on the other hand said “This was your best performance yet. I’m actually going to go home and download that on iTunes.” Simon always proud of his groups predicted, “You carry on like this, guys, and I think you could win this.

Rion paige gave her best performance so far with Elton John’s “Your Song.” It was a great song choice. She kept it simple, and commanded the stage with just her voice. For the first time, it didn’t feel as though she was over singing with too many runs. The judges loved it, and Simon was in disbelief that this powerful voice came out of a 13 year old.

Carlito Olivero created a mess with The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” While his vocals were a bit better than previous weeks, the arrangement was awful. He would have been better off singing the Britney Spears version. The backtrack was overpowering, the screens were horrendous. Paulina is proving to be an awful, awful mentor, and I have a feel she won’t be back next season (if the show comes back even). The judges all gave out different advice, and Carlito seemed eager to oblige all of them, which is most likely his problem. Carlito seems to have no input in his performances, from song choice, to arrangement to staging. If he does, well, then.. He should stop trying to be a performer.

Lillie McCloud took on Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work.” Lillie’s main problem this season has been coming off dated, so I don’t really understand why Kelly gave her this song to sing. A more suitable choice would have been Adele. Lillie is an incredible singer, nobody can deny that, but she’s just so dull. I’m indifferent towards her as a performer, until she starts getting better songs. Demi said, “I think I’d like to see you utilize your range more.” Not sure what Simon was listening to, but he “thought that was absolutely brilliant… You just made me realize how good you are.”

Ellona Santiago was also on board the disaster train with Carlito. Her rendition of Ellie Goulding’s “Burn,” was pitchy, cheesy full of awful hair and clothes. Demi’s face in that quick shot during the middle of the performance said it all. While this girl sometimes impresses, I’m over it. Her determination to be next teen pop star is coming across as trying too hard.  Kelly told her, “You always bring something extra to the stage, and I was missing that today.” Simon was more harsh saying,”You’re a brilliant performer… However, at the moment it’s like I’m watching an actress… at the moment you’re like a dancing, singing puppet.”

REMINDER, One Direction is going to be here tomorrow! (I don’t think I have any more alcohol left to take another drink.) After the little reminder, Restless Road was given the pimp spot with “Fix You” by Coldplay. The guys attempted to turn the song into a country track, which just didn’t work. While Zach was certainly trying to be less awkward and move around more on stage, he still looked stuff. I laughed during that performance, and I shouldn’t have given the subject of the song. This is all over the place. Kelly felt the same way adding, “It needs to be more cohesive. Zach, you gotta loosen up” Paulina went in a compete circle with her critique saying, “You guys don’t show yourself… you need more, (bah bah bah look) at eachother. Uh but youre good,” or something like that. Demi gave the best criticism saying, “I think you’ve done better. I feel like Andrew your harmonies were off… It’s what Kelly said, it wasn’t blending well. I think Simon spent more time focusing on your performance than your vocals his week.” Simon was a bit deluded in his comments (probably couldn’t see clearly with those $$$ in front of his eyes) saying, “I think it was by far one of the best performances of the night.”

Sorry X Factor got your drunk, go drink some water.

Prediction: Carlito Olivero and Tim Olstad will be sent home.

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