RECAP: X Factor Season 3 premiere

Lillie McCloud

The opening credits boast that X-Factor has launched the career of “more global stars than any other singing competition in the world.” Cher Lloyd, and Leona Lewis are mentioned. But the biggest stars to hail from X-Factor are, of course, One Direction. (They sure like to take advantage of that one…) Interesting to note that all these superstars rose to fame on the UK X-Factor. The US version of the show has yet to have any stars, with Fifth Harmony and Emblem 3 having lukewarm success. As far as winners go, does anyone even remember Melanie Amaro or Tate Stevens? Could the third season FINALLY provide artists that’ll make it past the finale episode?

The first episode provided only one standout performance. Fifty-four year old (trapped in a thirty year old’s body), Lillie McCloud wow-ed the judges with her performance of CeCe Winan’s “Alabaster Box.” Though many have probably not heard the song before, McCloud’s performance left judges Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato in tears. Demi commented “I feel like I’m listening to Whitney,” which is an accurate comparison. McCloud’s voice is soulful. Belting out high notes seems like an easy task for her. But what’s more amazing than her voice is that a 54-year-old can look that great in a leather jumpsuit.

Also making it through the judging rounds to the next step were Carlito Olivero, who sang Rihanna’s “Stay,” and Rion Page with “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood. Both had decent vocals, slightly shaky, but with nice tones. Judges loved the pair; both getting approval from all four judges. Where they differed was in the attitude. Though Carlito is ten years older than Rion at 23, Rion showed a level of maturity well beyond her years. Rion, who has a physical disability, showed confidence whereas Carlito was a bit cocky. Carlito claims he wants to be the “Latino Chris Brown,” which kind of says it all.

Alex and Sierra, a duo who are truly in love, also made it through to the next round. The couple were funny and endearing before beginning their performance, which made them instantly likable. They sang a cool rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” that gave off an indie vibe. Sierra’s voice was soft, while Alex’s tone is much more gritty, similar to Phillip Phillips. Sierra’s nerves and excitement were obvious as she constantly looked back at Alex for reassurance. While it was adorable in a first audition, will Sierra’s lack of stage presence hinder them in the long run? I think so.

And then of course there were the cringe worthy auditions. This episode only seemed to focus on one, Sally Hessnice. While her attitude was cute, her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” was awful. It always confuses me when people are that bad; does nobody tell them they can’t sing? Obviously some people probably overdo their lack of ability just to be on TV, but Sally seemed to genuinely believe she has a good voice. Another painful audition, though it only lasted about 20 seconds, came from K-Nected, a mother and daughters trio. I’m not sure if you could call what they sang a harmony, but it seemed like it was supposed to be?

The premiere episode was a bit dry. Where were the split decisions? Where was Demi and Simon’s playful banter? As far as the new judges go, Kelly Rowland is cool and honest. Paulina Rubio has yet to say anything interesting. Hopefully the panel will become more lively in tomorrow’s episode…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>