If American Idol’s go-to phrase is “pitchy” then The X Factor’s is “entertaining“. If I had a shot for every time the judges praised someone’s performance with that adjective, I would’ve been schwasted. On second thought, that doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea. The contestants might’ve sounded better and in some cases (a lot) that would’ve been very beneficial.
Seriously, the debut of the live shows was a tad underwhelming. With exception to a handful of acts, I was either bored and found myself fast-forwarding or turning down the volume because my ears were in a world of pain. Why the production team thinks excess is a good thing is beyond me? Thank God I’m not epileptic or I have no doubt I would’ve had seizures from all the insane amount of flashing lights. The electricity bill for the show must be HUGE.
Before we get to the contestants, let me quickly share my thoughts on the judges and the newly-minted hosts. Khloe Kardashian had a bit of a shaky start, but by the end, she did herself proud. No wonder she’s the only Kardashian I can stand. I love how she’s not afraid to grill the judges to get the answer she wants. Khloe continually pressed both Simon and Demi for an answer. Love her. Speaking of Miss Lovato, I like the new sleek ‘do. Much better than what she showed during the auditions. That said, it looked a little wispy. A little clip-ins to thicken her hair would’ve been the bomb.
As excited as people were to see the performances or the new hosts, everyone was on the edge of their seats to see how Britney Spears would perform without the benefit of an editing team. With her really brief comments, she was in no danger of stumbling over her words. At times, I felt she had flash cards with a bunch of pre-authorized critiques. In the end, her biggest faux pas was that heinous dress. It was a bit too ‘momsie‘ and too heavy. Anyway, I can’t wait til she has to make crucial decisions during the live eliminations. Enough chatter, let’s get to the performances.
Song: “What Is Love” by Haddaway
She looked like a shiny armadillo, but that wasn’t the worst part. WTF was Demi thinking with this song choice? First of, I thought tonight’s theme was ‘Made in the USA‘. Last time I checked, Haddaway was of Trinidadian and German descent. All in all, I thought it was a high school production of a Katy Perry “ET” performance. Oh well, better luck next time.
Song: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes
I really like Arin and want him to do well. Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you if he sounded great. The fog machines were way to loud. It was all very distracting.
Song: “My Love Is Your Love” by Whitney Houston
Definitely the surprise of the night. I predicted he’d be the strongest out of LA Reid’s weak group and he proved me right. Minus the cheesy ‘I love you‘ shout out to Whitney Houston, I really liked it. It wasn’t bogged down by too many gimmicks.
Song: “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies
My biggest pet peeve during the first live shows is repeating a song you’ve already done. There’s no excuse to do a repeat this early on in the competition. For that alone, I found them annoying. I agree with Demi that they were stiff and need to loosen up.
Song: “Home Sweet Home” by Mötley Crüe
Wasn’t perfect vocally, but light years ahead of everyone else tonight. Liking the makeover. But before Simon commented she looked like Demi, the thought had already entered my head. I really hope she makes it far.
Song: “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train
A promising talent ruined by bad song choice. There’s no need to reggae-fy this track. Diamond has a great voice. Britney, just let the kid sing. Let the young-ins ease in to the live shows. Don’t throw all this needless choreo at them.
Song: “Gotta Be Somebody” by Nickelback
Once again, a foreign tune was used. Unless I’m wrong, Nickelback is Canadian. I mean, if Americans want to claim them… go right ahead. No one really wants them. Unless your name is Avril Lavigne of course. Like Britney, I was bored and fast-forwarded this trainwreck. Adios Vino.
Song: “Boom! Shake the Room” / “Gangnam Style” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince / PSY
LA Reid was right… this wasn’t hip hop. That said, I agree with everyone else that it was very entertaining. I get they’re covering Will Smith but did the stylists have to rummage Bell Biv Devoe, MC Hammer and The Fresh Prince’s closet from the late 80s? Lyric is the real star of this and the other two are just glorified backups. I like them, but don’t think America as a whole will stand behind them.
Song: “Because the Night” by Patti Smith Group
It was a little overdone, but I like CeCe’s new look. So glad she’s ditched all those fake painted animal prints. For once, the judges pointed out the off vocals. If I were Demi and had to choose between Paige or CeCe, I’d choose CeCe. I’d rather choose her early diva attitude over poor man’s Rihanna.
Song: “Tough” by Craig Morgan
Obviously, Tate was going to get the simplest stage production. It was a nice break. He sang well enough, but I just don’t connect with Tate. Given his genre choice, he’ll stay awhile. Country fans are the loyalest. Unless, of course, Reid cuts him tomorrow.
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
I thought the judges were too critical with Beatrice’s performance. Out of the teens, I enjoyed her the best. Sure there were off-key moments, but overall I found it *excuse the X Factor cliche* entertaining.
Song: “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez
For sheer entertainment value, I want Jason to stay. Plus, if they’re going to continue to give him shirtless male dancers wearing headgear every week, I’m all for it. Bonus points for openly admitting he wanted to grab Mario Lopez’s butt. Hey, we were all thinking it. Jason has no shame. Me likey.
Song: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift
I agree with LA that their new name sucks the big one. Hopefully, Simon steps in and fixes it. I fear the fact he let them choose it means he’s not too invested with them. Like Demi, I thought it was all about Camila Cabello. She rocked it tonight. Hopefully, they mesh more and quickly. These girls have so much potential.
Song: “Here for the Party” by Gretchen Wilson
Like Mario said, if he can sing country with a fade, he’s alright with me. Willie’s not the strongest vocally and Tate Stevens is a far superior country singer, but I like that he’s a little out of the box. Go Willie, go.
Song: “Good Feeling” / “Something’s Got A Hold On Me by Flo Rida / Etta James
They’re really trying to pimp out Carly Rose aren’t they. Every time they say her name, I keep thinking they’re going to say Carly Rae Jepsen. She’s obviously Brit’s pet. Sonenclar sang well, but I much prefer Beatrice to her. I find the latter a bit more likeable. Like Simon commented during Boot Camp, Carly Rose seems too old for her age.
Song: “One Day” by Matisyahu
Surprise, Simon Cowell’s group gets the pimp spot. Not that I’m complaining, I kinda like the trio. Online, the haters are calling them Doucheband and while I can see where they’re coming from, the douchiness is why I like them. The leader singer is as cute as sh*t. Back off Demi, he’s mine. LOL. Was anyone else distracted by his armpits throughout the entire performance? I’m sure I’m not the only one.
What did you think of the performances? Who were your favorites? What are your early predictions for the Final 2. Sound off below. For tomorrow’s elimination, here’s how I think everything will go down.
To check out all high-res pics from this season, head over to our X Factor Season 2 gallery.