Let me preface this by saying I wasn’t drinking or smoking anything while watching The X Factor this week. Some of our regular readers know I’ve been hard on the contestants and on production. But dare I say it… I actually really enjoyed this week’s performances. For the most part, they were entertaining to watch. Unlike last week’s Thanksgiving show, tonight wasn’t filled with all ballads.

Even more shocking, one contestant whom I’ve been hard on, won me over with a spectacular performance. Who knew she had it in her? Find out who below. On a side note, props to Britney Spears’ team this week. Brit looked gorgeous tonight. She definitely stepped up her game to debut her new music video with will.i.am.

X Factor Season 2 Top 8 Performance Videos

Diamond White

Song: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston

Diamond killed it during the first half of the song. The stripped down vocals were sensational and that’s putting it mildly. The second half where the beat picked up showed she’s not a strong uptempo vocalist. That said, Britney said she would dance with her. Oh, Brit :) With a bit more vocal training and maturity, White is going to be a force. On a side note. My biggest pet peeve of her production was the visible suspended balloons that you could see when the show began. I kept wondering when they were going to drop.

Vino Alan

Song: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by The Righteous Brothers

Not that I ever had it, but I’ve lost that lovin’ or any kind of feelin’ for Vino. It’s sad that I have to close my eyes to enjoy his performance. And before you accuse me of being superficial. It’s not his looks or his tattoos that turn me off. Rather, it’s his stage presence. Simon hit the nail on the head this week. He pointed out that Vino awkwardly hunches over. It’s like watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame doing karaoke. I’m also not a fan of his aggressive finger pointing during his performances. Please go this week, please. The best part of Vino’s set was Brit’s reaction to LA Reid’s suggestion that Vino sing “Oops!…I Did It Again”. Priceless.

Paige Thomas

Song: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Admittedly, I haven’t been Paige’s biggest supporter but HOLY SH*T was this AMAZING. I agree with Simon. She really needs to follow her instincts and not listen to Demi’s suggestions. Everything about it I loved. From the West Side Story’esque visuals to her casual urban styling to her sultry dance moves. She reminded me a bit of Toni Braxton meets Rihanna meets Janet Jackson. If Paige continues this direction, I’m changing allegiances and on Team Thomas FTW.

Fifth Harmony

Song: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

Firstly, props to Ally for making it through the performance given her grandfather’s passing. It wasn’t their best performance, but I liked that it was more uptempo. I agree with Demi that they should’ve moved around the stage instead of remaining on the pedestal. It’s interesting that Lauren bogarted most of the vocals this week with Dinah chiming in for the bridge. My girl Normani was relegated to glorified backup singer :( Fingers crossed they’re not singing for their lives tomorrow. According to American Idol mythology, anyone who is the recipient of the dreaded fire graphics is doomed.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Song: “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

Anything from last week’s game-changing rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” would be a letdown. This Adele cover was vocally great, but somehow a 13-year-old singing this emotional song is a tad unbelievable. If I had one complaint, that would be it. Correction. I also didn’t love the styling. She looked like the lead in a Brooklyn production of Little Orphan Annie. A modern-hipster version of the iconic redhead, don’t you think? PS. Note to Carly Rose’s brother. This is X Factor and not Survivor or Big Brother, so there’s no target on her back. No one is going to blindside or backdoor her now that she’s No. 1.

Tate Stevens

Song: “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban

I disagree with Simon and have to admit that I actually enjoyed it when Tate danced. For me, this is my favorite performance from him. It showed personality and dare I say it… a bit of sex appeal. I commented to Matt, who was over watching, that Tate’s probably a rough one in the sack. He probably likes to plow it hard. LOL.

CeCe Frey

Song: “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle

While Paige trusted her gut, CeCe went along with Demi’s vision. It wasn’t horrible, but I don’t think it was enough to keep her around. While other vocalists show massive power when they hit the high notes, I find CeCe is yelling more than singing when it comes to the glory moments. Did anyone else get a Madonna MTV “Vogue” performance vibe watching CeCe’s production?

Emblem3

Song: “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees

Since they were the recipients of the coveted “pimp spot“, I was expecting more. I kinda agree with Demi here that they’re becoming predictable. With that said, I don’t know how they can mix it up. They really can’t do dance routines. Remember, they’re the anti-boy band. Note to tank top guy. There’s no need to take off your jacket when the performance ends just to show off your guns. PS. Did anyone else notice how firmly Mario Lopez was rubbing his shoulders during Emblem3′s critique. It was a little too firm and long for a straight man if you ask me ;)

Elimination Predictions

In a dream world, it would be CeCe Frey and Vino Alan leaving. But it isn’t so I think Diamond White is in danger due to singing first. I can also see Fifth Harmony in the bottom as well. I really hope Paige isn’t there and that America votes in droves. I want to reinforce to her and Demi that this is the direction to go. In the end I think CeCe goes home with Diamond White and Fifth Harmony singing for survival. I just can’t see Vino dropping from third to anywhere in the Bottom 3. How about you? Who do you think is going?

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The X Factor Season 2 Gallery

To check out all high-res pics from this season, head over to our X Factor Season 2 gallery.