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'The X Factor' Recap: The Viewers Outdo the Judges

December 6th, 2012 10:50am EST

CeCe Frey performs live on THE X FACTOR Six Acts! Two Songs Each! 12 Performances!

We don’t have any time to waste - Let’s just get to the performances:

Leopard Face Sang “Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga

LA Reid Said: You’ve proven that sometimes we get it wrong. I’m becoming a fan.

Britney Said: At this point, it should be great, but it was just good for me.

Demi Said: I think this was one of your bet vocal performances.

Simon Said: I don’t think you are worth a $5 million recording contract.

The Verdict:

God, this is almost good.

Leopard Face flashes some of the brilliant vocals that got her to this point for much of the song, but there are just too many sour and wrong notes pouncing periodically that undermined the whole performance.

I always thought this was the area where Leopard Face would thrive: song choices that allowed her huge voice to sing for itself, but now it seems like she needs the window dressing to mask what are some pretty major flaws.

I just don’t know what happened to Leopard Face.

Grade: C+

Leopard Face Sang “Part of Me” by Katy Perry

LA Reid Said: That was karaoke. If there was ever a karaoke performance, that was it.

Britney Said: I found it very entertaining. I loved it.

Demi Said: You made me proud.

Simon Said: I liked the way you were defiant through all the performance. If you go home, I’m going to miss you.

The Verdict:

Why can’t Leopard Face sing? She deserves to be able to sing. She’s such a rock star and looks so great that she really should have the vocals to match it.

She just doesn’t. It’s mediocre karaoke. It’s a voice that makes you turn your head for a second and sounds good when you’re half-in-the-bag in Koreatown, but is never going to turn into a recording artist.

Kind of like Leopard Face.

Grade: C+

Prediction: Leopard Face got stuck up front and did sort of okay by herself and the judges. With some other lame performances, she could get in the sing-off, but I’m not optimistic.

Emblem3 Sang “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars

LA Reid Said: At least one of Simon’s groups can sing harmony. This was really good.

Britney Said: Hands down, this was your best performance in the competition.

Demi Said: It’s a downgraded version of the Jonas Brothers five years ago.

Simon Said: You were both fearless and incredible.

The Verdict:

Wow. It turns out Emblem3 can sing! Who knew?

That’s not to say they can sing remarkably well, but they can at least flash some level of vocal competence, highlighted by some truly solid harmonies.

Individually, their vocal flaws were on major display as the sour notes outweighed the sweet ones at times.

Overall, though – this showed that a stripped down Emblem3 can work and that there is some musical talent to go along with the engaging brah trio.

Grade: B

Emblem3 Sang “Forever Young” by Alphaville

LA Reid Said: Tonight, you nailed it.

Britney Said: I thought it was a superstar performance.

Demi Said: I am a fan, but I want to see you command the stage more.

Simon Said: I think you’ve been really really good tonight. Emblem3 have landed.

The Verdict:

Ok. They just sound like stupid mouth-breathing people singing. That’s really the best way I can describe this performance. The sound of stupidity set to music.

Plus, it was poorly sung, far more boring than it should have been given the song choice and the performers, and just kind of lame.

This is supposed to be a fun pop group and this just felt empty and flat and wrong.

Grade: C-

Prediction: I am not coming off my prediction that they are going to win, so of course they’re making it to next week.

Carly Rose Sang “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber

LA Reid Said: That was maybe my favorite of yours for my taste.

Britney Said: Every week you make each song your own.

Demi Said: You sang it better than the original.

Simon Said: I’m seeing a star emerge in front of me.
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The Verdict:

Carly Rose has now officially smashed all my biases against the tweeny singing set.

This performance was just sensational. It’s amazing how connected she was with the song, how sassily she sold every second of it. This is the level of confident sass with the big voice I thought we were going to see from Leopard Face, instead it comes from everybody’s favorite creepy half-pint.

I kind of can’t believe what just happened. It doesn’t make any sense. The level of maturity and poise she showed with just dominating and owning that song like a serious superstar.

Scintillating stuff.

Grade: A

Carly Rose Sang “If I Was a Boy” by Beyonce

LA Reid Said: You never let me down. You are so talented.

Britney Said: You are the definition of the X-Factor.

Demi Said: That’s a phenomenal vocal.

Simon Said: You have had a phenomenal night tonight.

The Verdict:

As poised and commanding as she looked in her first performance, Carly seemed just as lost with a big-eyed stare throughout this performance.

She struggled through the initial part of the song, forgetting her lyrics and failing to find control enough to handle the quieter vocals.

She came alive when she had to belt, but some weird echo effect kind of undid her vocals. You could tell something was good there, very good, but it just kind of flapped around when it should have been solid. Kind of like Carly, flapping around stage like the a little kid.

Maybe because she is a little kid.

Grade: B-

Prediction: Carly Rose is probably the safest bet of them all after all those raves from the judges this week.

Fifth Harmony Sang “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele

LA Reid Said: I still didn’t see any harmony. They should have called you Fifth Unison.

Britney Said: I don’t know separates you from the other girl groups.

Demi Said: The group thing hasn’t clicked for me.

Simon Said: These are the nicest and most humble group of people I ever worked with. (That reminds me of when John Fox called Tim Tebow “A Nice Young Man”)

The Verdict:

I just can’t take these girls anymore.

Every week it’s the same performance as the last. Just girls taking turns singing without any harmony or group dynamic at all. They’re almost like a group of girls sitting around at a café trying out-sing each other, rather than actually sing together.

This performance was dreary and boring. They did nothing to the song other than suck the soul and life out of it with a dull trudge of a performance that was just begging for a curtain to fall over it so we could end the misery.

Thankfully, it was only a couple minutes.

Grade: D

Prediction: The judges slammed him, and, even though he took it well, that seemed like his final shot.

Fifth Harmony Sang “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato

LA Reid Said: I actually heard harmony and it was really good.

Britney Said: A friend of mine does this song very well, and so should you guys.

Demi Said: This song should have been your song.

Simon Said: We’ve shown you’re a legitimate girl group.

The Verdict:

I was about to simply write: “See Above” as this started as just another Fifth Harmony performance and then something crazy happened: Harmony!

Real dynamic harmony. No more unison. No more taking turns. Backing vocals came to life on the solos. Vocals meshed seamlessly and the girls actually sounded good together. Like a group!

Plus the performance was fun. It was interesting. The song choice really worked for them and they transformed into a group rather than a collection of singers through the tune.

This was easily their best performance ever on the show, and I kind of dug it.

Grade: B+

Prediction: They may have saved their collective skins with that second performance, but it’s going to be close.

Diamond White Sang “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown

LA Reid Said: You brought showbiz and attitude.

Britney Said: You not only nailed it, you destroyed it.

Demi Said: You pulled it off.

Simon Said: It was a little bit screechy in parts, but you made up for it in the end.

The Verdict:

I want to say this is just good karaoke, because she didn’t really do anything different with the song, but she brought so much verve and attitude to it that I think it went beyond just a rendition of the song.

Another crazy performance from a little thirteen-year-old. She sang that with the attitude of star. Even if her voice wasn’t quite on that level, the rest of her performance made it seem like it was.

This wasn’t a killer performance like Carly’s, but it at least wounded us a bit.

Grade: B

Diamond White Sang “Diamonds” Rihanna

LA Reid Said: I didn’t love your rendition of it.

Britney Said: I feel like the song was made for you.

Demi Said: I feel like you definitely did it justice.

Simon Said: It’s just your luck that you’re in a very competitive top six. Overall you’ve had a good night.
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The Verdict:

Ugh. She tried to sound like Rihanna the entire time, down to putting on a bit of a Barbadian accent at times.

On top of that, she seemed so timid and confused on stage. Not so much of a performance as it was a meandering walk to different points on the stage where she could belt and sing like as much like Rihanna as she could.

Her voice did sound great at parts and she hit some stunning big notes, I just don’t know why she couldn’t go beyond just trying to do an impersonation.

Grade: C

Prediction: She’s vulnerable with a couple of performances that could get lost, but I think she hangs on.

Tate Stevens Sang “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

LA Reid Said: I stand behind you.

Britney Said: You’re getting away from the country which is what you do best.

Demi Said: This performance is a little boring and you skipped out on the high note.

Simon Said: You doing that song on unplugged week is like taking a goldfish for a walk: You can’t.

The Verdict:

More Bon Jovi from Tate. This one far more boring than the last.

There’s just nothing to really find interesting in this performance. The vocal is fine but there’s nothing spectacular about it. The setting is just maudlin and Tate is hamstrung into being a less enthusiastic Trace Adkins.

This is opposite to the fun country guy that Tate is, that rose to the top of the rankings. This is like something Vino Alan would sing after too many Quaaludes and a particularly bad self-flagellating session.

I don’t know what either Tate or LA was thinking here, but it didn’t work at all.

Grade: D-

Tate Stevens Sang “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks

LA Reid Said: Thanks to America you are back.

Britney Said: That felt like a Tate Stevens performance. That was brilliant.

Demi Said: I got a little sleepy on that performance, but you have a huge future.

Simon Said: Welcome back, Tate Stevens.
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The Verdict:

Tate should count himself lucky that he got to sing twice this week. The first performance seemed poised to Vino him out of the competition, but he rebounded with the solid professional Tate Stevens performance that we’ve seen so many times on this show.

You know, the ones that are so good that reviewing them is becoming worthless.

Grade: B+

Prediction: Salvation in the Pimp Spot for Tate with a signature Stevens performance.

Final Thoughts:

It’s kind of funny how much better the song choices were from schlubs like me watching at home than the multi-million dollar mentors who work with the groups every week. Are the mentors getting too cute, or do we just know their artists better than them through our obsessing versus their glancing up from their iPhones long enough to play a quick glance?

I’d say it’s a combo of both. Either way, I hope Simon makes good on his promise for more audience picks next week.

Speaking of next week, two acts are going to be leaving the show before then, and it’s pretty clear there’s a disconnect between the three that are definitely in (Tate, Emblem3 and Carly Rose) and the three that will have to fight it out next week (Diamond, Fifth Harmony and Leopard Face)

Personally, I think Leopard Face would win a sing-off, but she’s going to get the least number of votes, so she’s gone. That will leave Fifth Harmony defeating Diamond White for a pot in the semis. You can bank on it.

(Better not)

Related: Cece Frey, The X Factor, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Reality, FOX, Reality (Talent)

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Photo Credits: Ray Mickshaw / FOX

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