'The X Factor' Recap: Over-25s Take On The Four Chair Challenge

October 3rd, 2013 8:10am EDT

X Factor 4 Chair Challenge Last night, after weeks of ominous teaser ads, the already legendary "Four Chair Challenge" finally had its debut on 'The X Factor'.
It added an interesting wrinkle to the show and certainly some "Live Show" tension that hadn't quite been there before. The performances suffered compared to the super-slick judges' houses performances, but sadistic musical chairs game more than made up for it.
Essentially it worked like this: The first four contestants sang, they all took a seat and the next six tried to steal one of their seats. The mentor from that category makes the decisions of who gets to sit and who has to get a seat on a flight home. In the end, only four remain. The Four Chair Challenge.
Such a clever name.
Here's how the Over-25s broke it down:
Victoria Carriger Sang: "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan
Demi Said: I loved the fire behind, but I think the energy was low.
Paulina Said: Your raspy voice has captivated me since the beginning.
Simon Said: The song was great, but on that performance I wouldn't put you through.
Kelly Said: You silenced the room, but then it got boring.
The Verdict:
Obviously, Victoria chose this song because of Adele and meant to do the Adele version of the song. Unfortunately, her raspy and unintelligible delivery was more reminiscent of the song's original artist than the British Siren.
I don't get this girl at all. There's some sort of scary passion behind her that makes you fear for her eight kids, but none of that really manifests itself in anything beyond something that's almost uncomfortable to watch.
Grade: C-
Result: GONE
Kristine Mirelle Sang: "Oops! I Did it Again" by Britney Spreas
Demi Said: It was very pitchy.
Paulina Said: I don't think you're ready for this.
Simon Said: I think you have the potential to get better.
Kelly Said: You are in my Final Four.
The Verdict:
Kristine went with a slowed down version of the new classic pop nugget and turned it into some sort of acoustic soul song. The result was almost a total dumpster fire as she was completely off the melody and even the rhythm with more pitchy moments than not and more wrong notes than good.
A total disaster of attempted artistry that didn't work at all.
Grade: D
Result: GONE
Jeff Gutt Sang: "Amazing Grace" (Traditional)
Demi Said: I think you're so talented.
Paulina Said: You captivate me.
Simon Said: This is by far the best performance of the night so far.
Kelly Said: You bring up all the stakes in the competition.
The Verdict:
I always wondered what it would sound like if a 90s alternative lead singer passed a kidney stone while singing "Amazing Grace". Thanks to Jeff Gutt now I know. Thanks?
Grade: D
Result: SAFE
Rachel Potter Sang: "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
Demi Said: I think you can do better than that, but it was kinda rough.
Simon Said: Great choice do a country version of that song.
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
I never thought of this before, but "Irreplaceable", it's really a country song. It's absolutely a country song. If it just had the guy loading up a pickup truck it would be perfect because it has all the other elements.
Rachel really hammered that fact home with a pop/country version that sounded radio ready. She's a little rough around the vocal edges, but she's got a presence that exceeds her limitations.
Of course, she gave us the classic "I'm sick" excuse. So there's that.
Grade: B
Result: SAFE
Lorie Moore Sang: "I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men
Demi Said: I felt the passion, but I don't know if I'm looking at a superstar.
Paulina Said: I don't know where in the music industry will fit you.
Simon Said: I didn't like the version of the song, but you can really sing.
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
Yikes. What happened to Lorie? That powerful soul diva voice gave way to a weird breathy voice that couldn't keep up with the track and sounded like she'd mostly forgotten the words.
This was a contestant who seemed like a serious contender from her audition and she just came out and bombed the four chair challenge.
Sack/Fumble, Lorie. Sack/Fumble.
Grade: D+
Result: GONE
Allison Davis Sang: "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha Mashed Up with "Push It" by Salt 'N' Pepa
Demi Said: I can't take it seriously.
Simon Said: The word that comes to mind is "wannabe".
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
It's not frightening how much worse this is than the original version of this song. It's frightening how much worse this is than somebody drunkenly singing along to this on the jukebox at the bar. In fact, despite how good Allison looks, I think even she would have guys telling her to sit down if she started doing that on a Saturday night.
Grade: D+
Result: GONE
Jeff Brinkman Sang: "Without You" by David Guetta
Demi Said: I got a little bored and I was arranging my stuff on my desk.
Simon Said: How can you go from singing Joe Cocker to that monstrous version of that song? It was literally ridiculous.
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
Hey! I didn't realize Joe Cocker was voicing a mouse in the next Pixar Cartoon musical, but apparently here we are. Another contender from auditions who came up not only short but a weirdly worse version of himself on this show. It was like all the power and soul went away and gave away to somebody doing a parody of the original Jeff.
Grade: D
Result: GONE
Denny Smith Sang: "The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett
Paulina Said: I once again believe in Santa Claus
Simon Said: Santa just dropped the house.
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
Denny easily has the best song choice of the over 25s and the biggest crowd appeal. He's certain to be a crowd favorite, and while his vocals are a bit flat and not always as robust as they should be to fill his soul goals, he definitely makes up for it with his passion and his Clausian Dopplegangerism. This guy would have won if Kelly hadn't given him a lump of coal.
Grade: C+
Result: GONE
James Kenney Sang: "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers
Demi Said: You killed it.
Paulina Said: We were into you and I love it.
Simon Said: You earned my total respect after that performance.
Kelly Said: This girl has crazy pipes.
The Verdict:
The first over-25 who's just honest-to-God good. He's got a little bit of a Christian Rock vibe to his voice - very anthemic and somewhat inspiring in his delivery. It suits him well in this arena atmosphere as he let this nice little soul ballad absolutely fill the gym up to the rafters from the very first note.
Grade: A-
Result: SAFE
Lillie McCloud Sang: "A House Is Not a Home" by Dionne Warwick
Demi Said: I'm honored to be on a panel in front of you.
Paulina Said: You are a goddess.
Simon Said: You have The X-Factor, sweetheart.
Kelly Said: You are in my final four!
The Verdict:
It's a little theatrical, it's a little old-fashioned, but somehow seeing this grandma in the massive fro hitting so many big notes with so much raw passion makes it all work so damn well. Lorie Moore seemed like the soul diva to beat after auditions, but now it's clear that Lillie is in a class of her own.
Grade: B+
Result: SAFE
Check back tomorrow for a complete recap of Demi's Girls Category that saw its first few contestants last night.

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

Photo Credits: Michael Becker / FOX

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