Despite a slightly bumpy road to get here, we've finally made it to the live shows. After baseball had interrupted the last two weeks causing scheduling problems, "X Factor" finally got back on course, with two new hosts. On the latest episode, Annapolis native David Correy performed a Whitney Houston song with mixed results (more on that later).
Not only are the 16 contestants still trying to impress America, but so are the new hosts. Khloe Kardashian Odom and Mario Lopez started their hosting duties last night. I'm hoping that they both become more comfortable as hosts because, at times last night, they came off stiff. Khloe and Mario aren't the reason you watched last night (I hope not at least) so let's get down to business to discuss the singers.
Demi's young adults kicked off the show:
"It would be amazing if we could shave your head," Demi Lovato told Paige Thomas. She did a great job opening the show with her rendition of Haddaway's "What Is Love?" Simon said, "I've gotta tell you, you've just come out here tonight and nailed it." She didn't look like a girl trying to get a record deal, but more like a seasoned pro.
Jennel Garcia chose an expected song with Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home." LA told her, "I am completely surprised. I did not expect that," and Simon said, "With that song, you just defined the theme 'Made in America.'" She always had a rocker edge but tonight really proved that she's more of rock star than a pop star.
CeCe Frey has got rid of her "I'm better than all y'all" attitude in favor of a demure one. The fact the this change was only brought on by Demi telling her she was "unlikable" makes me believe that it's an act. Chetah print isn't dumb though, she needed to tone down the attitude anyway to move on and she knew that. She sang Patti Smith's "Because the Night." The performance was cool but she didn't really impress the judges with her vocals.
Willie Jones sang Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party," which made Simon feel as though he was being a bit "silly" and "cheap." But Demi responded with, "Well, his mentor happens to be someone that's 20 years old and happens to know what people like, and right now people are liking unique, fresh things. This may not have worked 100 years ago when you were good at this, but I think it could work now." Simon you just got served.
Next to the stage, Britney's teens:
"Keep Me Hangin' On" was Arin Rays song choice. The performance overshadowed the vocals at times but was still solid. Simon liked his confidence and Britney, with her new bangs, was really, really proud of him.
Powerhouse singer Diamond White gave a youthful performance of "Soul Sister" by Train. "You have one of the most powerful voices in this competition," Demi told her. While I thought that the performance was really good, I couldn't get past her hat. Seriously, the hat hurt my head.
Beatrice Miller sang "I Won't Give Up." She did a great job, and the judges thought so too because they praised her performance. She does dress like my mother. Really though, I got a text form my mom saying that she had her sweater from last week. Cool mom.
Last up was Carly Rose Soneclare, who sang FloRida's hit song, "Good Feeling," to mixed results. While Demi thought that maybe it just isn't her time to shine yet, Simon disagreed and thought she just wasn't connecting to the song because it was the wrong choice for her. He said it would be criminal if she leaves the competition. And coming from Simon, that should definitely mean something.
Team LA with the over 25's:
There were no theatrics for David Correy when he got on that stage and sang Whitney Houston's "My Love Is Your Love." The judges, while not super disappointed, weren't thrilled about the performance. The emotional singer seemed extremely connected to the song, but Simon felt it was "desperate."
Vino Alan sang "Gotta Be Someone." Another guy who caught my attention during the auditions, but failed to win me over tonight. He seemed a bit shaky. Britney says it "bored" her and Simon says the arrangement wasn't good. Then things got tense when Simon scolded L.A., telling him, "you completely and utterly (bleeped) this up."
Tate Stevens was really strong on vocals on "I Thought I Was Tough," with no crazy accoutrements on the stage to complain about. It was just about the song here. He does need to win since he is not allowed to go back home until he's won five million dollars.(direct orders from his daughter.)
Last from Reid's group was Jason Brock aka Mr. Entertainment, but his performance of Jennifer Lopez's "Dance Again" didn't go over too well. Simon thought it was "utterly horrendous, what you're wearing, the song, the dances, the choreography, the way you walked on, the song choice. Everything about it was all wrong." Over all it seemed like LA's team is in trouble.
Last but not least were Simon's groups:
Sister C sang "Hell on Heels." These country cuties did a great job. They reminded me of most great girl groups actually, So I guess they're growing on me. Britney says it was "stunning," but Demi called them "stiff."
Rap group Lyric 145 brought out the shiny pants and the funk. They rapped "Boom shake the Room." I didn't always know what they were saying but their energy was attention-grabbing. Simon felt they were "absolutely sensational," but L.A. said, "That's not hip-hop."
Formerly known as LYLAS, 1432 decided to sing Taylor Swift's new hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Demi remarked that they need to come out of their shells a bit more and learn to work better as a group. I'm going to grade them on a curve since they've only actually be a group for 3 weeks and say they did really good.
Finishing it up was Emblem3. They performed "One Day." They bring the hunk factor, that's a thing I think. The performance was good, but I don't even think that matters with this group. The teenage girls love them so they'll be around for a while regardless of the vote.
What did you think? Who was your favorite?