Sometimes the best things are happy accidents.
Last night’s hybrid elimination/battle/performance show was not supposed to happen. The executives at Fox thought that the World Series was surely at least going to go five games, making a Wednesday night ‘X Factor’ unnecessary.
One Giants sweep later and suddenly it was a choice between re-running episodes of ‘Glee’ or figuring out a way to stretch what is normally a sing-for-the-finals show into a two-night run-off. And they found just about the best way to do it.
Last night’s elimination round ratcheted up the excitement. Simultaneously setting the lineup for the public voting shows and creating a sudden death scenario that pitted act-against-act in head-to-head vocal warfare.
There was plenty of carnage born out of nerves and desperation and a lot of excellent moments too. Let’s take a look at the night and then…it’s the debut of this year’s ‘X-Factor’ Power Rankings.
YOUNG ADULT BATTLE
Leopard Face vs. Willie Jones (Paige Thomas and Jennel Garcia Safe)
After an electro-roller derby fantasia of a performance last night, Leopard Face stripped it down for survival and just let her belting pipes do the work for a version of “Out Here on My Own”.
Willie countered with as much basso-profundo vocal as he could fit into a rendition of “You Don’t Know Me”. It was a smart move for Willie to continually make his only move, but even he couldn’t hide from a few sour notes that rose above a “Low F”.
Willie just doesn’t have the chops to continually kill tracks while Leopard Face is a ready-made star
My Pick: Leopard Face
Demi Saved: Leopard Face
Jason Brock vs. David Correy (Vino Alan and Tate Stevens Safe)
LA called this “Mr. Entertainment vs. The Star.” I thought it was more just an example of somebody being outclassed. David would be that somebody.
After watching David strain and shout and screech his way through an attempted version of “Since U Been Gone”, Jason comes out and just lords “One Moment In Time”, letting his voice shine and doing it without any strain or real effort, just a bit of relaxed class.
Jason may have come off a bit like a Disney character with the theatricality of his vocal stylings, but I’ll take that over a sung-through tantrum any night.
My Pick: Jason Brock
LA Reid Saved: Jason Brock
Arin Ray vs. Diamond White (Beatrice Miller and Carlyrose Sonenclar Safe)
This was the toughest battle of the night and Simon was spot on when he said that neither deserved to go home. Especially after the Disney cartoon character vs. the emo college whiner in the previous battle.
Arin showed that he is capable of transforming into a star. Growing into a star is more apt as he is still too young to be as good as he thinks he is. He’s like 85% of the way there and flashes so much brilliance that you could swear he’ll be the next big thing in R&B. Of course, that’s undone by inexperience and you can see him fall out of his zone at times and slip into some off notes and lapses in rhythm.
Contrast that with Diamond who always seemed like a little girl who just liked to sing, but last night showed she can actually do what she loves. She brought soul, moxie and poise beyond her years to a performance that just swelled to great heights by the end.
Arin has the most potential, so I think he was the best one here, but both should have stuck around.
My Pick: Arin Ray
Britney Saved: Arin Ray
Sister C vs. 1432 (Emblem3 and Lyric 145 Safe)
The battle of the mediocre girl groups was decidedly…mediocre. I can’t pick a winner mostly because, despite the fact that I was staring intently at the TV screen, I wasn’t sure when one group began and the other ended. Or when either began or ended for that matter. It was just that disinteresting.
But there’s good news! 1432 is going to change their names! And you can vote on The X-Factor website. My pick: First Out.
Simon Saved: The Artists Formerly Known as 1432
1 – Emblem3
What’s better than one cute young white guy? Three cute young white guys! I’m on record since this season started as saying a group is going to win, and this Mimbo trio looks like they’ve already got it in the back pocket of their board shorts.
2 – Arin Ray
He’s got the Usher chops with the Disney Channel appeal. He lacks consistency, but I think he has the most pure star potential of anybody on the show, and the most appeal to the tweenie girl voting bloc of any act outside of Emblem3. He just has to find that consistency.
3 – Tate Stevens
Country is a bit uncharted on this show, but there’s normally a substantial voting bloc that votes for country and country alone. Stevens is the most polished performer on the show and with the country fans behind him, he has a shot at a deep run.
4 – Jennel Garcia
Of the young adult girls, she’s the one that doesn’t have suckiness or unlikability to drag her down. She may struggle a bit with being memorable, but she went a long way
5 – Carlyrose Sonenclar
I have this theory that the tweenie girls are going to vote for their own kind, but that keeps getting undone by early exits from people like Rachel Crow and Jordan. I’m gonna keep it up, however, and Carlyrose is the most likely to reap those spoils.
6 – Lyric 145
The total wild card in this competition. They’re a very cool group and very unique, but I have no idea how broad their appeal will be. If they won, I wouldn’t be surprised, if they went out first, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m going to lean slightly toward the former.
7 – Leopard Face
The girls who do well on these shows are the girls who can belt and Leopard Face is the only one with those kind of pipes. Of course, everyone hates her, so she’s got that to overcome and I don’t know if all the electric neon yellow in the world is gonna do it.
8 – Paige Thomas
I don’t know what’s going to do her in more. The fact that she’s going to mention that she’s a mother more often than she sings or the fact that she can’t actually sing. Either way, she’s not go much winner’s potential.
9 – Jason Brock
He may be the most likeable contestant on the show, but if he keeps picking songs that make him look like he should singing on the lead float at a parade, he’s got no chance of making a real run at the $5 Million.
10 – Whatever 1432 is going to be
Again. I think their new name should be First Out.
11 – Vino Alan
Outside of people being too scared not to vote for him, I don’t think the growler with a head tattoo has much of a shot at winning this competition.
12 – Beatrice Miller
The worst thing to be in this competition is the second-best of a particular type and Beatrice just isn’t as good as Carlyrose in the “Little Girls Who Can Sing” category.