In a graphics debacle that undoubtedly resulted in somebody leaving the producers did not want to see go, 'The X Factor' gave its contestants a reprieve as nobody was eliminated last night and the contestants got to sing again with only a day to prepare.
It was a tough spot for the contestants to face and one that exposed a truth about the show that's always been self-evident: there's way too much filler.
Every contestant, all 13 of them, had plenty of time to perform. Each performance seemed like it had the same amount of singing as we see on normal performance shows, all in half as much time. With a Cover Girl commercial makeover segment to boot!
Sure, the judges didn't talk much, but they hardly seemed missed. Especially Paulina who probably shouldn't be on the show anymore. Really, if the contestants sang and just Simon judged them by himself would we really feel like we missed anything? Shows would certainly be shorter and more enjoyable.
We can hope. Anyway, here are the inaugural 'X Factor' power rankings, with a dusting of recap thrown in for good measure.
As always, these power rankings are based on who has the best chance to ultimately win, not who has been the best so far.
1 - Restless Road
They're going to win. This could be the biggest lock in the history of these shows. Three good-looking and non-threatening boys singing country? It's a slam dunk and more than that, actually makes sense for mainstream music market. They just can't lose. Last night it was Jason Aldean's "Don't You Wanna Stay" getting the country boy band treatment and they did another solid job. All they have to do is just keep hitting singles and they'll coast home the winners.
2 - Sweet Supsense
Last year, I called Fifth Harmony "First Out" and they got all the way to the finals. I'm not going to underestimate a girl group again - especially when they're actually better at this point than Fifth Harmony was early on last year. Maybe they can make another run, especially if they keep turning Justin Bieber songs into solid girl group hits like they did last night.
3 - Rachel Potter
The second country girl is up this high based on her look and ability to pick safe and obvious songs that will woo voters into keeping her around much longer than her talent dictates. Look at her incredibly dull performance of Martina McBride's "Anyway" last night. Right in the mom voters wheelhouse - going down as smooth as that iced tea they're drinking. Sometimes safe
4 - Tim Olmstad
The cuddly Josh Groban just might win this whole thing. If anybody can lock down that Susan Boyle, guy-they're-inexplicably-making-a-movie-about voting contingent, it's going to be this guy. He sang "I Believe I Can Fly" last night for crissakes. He's practically a self-parody at this point. And, oh, he's not a funeral director.
5 - Jeff Gutt
Jeff's only issue is that he's too old. If he brought that same rock look, presence and voice in a 25-year-old's body he'd have a shot at taking out Restless Road. Instead, he'll stick around awhile, go home to soon and everyone will miss his picking good songs and breaking up the monotony every night. Like last night's "In The Air Tonight" - Nobody else on this show is choosing a song like that and it really made Jeff Gutt stand out against
6 - Alex and Sierra
My intense dislike of them is well-documented but they're pretty people who fall into this odd new acoustic rock trend that keeps spreading over the Billboard Charts so there will be a voting audience for them. They went all Ed Sheeran on us last night and fell right in with another singer I hate and this genre that's inexplicably popular. Maybe it will work for them. We'll see for how long.
7 - Carlito Olivero
I think this kid's a star, I just don't know if his Jersey Shore look is going to appeal to a wide voting bloc. Country and non-threatening does well on these shows. Swag and soul usually ends up going home earlier than it should. He slowed it down again last night with Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One" and despite a scary error of a falsetto, he held his own once more without having to be a club performer. I think he's got something - I don't think a lot of people will agree with me though.
8 - Rion Page
Country goes a long way on these competitions, but being the third-best in any genre is not a formula for lasting very long. I think Rion is that odd country singer out and will up the first twanger hittin' the dusty trail. Kind of a shame, because I'm digging her re-workings of pop songs like her banjo-driven version of "Born This Way" last night. And she can really sing too. Agh, I want to put her higher, but just can't.
9 - Khaya Cohen
She's a strange case on this show: a mini Adele who's not quite Adele and doesn't really fall into any obvious voting bloc. She's definitely got wild chops as she killed Duffy's "Distant Dreamer" for one of the best performances of the night while transforming from a pint-sized little girl singer into a rock/lounge hybrid who's been doing it for 25 years. I'm just not sure who votes for that odd combination.
10 - Ellona Santiago
The judges seem to like this girl, but I think she cannot sing a lick. Every note is off-pitch and flat and she has the stage presence of a mop. It's like what if every big belting girl who ever sang on a talent competition didn't have singing ability - they would be Ellona Santiago. Last night's performance of David Guetta's "Titanium" was a prime example of that: She couldn't reach for any of those big notes and just sounded dull throughout. Boring performance from a boring performer who won't be around long.
11 - Lillie McCloud
She might be the best pure singer in the competition, but nobody is going to vote for a grandmother who turns a Queen song into 1970s AM Radio washout combined with a Broadway showstopper. Next!
12 - Josh Levi
This kid doesn't have any sort of a shot in the competition. Small guys with small voices just don't do well on these voting shows. Last night, he gave a very solid rendition of Rihanna's "Stay" that Simon called, "A winning performance," but that was a vocal aberration based on what he's done so far. On all previous performances, he's been clearly out of his depth in a pretty shallow pond and that does not bode well for climbing these rankings.
13 - Carlos Guevara
Carlos can't sing. Carlos can't sing at all. It's kind of a requirement in this competition. Last night, his voice cracked like the zit-faced kid on "The Simpsons" as he gave a bad Middle School talent show performance of Damien Rice's "Cannonball". It will be shocking just to see him get through one week, let alone make a run at winning this show.