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The X Factor — Recap & Review — Semi Finals

photo: fox
photo: fox
The X Factor
Semi Finals

Original Air Date: Dec 11, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
pmb@thetwocentscorp.com

The final four contestants didn’t make it easy this week. They all did amazing jobs with nary a stumble. All four acts — Carlito Olivero, Alex & Sierra, Restless Road and Jeff Gutt — have a strong chance at making a real recording career happen (although I still think Alex & Sierra will be chart toppers for many years to come).

This week, the decision on which ONE act (no double elimination) is going home is all up to the voters. The judges have no say anymore. Yet the judges still favored their own acts, except for Demi, who had both of her remaining acts booted last week. Greedy Simon had two acts remaining. Here’s how they did…

FIRST ROUND: Viewers’ Picks

SINGER: Carlito Oliveros
SONG: The Boyfriend
He added Spanish, like the judges like, and brought a woman up from the audience for a few minutes to croon to. He still doesn’t have the strongest voice in the competition. In fact, stronger voices have already left. Kelly was proud of him, as it was the performance she had been waiting for all season. Demi praised his confidence and said his performance had star quality and he played the heartthrob. Simon said he wasn’t the best singer but he is a great performer and people like him.

SINGER: Restless Road
SONG: That’s My Kind of Night
They are sweetened on the chorus. Andrew has pitch problems. The more produced they become, the less I like them – and they were once one of my favorites acts. But this was a fun song. Kelly said it was a fun performance and it was the perfect sound for them. Demi said they were awkward and the performance was nervous, not a semi final performance because it wasn’t exciting enough. Paulina needed them to have more fun and be more in sync with each other. Simon admitted that the vocals were shaky in the beginning but it came together.

SINGER: Alex & Sierra
SONG: Little Talks
They are a little off pitch until the chorus, when it really begins to sound great. Kelly said they nailed it. Demi said their tunes are on her alarm clock and she thought she was looking at the winners. Paulina said they come back stronger every week. Simon said they’re not performing songs, but performing records.

SINGER: Jeff Gutt
SONG: Hallejuah
A very dramatic beginning with him kneeling on the floor while the camera swirled around him. He changed it up a bit and gave it a rock edge that was refreshing. The judges gave him a standing ovation. Demi thought it would be Jeff and Alex & Sierra in the finals. Paulina liked that he made the song his own. Simon said it was one of the best versions of the song he had ever heard because it had absolute passion.

ROUND TWO: Duet

SINGERS: Alex & Sierra and Carlito
SONG: Falling Slowly
They sound good and Carlito sounds the best I’ve ever heard him vocally. I seriously didn’t think he could sing like that. Paulina thought Carlito did best. Simon said Sierra stole the show. Demi said it was Carlito’s best vocal performance, then said the same to Sierra.

SINGER: Restless Road and Jeff Gutt
SONG: Every Step You Take
It’s nice to hear Restless Road without much sweetening. Kelly said, “the Gutt killed it.” (It was in his wheelhouse.) Simon thought Restless Road kept to their roots. Paulina thought Jeff took it. Demi liked the country version of the song, but Jeff had better vocals.

ROUND THREE: Judges’ Choice

SINGER: Carlito Olivera
SONG: I Need to Know
This Marc Anthony song combines everything he needed to impress and he delivered. Kelly thought he brought out all his weapons. Demi liked the Spanish and thought it sounded great. Simon thought the song was perfect for him and it was the best week of his so far. Paulina begged for votes.

SINGER: Restless Road
SONG: Wanted
They are off pitch during the first verse. I thought it was good, but not great. They needed to be great. Kelly thought their vocals were good. Demi thought they saved themselves. Paulina thought they finally really blended. Simon said they saved the best for last and begged for America to vote for them.

SINGER: Alex & Sierra
SONG: Gravity
They start with beautiful separate vocals, then came together on the chorus with that killer harmony they have. It’s an almost perfect performance. Excellent. Kelly loved watching Sierra blossom. Demi said they sang it flawlessly and it was captivating. She also praised Alex’s vocals. Simon said it was raw and subtle – absolute perfection.

SINGER: Jeff Gutt
SONG: Demons
I love this Imagine Dragons song. I really want him to get to the finals and he gives it his all. The vocals weren’t perfect but his performance was awesome. Demi said it was his time, she added that he was pitchy, but brought it back. Simon praised the song and performance — he gave everything. Kelly cried.

Who do you think will be cut Thursday? Do agree with Demi that Alex & Sierra are probably the winners? Are you ready to move on to Idol? Give us your TwoCents…

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