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The X Factor – Recap & Review – First Live Show

photo: fox
photo: fox
The X Factor
First Live Show

Original Air Date: Oct 29, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

It’s a brutal night. Each mentor has to choose one act from their category to send home. That means four acts are out the door within a two-hour span. Yikes!

First up, it’s the Girls, mentored by Demi.

SINGER: Ellona Santiago
SONG: I Can Take It
She’s really intense, which suits this dance number. But her voice gets breathy with all the dancing she’s doing. It really had no shading. I didn’t love it. Demi gives her a standing ovation. Kelly was happy she opened the show on fire, saying she is one to watch. Simon said if she was one of his acts, he’d keep her. Demi added that she kicked butt.

SINGER: Danie Geimer
SONG: Wrecking Ball
Her pitch is a bit flat and I couldn’t understand the words. She doesn’t build it well. Shoot — she was my favorite girl. Kelly was expecting more from her. Simon said she had real moments, but felt she was boring. Demi noted the drop in energy level. She is no longer a favorite of mine.

SINGER: Rion Paige
SONG: Skyscraper
It’s not really in her range and she can’t make the high notes. But she hits the money notes and she sure can perform. Paulina loved the performance. Simon said it was a perfect song choice and she is a brilliant singer. Dei noted that it was “such an emotional performance.” I think they over-praised her, but she is really a strong singer.

SINGER: Khaya Cohen
SONG: Mercy
That song belongs to someone else on the show (Rachel Crow). But it’s the best, most consistent and polished performance she’s ever given. I like her with an upbeat tempo. Kelly said she’s a favorite, but she advised her not to move so much. Simon said she has the most commercial voice, but she needs to lighten up so people will like her. Demi agreed with Simon in that she has to let the wall come down and get more comfortable on stage.

DEMI SENDS HOME: Danie Geimer. I really loved her going into this evening, but she didn’t deliver here.

Next up are the Boys, mentored by Paulina.

SINGER: Josh Levi
SONG: Only Girl
His voice is so commercial and he puts on a show. Demi liked his song choice, but didn’t like the dancing. Simon said he has to work on his vocals, like he was concentrating on his dance moves more. Paulina didn’t like song choice. They all agreed there’s potential there.

SINGER: Carlos Guevara
SONG: Don’t You Worry Child
I’ve never noticed hat he has a little bit of speech issue. It wasn’t his best, but I do like his emotional voice. Kelly said he was pitchy at times, but liked his spiritual quality. Simon didn’t expect him to be as good as he was, but he was great once he got his confidence up. Demi loved his tone.

SINGER: Carlito Olivero
SONG: Maria, Maria
I’ve never been a fan of his voice. He’s pitchy here and there. But he sure puts his heart into it and hits the high notes well. Demi loved his Latino aspect and she was impressed. Simon had had reservations about him, but after everyone he heard so far, he’d sign him to his label. He called him “absolutely fantastic.”

SINGER: Tim Olstad
SONG: Always
I really like his voice – so full and rich. He struggles with nerves at the beginning, but his mellow tone brings it home. Kelly said he has a killer voice. Simon felt like he went from a party to a funeral, and while he has a good voice, he doesn’t get so excited. Demi agreed the energy went down a lot.

PAULINA SENDS HOME: Josh Levi. It’s a solid choice. The kid is really young so he’ll have another chance.

Next up is the Over 25s, mentored by Kelly.

SINGER: Lillie McCloud
SONG: When a Man Loves a Woman
She chose a great song and gave it a bit of her own flare. She really has an amazing voice and plenty of charisma. Paulina said she is one of her favorites. Simon called her an amazing singer but advised her to loose the theatrics because it dated her. Kelly said she was the best vocalist there.

SINGER: Jeff Gutt
He sounds really good and I love the rock edge. It’s his best performance so far. Demi loved it. Simon called it raw, but brilliant, outstanding performance.

SINGER: Rachel Potter
SONG: I Hope You Dance
She always seems to play it safe and is rather generic. Paulina said it was perfect from beginning to end. Simon said it was brilliant song choice and even better than Lillie, the favorite going into the competition.

SINGER: James Kenney
SONG: I Can’t Do This By Myself
He has such a listenable voice. I think he has a strong chance. The pretty face can only help. Demi said it was great. Simon called it a great performance, but felt Jeff had a stronger performance. Paulina called it amazing.

KELLY SENDS HOME: James Kenney. Seriously??? I can’t believe this. I really felt Rachel should have been the one to leave. I am bummed.

Last, we have the GROUPS, mentored by Simon.

SINGER: Roxxy Montana
SONG: Royals
Their harmony isn’t as tight as their audition. In fact, they’re having a few pitch problems. Kelly thought they looked and sounded great, although they could have had tighter harmony and pitch. Paulina called them the next super group. Simon praised how hard they worked (is that like being told you have a great personality?).

SINGER: Sweet Suspense
SONG: I Love It
It’s a good song choice, upbeat and allowing them to act sexy (their strength). But there isn’t much harmony. I like the song more than them. Demi called them “absolute stars.” Simon said it’s what he calls a pop group and it was “magic.”

SINGER: Alex & Sierra
SONG: I’m a Good Girl
I love how they give their songs their own flavor. They are unique and quite enjoyable, especially with Alex on the guitar, which gives them a different sound from everyone else. Paulina thought there was a market for them. Kelly wished they had made it sexier. Simon didn’t agree and said they have amazing sexual chemistry. He also said there is no act out there like them now.

SINGER: Restless Road
SONG: Eye of the Tiger
There are no better harmonies on this show. They really played to their individual strengths. I just love their sound. Paulina praised their chemistry and song choice. Kelly sad she would totally buy every Restless Road record and go to all their concerts. Simon thought the song choice was tricky, but it worked. Simon said they have a strong choice of winning. Mario pointed out it was only their second performance together!

SIMON SENDS HOME: Roxxy Montana. I agree as they were good but the weakest in their category.

Next week, the acts finally are in the hands of the viewers. Yes, we get to vote! But I have to say except for one exception, they have made fairly good choices this year. In past years, they have added one act back into the mix. I’ll pray for James Kenney to get a second chance if they do the same this year.

From the remaining acts, here are my favorites: Khaya Cohen in the Girls, Tim Olstad in the Boys, Jeff Gutt in the Over 25s, and two in the Groups — Restless Road and Alex & Sierra.

Who is your favorite? Did you get upset over an act that got cut? Do you think they’ll bring back one of the cut singers? Give us your TwoCents…

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