The X Factor
Original Air Date: Nov 30, 2011
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
What I like about this show is the depth of talent. Anyone of the seven remaining contestants could go on to a real career and maybe all of them will. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rachel Crow will land a sitcom deal on Disney or Nickelodeon.
However, these seven are facing a double elimination this week. So two contestants won’t be performing next week.
This week, the theme had to be daunting for them — Michael Jackson. An interesting twist is that the Jacksons were in the audience. Three of the four brothers walked out on stage and in the audience. Jackson’s mother, Katherine, as well as his three kids Prince, Paris and the very silent Blanket watched from the audience. Talk about intimidating!
So here is how they did:
JOSH KRAJCIK: “Dirty Diana”
He wears his electric guitar, saying that playing it will help him feel more comfortable, but doesn’t use it until the song is almost over. It’s not his best, but he successfully makes it a rock-blues song.
LA was proud to see him step out of his comfort zone and land on his feet. Paula called it show stopping and said he continues to raise the bar. Simon called it great spectacle but it was overproduce, and thought it was his weakest performance yet. Nicole said she likes to take risks.
ASTRO: “Black or White”
He tells us that he’s never sang a Michael Jackson song before, but he doesn’t sing this one either. The background singers do the melody while he raps his own words – not MJ’s. But he is an infectious performer.
Nicole didn’t know if it was his best, but liked how he enjoyed himself. Paula called him inspirational. Simon praised him for taking a song and updating it. LA couldn’t be happier for him.
DREW: “Billie Jean”
She sits on a chair, something she tried to talk Simon out of, saying Jackson won’t have done it. Once again, she slows it way down, but also changes up a few notes and it’s really fun. Her pitch isn’t as good as it usually is on the lower notes. Interesting that she doesn’t change the gender. She sure knows how to deliver a song.
LA said she made the song her own and he liked it. Nicole liked her, but not the chair, calling out Simon for playing it safe. Paula called it her best vocal performance, but also felt there should be some visual interest. Simon said she sang the song simply and beautifully.
RACHEL CROW: “Can You Feel It”
It’s a high energy song and in her comfort zone. It is an obscure choice though. Nicole is right that she sounds like a young Jackson, so why not choose a song from the Jackson 5? This one didn’t really show off all she can do. I also think she almost forgot the words once and it shook her up.
LA said he didn’t believe she was having a great time. Nicole also didn’t feel connection between her and the song. Paula doesn’t think this song gave her enough to show it. Simon loved that she always puts on a show.
MARCUS CANTY: “P.Y.T.”
This is right in his best vocal zone and he does a great job. But most impressive is the standing backflip that had people’s jaws on the floor.
Nicole called him the total package. Paula said the same thing, adding he was the entertainer of the show. Simon agree but felt the vocals weren’t that good.
CHRIS RENE: “I’ll Be There”
His grandfather wrote “Rockin’ Robin,” one of the Jackson 5’s big hits. We haven’t heard this much pure singing from him before. He’s better than I remember. The short raps work well and keep his signature. He’s has a couple bum notes, especially at the end, but his charm sells the song.
Nicole felt his beautiful spirit and she loved him, adding he sang the best he’s sang. Paula said he connects with the public and wants to buy his album. Simon said vocal was shaky at top and got better with rap. LA said the performance spoke for itself.
MELANIE AMORA: “Earth Song”
Wow – what a great dress. And what a killer voice. She blows it out of the water. She got standing ovations from every judge except LA.
LA said she “might” be the best of the night and thought she was at her concert. Nicole thought it was the best performance of the show. Paula called it flawless. Simon said he couldn’t be more proud.
At risk: Marcus and Rene. Rachel and Chris will have to draw on their significant fan base to stay out of trouble.
Don’t you think Leroy Bell would have killed this week? Who do you think is in trouble? Who do you predict will win? Give us your TwoCents…