Thursday, November 10, 2011

X Factor US: Top 11

It's interesting how most of them gave their best performances to date - and yes, you'll be reading that line a couple of times. Haha. I thought this episode was actually a lot better than their first two, but that's not saying much. I must say though, it was terribly hard to rank this week's performances for some reason. I don't know.

Still, the judges seriously annoyed me to death, especially L.A. Reid. Ugh. The show is slowly turning into a bitchfest of epic proportions than an actual talent show. Stop, Please!

Anyway, let's get on with the ranking!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha.

11. Stereo Hogzz
Ain't No Other Man
So what is it really, Stereo Hogzz or Stereo Hoggz? Pick one and stick with it. Or is there enough time? Haha. This performnace was just mediocre at best. Their lead wasn't as on point as before, his pitch was a little consistent and it wasn't as compelling as say, Rhythm Nation. It's a bit suspect as well as just how much singing the backup singers of this group actually do. I don't know. 6/10

10. Stacy Francis
Queen Of The Night
Whoa. She has a huge Tyra Banks' forehead. To be honest, this was possibly one of my favorite performances from her. Yes, there were still a couple of pitch issues especially towards the end and she still did some oversinging, but at least it was sang adequately and I was somehow entertained. That being said, she has never connected with me, and as silly as this may sound, there was too much forehead going on that it completely distracted me from the performance. 7/10

09. Chris Rene
Gangsta Paradise
I wouldn't know how to compare this vocally to his past performances just because he was basically rapping in this performance with little regard to pitch, melody or whatnot. That being said, this, to me, was his best performance to date since his audition. He sounded much more interesting, and his confidence matched the vibe of his performance. That's not saying much though. Haha. 7/10 

08. Josh Krajick
With A Little Help From My Friends
Annoying overproduction notwithstanding, this was actually another fine performance from Josh. It started a little wobbly, but he ended the performance with a pretty solid vocals, if a bit Joe Cocker wannabe-ish. I could live without the indulgent growling, but whatever. Haha. The problem I have now with Josh is the fact that he's just not interesting to me. Not sure if it's just my musical preference, but he doesn't excite me as a fan. I don't know. 7/10

07. Drew
Fix You
.. and it finally happened. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Drew needed to have variety in her performances so as not to be predictable, especially with a unique tone like hers. But Simon kept on saddling her with these broken down arrangement of pop songs that end up sounding like a one long, somber song. There was nothing wrong with her performance vocally, but she just needs to try something more upbeat for a change. No, it doesn't have to be drastically different, but just enough to convey another side of her tone.Why not do some Lenka or Lilly Allen or maybe some of the more upbeat songs by Natasha Bedingfield. I'm hoping she and Simon can find a way to change it up. I've always been a fan, but this left me cold. Sorry. 7.5/10

06. Lakoda Rayne
Somebody Like You
Wow. I never thought that this group will keep on improving every single week. Arguably, last week was a slight misstep for them, but they completely bounced back this week. I thought this was the best I had heard them so far, the chemistry was there and their stage presence improved a lot. It seemed like they have been performing together for years! Yes, I like me some Lakoda Rayne. Nice. 7.5/10

05. Marcus Canty
I'm Going Down
Vocally, this was pretty impressive. I thought his tone worked well with the song, his runs - though a bit much - was really good, there was soul and power in  his delivery, and the conviction was palpable. I actually liked his interpretation of the song. What distracted me from the performance though was his arms. Haha. The way he waved them was a tad distracting. I guess, he didn't know what to do with them when he's not moving around the stage. Oh, and the way he took off his jacket removed the focus off of his singing as it looked awkward. Just saying. 8/10

04. Melanie Amaro
Man In The Mirror
Melanie has an excellent set of pipes and she sounded awesome in this song, but just like Drew she's becoming predictable with all these song choices. Yes, I was thrilled that Simon didn't give her My Heart Will Go On, but this was essentially as expected. The only think that made her slightly better than Drew in terms of predictability was the fact that the arrangement skewed to something a little midtempo that allowed her voice to soar compared to the somber arrangement Drew got every single week with the same type of musicality. Simon just needs to give her a CURRENT song just to stop the nay-sayers about her being a questionable contemporary artist.  8.5/10

03. Leroy Bell
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
I need some birth certificate! Is he really 60? Wow. I need to age just like that. Haha. Now, this was his BEST performance yet. He proved here that he could very well be a viable relevant artist despite his age. He was comfortable on stage, he was oozing with charisma, his raspy tone worked surprisingly well with this classic rock song and I thought his vocals were great, although he kind of lost it somewhere in the middle when he was trying to do too much with it. But that's just nitpicking at best. Very nice. 8.5/10

02. Astro
Lose Yourself
Once again, Astro impressed me tremendously! I wouldn't exactly say that he's a genius, but for his age, it was quite stunning to see how great this kid can write his own material and perform it like a pro. Plus, to even attempt Eminem was already a risk, but to actually pull it off the way he did takes incredible talent. Yes, this doesn't make him any less annoying, but he's pretty good at what he does. 8.5/10

01. Rachel Crow 
I'd Rather Go Blind
Holy cow! I hated her affected precociousness during her audition, but it was refreshing to finally see Rachel drop the nonsense and sing something greater than a Shirley Temple wannabe. She got soul, her interpretation was believable, her vocals were outstanding and she sang the living hell out of this song. True, the song seemed like it may have been a little too old for her, but most of the good songs were written too old for a 13 year old anyway. Unless, you want to hear her sing Party In The USA. Haha. I'm officially a fan now. Thanks. 9/10

Stereo Hoggz and Stacy Francis
I'm ok with any one of them going home. I feel though that Stacy Francis is one of the judges' favorites. So, I guess it'll be Stero Hoggz (?). The problem that I see with the group is that they are not edgy enough to appeal to fans of urban and for those viewers who like "safe" music, they also have little appeal. Plus, they are a bit dated and I don't think they stand out vocally. Let's see.


Erwin said...

almost same review here DAM. Except Chris Rene, IMHO, i think he deserves more than 7. :)
And yes, im on board with "BECOMING BORING" song choices of Simon. Fix you? Really??????!

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