Friday, December 16, 2011

X Factor US: Top 4

As usual, another disappointing episode. Was the theme "overused songs on talent reality shows"? I could have sworn that some people claimed that the X Factor uses more modern songs than American Idol. Or was that applicable to the UK version only?

I mean, the songs were so predictable and straight out of the Idol playbook. Yikes! Simon can claim all he wants that the show is edgier or better, but when you do pretty much the same thing from his past show, his argument becomes invalid. I don't know.

On with the show, I guess.

8. Marcus Canty
I'll Make Love To You
Marcus is just one big block of cheese. Haha. While I did think his vocals were pretty solid, this was just terribly old fashioned. I wasn't sure if LA threw him under the bus with this song choice, but whatever. 6/10

7. Josh Krajcik
Oh no! Please tell me I didn't hear Hallelujah yet again?! Seriously? Yes, it was nice sensitive performance - though he still have some articulation issues - but I just can't get through another one of this. Since Jason Castro performed this three years ago, it was like wildfire that talent reality shows can't really put off no? Sue me. 6.5/10

6. Chris Rene
As usual, his vocals were rough, but he wasn't as off pitch as usual. Haha. The song choice was smart and I think Chris was likable - I just wish he had a voice to match. But maybe that won't matter.  I wish him well.  I'm starting to think he's going to win.  Well, I started thinking that last week. 6.5/10

5. Marcus Canty
Careless Whisper
I thought Marcus sang it well and I found the arrangement quite interesting. The first part was actually kind of gorgeous. His tone was perfect for the stripped down version until the beat came in. I don't hate Marcus and I have a hard time feeling outraged about Marcus still being in the competition, since there's no way that he should have gone home before Chris. Haha. Just saying. 7/10

4. Josh Krajcik
Come Together
Slight articulation issues notwithstanding, I think this was good. Way too old school for my liking, but the gruff in his voice and the mumble-growl style worked well with the song. I still think he's possibly the least marketable out of the four, but what do I know? Haha. 7/10

3. Melanie Amaro
Ugh! I seriously hate it when they sing Mariah - particularly this annoying song - but I must say, this one was kind of interesting. Putting it in a minor key was quite intriguing, and while it didn't work most of the time - I thought some parts were slightly off - I thought her voice was stunning. It did lack some "oomph" though, as I found it oddly  plodding. 7.5/10

2. Chris Rene
No One
Arguably - or maybe not -  Chris probably has the worst voice of the remaining contestants, but this was absolutely a BOLD choice. Seriously. The song choice is something someone who couldn't really belt should avoid, but he pulled it off. I wished he stayed on the piano instead, but that's moot at this point. Shoot me, but I really like him now - much more than I did weeks ago - and appreciate him. He certainly has the weakest voice, but there's improvement and his songs have become more tolerable lately. Plus, he's the most marketable and I guess it comes down to that. Since this show is obviously NOT a singing competition. HAHA. 7.5/10

1. Melanie Amaro
Feeling Good
WOW. I genuinely had goosebumps after this performance. So many people have sung it before and Muse did a brilliant cover of it complete with a megaphone - which makes me a bit tired of it - but this was sublime! Her voice was made for songs that this and I liked the slight urgency underneath it as well, which was slightly different from other famous renditions of the song from singing shows. Oh, and that last note? 9/10

After last week's elimination, I just couldn't care anymore. Haha. I have to say though, if Marcus manages to survive the public vote yet again this week, I'm going to laugh my a*s off. THAT would make for an entertaining results show tomorrow night. I doubt it'll happen though. I mean, Marcus Canty SHOULD be toast tonight, right?


X said...

Really?...really? I honestly don't see how you can list anything by Marcus or Chris above Josh.

I know you shouldn't be surprised that I disagree with you, since I usually do. But seriously, Marcus' "Careless Whisper" literally made me cringe. He absolutely SLAUGHTERED that song! And you put it above Josh's "Hallelujah"? Which, I personally thought was the best of the night. And did you really compare Josh with Jason Castro? Castro's voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard compared to Josh.

I normally really dislike the songs that Josh and Melanie chose (or had chosen for them, whichever the case may be) for their second songs, but I thought their particular versions of them were the best I'd ever heard.

Anyways... here's my rankings (separated by rounds):
Round 1:
1. Josh
2. Melanie (even though I really didn't like that arrangement of the song... her voice was enough, and was several hundred times better than Marcus or Chris).
4. Marcus and Chris (I wasn't sure which I disliked more. Marcus started out decent enough since his voice sounds a lot like the original singers, but then he started "doing his own thing" and I though it sounded horrible. Chris' voice just isn't strong enough for... well, anything.)

Round 2:
1. Josh (I got goosebumps)
2. Melanie (only slightly less impressive than Josh... probably could even say she's 1.1 instead of 2).
3. Chris (I actually was liking it a little when he was on the piano, but then he stood up and it was all downhill from there).
27. Marcus (yes, I really though it was _that_ bad... he _slaughtered_ the song).

My choice for who _should_ go home is the same as the past 4 weeks... Marcus Canty. If he survives tonight, he is truly the luckiest person on the planet.

Personally, I feel Josh should win the whole thing. Sure, he makes some goofy faces sometimes when he sings... but that voice.
I also wouldn't mind seeing Melanie win. Either of them can sing anything, though I think Josh might be a tad more versatile.

Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that Chris is going to win, which is truly a shame if it happens... and proof that these types of shows are more about a person's looks and their story than it is about talent.


Personal preference, I guess. I just didn't enjoy Josh's performance. What can I do?

Besides, you only agree with my posts when I put Josh at #1. So, it is what it is.

And no, I didn't compare Jason Castro's to Josh's. All I said was that when Jason Castro performed this on American Idol, everyone's been singing it on talent shows. From Alexandra Burke to Lee DeWyze to Tim Urban. That's all I'm saying.

Thank you.

X said...

I don't only agree with you when you put Josh on top. There have been times when you put Drew or Melanie on top, where I agreed with you.

Contrary to what it may look like, I'm not playing favorites with Josh. I pick weekly based on who I thought was the best... be it Josh, or Melanie, or Drew, or Rachel... or whoever (though I don't remember there being anyone else that ever sang better than these 4... maybe Dakota Rayne 1 week).

I'm also not trying to rip on you at all. It just feels you are doing the same thing America does every week when voting (on this show, or American Idol, or all the other shows like these), and that's choosing a favorite based on things other than vocal talent (if you're not, them I'm sorry).

People like Chris Rene and Marcus Canty might be good "entertainers", but they aren't good "recording artists". There's a huge difference. To me, all three of LA Reid's guys had no business in this competition (though, I'll admit the only reason I include Astro in there is because I dislike 95% of all rap... I guess he had talent though, just not for a singing show, which I think this is).

As for the Jason Castro stuff... sorry, I misinterpreted what you wrote. Although, to be fair to Josh and the rest of the contestants on this show and all the others like it, I'm pretty sure the contestants have a limited number of songs to choose from... which is why there are a lot of repeated songs.

Anyways, I'm not trying to start an argument or anything. Just trying to give a different opinion. I guess I could have gone about it a bit differently, it just kinda confuses me a little when you put someone like Marcus, who should have been gone _weeks_ ago, above someone who is far more talented (especially when the song that was put in a higher rank was absolutely "horrendous", as Simon put it... well, the song wasn't, just Marcus' version was).

Alright, I'll shut up now ;)

Anonymous said...

hey the dam nation would you agree that melanies feeling good performances is the best performance of the season so far?
this is how i would rank the night
1.feeling good-melanie
3.hallalujah-josh one-chris
5.come together-josh
7.ill make love to you-marcus
8.carless whisper-marcus


X: The thing though is that X Factor has NEVER been JUST about vocal talent, it's more than that. I believe they are looking for an overall entertainer than just purely a singer/artist.

If it's just about pure singing, then all the stage production shouldn't even be included in any of their performances just to distract us from the vocals. But no, we got bombarded with over the top staging.

Prior to the launch of X Factor, Simon already reiterated that they're looking for someone who has the "X Factor" and not necessarily the best singer, but the one who'd potentially be a big superstar in the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna etc - that's part of the show's ads months ago. These people had massive charisma that DESPITE not having the best voice of the lot (some of them can't even sing live to save their lives) they are the most successful artists today.

As for putting Marcus above Josh, again it's personal preference and the word "talented" is subjective. I could say Marcus is talented than Josh and we'd argue for the rest of our lives. Haha.

Let's just agree to disagree on that. ;)

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