Saturday, December 24, 2011

X Factor US Wrap-Up: 15 Best Performances

Just like with American Idol and The Sing-Off, the season wouldn't be complete - regardless of how crappy it actually was - without the obligatory wrap-up! Of course, this will be very subjective, but it's fun to take a look back at some of the best live performances on the first season of X Factor US.

So, who made the list? Check it out after the jump!

15. Hip Hop Hooray
(Top 12)

Astro impressed me during this week. I'm not a fan of this kid, but he proved in this performance that he's such a star. The rapping was stellar, his diction was great and when it comes to performing, he puts everyone else to shame. But I have to wonder though, why was he allowed to do his own original song? But that's just a minor nitpick.

14. The Pretender
Josh Krajcik
(Top 10)

I honestly didn't think Josh is anything special, but this performance was surprisingly the most convincing and, by a mile, the best one of the bunch during that week. I couldn't figure out some of the words as it just ran together to some mumbo jumbo and a series of growls towards the end, but I thought he killed this performance. His voice had that grit and it just "rocked". Oh, and for Foo Fighters to actually clear this song on X Factor was such a feat. I mean, they famously declined Glee on covering their songs. Haha.

13. Just A Dream
(Top 12)

Her awkwardness on stage and lack of rhythm reminded me so much of Brooke White, which was awesome! Haha. While I didn't think the song choice worked incredibly well compared to her other performances, she proved that she's not a one trick pony. Her phrasing was impeccable, her voice was solid and I finally got to hear some range in her vocals.

12. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Leroy Bell
(Top 11)

I need some birth certificate! Is he really 60? Wow. I need to age just like that. Haha. Now, this was his BEST performance of the entire competition. 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 whatever. This was very nice.

11. Wild Horses
Josh Krajcik
(Top 9)

I NEVER considered him as someone who could actually be a darkhorse in the competition - despite being the most consistent in the bunch - but this performance changed that. I thought he sang it well and while his strained vocal style wasn't entirely my thing, the way he showcased his range from being vulnerable to his usual booming voice was quite impressive.

10. I'm Going Down
Marcus Canty
(Top 11)

Vocally, this was pretty impressive. I thought his tone worked well with the song, his runs - though a bit much - were spot on, 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.

09. Lose Yourself
(Top 11)

Once again, Astro impressed me tremendously with this performance! 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.

08. Where Do We Go From Here
Chris Rene
(Top 5)

Chris Rene, to me, can't really sing. FACT! But I realized that I do like his tone. Yes, he badly needs some vocal lessons, but the potential is there. Besides, it's not as if the current pop artists we have now can sing a la Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder. Autotune will be his bestfriend, but at least he's current - probably the one of most current of contestants. Now, as for the song, it was a little repetitive - it needed more body - but there was something undeniably compelling about it. Plus, I respect that Chris gave one of the smartest performances in any reality singing competition show EVER.  Yes, it's right behind Kristy Lee Cook singing God Bless The USA. HAHA.

07. Listen
Melanie Amaro
(Top 3)

I was hoping for something uptempo on her last performance, but this was really good. Her vocals were outstanding, her connection with the song was impressive and it felt like the ONLY performance of that night that was worthy of being part of the Finale episode. If her voice could kill, the two boys competing against her - Josh and Rene - are dead by now. Haha.

06. A Song For You
Marcus Canty
(Top 5)

This will forever be an Elliott Yamin song to me, but Marcus' version was better than I expected. His voice tends to be shrill on some of the higher notes, but I didn't really mind. He had emotional connection to the song and his vocals were spot. Definitely his best vocal performance EVER!

05. What A Feeling
(Top 17)

Incredible! This performance just landed her the front runner status in the competition. No contest. I thought her tone, yet again, worked well for an unexpected song choice, her musicality was impeccable and her phrasing blew me away. Her voice actually reminded me of a more assured Didi Benami and Diana Vickers with Brooke White's likability and happy vibe on that song.

04. Desperado
Melanie Amaro 
(Top 12)

Please check your facts, Simon! Desperado got cleared before when Camile Velasco performed this in Season 3 of American Idol. Haha. Of course, Melanie's version was far more superior than Camile's. It wasn't the most exciting song choice as it's just another watered down power ballad, but her voice soared in this performance. Her tone was great, the delivery was shockingly powerful, her vocals were flawless especially during the a capella part and she looked very confident.

03. I'd Rather Go Blind
Rachel Crow
(Top 11)

Holy Crow!! 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. This officially made me a fan. To be honest, her sing-off version of this song could very well be THE performance of the season, but this list is just for competition performances only - so there's that.

02. Billie Jean
(Top 7)

Yes, the song that got her eliminated was seriously the second best performance of the season. The weird thing about this performance was that despite the interesting gender transposition and the fact that this song was incredibly inappropriate for Drew, she made it SO believable. Her phrasing was impeccable, her voice sounded surprisingly strong, she showed more range and everything about it seemed very ethereal and haunting. This, I dare say, was probably one of the best vocal performances of the season.

01. Feeling Good
Melanie Amaro
(Top 4)

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 like 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? Fantastic!

What are your X Factor US Best Performances? Discuss!


Anonymous said...

2.feeling good-melanie raher go blind-rachel song-melanie
5.what a feeling drew
6.wild horses-josh in the mirror=melanie
8.where do we go from here-chris
9.billie jean-drew

Anonymous said...

Agree, Agree, Agree. Man! Melanie just blows me away.

WS said...

I woulda put Rachel's Baby/Where Did Our Love go Mash up and Astro's I'll be missing you in there, probably as my top two, but that's just me

Anonymous said...

1.feeling good-melanie
2.listen-melanie rather go blind-rachel song-melanie
5.what a feeling-drew
6.wild horses-josh
7.billie jean-drew in the mirror-melanie
9.where do we go from here-chris
11.what im lookin for-leroy
14.someone like you-melanie

Anonymous said...

Billie Jean? Really?

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