Sunday, August 26, 2012

X Factor Philippines: Top 9

Well, this was actually a pretty solid night. I don't think anyone was terrible - aside from the usual suspect - and there were surprisingly a good number of nice performances. Plus, Gary Valenciano's group actually brought it. Really hard.

I also thought that after tonight, I would be able to narrow in on the potential winners. Fortunately - or unfortunately - I STILL have no clue who’s going to take this - mainly because the voting public has been very unpredictable!

Also, the judges were being judges this week and not merely cheerleaders! Yay! They weren't exactly on point, but again, I'll take that. Haha.

So, without further ado, here we go!

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

09. Kedebon Colim
Yugyugan Na
Hey, so you know what was great about Kedebon's performance? You do? Good, could you tell me? Haha. 3/10

08. Modesto Taran 
Pure Imagination
I wanted to rank this higher, but for some reason I couldn't. It was like I was hypnotized into quasi-enjoying this very confusing performance. True, his vocals were mostly on point aside from my usual complaint, his superfluous vibrato. However, I thought his lower register was rough, the arrangement got a little manic towards the end that he can't seem to keep up with the tempo and I was just unable to get past his gyrations on my screen. Stop that. 4/10

07. Allen Sta. Maria
This wasn't hardly the most terrible in terms of vocals - Kedebon had that ALL covered - but the performance was rather bland for some weird reason. I enjoyed the fact that Allen got to showcase her swag again this week, but No Scrubs with it's tempo would've been a better song choice for her. To me, the performance was forgettable and didn't do her any favors, I think. 5/10

06. Jeric Medina
Can't Help Falling In Love
Jeric is obviously my best bet on Martin's team, but he's been very inconsistent, which is frustrating. This performance had the same problems I had with Unchained Melody - beautiful phrasing, lots of passion and emotion but it lacked technical greatness. I thought the key change somehow ruined the vocal momentum as he was actually doing really great with the song. He managed to recover after that, but the impact of the whole performance got lost. 6/10

05. KZ Tandingan
Hmm. The song choice was just right in her wheelhouse and I thought that she was able to inject so much personality into the song. I loved the grit in her voice especially during the breakdown towards the end. It was a bit fast paced for me though and I can't make out any of her words. Plus, for some weird reason, I found the performance to have too much background music and not enough focus on the vocals. But while this wasn't my favorite KZ performance, it was still pretty solid. An avarage KZ performance, but average to her is already something Kedebon could aspire. Haha. 7/10

04. Gabriel Maturan
Dance With My Father
I have to admit, this was an improvement compared to his last two performances. I thought he gave a very nice restrained vocals that worked well with his lovely vocal tone. The key change sounded a bit weird and he was straining when he pushed a couple of his high notes, but other than that it was actually good. He needs to work on his emotion though as it seemed a bit affected. 7.5/10

03. Joan Da
At Your Best 
Yet again, another performance that's a step in the right direction for Joan. Nothing earth shattering, but her distinct vocal tone was front and center here. I thought her performance showed some subtle personality, took some risks with the melody and mixed it up. It wasn't perfect vocally but she did a pretty good darn job with the song arranged in a very jazzy, sexy vibe. Possibly her best performance yet. 8/10

02. Take Off
Dreaming Of You
There was a part of me that felt like I was being tricked. Was I in bizarro land or was Take Off suddenly became a different act? Haha. Never expected to say this, but they actually did an excellent job! Their harmony improved A LOT, the arrangement was beautiful and I thought they showed some vulnerability on their vocals and that, to me, was a big step forward. Great song choice and thank God no one tried to hit a ridiculously high notes just like before. I'm going to begrudgingly say that Take Off had one of the best performances of the night. Haha. 8.5/10

01. Daddy's Home
All At Once
If you had told me weeks ago that I would rank Daddy's Home this high at any point in the season, I would have slapped you in the face and called you a liar! Haha. To me, Daddy's Home has always been a cannon fodder, but I was fairly impressed with their version of Whitney Houston's All At Once. They came out wanting to prove something and they were pretty successful with it. The vocals weren't perfect by any means, but the intensity and passion was palpable and it was probably the best they've ever sounded. I loved the way they effortlessly cascaded from low to high and back again and I liked the soulful arrangement of the song as it allowed them to let loose with some of the vocal melodies. Good job. 8.5/10


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