Thursday, November 28, 2013

X Factor US 3: Top 8

Didn't expect that! Minus Restless Road's restless performance, this was probably X Factor's best episode this season. I didn't have a problem with the rest of the acts and for a big band theme, this was pretty good.

That said, the emphasis on the backstory on this show is so much worse than on any other reality singing competition. It's almost absurd! But I digress.

08. Restless Road
Life Is A Highway
Awful. This just isn't working anymore. Look, I love the idea of a country trio coming from a reality singing show, but this was just bad. I thought their solos were horrible, their tone - especially the one in the middle - sounded muffled, and even them singing in unison was pretty rough. Simon, just don't make Restless Road happen and don't shove them down our throats, it's annoying. 3

07. Rion Paige
It was nice to see Rion move around on stage, but her vocals sounded shaky when she started running around. Plus, I felt like she was a bit overpowered by the band as I couldn't hear much of her words. Not sure if it's the tempo, her diction, or just the band, but something just didn't sound right. 5

06. Lillie McCloud
While I think Lillie would've done better with My Funny Valentine than Summertime, her vocals were pretty fantastic. Her modulation was superb, she nailed those high notes, and the dynamics was actually great. The only problem I had with this was the fact that she lacked the emotion to pull off the song. The whole thing just left me cold despite her having an awesome vocal performance. 7

05. Jeff Gutt
Feeling Good
Just like Lillie, Jeff's vocals soared on this song despite a couple of rough patches. I liked that he tried to change it up a bit, his tone worked perfectly well with the arrangement, and his falsetto was actually good. Too bad, there's another reference to his son and an actual footage to accompany it. Haha. He's been pretty heavy on the backstory no? And yes, it's not appealing. 7

04. Josh Levi
Sure, Josh's moves felt a tad choreographed instead of it looking fluid, but this was, yet again, another entertaining performance from Josh. His voice matched the energy of his movements, and there's not one single moment where his charisma slowed down. He has A LOT of potential and possibly the most marketable in the bunch, and I'm starting to think that Paulina is actually handling him surprisingly well. 8

03. Carlito Olivero
La Copa De La Vida / Maria
Umm, so Carlito was getting a little sexy during this performance no? Haha. I genuinely enjoyed this. There were moments where his tone sounded a bit nasal, but he had the energy, enough charisma and stage presence to pull this all off. Possibly one of Carlito's better performances. 8

02. Alex & Sierra
I Knew You Were Trouble.
At first, the arrangement sounded strange - took me a while to figure out what they were singing - but when I got to listen to it again, I thought it was brilliant. I liked how they turned this Taylor Swift ditty to a big band song and their vocals were actually good, especially their tight harmonies. Oh, and Sierra's solo especially towards the end was pretty solid. Good job. 8

01. Ellona Santiago
Mama Knows Best
Minus the fact that she lost control a little bit of her vocals towards the end, everything was absolutely terrific! The attitude she brought to the song was fierce, her vocals during the first half was great, and it was just a great all around performance by Ellona. Somehow, I also liked that she seemed a little manic in parts. Haha. 8.5


Top 8 Face Off
Cry Me A River
This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact, this was actually different, but pretty good. To be honest, not exactly a fan of group numbers, but I enjoyed this. As for Restless Road, you had a few lines and you didn't even try to do harmonies. Shame on you!


Rion Paige
Lillie McCloud


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