Thursday, December 19, 2013

X Factor US 3: Finale

Yesterday, a new The Voice winner was crowned, and it's time for X Factor US to have it's third winner under it's belt. The Finale show was a little underwhelming in terms of song choices - Alex & Sierra reprised two songs! What was up with that? - but for the most part, all of them delivered solid performances.

Also, I was pretty confident that Alex & Sierra had this in the bag since last week, but somehow, Jeff Gutt managed to pull off a strong set of performances that it could somehow slightly affect the results by tomorrow, but we'll see.

Oh, and Paulina Rubio performed and that was the most amusing thing I've seen this year. Seriously. Haha. 

Let's get on with the rankings, shall we?


03. Carlito Olivero
There were a couple of things that didn't work for Carlito on this song. I found his tone a bit nasal, which was somehow distracting, the backtrack was annoying, and his transition and pitch were rough in parts. However, I thought making the lyrics Spanish - just like how Fifth Harmony did it last year - was clever, and his lower register sounded stronger than usual. I was still a bit underwhelmed, but I digress. 6

02. Jeff Gutt
Dream On
Finally! Someone managed to perform this song on live television without going Scream on a la Danny Gokey. Haha. The staging was a little strange as if we're just waiting for something extraterrestrial to snatch Jeff and bring him to another planet, but his vocals for the most part was pretty solid - his modulation in particular was really good. 8

01. Alex & Sierra
Give Me Love
I know. I know. They performed this already when the show messed up everyone's voting numbers during Top 12 week, but somehow, Alex & Sierra managed to do a much better and more intense delivery of the song. The bridge towards the end was pretty compelling, their vocals were stunning - especially Sierra's gorgeous tone - and their harmonies were solid. I'm in love. 9


03. Alex & Sierra and Leona Lewis
Bleeding Love
Eh. This was, arguably, Alex & Sierra's weakest performance on the show. Why now? I wasn't really sure if Leona Lewis was to blame for this as I felt like her overwhelming vocals threw Alex a bit with his groove or if it was the strangely slow arrangement of the song, but this was lackluster. It wasn't horrible by any means, but for an Alex & Sierra performance, this was disappointing. 6.5

02. Jeff Gutt and Goo Goo Dolls
I laughed when Jeff - or was it John Resnick? - started right away the next line after the interlude and the timing was quite wrong. I don't know. They sounded good for the most part especially during the verses and their harmonies were nice, but they hit a couple of errors during the performance. 7.5

01. Carlito Olivero and Prince Royce
Stand By Me
Ok. Here's the thing. Vocally, this wasn't as good as, say, Iris but this was probably the least technically problematic of the three. Their voices blend well together, they were both pretty charismatic performers, although Prince trumped Carlito on that aspect, and they just looked like they were having fun. 7.5


03. Carlito Olivero
Maria Maria
Carlito was on top form on this performance. When he performed this a couple weeks back, I thought he delivered it well, but he pulled off something much better. The staging was more dramatic with all the dancers and lighting - although his outfit was a travesty - his vocals were good, and his stage presence seemed like a seasoned performer. 8

02. Jeff Gutt
This was a brilliant move from him. It's far back that I almost forgot he performed this sometime this season, and the whole staging was almost epic. I thought his vocals sounded fantastic, his falsetto was outstanding, and there's power to his voice that was riveting. I thought the arrangement was also good as it build up quite nicely. If he wins tomorrow, it will all be because of this performance that somehow left a good lasting impression. 9

01. Alex & Sierra
Say Something
I was really hoping that they'll reprise their audition, Toxic, instead of Say Something. I mean, Alex & Sierra had a HUGE moment with this performance two weeks ago and the problem with these repeats are that they lose the magic especially if it's done just a couple of weeks ago. I still loved the performance as there's intensity in their delivery this time that was a bit lacking on their first run, and they both looked connected with the song. It would've been wiser to do another song though, but can't get mad about this. 9

It's Alex & Sierra's competition to lose. Jeff Gutt gave them a good fight, but I'm not sure if that's good enough. I'm thinking though that Jeff might have the demo behind him, but we'll see. Carlito will settle for a third place finish.


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