Thursday, December 12, 2013

X Factor US 3: Top 4

I may not agree with this set of Semifinalists - somehow, I was still hoping Khaya Cohen, Josh Levi and Ellona Santiago are still in the competition - but I can't really fault the remaining finalists as they somehow delivered great performances this week. I still prefer one from the others, but that's beside the point.

Oh, and finally, X Factor is creating buzz with Alex & Sierra. They ranked #1 on iTunes last week with Say Something - outperforming the original for two days - and #9 with Say My Name, and somehow this duo are the show's only hope of being renewed for another season. Plus, I'm loving the craziness of Paulina Rubio for some odd reason. Yes, she's not the most articulate, but she's the most entertaining part of the show! Haha.

08. Restless Road
That's My Kind Of Night
What was this? Yes, the song choice was made by "America", but this was a totally missed opportunity. Their solos were wobbly for the most part, their harmonies were, as usual, non existent, and they looked awkward on stage. This was just another restless performance from them. 4

07. Carlito Olivero
I Need To Know
Look, I thought Carlito's vocals here were stronger than usual and he actually worked the stage pretty well despite the strange stereos with girls in it. Haha. Relative to most of his performances, this was actually pretty good, but compared it to most of the performances this week, it was still a bit lacking. 6.5

06. Carlito Olivero
Somehow, this worked well for Carlito than the Mark Anthony ditty. He looked comfortable on stage performing, that little choreography in the middle was a nice touch, and his vocals were spot on - especially his shockingly solid transitions to falsetto. If he'd record an album, this should be the right direction for him. 7.5

05. Jeff Gutt
Who's brilliant idea was it for Jeff to stand on a slanted floor? Haha. Jeff hit a couple of rough notes through the middle of his performance, but I honestly didn't mind. The song choice surprisingly suited his voice incredibly well, and this made me envision the kind of record he'd release after the show. This was pretty good. 8

04. Alex & Sierra
Little Talks
Lovely. Yes, the whole staging felt a little lazy than usual, but their vocals were fantastic, especially Sierra whose voice opened up and created a nice cool moment with that impressive glory note. The arrangement was beautiful, and this was again another solid performance from the duo. 8

03. Restless Road
Whoa. Possibly the best Restless Road performance to date! Sure, it doesn't say much, but how they managed to pull off this one without the gimmicks and less than usual back track was refreshing. Maybe I'm grading them on a curve, but I digress. Colton opened the number with great tone and pitch, and Andrew actually had his little nice moment. Zach's tone was a bit jarring, but the fact that he tried to put harmony alongside Andrew was a big improvement. 8

02. Jeff Gutt
As much as I wanted to hate this - the song choice was unbelievably overdone and it's Jeff's go-to song since last season - but Jeff killed it! His tone on this song was pure magic, his vocals soared to great effect, and the slight rock edge to the arrangement was a brilliant move. So yes, despite being yet an addition to the long list of people who covered this song, Jeff's version was probably one of the better ones. 9

01. Alex & Sierra
OMG. Just when I thought there's NO WAY they can top Say Something, Alex & Sierra busted out a stupendous version of Sara Bareille's Gravity. This was so outstanding, it had me bawling at the end of their performance - and yes, I NEVER do that. Their musical chemistry was unbelievable, their voices sounded fantastic, their phrasing was impeccable, and just their connection to the song was powerful. The arrangement with just the piano was brilliant, how Alex transitioned to his falsetto and then back to the grit of his voice was terrific, and Sierra's glory note and that beautiful tone ending the whole performance. I could on and on and on and on, but I don't think I have enough adjectives to further prove how much I loved this version. 9.5


Falling Slowly
Alex & Sierra / Carlito Olivero
I've been waiting for Alex & Sierra to do this on the show, but not with Carlito! Haha. Alex hit a couple of rough notes at the beginning, but other than that, they sounded lovely. Sierra took on notes I didn't think she was capable of. Carlito, on the other hand, sounded fine but a little overwrought towards the end of the song.

Every Breath You Take
Restless Road / Jeff Gutt
Eh. This was fine, but nothing to write about really. Umm, yeah. That's it. Haha.


Carlito Olivero


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