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The X Factor: 2.23 – “Top 6 Perform”

I won’t be spending too much time recapping tonight’s episode. The Grammy nominations are also coming out tonight and I’d rather spend more time on that than this mediocre competition show. That being said, tonight the contestants are performing two songs. First, an Unplugged song. Not a big production, just stripped down vocals with minimal music accompaniment. The second song will be the Pepsi Challenge. People from home have selected the song for the contestants. [Note: I will update with pictures later. I’m focusing on the Grammys right now.]

CeCe Frey – Young Adults – “The Edge of Glory”
Blah blah blah. CeCe thinks that people are starting to get here since she was in the bottom three last week. I don’t think so. She just got lucky because she should’ve been shown the door last week. Tonight she’s singing “The Edge of Glory”. Her vocals are okay. But I think Demi and the producers have really dazzled up her performances previously because her voice is so ordinary and not unique at all. And that really showed through here. L.A. really liked it, Britney said that it was good not great, and Simon said that she wasn’t worth the grand prize.

Emblem3 – Groups – “Just the Way You Are”
Emblem3 are able to go out shopping this week and not get mobbed by a cast of extras. Their performance this week is pretty good. The most I’ve liked them in some time. The chorus was strong but some parts of the verses were really pitchy, especially the guy who usually raps. L.A. and Britney really liked it while Demi still thought it was predictable and reminded her of what the Jonas Brothers were doing 5 years ago.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “As Long As You Love Me”
Carly Rose has been in the top spot the past two weeks and is nervous about taking on a Justin Bieber. She’s not completely comfortable with the song during rehearsals. Well that changed, because she absolutely nailed this performance tonight. This was relevant, current and better than Justin Bieber’s version by a mile. She brought a lot of power to the song and gave it her all. She worked hard on making it work and it paid off. The judges loved it, as they should. I hope she ends up #1 again.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Set Fire to the Rain”
Fifth Harmony is worried because Ally is going to be missing most of the week while she attends her grandfather’s funeral. The performance was a mess. Fifth Harmony was one of my favorites earlier on in the live shows, but the cracks have only gotten bigger and their flaws have gotten worse. They didn’t really mesh well together with their voices. This is such a tough song to sing and the choice itself didn’t do them any favors. They will definitely be singing for their lives tomorrow.

Diamond White – Teens – “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
Diamond does this performance really well. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call this an Unplugged performance. There was a lot of accompaniment at the beginning and the background vocalists were very present throughtout the entire thing. Despite that, it was a strong performance and Diamond’s vocals were the best they’ve been in a few weeks. I think she’s towards the bottom of voting this week. She could be in danger but she deserves to stick around for another week.

Tate Stevens – Over 25s – “Livin’ on a Prayer”
Tate improved a little bit last week with an uptempo song. He’s back to boring me this week. His personality is so bland and the stripped down music isn’t doing his voice any favors. I feel like I could walk into any country western bar and find somebody exactly like him. This wasn’t very good and I liked it even less than CeCe’s performance, which says a lot. The judges even had some issues with it. I would hope that this lands him in danger, but he has the pimp slot this week and that will save him for singing for his life.

*Round 2: Pepsi Challenge. Viewers voted on which song the contestants will sing. They also voted on the staging, the hair and the clothes, etc.*

CeCe Frey – Young Adults – “Part of Me”
At least they’re not wasting time with more B-roll packages introducing the contestants. They go right into CeCe’s performance. This is like a companion to her “Lady Marmalade” performance last week. This was a huge mess. She can’t keep up vocally with all of the movements. CeCe should realize that America tried to sabotage her this week. I can’t imagine anybody taking this performance seriously. She is definitely going home tomorrow. The judges were mixed. L.A. didn’t love it, Britney said it was entertaining and she always looks like she’s having fun, and Simon appreciated her defiance.

Emblem3 – Groups – “Forever Young”
This is a really awkward performance. They don’t really do anything interesting and they never really mesh with the rhythm of the song. They seem to be a little confused vocally and it showed completely. Usually their vocals are the strongest part of their performances and this time it was their weakest. I didn’t enjoy this very much. I think they’ll be safe and around until the finals. The judges were mostly positive. Demi still has some major issues with them, and I agree with her on most of them.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “If I Were a Boy”
A Beyonce song! I immediately like it already. Honestly though, this isn’t my favorite Carly Rose performance. I don’t think she would ever pick a song like this for herself nor would Britney/the producers select this for her. America is to blame here. Her vocals are still terrific though. The set looks weird too. There’s flaming garbage cans and street lamps that are nowhere to be found on any street in America. Demi thought her vocals were phenomenal but wants to hear something more uptempo. Simon disagrees with that.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Give Your Heart a Break”
This was a huge improvement over their first performance tonight. The group still has some issues, but their vocals were much better and the performance overall was pretty strong. They needed this to be good to stay alive and it was. I think they could still be in trouble but it’s not a done and over deal. They should be thankful for the second chance tonight. I did have some issues with their clothes and the hip-hop arrangement, but it was still strong. I’m back to mildly liking them again.

Diamond White – Teens – “Diamonds”
What a predictable song choice. Diamond singing “Diamonds”. She even descends from the the ceiling in a diamond shaped infrastructure made out of metal. It’s not hard to match Rihanna’s vocals, but there’s something a little bit off about the performance. The song relies a lot on the production effects. It doesn’t work good on a show like this and I feel Diamond’s performance showed that. Her vocals were good but something was off. I think she’ll be singing for her life tomorrow with CeCe Frey.

Tate Stevens – Over 25s – “If Tomorrow Never Comes”
I DVRed through most of this show and it still felt like it went on forever. Tate doesn’t interest me at all and this performance doesn’t change that for me. It’s another mid-range country vocal performance and it does nothing for me. I don’t think he’ll be #1 again this week, despite getting the pimp slot. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

I thought Carly Rose was once again the star of the show. It’ll be a shame if she doesn’t win the whole thing. My predictions for tomorrow: CeCe will be immediately eliminated. Diamond White & Fifth Harmony will have to sing for their lives, and Fifth Harmony will be eliminated.