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The X Factor: 2.25 – “Semi-Finals, Top 4 Perform”

Sorry everybody. I was busy this week and I didn’t get a chance to watch the show on Wednesday, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch the results show live on Thursday, so I waited til I could have time to recap both of them. It’s late but hopefully you’ll still be able to enjoy my recaps and critiques of the performances. Next week is the finale, so only one act will be eliminated this week. All of the contestants will be performing 2 songs this week again. The first song choice is the contestants’ choice, the second one is a song that will get them to the finals. The wording of that from Khloe didn’t really make sense but we’ll see what happens.

Tate Stevens – Over 25’s – “Bonfire”
Tate is picking this song and dedicating it to his best friends back in Missouri. He wants to show the audience what it feels like to be sitting around a bonfire. The performance is actually stellar. The most entertaining he’s been in a couple of weeks and I could see this doing well for him on the radio. I don’t think Tate is a revolutionary performer or vocalist, he just knows how to play to his limited strengths and I think that’s why he’s got a great shot at making it to finale night or possibly win. The judges loved it, except for Britney. She doesn’t think it was his best performance. She gets booed by the audience and she doesn’t like that at all. It’s nice to see Britney be the dissenting opinion for once.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “Your Song”
They showed a really sweet moment between Carly Rose & Diamond backstage after last week’s results show. Diamond says that she’s going to text Carly Rose every day and keep voting for her because they’re best friends. It was really nice. Carly Rose is singing “Your Song” for her father because it’s one of his favorite songs. Carly Rose is fantastic. The performance isn’t her most dynamic but her vocals are the best in the competition and she kills it. The children’s choir wasn’t necessary but it was still a very solid performance. L.A. and Simon both thought she was great but could be better. Demi has the most bizarre critique of the season. She starts off by saying that she’s the most trustworthy now because she has no contestants left in the competition. She said it was predictable but she liked it. Simon calls her out on her confusing comment.

Emblem3 – Groups – “Baby I Love Your Way”
The two brothers of the group pick the song because it’s their parents’ favorite song then they have a Skype date with their other sibling, a sister who lives in Washington. The opening of the performance is really awkward. They are laying down on the stage looking up at a camera, until the tempo kicks in and they get up and do the same performance they do every week. It’s pretty clear that I don’t like these guys and this performance felt like it belong in the late 1990’s. A little reminiscent of 98 Degrees or a lesser boy band. The judges loved it though. L.A. said this was their $5 million dollar performance and Demi is impressed and is glad they took her critiques to heart.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Anything Could Happen”
Fifth Harmony is coming back from a bottom two appearance last week and they want to work hard to make it to the finals. They pick Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” (I love that song! One of my current favs.) because anything could happen in this competition. I have to admit, they completely won me over with this performance. The staging is a little weird. They were sitting down during the entire opening and apparently they are at a whimsical tea party, which doesn’t really fit the song at all. But it’s the most entertaining and charismatic performance they’ve had all season. They really should’ve been this group the entire season. This should’ve been the image Simon was pushing all season. An all-girl group with a Katy Perry vibe. L.A. said that this was their best vocal of the season, Britney loved everything about it,  and Demi thought it was cute.

*Time for Round 2. The mentors and the contestants are picking the song they think will get them to the finals.*

Tate Stevens – Over 25’s – “Fall”
L.A. picks a song that I’ve never heard of from an artist I’ve never heard of (Clay Walker), so I’m not looking forward to this. Tate is dedicating this to his wife. I want to believe that he’s sincere about it. I just feel like this a manipulation attempt by Tate, L.A. and/or the producers to make sure that he makes the finals and panders to the audience to make sure it happens. His vocals are better than his first performance. He just doesn’t interest me as a performer and I’m not anticipating any of his output after the show is over. Britney thought Tate’s been hit-or-miss but this was a direct hot, Demi talks about Tate’s love for his wife, and Simon thinks that Tate is a lock for the finals.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens – “Imagine”
Britney chooses “Imagine” because it’s an unexpected choice and thinks it will get Carly Rose the extra bump to get to the finals. Britney also wants her to play the piano during the performance. Carly Rose isn’t completely confident about it but she knows she needs to step out of the box to get herself to the finals and possibly win. I don’t think was Carly Rose’s best performance by a long shot. The song choice wasn’t great and it didn’t fit her very well. Her voice was great as usual but it wasn’t a slam dunk that it could have been. L.A. and Demi both thought it was a risk that worked, but Simon was a little confused by the arrangement and thought Carly Rose should’ve stayed at the piano to make it a more focused performance.

Emblem3 – Groups – “Hey Jude”
I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about them. The pre-recorded is all about the younger brother named Keaton, which I didn’t know or care about until now. The vocals here are nice and the music is different from their usual California surfer/beach music that accompanies all of their performance. I think their biggest problem is that they take themselves too seriously instead of just accepting their flaws and making the best of what they have. The judges disagreed. L.A. said it was risky but paid off, Britney said it was an A-level performance, and Demi agrees with L.A. but they still have a lot of potential to become better.

Fifth Harmony – Groups – “Impossible”
Simon and the girls picked this song because it was the song they sang at the Judges’ House round, which is where they first performed together. Simon added in some lyrics in Spanish to make a little different from the first one. This performance wasn’t that strong, not even compared to the one they did at Simon’s house in the earlier round. The Spanish is awkwardly inserted into the song. Ally Brooke looked like it was the first time she had ever attempted to speak Spanish. L.A. thought the song choice was lazy, Britney didn’t like it and would be surprised if they made the finals, and Demi said she likes them but is worried they are going to be eliminated.

I won’t comment too much because I know who goes home during the results show. Fifth Harmony seems to be a shoe-in for an elimination. Their votes have never been the highest on the leaderboard and they seem to have less of a fanbase than the other three acts. We’ll see during the results show.