Oy. Alright, I’m going to keep this one short and sweet because I much prefer playing fangirl to playing critic, but honestly there was very little to get excited about in last night’s Diva-themed X-Factor. Let’s just get right to it then, ey?
8: CeCe Frey
That song was waaaay too ambitious for CeCe and it ate her alive. And the thing is, CeCe is actually not without talent. She’s just not a Celine-level singer, and ya know what? VERY FEW SINGERS ARE! If you’re going to take on Celine, you’ve got to AT LEAST be able to nail those power notes. If you can’t do that, pick a different song, otherwise you’re just asking to make an ass of yourself on national television. I believe that there’s a niche out there for CeCe, but it’s not the Gaga thing and it’s most certainly not the Celine thing. One day she’ll figure out what exactly the CeCe thing is, but I’m losing faith that it’s going to happen on the X-Factor stage.
7: Paige Thomas
I think that this song should be banned from reality singing competitions for all eternity, because lyrics matter, and you’re really kind of asking for it with “last chance, last dance” and “when I’m bad I’m so, so bad.” Paige actually didn’t sound awful at the very beginning, but once the beat came in it veered quickly into “so, so bad” territory. She was muttering, she was basically almost a full half-step sharp the whole time – it was a MESS. The only thing keeping her from rock bottom in the rankings right now is that she’s just a hair less vexing than CeCe, which reeeeally isn’t saying much.
6: Fifth Harmony
On the positive side, Lauren killed it with that opening line, and I’m kind of amused by Dinah Jane’s random mid-verse caterwauling two weeks running now. Camila; who I usually adore, was a little off the mark with her solo this week, which was disappointing. Mostly though, y’all know what I’m going to say because I keep saying it week after week because I just can’t get past their inability to harmonize! I’m sorry, I like these girls a lot, and I like their narrative as individuals and as a group, personally I find them charming, but I just don’t see the point in having a five-person vocal group if they need a background vocal track to sing their harmonies for them! Seriously, that last harmony was a little suspect, and it was a UNISON. As in, ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS SING THE SAME NOTE. Gah, I just… SIGH.
5: Carly Rose
Yeah, I also don’t believe she’s a human being, Simon… Look, there was no fault to be found in that vocal, but what a ridiculous song to give to a literal fucking child! What am I supposed to get from that? I get it, it’s impressive, I’m just really not buying it and I’m losing interest fast.
4: Diamond White
Another flawless vocal – a little wobbly in places but nothing that made me question her total control and ownership over the song. I was pleased at first that the production was stripped down, but then the backing track crept up behind her like a fucking Sharktopus trying to fucking annihilate her. In the end I think she came out on top, but I really don’t like the direction she’s going in right now. I get why Britney wants to steer her away from the cutesy kid stuff that got her eliminated in the first week, but I miss that high energy. I hope they’ll return her to that eventually, because she’s so full of bright, infectious energy. I hate to see that stifled!
3: Jennel Garcia
Well look, granted this performance was a little manic. Okay, maybe more than a little. The staging was cray, the lights, the dancers, it was all a bit much. BUT, the vocal was kind of hot! Did you hear my girl hitting those high notes like a pro? She was great! Also, I like the curly hair. Also I love her dancing. Also, I don’t think I’ve commented here yet on how much I love how short she is! When she stands between Khloe and Mario she looks about 4 feet tall. It’s adorable. She’s adorable. Someone please get this girl the right song and the right arrangement so she can FINALLY reach her full potential!
2: Beatrice Miller
Bebe, baby, what are you doing to me? Last week with the Goo, this week with Time After Time, the girl is certainly fighting the good fight for my heart. Her tone is so lovely and full and layered… I love Cyndi’s version of this song and I love Eva Cassidy’s version even more, but I wasn’t thinking about either of them when Beatrice was singing because she has such an uncanny ability to inhabit these songs and make them inextricable from her. If this were the kind of music she put out in the real world, I could totally see buying her record and playing the shit out of it. I could see going to see her in concert. It does worry me that her arrangement was slightly sleepy compared to others, but for me it was the best of the night by far. That YOLO hat on the other hand gots ta go.
1: Lyric 145
This was so underwhelming compared to the last couple weeks I almost just want to pretend that it didn’t happen, because obviously we all know they’re better than this and this was so clearly not what they’d planned, but let’s be real, even at their worst Lyric 145 outperformed every other act last night. If we’d never seen anything else from them, this would’ve been a killer performance, we just know to expect more from them now, so it was only ok. I’ll be honest, I debated whether to give the top spot to Bea because she was the best of the night and Lyric was a little lackluster, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put anything other than the number one next to Lyric’s name. You’re still my Queen, girl. Make me proud next week!
Predictions for tonight: if there’s any justice, Arin, Cece and Paige will be the bottom 3. I don’t really care who stays, as long as they leave next week, because I’m done with the lot of them.
Do better, X-Factor, you’re bumming me out!