It's a huge night on "The X Factor." How can we tell? Because the over-amped, 'roid-raging announcer guy says it is.
"IT'S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC!" he growls, and, well, we're not going to argue with him.
We've got four acts left, but only three will make it through to next week's finale and have a shot at that $5 million dollar recording contract (Known by some as the Melanie Amaro Memorial Prize). Aren't you getting all tingly just thinking about it?
Each contestant has to sing a couple of songs apiece, the first of which is a personal choice. Here we go:
Tate Stevens ("Bonfire" by Craig Morgan)
Tate is determined to hold onto that No. 1 ranking, so he's cranked things up for his first performance. There are flames and laser lights everywhere and he's oozing energy on this party song, which sounds like it's about getting drunk out in the woods (Or we could be wrong). The crowd loves it, but Britney doesn't think it was his best performance. Demi Lovato disagrees, calling it a "Freaking amazing performance." Simon admires the fact that Tate didn't go all soft and mushy on us, and instead delivered the kind of song he would want to record. "You look like a man right now who believes he can win this competition." Coach L.A. Reid, clad in a black hat, loved it, of course.
Carly Rose Sonenclar ("Your Song" by Elton John)
Our little teen titan is still
Emblem 3 ("Baby I Love Your Way" by Peter Frampton)
Oh, this better be good because we've heard Frampton -- and Big Mountain -- do it a million times on the radio, and, quite frankly, we were hoping for something fresher. But the guys sell it with plenty of spirit and some rapping, for good measure. And yes, we're tapping our toes. L.A. deems it their "$5 million moment" and gives them props for being "inventive." Britney also likes it, calling the performance "special," and says it's unfair to call Emblem 3 a boy band because they're way more than that. And even Demi, the group's harshest critic, has been won over with this one. Says coach Simon, "If this doesn't get
Fifth Harmony ("Anything Can Happen" by Ellie Goulding)
Uh oh, the girls are going all glittery and wonderlandy on us. They're wearing poofy, baby-doll dresses and making like they're at the Mad Hatter's tea party. As for the actual song, it sounds more fresh and vibrant than most of their previous stuff. (Maybe the acts should have been picking their own songs all along). L.A. raves, calling it their best vocal performance they've ever done. Britney says she loved everything about the performance and described it as "magic." Demi says the girls simply sparkled. Can Fifth Harmony pull off an upset?
OK, that wraps up Round 1. Now it's time for songs picked with their mentor's help -- songs that they believe will push them into the finals. Here's how it went down:
Tate Stevens ("Fall" by Clay Walker)
OK, so much for that rollicking attitude in the opening performance. Tate tones it down and goes for the heart on this song, dedicated to his wife. A lovely rendition, lovingly delivered. It's pure country gold. Britney calls it a "direct hit" and Demi deems it "amazing." Tate's wife, she says, has to feel "like the luckiest girl in the world." Finally, Simon tells Tate that "there's about as much chance of you going back to your old job as me flying to the moon tomorrow night."
Carly Rose Sonenclar ("Imagine" by John Lennon)
Wow. Coach Britney is taking a big risk here. Not only have we heard this classic done on "American Idol" and a hundred other places, it feels mature for a 13-year-old. Then again, she's a pretty mature 13-year-old. Carly starts off at the piano (Is she really playing?) and then she grabs a mic and stalks the stage. She also brings some wailing big notes to the song that Lennon never did, and then it's back to the piano (Why?). Technically, it hits the mark, but we still would have liked something upbeat from Carly. Demi calls it "amazing," but didn't like the arrangement, dismissing it as "over-complicated" and "fussy."
Emblem 3 ("Hey Jude," by the Beatles)
OK, so we've got a 13-year-old doing Lennon and now a young, callow boy band doing the Beatles? How much sense does this make? Can't we let the youngsters be youngsters? Still, they come through with some nice harmonies before getting all cheesy and jumping into the audience. L.A. is pleasantly surprised, making this ridiculous statement: "You actually are teen heartthrobs like the Beatles." (OMG). Britney says it's an "A-level performance," and Demi says these guys have loads of potential.
Fifth Harmony ("Impossible" by Shontelle)
A questionable decision here. The girls are rehashing a song they did during the judges' homes round. They're adding some Spanish lyrics to theoretically make it fresh, but it's really not. L.A. calls it a "lazy" song choice and we agree. Then Britney brings the live ammo, saying she'd be really surprised to see the girls here next week. Demi adds that she's worried about them. Sounds like we could be bidding farewell to Fifth Harmony Thursday night. It never felt that we really got to know them anyway.