December 07, 2011 07:32 PM by Candace Young
Last week’s episode of The X Factor ended with a dramatic showdown in which Drew Ryniewicz and Marcus Canty sang for their lives. The decision to send Drew home resulted in much tension and even led to Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger receiving death threats after the fact. This week, host Steve Jones announces that the top five finalists will perform dance songs live. Keep reading for the highlights and judges’ comments…
Melanie Amaro is up first on The X Factor tonight. She is doing an up-tempo version of Adele’s Someone Like You. She’s up on a platform, surrounded by a stage full of back-up dancers, and sounds sensational as always. L.A. tells her it was really good! Nicole says it was a big risk, but she looked and sounded like the rock star diva she is! Paula says it was a great way to open up the show, but was too short! Simon Cowell tells Melanie he loves that it didn’t sound like karaoke and remarks on the change in her – she’s more confident.
Marcus Canty is up next. Dressed in a flashy black suit and fedora, Marcus performs Ain’t Nobody confidently amongst a sea of dancers. He finishes with a wink. Nicole says he took them to church and the dance club at the same time. Paula says he looks fantastic and it’s a level playing field. Simon tells him it was a very good performance – he came back and proved himself. L.A. asks people to vote, vote, vote.
Rachel Crow is third to grace the stage tonight. She kicks off her performance with attitude beyond her age as she launches into Nothin’ On You. L.A. tells her she is such a little star and asks which beautiful girls she was singing to. She says ‘Paula and Nicole’! Nicole says it was fun and youthful – she’s a star! Paula says her vocal depth transcends age and it was a great song. Simon says it was a great choice of song – well done!
Josh Krajcik follows Rachel with his version of current dance hit We Found Love by Rihanna. Though he doesn’t move around a lot, and seems out of his element, his vocals are very good. L.A. says he always sings good, but he couldn’t see him doing that song in the recording world - he didn’t buy it. Paula disagrees. She says Josh could take any song and make it believable. Simon agrees with L.A. – his voice is very good but the song was completely inappropriate. Nicole thinks he showed how versatile and relevant he is he made the song his own. L.A. and Simon argue with her.
Chris Rene is up next. He asks the crowd to get on their feet and brings his own mix of rap and energy to Live Your Life. Nicole says they’re right there with him livin’ his life. She loves his energy and spirit, and that he wrote his own lyrics. Paula says it was one of the most fun performances she’s seen – she loves him. Simon notes that Chris was surprised to get through last week – but he is doing brilliant as an overall artist. L.A. says Chris keeps improving each week – all he needs now is votes.
Host Steve Jones announces that the Pepsi Challenge songs that were supposed to be performed tonight had to be moved to next week, so for their second songs tonight, the contestants will perform their own choices – they had only 24 hours to practice.
Melanie Amaro selects a song that she feels reflects what she’s been through – When You Believe by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. In a long gown and big diva hair, Melanie impresses with her powerful vocals and emotional finish. She explains why she chose the song before the judges speak. L.A. says her performance was great, calling it ‘safe’ but amazing. Nicole says she gave her goosebumps all over. Paula says the performance worked and was beautiful. Simon says she sang that song incredibly. He points out that Clive Davis, who signed Whitney Houston, is in the audience tonight.
Marcus Canty‘s second song of the night is A Song For You by Ray Charles. His performance is very heartfelt. Nicole says it was beautiful and timeless. Paula calls it one of his best performances she’s seen. Simon thought it was good, but he’s not jumping out of his chair - he’s heard that kind of version of that song many times and it was a bit boring. L.A. tells Marcus not to let Simon get in his head – he’s got his back.
Rachel Crow has chosen a song she really loves for her second of the night on The X Factor. Bathed in red light, Rachel takes the stage alone and sings Music and Me by Michael Jackson. She starts off shaky, but really ends up owning it. L.A. loves that she chose that song for herself – she’s the star they always thought she was. Nicole calls her an old soul and says she did a beautiful job. Paula says she’s a wonderful role model – she is amazing. Simon likes that she chose the material and agrees that she’s like an old soul.
Josh Krajcik is hoping to get into the semi-finals by taking it back to when he was struggling to make ends meet. He performs Something by The Beatles and captivates the crowd. L.A. says it sounded very good but was slightly karaoke. Paula totally disagrees – she’s so glad they found him. Simon liked it and advises him to focus on singing/songwriting from now on – he doesn’t need to be surrounded by crazy choreography. Nicole calls it the ‘Krajcik Magic’ and encourages people not to let him go.
Chris Rene is the last to perform tonight on The X Factor. He is doing a song that he not only chose, but wrote. Chris is shown receiving an inspirational phone call from Stevie Wonder before selecting the tune. Chris performs his original song seated on a chair on the stage, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It’s a bluesy tune that asks, ‘Where Do We Go From Here‘? The crowd goes wild. Nicole tells him the sky’s the limit – that was amazing. Paula says the universe works in mysterious ways – had the glitch not happened he wouldn’t have been singing that song. Simon says it was a stroke of genius to do his own song at this stage. Chris becomes emotional. L.A. could not be more proud.
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