S1E8: Last Thursday on The X Factor, the 32 remaining acts went to the judges' homes where they were further mentored and judged by this fierce foursome. That is, unless they get cut, because by the end of this round, the acts were cut to just 16 before going live. Tonight we picked up where we left off as the contestants sang their swan songs in hopes that the judges would deem them talented enough to continue on to the next round. As before, each judge was accompanied by a special guest to help decide who should stay and who should go home. Nicole Scherzinger was assisted by Enrique Iglesias; Paula Abdul had Pharrell Williams by her side; L.A.Reid was helped by R&B Queen Rihanna; and Simon Cowell had...himself (Mariah Carey couldn't make it to France because of Hurricane Irene).
And no wonder the judges wanted a little help, because these groups sure aren't lacking in the musical talent department. For some contestants, this meant the end of the road, but for others this was just the beginning of what is sure to be an intense competition. Who has what it takes to move on to the live shows? Check out the top performances of the night and see if you think these contestants will have the talent (and the votes) to go all the way. It's survival of the fittest at its best! On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, the judges' decisions will decide their fate
Ever since her first audition I've really been rooting for this girl. She has such an incredible voice and I can truly see her becoming a star, but she just needs to get control over her nerves. For her performance, she sang Donna Summer's hit song, I Will Survive and she completely blew it out of the water. As usual, the video footage beforehand showed her being a complete basket case during rehearsals, but you'd never be able to tell from her strong, steady powerhouse of a voice. She just has the right look and the right sound for this business, but I'm just afraid that her lack of confidence will end up hurting her odds at going all the way in this competition.
The Stereo Hogzz
Throughout the night's performances I wasn't that impressed with many of the groups, but these guys really stood out in their performance of I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye. Their voices just blend together so well and they had a unique sound that I could easily imagine being blasted on the radio. The group has a whole also included a clean, crisp dance routine to go along with their performance, which I thought added a lot to the overall package. This group deserves their shot at fame and the $5 million prize.
No matter what song this guy sings, his whispery voice never fails to leave me with goosebumps. Every single time he sings, it's just such a moving experience and you can tell that the judges feel that way as well. His selected song was First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, which has been sung by the likes of Johnny Cash, Leona Lewis, and Celine Dion. He did a fantastic job. He's confident, he's talented and he's just so likable. I personally like that he doesn't look like your typical star -- he's his own unique person which only adds to his unique (and talented) package. He's also just got a genuine personality that just makes you instantly like him, so much so that you don't care about any other preconceived notions about Hollywood's standards. Talent comes in all different forms and he is the real deal!
Now the youngest girl in the competition at 13 years old, Rachel Crow is showing up other competitors who are more than two (or three) times her age. She is just so adorable and is doing such an amazing job of handling all the pressure that comes with being on this show. That's a really important quality to have and for her to possess it at such a young age is amazing and reflective of how her talent will continue to grow as she gets older. Her chosen song was I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys, which only further proved that she belongs in the final 16. She takes risks whenever she performs and really made the song her own without copying the original beat and melody. Her voice and talent is not something that should be wasted.
Simon was the only one of the judges who had absolute faith in her singing abilities. Today she proved that he made the right decision in fighting for her to remain in the competition after singing No Diggity by Blackstreet. She has such a strong range in her voice, which allows her to wow fans with her absolutely stunning vocals. Simon even admitted that there's just something about her that makes him positive that she belongs on this show and we all know that Simon has a knack for getting his way. I have a good feeling that we haven't seen the last of her quite yet.
Don't forget to watch the next episode of The X Factor on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX and discover who the final 16 contestants will be. Find out their fate!