‘The X Factor’ Recap: Top 5 Contestants Perform

the x factorS1E19: Well guys, we’re down to the final five contestants on The X Factor and I have to be honest, I’m not quite sure how this is all going to turn out. Contestants who I thought were on their way out have managed to inch their way that much closer to the $5 million recording contract. And while Rachel Crow, Melanie Amaro, and Josh Krajcik seem to be crowd favorites, it’s really anybody’s game at this point, which means these Wednesday night performances need to be especially memorable and vocally polished if they hope to make it into next week’s semi-finals.

But the contestants seemed more than up to the challenge. This week, each act had to sing two songs each. The first song centered around the theme “Dance Music Hits,” which basically allowed them to take any song and just make it sound like it would if you were fist pumping in a club. This presented a new and difficult challenge for some of the singers who prefer to stick to their vocal comfort zones, but everyone managed to pull it off. Why couldn’t Drew have lasted one more week – this would’ve been a great time to see her do something different! Oh well. The second song for each act was originally supposed to be chosen by America, but due to a computer malfunction, the contestants had to perform their “Save Me” songs instead, giving them less than 24 hours to prepare for the change up. Nothing like an exciting twist in the competition to keep things interesting. Check out the performances below and see who you think deserves a slot in the semi-finals.

First to sing was Melanie Amaro who sang a beautiful rendition of Adele’s phenomenal song, Someone Like You. It can be considered dangerous to take on such a power song, written by such an incredible singer, but Melanie breezed right through it. L.A. said the only thing that bothered him about it was that it was really good since that means she’s and Paula said her only complaint was that it was too short. In other words, she did a fantastic job and proves to be a dangerous threat for the rest of the contestants.

Next up was Marcus Canty and he sang his own personal version of Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan. It was upbeat, it was exciting, it was fully colorful — and I liked it. This poor guy has been in the bottom two these past two weeks and he really didn’t deserve to be – this guy’s got some skills. Even Simon had to admire Marcus’ strength and determination to come back and perform time and time again. He never gives up on living his dream and everyone should respect that. While others may outshine him in the vocal department, he gets two thumbs up for all his entertainment value.

Then came Rachel Crow who sang B.o.b.’s Nothing On You song. You guys already know what I’m going to say…she’s adorable and I seriously can’t get enough of her! She’s just so pure and genuine when she sings, you can’t help but smile every time she graces the stage. Nicole called her a star while Paula said she was beautifully fearless. All around, it was a standout performance from a standout contestant and I truly hope she makes it into the semi-finals.

In a unique twist, Josh Krajcik sang Rihanna’s latest hit song We Found Love and it was pretty awesome. But then again, it seems like anything Josh sings is record gold. His rough, scratchy voice and down to earth demeanor just really allows you to forget all your troubles and just enjoy the music. However, L.A. and Simon didn’t like the song choice, but the blame was quickly passed over to Nicole, so Josh was basically in the clear and received no helpful criticism. Thanks judges, here’s a million dollars.

Chris Rene’s performance of Live Your Life by T.I. was the least impressive of the night. I don’t know, tonight he just seemed a little off beat and is it just me or does he seem to speak the lyrics rather than sing them? The guy’s got great stage presence, but his vocal abilities are really rather lacking. I know he’s wonderful because he’s a recovering drug addict, but this is a singing competition and he’s just not the best. Honestly, I’ll be very surprised if he makes the cut this week.

For her second song, Melanie Amaro sang a classic Whitney Houston song, When You Believe and to be honest – this girl could give Whitney a run for her money. Her vocals are so consistently strong and you can tell she really believes every word she sings. It makes her a standout performer and natural born star. Melanie is the backbone of this competition and I’m hoping she gets to go all the way because she’s got what it takes.

Up next, Marcus Canty sang a soulful rendition of Ray Charles’ song, A Song For You. It’s one of the few times he wasn’t surrounded by a group of dancers and flashy lights, which helped us. It reminded us why we fell in love with him in the first place. Nicole called his talent timeless while Paula called him a storyteller, which is a good thing…I guess. Simon found the performance to be a little bit boring, but I’m sure it’s not because he’s bitter that Marcus beat Drew out of the competition last week.

Then came Rachel Crow, who chose to sing Music and Me by the one and only Michael Jackson. Is anyone else having a hard time remembering she’s only 13 years old? Because her voice and her mature nature just makes her seem way beyond her years. There’s nothing else really to say other than it was superb. The judges loved it, the audience loved it, I love her. There’s absolutely no way she won’t make it into next week’s semi-finals.

Josh Krajcik’s second song choice was Something by The Beatles and it was beyond moving. This is one of my favorite Beatles songs and he did an absolutely brilliant job with it, really making the song his own. Paula said “adjectives don’t describe his brilliance” but most of her adjectives don’t really describe anything so I’m not really sure what to take from that. Simon thought his performance was a massive improvement from the previous song and his only recommendation was to lose the props and flashy gimmicks on the stage since he doesn’t really need them – and I have to agree. In the words of Nicole, he gave us some “Krajcik magic.”

Rounding out the final performance of the night was Chris Rene who decided a sing his very own original song, which he accompanied with a guitar. It was a bold move and I actually really liked it. In fact, this is probably the first time I’ve ever really enjoyed one of his songs. The song allowed him to feature a different side of his vocal talents and it was delightfully pleasant. The judges concurred, all agreeing that it was a major hit, so it looks like this competition is still anyone’s game.

Find out who will be voted off the show for good on Thursday night at 8 p.m. on Fox.