11:23pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor' Redux: Chris Rene, Rachel Crow Find Themselves (Video)
The final 11 performers hit the stage with songs from movie soundtracks on Wednesday’s episode of Fox’s The X Factor. What seemed very appropriate for a movie themed night was that many of the artists tried to show their true character. It’s as if they’ve had enough weeks of being told what kind of artist they were and decided it was time they tell us.
There are several performers who have always been consistently themselves in the competition like Astro, Josh Krajcik, and Drew Ryniewicz. But, others have floundered a bit along the way.
Some still seem to be finding their way like Lakoda Rayne, The Stereo Hogzz, and dare I say it… Melanie Amaro, who hasn’t really presented a unique vision of herself as an artist, though she can sing just about anything.
On Wednesday’s episode, several performers returned to their roots. That doesn’t mean I’m saying they’re going to win, but only that they’ve gotten closer to defining the kind of music they’d record if they did take the prize.
LeRoy Bell dusted off the lucky cap and performed a song that seemed to really work with his smooth voice and sophisticated style on U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” In previous weeks, he didn’t seem to like what he was performing and had a problem with emoting. That changed with this week’s performance.
Stacy Francis may not have won the judges over across the board or impressed Simon Cowell with her outfit (because he really should judge fashion?), but I felt she found the artist she wants to be on Whitney Houston’s “Queen of the Night.” I’ve said it before, Stacy is made to belt out emotional ballads and then a dance number that will find itself being remixed in clubs across the country. She’s sort of like Houston... in her better days.
Chris Rene seems to have rediscovered his swagger with his version of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” with new lyrics pulled from his own struggles. The rapper/singer told THR earlier this week that the song would be the most fun he’s had thus far in the competition and I hope he remembers that when he picks next week’s song.
Rachel Crow picked her own song this week after what I feel have been a lot of very teeny-boppy choices from Simon during the live performances. This girl has an edgy side that comes out in her singing. Not to mention, her voice has much more range than the songs Simon was having her perform. She had the so-called “pimp slot,” the performance that was so good it gets to end the night, and she deserved it with her rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
Revisit Crow's stunning peformance below.
Who do you think will go home tomorrow? Tell us in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro