November 16, 2011 11:13pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor' Redux: Josh Krajcik Makes Rock Week While Others Punk Out (Video)
There were a lot of very good performances on Wednesday’s performance showon Fox's The X Factor, but very few of them rocked. And I’m not talking in the colloquial way, like “rock” as in “that was really good.” I’m talking about rock as in the raw feel of the genre. If the show is going to name a theme, then shouldn’t the acts actually try to work with it?
Instead, we saw a lot of the artists (and mentors) playing with the genre. L.A. Reid shouldn’t have to cite Rolling Stone magazine when it came to Chris Rene’s performance of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.” Rock doesn’t need to be explained. It just needs to be felt.
I love how Simon Cowell tried to give L.A. grief over that choice when his artists didn’t exactly bring the rock either. Rachel Crow did the expected teeny boppy version of The Rolling Stones’ “(I can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” It was like Simon let her fly last week only to throw her back into the cage this week.
As Nicole Scherzinger pointed out (and I agree with), Drew Ryniewicz’s take on U2’s “With or Without You” never took off. It felt like a very extended dramatic intro into a rock song and not a rock song.
And, Melanie Amaro -- oh, Melanie. She still has a problem with defining herself as an artist and she should’ve seen this week as an opportunity to prove her critics wrong and show some individuality. We know the girl can sing, but can she be original?
LeRoy Bell is one of my favorites and I feel he would make gorgeous albums, but the 60-year-old still has a problem emoting on stage and connecting with the audience. He may have a week or two for Nicole to teach him how, but time is tick tocking.
Then, there’s the seemingly doomed Lakoda Rayne. Every week, they show how confused they are about their identity as a group. And this week was no different. Their performance on Fleetwood Mac was so contrived and inauthentic. I’m sorry, Paula Abdul, but your belief that these girls could fill the shoes of a group like the Dixie Chicks is just plain delusion. The Dixie Chicks know exactly who they are and they aren’t trying to let the wardrobe and the choreography signify what that is. Lakoda Rayne may have passed up their last shot at convincing viewers that they’re the real deal.
All of that said, there were very good performances by L.A.’s Astro and Marcus Canty. They took the genre as far as they could for their style of performance, but Marcus really didn’t deserve this week’s final performance slot.
Only one performer really brought the rock to the stage. And he should have closed the show down instead of Marcus. Josh Krajcik’s take on Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” was exactly what I was hoping for from every contestant on Wednesday’s show. Remember folks, this is the guy that originally auditioned with an Etta James song. He really took this opportunity to show his range.
There were so many breakout performances last week that it boggles my mind that The X Factor judges and performers saw Rock Week as something to craftily circumvent rather than something to embrace.
Watch Josh’s rockin’ performance again below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro