• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
DEC
7
2 YEARS

'X Factor' Redux: The Contestants Weather a Different Kind of Pepsi Challenge

A last-minute change forces the contestant to pull together a new performance in 24 hours.

X Factor
Fox

Fox's The X Factor pulled a last-minute switch on the contestants when the planned Pepsi Challenge songs were dropped in some kind of misunderstanding. So, the producers told the contestants that they had 24 hours to make their "save me" songs full-on performance worthy. The show broke the news to the viewing audience after a round of dance club mixes.

Josh Krajcik, who showed some nervousness on his Michael Jackson song from last week, showed none of that with this week's take on Rihanna's "We Found Love." Rachel Crow also showed she can shed the sweet exterior once again and delivered a really anthemic version of Bruno Mars' "Beautiful Girls."

PHOTOS: 'X Factor' Behind the Scenes With The Top 11 Work Out the Week's Performances

Melanie Amaro kept her streak going with both her songs for the night. First, she sang a club mix version of Adele's "Someone Like You," which had judge Nicole Scherzinger proclaiming her a "rock star diva." And for her second song, she went a bit safer with something that's more in her comfort zone with "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

The contestants' choice round was heavy with ballads (as one would expect from survival songs). Once again, Rachel impressed the audience with her controlled handling of Jackson's "Music & Me." Afterward, Simon Cowell also revealed that she has done some stand up comedy before. So, basically, she's even more of an overachiever in my mind.

PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes With Simon Cowell's Right-Hand Woman

And while I'm on the subject of overachieving... Chris Rene impressed the judges with an original song titled "Where Do We Go From Here." It was definitely a departure for the artist as he refrained from his trademark "ringing" (rapping-singing) as he calls it. And earned him a round of praise from the judges. Simon felt it was a well-played risk.

The other men didn't fare as well with the judges with their second song choices. L.A. Reid told Josh that while he felt he was more in his comfort zone with the Beatles song, "Something," his performance was semi-karoake. Ouch. And then Simon called Marcus Canty's version of Donny Hathaway's "Song To You" boring. Double ouch.

Who was your favorite of the night? Tell us in the comments section below.