November 03, 2011 12:06am PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor' Redux: 5 Most Improved Performers Who Still Won't Win the Show
Finally, the Top 12 took to the stage to perform for America’s votes on Wednesday's X Factor. And in case you forgot that Simon Cowell was the boss, his criticism was included in the opening bit of every performance.
Simon was in good spirits today as Fox announced the show had been renewed for a second season – obviously to help hype up Wednesday’s performance show. Not so obviously, it may have been trying to drown out Dexter Haygood’s claims that he worked out a deal to exit the show last week.
It was pretty much a banner day for the performers. There probably wasn’t one stinker in the bunch. Everyone brought their "A" game to the stage, made the proper adjustments after last week's feedback, and made their mentors proud. That said, this is a competition and I'm convinced that some acts don't have a chance of winning the show -- no matter how much they utilize their talent.
Allow me to share my five picks for the most improved acts from Wednesday’s show who won’t go on to ultimately win the contest.
1.) Chris Rene added his own swing to The Carpenters’ “Superstar.” It was a great improvement for the singer who has been having troubles with song choice and apparently feels best when singing his own original lyrics. The problem is he just doesn’t have a strong stage presence. He has a fraction of the energy that Astro brings to his performances and his charisma is nowhere near as magnetic as Marcus Canty. And when it comes to vocal range, Chris just doesn’t stack up well to most of his competitors.
2.) LeRoy Bell has a golden voice, but Simon is right about Nicole Scherzinger’s inability to choose the right song for him. He can stand on the stage and deliver a technically perfect performance, but he has problems with emoting. I might just be misinterpreting his laid back style. Yet, if the songs don’t move him, how will he move us?
3.) Lakoda Rayne looks and sounds beautiful, but they don’t feel like a group. The women feel like solo singers forced to share the stage. Wait… that’s exactly what they are. From the affected name of their group to their lack of chemistry on stage, they aren’t selling themselves as an ensemble. So, I don’t think America is going to buy it.
4.) InTensity is delivering some major tweeny-bop, but they don’t have the kind of power to win over anyone above age 13. There’s a time and place for this group in the world. It’s 8 p.m. on Disney Channel. They should star in a few movies together and sing during commercial breaks of Wizards of Waverly Place, but they’re not an act that can command $5 million dollars and room on the average American’s iTunes play list.
5.) This hurts, but… Stacy Francis finally found a song that worked for her this week. It was gospel and it was moving, but how current did she come off? The thing is I believe she could definitely be up there with some of the divas who can sing a great ballad, then turn around and release a dance anthem that will be remixed over and over in dance clubs. But, Nicole doesn’t seem to know that. And in the time it takes for her to understand exactly how to make Stacy’s talent current, she will lose the show to singers who are already showing their versatility for today’s market like Rachel Crow, Drew Ryniewicz, and Melanie Amaro.
Do you agree with my picks for the top 5 most improved performers who ultimately won’t win The X Factor? Tell us in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro