'X Factor' Redux: 16, Make that 17, Tough Choices

Simon Cowell admits he made a mistake and invites one contestant back.

It has been an intense few days for the 32 performers who auditioned for The X-Factor judges and their guest mentors, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams and Enrique Iglesias, at the judges’ homes. On Tuesday’s episode, the judges revealed who will be advancing in the competition to the live shows.

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Simon Cowell may have had the toughest job in cutting down his group to four when it came to talent. He admitted that the decision dominated his thoughts so much that he forgot to put sunblock on his chest. OK, I made up that last part. But seriously, that sunburn didn’t look good. I felt Simon’s emphasis was placed mostly on marketability. He decided to advance Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz, Tiah Tolliver, and Rachel Crow. I think maybe the biggest mistake he made was Tiah Tolliver. There’s something about her that doesn’t click for me and her skills aren’t exactly there technically. Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul insisted she had pitch problems and he admitted as much on Tuesday’s episode. I think he just has a blind spot for her.

Thankfully, Simon had a crisis of conscience and admitted he made at least one mistake. He decided to add a fifth person to his team: Melanie Amaro. I also thought Caitlin Coch should have made it through over Tiah.

L.A. Reid also had a very strong group. I would say that he was looking for consistency and the ability to handle success. The four guys he decided on were Brian Bradley, Phillip Lomax, Chris Rene, and Marcus Canty. I’m pretty comfortable with those choices, though I would have liked to have seen Skyelor Anderson go through. L.A. believed his career may be limited by singing strictly country. And in that same vein, he warned Phillip that he doesn’t want to see Frank Sinatra on stage every time he performs. With that in mind, you can see why Michael Jackson/ Adam Lambert/ Elvis Presley impersonator Nick Voss didn’t advance.

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The toughest thing for the Over 30s group was that for many of them this would be their last chance at a music career. I think Nicole did a good job of balancing what her heart told her and remembering this is a talent show. Dressed early for Halloween as Pocahontas, she picked Josh Krajcik, Dexter Haygood, LeRoy Bell, and Stacy Francis. The only person I’m on the fence with in that group is Dexter. He just can’t seem to break out of imitating other artists. It’s like people who still wear a trend from their teen years and can’t see that it’s totally out now. And worst of all, that it doesn’t really look that good on them anymore.

For Paula, the decision really could have gone any which way in my mind.  I think the groups were the least talented of the four teams. The hard work for her is going to be in making them competitive with the solo acts. She went with The Brewer Boys, Lakoda Rayne, InTENsity, and The Stereo Hogzz.

How do you feel about the top 17 contestants? Tell us in the comments section below.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro


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