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But before we get to the not-so-shocking elimination, the crew opens the show with a mash up of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and the Tears For Fears classic song, “Shout.” There were a couple hiccups like when Melanie Amaro raised the microphone to her mouth way too early and Josh Krajcik didn’t look as if he was very into it (and may have forgotten a few lyrics). But the audience seemed to dig it, so maybe something was lost in the translation to my TV.
Also, let’s talk about the guest performances. If anyone has the “x factor” (and some to spare) it’s Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine. There’s definitely no one like her in the music industry today with her otherworldly style and powerful voice. And she brought all of that to Thursday’s performance of “Spectrum” from her album, Ceremonials.
Also, judge Nicole Scherzinger tried to prove those who doubted that she had the goods to grace the judging panel wrong with a performance. Did she accomplish that? Getting on stage in the first place is an act of courage in my opinion. As far as the new song, “Pretty,” from her upcoming and many times delayed first album? It felt a little all over the place.
Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for Nicole as I actually watched her claw her way through The WB’s singing competition, Popstars, in 2001 to become a member of Eden’s Crush. So, I’m rooting for her.
As far as the finalists, here they are in the order host Steve Jones announced them:
Chris Rene: America has clearly fallen for him. Last night’s performances were fun at best, but didn’t really hit me as semifinal-worthy. Yet, sometimes I feel I’m too hard on him as I’m bothered by his awkward dancing and lack of vocal range. Do I think he’ll ultimately win? No. Should he? No.
Melanie Amaro: I always thought she deserved a spot in the finals. She has an amazing voice, she’s consistent – and Wednesday’s performances were no different. My only problem with her is I don’t always feel her when she’s singing. There’s a wall there that I thought would come crashing down when she let her accent loose. But, no. She still bores me most of the time. And I have to believe that having the “x factor” means having a personality that shines through during performances. She’s a blank slate we can place Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, just about anyone on, but she doesn’t really hit me as having an identifiable personal style. Will she win? Yes. Should she win? No.
And we’re down to two. At this point, Marcus is a given. But, I expected one of the other men would join him. That ominous honor goes to Josh. And at this point, I felt there would be no surprises as to who would go home. But, we’ve seen Marcus survive the bottom two three times already…
After a series of very hotly contested decisions by the judges, the show was smart to simply allow America’s votes to choose the final three. And we find out Josh has made it into the finals. By the way, his placement in the “bottom two” makes more sense after Steve emphasizes several times that this may not necessarily be the bottom two. Thanks for the extra drama, X Factor.
Josh has been a favorite of mine since he sang Etta James in his first audition. Like Melanie, he has a good voice that seems to handle whatever song is thrown his way well. Yet, while Melanie is consistent (and dare I say safe), Josh can falter if a song isn’t in his pop-rock wheelhouse. I think that’s a side effect of having a personality that we’re able to sense right away — something Melanie has a hard time getting across. He’s not a blank slate, but that’s what makes him an artist. Will he win? Maybe. Should he win? Yes.
Marcus takes his elimination really well and vows that this isn’t the last time we’ll hear from him. Do you think it was finally time for him to go? Did America get it right with the finalists? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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