Based on my elementary math skills, I think this will be the last double elimination needed to cut the field of contestants to just two for the show’s final performance episode (Dec. 21).
And, based on what’s happened on The X Factor UK, we should be nearing the point where contestants’ fate rests in the hands of viewers alone. Meaning no more pesky meddling from judges who will never vote to send home someone they are mentoring.
In the UK version, judges have been removed from the decision on whom to send home once the field reaches four or five contestants. It’s varied, for some reason, by season.
After this week, we’ll be down to five finalists on The X Factor USA.
And here’s something to be thankful for the week after Thanksgiving. With the field cut to seven, The X Factor is cutting its bloated-with-filler performance show to an hour and a half on Wednesday.
That’s still a pathetic ratio of singing — about 14 minutes — to everything else, but a whole lot better than having seven songs stretched over two hours.
1. Melanie Amaro (1): That “This is Melanie” rant, delivered with so much passion, certainly showed there’s a personality behind all those flawless notes. Hey, Pia Toscano, maybe you should have tried that. My only problem with Melanie is that The X Factor makeover team has her looking more and more like Mariah Carey. Which would probably bother me less if Melanie wasn’t so prone to sing Mariah Carey type music.
2. Josh Krajcik (2): “Wild Horses” was my favorite Josh Krajcik performance to date. Flawless? No. Heartfelt, complete with a dedication to his daughter? Absolutely. For once, The X Factor didn’t overdo it by having a background chorus join in and drown out the singer we’re supposed to be listening to. Heartthrobs usually win these popularity contests. This burrito-maker might be the unlikeliest yet.
3. Drew Ryniewicz (3): She certainly seemed more connected to “Skyscraper,” and the vocal was her best in at least three weeks. But, Simon, please, force this young lady to take a risk or two. An up-tempo song, a rocker, would be a great idea. She needs to do something to regain some momentum. Because of your youngsters, she’s the only one I can fathom singing for the $5 million prize.
Wow, what’s that picture of the Grand Canyon doing in my blog?
It’s a reflection of the cavernous gap between the top three contestants and the rest of The X Factor field. In terms of vocal talent and performance so far, that is.
4. Marcus Canty (4): Back when the show started, I thought Marcus had the potential and the flair to catch fire. I’m still waiting for it to happen, and time is rapidly running out. Last week’s bottom three showing — behind some pretty bad singers — doesn’t bode well. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been treated to one mediocre Marcus performance after another.
5. Chris Rene (7): The fact that Chris lands at number five shows how little singing talent is left in the X Factor talent pool. W0w, a $5 million prize and you couldn’t do better than this, Simon? Seriously, Chris has been barely tolerable the last two weeks, and only tolerable because he trotted out “Young Homie” at the end of last week’s performance after butchering “Let It Be.”
6. Rachel Crow (8): Two weeks ago, she got to sing “Satisfaction.” Last week, she got to belt out “Raise Your Glass,” and I’m pretty sure Pink wasn’t singing about raising a glass of lemonade. Add the inappropriate outfits, like last week’s outrage, and it’s clearly time for bubbly Rachel to be dispatched to some Nickelodeon or Disney show. Please. Now. To spare our ears and to spare Rachel further embarrassment.
7. Astro (9): He followed up last week’s non-apology — did you hear the words, “I’m sorry?” — with his weakest performance show performance in weeks. And there’s simply no way he should be on the show after a guy with the talent and attitude of a LeRoy Bell gets dispatched.