Life’s a Bench For the Boys and Groups: ‘The X Factor’ Four-Chair Challenge Continues
The most un-fun game of musical chairs ever continued apace this Wednesday on "The X Factor," as Paulina Rubio's Boys category and Simon Cowell's Groups sang — and sometimes pathetically begged and pleaded — for permanent seats on the show's ominously X-shaped stage. Last week, the series' "Four-Chair Challenge" began with a brutal weeding-out of the Over 25's and Girls, but those rounds were as pleasant as a sunny day romping in a meadow with Simon's newly adopted Yorkie puppies compared to what went down with the Boys this week.
First was lady-killing singing waiter Al Calderon, who tried to do some weird dubsteppy/rock version of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." No maybes about it…this wasn't very good. This was crazy, indeed. Well, Al's vocals were fine, but the arrangement was messy and distracting, and the performance was manic, just overthought and overwrought. However, Al looked like a star ("You're not the best singer in this competition, but what you do have is great charisma, fantastic energy," said Simon), and at least he committed to the performance. So he got a chair…for now. "Please teck a sit," said Paulina.
Next up was Isaiah Alston, a likably bow-tied boy who kind of reminded me of "American Idol" contestant Burnell Taylor's little brother or a younger, hipper Urkel. But why, oh why, did he cover Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All"? I do believe the children are our future, and I believe Isaiah is a talented child with a future…but he won't have a future in showbiz if he keeps singing cheesy, old-fashioned balladry like this. His first audition was sooooo much better. I think Paulina should've given Isaiah a chance based on his early promise, maybe let him put his feet up and kick it for a while…but perhaps she was being merciful by letting him go right away, if she knew deep down he wasn't final-four material. Isaiah didn't get a chair.
Isaac Tauaefea had seemed like fodder from the start, and his performance of Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" didn't improve his chances of receiving more screentime this season. He hit a horrific note midway through, so much so that when judge Kelly Rowland described his performance as "karaoke," that was an insult to karaoke singers in bars all across this fine nation. Paulina didn't pussyfoot around here, either. Isaac also went chairless this evening.