“The X Factor’s” First Results Show: Top 12 Revealed!
Thursday night was judgment night for "The X Factor's" top 16 contestants, the night that determined which 12 of them would advance to next week's public voting rounds. And this night, the votes would be in the private hands of the judges. Each judge would automatically put through two contestants from his or her team, and then the remaining two contestants would be forced to "sing for survival," to snag the one last spot on each team.
So, did the judges make the right decisions? Well, yes and no. But overall, the show had a pretty strong dozen by the night's end. Here's what went down, and who went down, on Thursday night's results show:
YOUNG ADULTS (mentored by Demi Lovato)
Jennel receives good news
Jennel receives good news
CeCe sang first, eschewing the warpainted gimmickry of her over-the-top Wednesday night performance, instead choosing to belt the Fame ballad "Out Here On My Own" in a little red cocktail frock--just her, a microphone, and nothing else. This was probably a wise move--after all the criticism she received Wednesday for her vocals, which were clearly compromised by all her dancing and floor-rolling, she needed to prove that she can actually sing. Well, she didn't exactly live up to the greatness of circa-1980 Irene Cara, and this time, her vocals sounded compromised by her choked sobs. At times she kind of sounded like a dying dolphin. (Except America loves dolphins.) But she worked it all out at the end and finished strong, and an impressed L.A. Reid told her, "My opinion is, you just saved yourself." Britney Spears told CeCe, "Last night I thought you were having an identity crisis, like you were trying to be like Keesha [apparently Britney doesn't know how to pronounce Ke$ha's name], but this was a powerful performance." Said Simon Cowell, "I don't understand why you didn't do that last night," before griping that she'd seemed like a "clown" the night before. I understood their comments, but I do want to point out that both Britney and Simon had praised CeCe's wannabe-Ke$ha performance on Wednesday. Sooooo contradictory. But I suppose it's all part of the redemption-of-CeCe story arc on this show, right?
Willie Jones went next with Ray Charles's "You Don't Know Me," and while the song was a much better showcase for his deep country-soul voice that the terrible Gretchen Wilson cover he butchered the night before, his performance was still flat. What the heck happened to the cool kid we first saw audition in Greensboro? L.A. shruggingly called Willie's performance "good," but Britney said, "You definitely stand out and there is a unique quality about you, but I am not definitely sure where you fit in." Grumbled Simon, "I wish I was mentoring you, because if we could capture what you brought to that first audition, I think you could have a real future in this competition."