The heat is finally on! Tonight on The X Factor, the final 12 acts perform live. We have a full two hours to get through, so let's not waste any time.The Stereo Hogzz -- 'Rhythm Nation' by Janet Jackson
Okay, so Paula Abdul might be a bit crazy, but she still knows what she's talking about when it comes to a good performance. As their coach, Paula helped these guys put on one hell of a spectacle. Dressed as R&B soldiers, if you will, The Stereo Hogzz bring some great dance moves and lovely harmonies. The judges all love them. They can do no wrong!
Chris Rene -- 'Superstar/Until You Come Back To Me' by Luther Vandross
Chris has been struggling with connecting to other artists' lyrics. This week, I don't see any problems. He has found a way to connect, plus he's added his own touch with a breakdown rap. As Simon says, his "confidence kicks in." A lot better than last week, I must say. LeRoy Bell -- 'I'm Already There' by Lonestar
I'm a fan of LeRoy and I can admire what he's doing in terms of working for his dreams at an older age. He has a great voice and stage presence about him. Yet this song choice is not the best. Nicole Scherzinger wanted him to "dig deep" and connect to the audience, but I believe she missed the mark here. Hopefully, America votes for the guy anyway.
Rachel Crow -- 'Walking on Sunshine' by Katrina & the Waves
Well I thought it was "Walking on Sunshine," but I suppose on top of costumes, hair and makeup and song choice, Simon Cowell has also opted to change the song lyrics. In the end, Rachel still has a good voice and tons of charisma on stage. Should it be a problem that I'm more worried about the lyrics than her performance? Nicole feels the same way, apparently. Wow, I actually agree with Nicole for once!
Lakoda Rayne -- 'Landslide' by Fleetwood Mac
Each of the girls is taking on a season. Yes, you know. Summer, fall, winter, and spring. Yeah, it's Paula so I guess we're just supposed to go with it. Aside from that, the artificial wind could definitely be taken away. Someone sounds flat. Sorry, this is just not very good. Maybe I'm missing something because the judges say it's an improvement. Leave your comments below and help me understand Lakoda Rayne, please? Thanks!
Josh Krajcik -- 'Jar of Hearts' by Christina Perri
Just uttering the first "I can't take one more step towards you ..." gives butterflies. Being sung by a male voice is one thing, but with his power and range, the song is given a new life, I think. This performance makes me wish that the contestants were able to sing the entirety of the songs. Fantastic.
Melanie Amaro -- 'Desperado' by The Eagles
Simon and Melanie switch things up with a different song choice, a different approach. Does it work? Flawlessly. Melanie makes the song sound like it was recorded by a female artist such as those that she usually channels. Paula compares her to "fine china" and I have to agree.
Astro -- 'O.P.P.' by Naughty by Nature / 'Get Your Freak On' by Missy Elliot
Before we go any further ... this little kid has his stage name in larger-than-life letters lit up on stage. I just want to say that I'm a tad jealous. Now for the performance. A blend between Naughty by Nature and Missy Elliot with Astro's original lyrics is genius. Old school meets new school is always a good idea. Once again, the crowd is on their feet. I hate to say it, but the boy is good.
InTENsity -- 'Kids in America' by Kim Wilde / 'Party Rock Anthem' by LMFAO
The kids of InTENsity are concerned that they'll be labeled as "Disney kids." Well, that is definitely a possibility, but this performance shows a bit of an edge with the LMFAO mash-up. It leaves out the cheesy and just looks fun and entertaining. This is a group of pretty good voices.
-- 'Just a Dream' by Nelly
Okay, so I have been harsh on Drew lately, I think. Tonight, I have good things to say, don't fret. I like how she makes R&B songs her own. It starts off a bit slow and I'm not sure where it's going, yet once the beat kicks in and her personality begins to shine through, I feel the performance. Good song choice.
Marcus Canty -- 'Nothing On You' by B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars / 'Every Little Step' by Bobby Brown
Another old school/new school mash-up. L.A. Reid is the man; he knows what to do. Of course, Marcus owns it. It's as if the audience is attending the Marcus Canty concert. The vocals jell so well with the dance moves, it just works. Stacy Francis -- 'Up to the Mountain' by Patty Griffin
The ever-controversial contestant has listened to Simon this week, sticking to a more "church" genre. While the sound does, in fact, fit her voice better, giving her the ability to show range and connect to the audience with feeling, I don't know that she should necessarily stay with this every week. Not everyone who is voting will relate to this little-known song. I believe it was a great moment, yet not the greatest. Does this make sense to anyone else? Let's just try a different song next time, okay? Thanks!
Alright, folks, I hope you've voted! While you're here, please leave your comments below about your favorite and least favorite acts of the night. Tomorrow, make sure you check back to find out which of the Final 12 will be leaving The X Factor
.Jilliane JohnsonContributing Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)