'The X Factor' Recap: Is it Time for the Live Shows Yet?
'The X Factor' Recap: Is it Time for the Live Shows Yet?
The last of the 32 acts invited to their mentors' homes will perform tonight on The X Factor. The Girls, Boys, Groups and Over 30s are all battling one another for the four slots remaining in each category for spots in the live shows.

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Girls - Simon - South of France

Jazzlyn Little starts this second round off with a jazzed up version of "I Will Survive." She keeps the nerves at bay and delievers a good performance. More confidence could do her some good, but I would love to see this girl around longer.

Rachel Crow might be the youngest in the competition, but that's not holding her back. She sings "I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. It might be a more mature song, but she made it her own. Simon calls it "unbelievable."

Tiah Tolliver, the woman of controversy, returns! "No Diggity" by Blackstreet starts up and Simon's head begins to bob. Tiah's performances are usually "sometime," and this time she seems to be on her game. It's soulful, it's funky, and she looks confident. Simon loves this girl, but I could use some more convincing, I think.

Melanie Amaro takes on the late great Michael Jackson with "Will You Be There?" There's nothing bad to say about this girl's performances. Her voice is strong, she engages Simon, she's confident, and she is amazing. Excellence! Simon falls over, knowing she has it all. Can I put my vote in early?

Boys - L.A. Reid & Rihanna - The Hamptons

Brennin Hunt
wants to be "bigger than Lady Gaga." Can a masculine take on Corrine Bailey Rae's "Like a Star" do the trick and send him through to the live shows? Rihanna says he's more "corny" than what real stars are made of. Maybe Brennin should try Abercrombie ads?

Tim Cifers promotes the "country-ism" lifestyle. Country meets R&B in Luther Vandross' "Dance with My Father." The marriage works. L.A. isn't quite satisfied, but I'm definitely on Team Tim!

Marcus Canty, after trying to flirt with Rihanna, moves into "All My Life" by K-Ci and Jojo. I was waiting for this kid. His voice melts over the melody and Rihanna is melting with him. "I could not contain myself," she says. I believe that translates as a "Yes, you're in." We shall see!

Chris Rene belts out with a seriously unexpected "Everyday People," with some added "swag." L.A. dubs Chris as "one of the special ones." Was it his best performance? No, it wasn't. Yet Chris has talent and a cute smile.

Groups - Paula & Pharrell - Santa Barbara

The Stereo Hogzz
take on The Temptations with "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." The moves may need to be polished a bit more but this is the most exciting performance yet. The vocals are sharp and the guys are just fun to watch. Pharrell calls the lead vocalist a mix between old Motown and R&B ladies man Ginuwine.

2 Squar'd
has some huge shoes to fill. A Pop/R&B group performing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" sounds foreign. This is what you get when you're in Paula's group, though. Sorry, girls. The vocals are flat, it feels like an amateur talent show, and no one looks particularly confident.

Illusion Confusion
hardly gets any camera time singing what looks like an 80's take on a boy band. The performance didn't make much of a lasting impression on anyone. Oh well, moving right along I guess!

Now for the other kids that were eliminated then smashed together into one super group. Welcome, Intensity! Ten people in one group sounds like a train wreck, but thankfully their take on a mash-up between "That's Not My Name" and "You Make My Dreams Come True" introduces them individually. It was definitely a lot to absorb, but these kids could totally rock the Kids Choice Awards.

Over 30s - Nicole & Enrique - Malibu

Josh Krajcik slows things down with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." This guy has some pipes. It's like you can not only hear what he's feeling, you see it, you feel it, you want to somehow help him through it, yet continue to listen. Josh has the heart for this. No matter the outcome, it's obvious he won't be cooking burritos whenever he gets back home.

Leroy Bell brings a new soulful edge to "Make You Feel My Love." This is an old school cat. He's got a coolness about him like Marvin Gaye. Leroy takes his time, but you don't want him to hurry up. Nicole thinks he shows nerves, yet is "super cool."

Tiger Budbill
definitely leaves his mark on Nicole's beautiful backdrop of a backyard. With an impressive high falsetto note, it's obvious that Tiger's vocal talents are effortless.

Christa Collins
says she was the original Britney or Miley of Disney Records. Radiohead's "No Surprises" could maybe help her second chance at stardom put her in the spotlight, finally. There's something sort of Cyndi Lauper about her. She has a factor, but it is the "X" factor? I'm not sure.

The Very Dramatic Deliberation...

It's basically a montage of fade ins and outs from the judges looking at contestants' photos. Simon picks up a picture and tosses it aside. Paula and Pharrell agree that this one should move on. Nicole talks softly while Enrique stares blankly at the table. Rihanna makes some decisions while L.A. nods. Jazzlyn Little cries, 2 Squar'd holds hands and prays, Tiger Budbill rubs his hands together pensively. Even though we've all seen these performances within the last few days, they remind us in slow motion and a faded picture what everyone looked like.

After way too much drama stuffed into a matter of maybe five minutes, no decisions are made clear. So tune in Tuesday night on Fox at 8/7c for the next episode of The X Factor when America will find out who stays and who goes.

Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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