'The X Factor' Recap: Demi Dishes Tough Criticism
'The X Factor' Recap: Demi Dishes Tough Criticism
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Boy, how time flies when you're having fun. Or, maybe I should say, how time flies when the people you root for are eliminated from the competition one by one. Yes, it is time for another all-new live episode of The X Factor!

You may have witnessed last week's controversial double elimination, sending Vino Alan and Paige Thomas home. The question still on everyone's mind continues to be, "How is CeCe Frey still here?" Well, we may have found your answer as mentor Demi Lovato campaigns for her lone group survivor. Will CeCe finally give a show-stopping performance tonight? Place your bets now!

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Ohhhh snap! Tonight's theme is: Unplugged and The Pepsi Challenge!
 
This means we'll hear CeCe's off-key pitches without any background music to save her! But wait, there's more! The Pepsi Challenge is back! America has voted and chosen what these remaining six acts will perform in the second hour.

Congratulations to Mario Lopez for finally tying the knot over the weekend. Sorry to all of those Saved By the Bell fans who wanted their chance with Slater.

On with the show!
Round 1 - Unplugged

CeCe Frey
Category: Young Adults
"The Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga

Here we go, America. Will you give in to Demi's pleas for votes or will CeCe actually give a vote-worthy performance?

In the midst of mist, CeCe sits on a piano. I admire her fight and ability to continuously bounce back from being in the bottom two time and time again, but there are better vocals in this competition. She looks very pretty, though.

"You know what you've proven CeCe," LA says, "that sometimes we get it wrong." While he's become a fan, Simon does not feel that she is worth the $5 million contract.

EMBLEM3
Category: Groups
"Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars

Were you waiting for the boys to strip it down and play instruments? The time has finally come. Drew plays guitar as the brothers sit beside him, all contributing solos. The girls may have started screaming before the first note sounded, but they actually give a great acoustic performance.

The judges are really coming out with the big guns tonight. "At least one of Simon's groups can sing harmony," LA says. Demi adds. "I think it's a downgraded version of what the Jonas Brothers did five years ago." How do comments such as these even help the artists to grow and learn? 

Carly Rose Sonenclar
Category: Teens
"As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber

Well, it's obvious this will be better than the original. The top vote achiever of the last two weeks sits on stage with drums and guitar backing her up. It's a sensual take on the chart-topping hit. And again, Carly's voice can do things unheard of in dreams. Amazing.

"I love it when I hear unplugged versions of songs that are actually better than the original songs," says Demi, lending a more appropriate compliment as her feedback. All the judges are in agreement. Carly Rose is surely back on top of the voter board.

Move over Demi!

Khloe stands in the middle of the crowd and asks a fan, "Who is your favorite judge?" The girl quickly answers with Demi. "Do you think she's a little moody tonight?" asks Khloe. "I don't know but I think I'm leaning a little more towards Simon tonight." Being rude equals losing fans!

Fifth Harmony
Category: Groups
"Fire to the Rain" by Adele

Ally is a no-show this week after losing her grandfather. Now Normani must step up and take a solo. Oh, just kidding! Ally comes back last minute. What was that whole package for then?

Lauren has such a strong voice, as does Camila. Normani definitely steps up for her solo, but LA was looking to hear more harmony from Fifth Harmony. Do they deliver? I believe a groups' ability to allow for their audience to hear the steps in notes waiting in the background make for good harmonies.

"They should have called you Fifth Unison," LA says in an attempt to sound clever. Demi believes that a couple of the girls should be solo artists. Simon argues that these girls deserve a shot at the music business. 

Diamond White
Category: Teens
"It's A Man's World" by James Brown

Diamond is accompanied by the piano, guitar, drums and a string section. That seems like more than what's expected of an unplugged performance. Anyways, her vocals are good, but she doesn't seem to be reaching her high notes properly. I will definitely give it to her though. At the end of her performance, she kicks the microphone stand to the ground like a veteran.

Demi thinks that it was risky to sing a song that she already performed, but that mic stand kick was what sold it. Simon liked the kick, but thought her vocals were pitchy. What do you think?

Tate Stevens
Category: Over 25s
"Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi

For an unplugged performance, would you expect to see Tate play his own guitar? I sure did, but alas I'm disappointed. On the other hand, Tate can definitely sing, but is this the right song for him? Carly Rose will most likely take that number one spot again, buddy. And where was the high note?!

"You doing that song for unplugged week is like taking a goldfish for a walk," says Simon. You really have to love his imagery. He means to say that you simply cannot do it. The judges aren't impressed and believe Tate is going the wrong direction with his song choices.

Make sure you tune in tomorrow for the live results show with performances by Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro and pop recording artist Ke$ha

Round 2 - The Pepsi Challenge

Now each of the contestants have been left to the mercy of the fans. America will choose every aspect of their performances from song choice to hair styles. This can either be super awesome or extremely scary.

CeCe Frey
Category: Young Adults
"Part of Me" by Katy Perry

She stands in an oval with her name attached in lights. Maybe America is ready for CeCe to go home because this is nothing short of terrible. "This is the part of me that you're never gonna take away from me," she sings while pointing to the leopard print on her face. No thanks.

"If there were ever a karaoke performance, that was one," says LA. I agree. While Simon struggles to commend CeCe for her tenacity, Demi proves a bit of a point. "If the princess of pop is sitting here and she liked it then it must have been good," she says. Then again, the princess of pop is heavily sedated. 

What do you know?! Khloe actually does a good job tonight backstage with interviewing Fifth Harmony and Diamond White. Good job. Too bad she can't make a wardrobe change, though.

Emblem3
Category: Groups
"Forever Young" by Alphaville

The song is great and the vocals are on point. The boys are even dressed nicely. My favorite part of the performance might be as the three jump from a raised platform in unison and all the girls in the venue lose their minds, screaming. Too hilarious.

Demi is really on some kick tonight. She wants to see them command the stage more from side to side. If they run from left to right each night, then she'd most likely have something to say about moving around too much. Khloe puts the young pop star in the spotlight, asking which of the boys she has a crush on. Now, Demi has nothing to say.

Carly Rose Sonenclar
Category: Teens
"If I Were A Boy" by Beyonce

America came up with some good ideas for this one. The backdrop looks to be like a deserted highway and Carly stands below. There's mist flooding the stage. And again, it's another killer performance.

Demi is at it again. "I do want to hear something up-tempo; it's getting predictable," she says. Simon says "Don't listen to a word this one (pointing to Demi) has said." He's going to end up sending Demi to what he calls "the naughty chair."

Fifth Harmony
Category: Groups
"Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato

Best performance of theirs by far! The harmonies have definitely kicked up to that next level. There is no way LA cannot be impressed with these vocals. They look the part and they sound the part!

"I actually heard harmonies," says LA. "And it was very, very good!" Demi gives great compliments this time around. "I feel like this song should have been your song," she says. They finally look like a true girl group! 

Diamond White
Category: Teens
"Diamonds" by Rihanna

Diamond sits in a diamond which hangs from the ceiling while singing "Diamonds." Clever one, America. Male viewers may not relate to this comment, but her hair looks really great. I'm not too sure about her blue-striped pants, but she sounds like a diamond, sort of. That was my attempt at keeping with the over-done theme.

"It's your luck that you're in a very, very competitive Top 6, or maybe I should say Top 5," says Simon. I wonder who that one left out contestant he's alluding to is. Any guesses?

Simon says that he's thinking about implementing another week of Viewer's Choices for song selections next week. Stay tuned for more word on that.

Tate Stevens
Category: Over 25s
"If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks

It may be predictable, but this is what Tate does best. He looks confident singing a song by one of his musical influences. Great vocals, he should have done something along the same lines for his unplugged performance, too.

"Now that felt like a Tate Stevens performance," says Britney. On the other hand, Demi says she got a little sleepy, BUT "I'm also really tired," she says in attempts to justify it. Is it just me or is she a little out of line tonight?

So, there we have it. Each of the performers have hit the stage twice, giving us one unplugged/acoustic song and another chosen by the fans. Since the competition is so stiff with the on-coming end to this second season, let's focus on the song choices themselves. Which song did you prefer for each artist?

Remember to tune in to The X Factor live results tomorrow. Two more acts will be sent home and we will have two performances from Melanie Amaro, season one winner, and Ke$ha!

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

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