Last night, the X Factor
top ten took the stage for "Rock Week," but only one act managed to turn the amp up to 11: Josh Krajcik was the only performer
to encourage spontaneous (or not so spontaneous, where Nicole Scherzinger was concerned) head-thrashing with his rendition of "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters.
But that doesn't mean Josh was the only act who gave a great performance. He was just the only one who gave a great, full-on rock 'n' roll performance. The rest of the song choices seemed to slip through on a technicality, like Chris Rene's Bob Marley reggae mashup ("He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!"), or a clever cross-genre blend, like Astro's "I'll Be Missing You" by Diddy (then Puff Daddy), which we all know originally sampled The Police's "Every Breathe You Take." For an episode called "Rock Week," most of the chosen songs just weren't rock enough.
Tonight, one of the acts will rock the stage no more. Here are my predictions for who might be going home:
Most Likely to Go Home
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Not only did Simon call their poppy "Your Love / Go Your Own Way" mashup a "mess" (which it was), but we have to look at precedent here: Since voting lines opened, both eliminations have been of groups. And, sadly for Paula, there's really no good reason for Lakoda Rayne to break that pattern: Not only are they hard to connect with because they're a group, but they can't even seem to connect with each other. A group needs to be better than the sum of its parts, but Lakoda Rayne's best on-stage moments happen when a single girl is allowed to shine. With time, they could become solid. But in a field of acts reaching toward stellar, that's just not good enough.
Most Deserving of Elimination
Blame it on nerves. Blame it on song choice. Blame it on that nay-saying voice in her head that keeps saying she can't do it. Blame it on whatever you want, but the sad truth of the matter is that Stacy Francis is one of the most talented vocalists in the field, but her performances in the last two live shows have completely tanked. While last week's "Queen of the Night" was merely reaching and uncomfortable, this week's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" was flat-out awful and off-key. Even the most gifted artists have off-nights. But Stacy seemed shocked and offended that the judges didn't give her rave reviews. She didn't think this was an off-night. And that's a very bad sign.
Should Be Worried
His performance of "We've Got Tonight" was perfectly lovely. It was fine. But this is not a show that settles for fine. This is a show that keeps pushing for "more, more, MORE," even when it's not sure what those "mores" might entail. LeRoy needs to find a way to blow everyone out of the water and make himself indispensable -- or else, even though he's one of the most consistently excellent vocalists here, he may soon find himself dispensed.
There's little doubt that Chris has transcended his initial sob story, but what he hasn't yet done is transcended his initial audition. Chris is in a good position, because everyone wants to see him succeed. All it will take is one amazing performance, and he could easily set himself on a trajectory for the finals. But he's also in a bad position, because he's the least comfortable of the vocalists when it comes to performing covers -- this show's bread and butter. I hope he survives the week, so that he can really wow us the next.
Which act do you think should/will go home tonight on The X Factor?
Tune in to FOX at 8pm for the live results! And not only that: Rihanna's performing!
(Image courtesy of FOX)