Our Top 16 is set on season 3 of The X Factor. Over the past couple weeks as the field was narrowed down, there was much drama, a whole lot of mediocre singers, and of course some gems that stood out above all the rest. Looking back on the Four-Chair Challenge and the singers who made it to the live shows, here are my rankings of the 10 best performances:
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10. Restless Road: “Somebody Like You”
I’m glad Simon put this group together, because he always say to various singers there’s a market for them, and I can see that with Restless Road, since it’s a male trio in the country genre. On the one hand, I’m on the fence because they need to work on their falsettos, but there’s so much potential here that I want to see what else they can do.
9. Roxxy Montana: “Man in the Mirror”
When I listened to their voices really closely, I could hear a few issues at the start, but overall they’re strong and a really solid act. For the most part, the groups disappointed, but Roxxy is on the better end of the talent spectrum in this category.
8. Rion Paige: “I Won’t Let Go”
I have to hand it to her: this is a great song choice that suits her very well. What stood out to me from this performance was the emotion and connection — which to me was better than her voice. I still don’t think she’s quite as good as everyone else is saying she is, but I won’t deny she’s a contender and will go far in the competition.
7. Ellona Santiago: “Clarity”
I’ll admit she started off weak, but got better and better as the performance went on and I found myself on board, with her voice at the end being very pure and, well, no other way to say it but that she was great. Ellona’s got a power voice that is perfect for the female pop market.
6. Jeff Gutt: “Amazing Grace”
He’s got a rocker-type voice but sang “Amazing Grace,” which was a fantastic rendition of this song, by the way. I love his voice — it’s raw, and at the same time shines through very clearly. He knew what he wanted to do with this performance, and he came out and was determined to prove why he should stay, and he definitely did that.
5. James Kenney: “Lean on Me”
James has a very unique voice. And not only that, but his voice has a power to it that, while exceptional, doesn’t go overboard and he’s still able to maintain control, which is always a good thing.
4. Lillie McCloud: “A House is Not a Home”
She blew us away during the auditions, and she came back just as strong for the Four-Chair Challenge. She may have the best voice out of anybody on these singing competition shows. This was a beautiful performance.
3. Alex and Sierra: “You’re the One That I Want”
I absolutely love, love, love this dynamic duo! Usually, their lovey-doveyness would be gag-worthy and cheesy and way too sappy, but for some reason with Alex and Sierra, it makes me love them even more. And it never would’ve crossed my mind to change up this Grease tune with an acoustic arrangement. They did something similar with “Toxic” for their audition and are keeping it up, and I hope they continue to perform unique renditions.
2. Khaya Cohen: “Locked Out of Heaven”
I can never get enough of this Bruno Mars hit, so you’re in my good graces if you can pull it off. And not only did she do that, but she put her own unique spin on the song that I’m still thinking about. Her voice has a very jazzy sound to it, and even though it sounds like there’s some pitchy spots at times, that’s really part of that style, so it works for her. I can’t wait for her next performance.
1. Danie Geimer: “Georgia on My Mind”
This song really made her voice shine even more than the first time we saw her. I didn’t think she’d be able to top her audition, but she may have. This was beautiful, just purely beautiful, and with so much depth and realism that came out of her.
Who do you think gave the best performances from the Four-Chair Challenge? Is there anybody from my list that shouldn’t be there, or someone who is missing?
The X Factor returns Tuesday October 29 at 8pm on FOX when the Top 16 perform live.
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(Image courtesy of FOX)