CeCe Frey finally goes homeWell, CeCe Frey had a good long run on "The X Factor." She survived a drastic bleach job, an even more drastic editing job, a countless number of bad decisions by her coach Demi Lovato, and a weekly bombardment of unbridled judging-panel hatred that'd probably make even "American Idol's" Sanjaya Malakar blanch. And every week, this "trier" tried, tried again--and she defied the odds and made it through. But eventually, CeCe ran out of tries, and this Thursday, she went home, after receiving the fewest votes of the week.
At least CeCe went out on a high note. Her first performance this Wednesday, of Lady Gaga's "Edge Of Glory," was arguably her best vocal effort of the season, and while her wild second number, an entertainingly campy and cartoonish "Part Of Me," was far from vocally perfect, it was 100 percent Capital-C-e-Capital-C-e, and it was probably more relevant to today's pop marketplace than anything else performed by the top six this week. So CeCe can now leave "The X Factor" with her leopard-spotted head held high.
"I'm very proud of everything I've done on this show. I hope that I taught everybody that you need to love who you are, because the more you love who you are, the less you'll need anybody else," CeCe declared Thursday, blowing kisses to her little "Warriors" watching at home. Clearly this show tried to break CeCe, but it could not change her spots.
(Side note: I love me some Ke$ha, but the fact that Ke$ha performed on "The X Factor" right after CeCe's elimination, did a crazy Day-Glo number not unlike many of CeCe's most theatrical performances, and basically made CeCe sound like Maria Callas...well, that irony was not lost on me, let me just say that.)
Even you haterz have to admit it: This show will be a lot less fun without CeCe. But CeCe wasn't the only "X Factor" contestant to get X'd out this week, as Thursday was yet another double-elimination night. Bizarrely, Emblem3 were safe despite giving two terrible performances this week, proving that there should not only be a call limit but also an age limit when it comes to the voting on this show. Instead it was Simon Cowell's other group, Fifth Unison (sorry, I mean Fifth Harmony), that was up for elimination this week, and they were forced to sing for survival for the first time, going up against Britney Spears's protégé, Diamond White. The fact that either of these two contestants--who comprised six of the best voices on the show, and certainly performed well this week--received fewer votes than Emblem3 was just ridiculous. MOMS AND DADS, TAKE AWAY YOUR TWEENS' PHONES!
Diamond White goes home...for the second timeFifth Harmony came out swinging, showing they meant business by singing Mariah Carey's "Anytime You Need A Friend." They sounded fantastic. Diamond, on the other hand, completely imploded. She'd already proven time and time again throughout the season that she's a very talented girl, but something went really wrong when she attempted to sing Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." She sounded bleaty and nasal, like a sheep with a head-cold, and I could detect a look of panic on her face that indicated that she knew she'd let the song get away from her. And by the end of the song, that look of panic had been replaced by one of defeat. And soon after that, the judges sent her home.
Diamond also had a good run on this show. After being eliminated by Britney during top 16 week, the show bent the rules to bring her back as a bonus 13th contestant, and she proceeded to give a slew of great performances that proved that the producers hadn't made a mistake by giving her another chance. Sure, Diamond didn't exactly get to first place, like last year's bonus contestant, Melanie Amaro. But she did well, and at only age 13, she has a long future ahead of her. Britney told her as much, in the most robotic, reading-off-cue-cards/fed-by-earpiece manner possible, but hey, it was still true.
Speaking of Meh-lanie, the Season 1 "X Factor" winner also performed this Thursday, doing her new single, "Long Distance." And while she certainly sang the heck out of it, the song was forgettable. I don't imagine that seeing Melanie--who has practically been in the Witness Protection Program since last year's finale, and whose debut album release just got pushed back into 2013--was all that inspiring to this season's contestants. "How has your life changed since you won?" barked co-host Khloe Kardashian. Melanie should have just answered, "Eh, not much, since I am still almost totally unknown." Oh well. Simon has clearly been concentrating too hard on retooling Season 2 to care much about actually developing Melanie's career, and I think he's done her a real disservice.
Carly Rose Sonenclar, this could be you in 12 months' time.
But maybe the Season 2 winner won't be Carly, since she was NOT number one on the leaderboard this week. And that was yet another reason to watch this show through a side-eye. This Wednesday, Carly had given what I thought was her absolute best performance of the entire season, "As Long As You Love Me," while Tate Stevens, her biggest threat in the competition, had been fine but somewhat underwhelming. And yet, this Thursday, Carly and Tate flipped positions on the leaderboard, with Tate reclaiming the top spot. Which thus prompts me to say...KIDS, TAKE AWAY YOUR MOMS' PHONES!
1st - Tate Stevens
2nd - Carly Rose Sonenclar
3rd - Emblem3
4th - Fifth Harmony
So there you have it. Assuming that this season is formatted like last year's, with three contestants competing in the final showdown, this means that Simon is guaranteed to be represented in the finale coming up in just two weeks. Surprise. And I am sure, if he can only be represented by one contestant, he'd like that contestant to be Emblem3. But will he get his wish? (Spoiler: Yes.) Will there be a shocker, with Tate or Carly going home next week? (Spoiler: No.) Watch this space and find out.
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