The X Factor Episodes

2011, TV Show

The X Factor Episode: "Performance"

Season 1, Episode 23
Episode Synopsis: The remaining finalists perform.
Original Air Date: Dec 14, 2011

The X Factor: The Time That America Picked the Most Predictable Songs Ever Season 1, Episode 23

We've finally made it to the semi-finals, guys! What a journey this has been. Tonight, one of the two songs each performer sings will be chosen by America — but then again, that's what they told us last week! And they lied! So we'll just have to wait and see. Also: Steve Jones is wearing a pinky ring. Has he always done this, or is it just for special occasions?

First up, Marcus Canty sings a song we selected — and boy we must have been a horny bunch while voting! Because based on our choice, Marcus serenades the audience with Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You." It's smooth, and soulful. Sure, he had pitch problems and it was marginally cheesy. But man, did Marcus make love to that song, the audience, and me all at the same time. Does that count as a threesome? Girls in the audience were melting. "You sang it well. My only issue is your mentor is responsible for the staging," says Simon. "With the zombie dancers, it didn't fit. It was very distracting."

Apparently Chris Rene reminds us all of Sugar Ray (kind of an uncanny resemblance, come to think of it), because we've decided to have him sing the 1997 hit "Fly." The thing about this song is...it really should have stayed put in 1997. It was a fun, upbeat performance, but after Chris's impressive original song last week, this one just didn't measure up. It was lacking the wow-factor I hoped for. Paula says, "You don't look like a million bucks. You look like $5 million bucks...after taxes!" Aw, Paula tried to make a funny! But in actuality it will be way less than $5 million after taxes, so...

Well we could have placed money on this one, right? America has assigned Melanie Amaro to sing Mariah Carey's "Hero". Because the girl is obviously meant to own Mariah. The song is arguably Amaro's most powerful showing yet — I had chills the entire time! On the other hand, while it was a beautifully unique rendition, I have to agree with LA's critique here. She didn't seem to be moved by the song like she has been in the past. "That was really good. I can't criticize the song choice," says LA. "But what did concern me was when you started, I didn't feel your usual passion."

It really doesn't get more American than The Beatles. And since we're Americans and we voted, that's what we chose for Josh! He does "Come Together," with his classic Josh Krajcik raspy rocker's voice, and in my opinion, he nails it. It's authentically him and you can tell he actually believes in the performance. "I've got to hand it to you. You've come back, and you've come back strong this week," says Simon. "I think it would be a massive shame if you don't make the final next week."

Marcus Canty is back, and I guess they don't trust us enough to pick two songs, because for this round, that privilege has been revoked. Marcus does a remix thing of George Michael's "Careless Whisper." This type of song works for Marcus — it starts out as a slow ballad, but transitions to a high-energy dance track. Here's what I didn't like: #1 The fact that they had So You Think You Can Dance performers sandwiching him the whole time. #2 His all-white suit that reminded me of something R. Kelly would wear. And no one wants to be reminiscent of R. Kelly. #3 The fact that we witnessed LA Reid having a seizure during the performance. "That is an unexpected song but I love that you did your thing on it," says Nicole. "I loved the production, the dancers and everything. To me, you're already a champion and a winner."

Chris Rene takes the stage next, seated at a piano. But wait. Wasn't he like, a former junky? Since when did he learn to play all these instruments? In any case, he performs a highly unexpected song — Alicia Keys' "No One." And what a success it was! At this point I'm completely over Chris's amateur rapping career and want to see him perform this type of music all the time. Who would have thought? Simon says, "I said on an earlier song you've got to come out and deliver...and you just delivered big time. Your dad would be incredibly proud."

Up next is the only remaining female competitor, Melanie Amaro. We're told this is going to be an unexpected performance from her. She sings "Feelin' Good" and while I don't think it's totally unexpected, one thing is certain: it's amazing. Safe to say, this performance is probably the best of the evening, and the judges are all in agreement. "You have everything it takes. I love the song choice," says LA. "You killed it, girl."

To finish us off for the night, we have Josh Krajcik at the piano. And oh my-lanta, he is doing "Hallelujah." Grab your tissues, ladies and gents. This guy has so much passion, it permeates through the TV screen. So the back drop is a little Lion King Africa-meets-Christmas in the suburbs, but you know what? I don't hate it! It was a chilling performance that just gave Melanie a run for her money. These two must survive the elimination tomorrow. If they don't...I'll boycott America, or something. Paula, in tears, says, "This guy is the performer that opens up his heart and gives every ounce of himself. I've never seen a contestant quite like you Josh."

So what's the verdict? Melanie, Josh, and...who else in the final three? Who was your favorite tonight? Weigh in below!

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We've finally made it to the semi-finals, guys! What a journey this has been. Tonight, one of the two songs each performer sings will be chosen by America — but then again, that's what they told us last week! And they lied! read more

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Premiered: September 21, 2011, on FOX
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Premise: Solo artists and music groups compete for a $5 million recording contract. Based on the hit British competition series.

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