If 13-year-old X Factor contestant Rachel Crow has her way, she won't be doing another peppy pop song next week.
Asked after Wednesday's show if she wanted to stick to mentor Simon Cowell's youthful, upbeat music strategy should she survive Thursday's elimination, Crow said: "Honest? Right now, if I do make it, no." She sang a sassier version of the Waves' "Sunshine" on Wednesday's show, and last week, a mash-up of Justin Bieber's "Baby" and The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go."
But for a follow-up, Crow's got something more grown-up in mind. "[Beyonce's] 'If I Were A Boy' was the best performance I've ever done in my life," she told TVGuide.com, referring to her earlier bootcamp audition. "So I'm going to do a slower Etta James song next week if I make it."
And if Coach Cowell wants to go a different route? "I'm sweet, but I got attitude and I've already argued with Simon about that song," Crow said. "I told him, 'I'm doing it and you can't stop me!'" Crow also revealed that her tweaks to "Sunshine" were borrowed from a girl who performed the same version on the U.K. edition of X Factor. "It's got more attitude, more 'You have to go.' I aimed it right toward Simon," she said with a laugh.
Another contestant who wants a change of pace? Josh Krajcik, the 30-year-old Ohio native being steered by judge Nicole Scherzinger. And unlike Crow, he's feeling the need for speed.
Krajcik said he did wind up digging Scherzinger's take on Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" — although, "at first, I wasn't thrilled," he admitted — but if he's still around next week, he'd be happy to nix the ballads. "I would love to sing a Beatles song, maybe something a little more upbeat," he said. (Last week, he sang a slowed-down version of "Forever Young.") "We've had discussions about songs that are a little faster, a little more rock 'n' roll, and so I think we're going to delve into that on Friday, assuming I'm still here."
InTENsity's Nick Dean, meanwhile, said the 10-member kid group had no problem convincing mentor Paula Abdul to let them do what they wanted. Her original idea for their Wednesday performance was a mash-up of "Kids in America" and The Go-Go's "We Got the Beat." "We were like, 'OK, this is... stepping on the boundary of cheesy," Dean said. "We wanted to something different but still current and relevant. So we ended up fighting for changing the song."
Fortunately for them, the group's John Lindahl said, Abdul "is really open to our ideas. We told her we wanted to revive 'Kids in America' with a modern twist. She said, 'Fine, just find a good song.' We found LMFAO's 'Party Rock Anthem.'"