Season 2 Live Shows, The X Factor

Ranking the Top 8 on The X Factor

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This is Number 1’s Week on The X Factor, which means the Top 8 get to perform number one hits from the past.

Now that’s what I call a nice broad theme that should allow all of the singers to select something in their wheelhouse.

And just what The X Factor needs to build on last week’s momentum.

I thought last week’s performance episode, filled with sentimental performances, was one of the best ever.

The only thing that spoiled it was the ouster of talented young Beatrice Miller; I considered her one of the best soloists on the show not named Carly Rose.

On to this week’s rankings. Last week’s ranking appears in parenthesis.

1. Carly Rose Sonenclar (1): I’ve heard better versions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In fact, I remember Katharine McPhee doing a pretty special version of the same song on American Idol back when Carly Rose would have been about 7. Still, considering Carly Rose is all of 13, last week’s performance was special. And more proof that she’s likely to waltz away with the Season 2 crown.

2. Vino Alan (2): The production of “God Bless the USA,” with the choir appearing no sooner than Vino started singing, was all a little too much for me last week. Besides, unlike some singers on this show, Vino doesn’t need a choir to disguise inadequate vocals. He’s quite capable of delivering a passionate and stirring performance all on his own, something he’ll likely prove again this week.

3. Tate Stevens (4): OK, so Tate sang first last week, which is often a curse on voting shows like this. Vino dedicated his song to military veterans and sang “God Bless the USA,” which is about as patriotic and mainstream American as you can get. And a country song no less. Yet Vino still couldn’t blast Tate out of the number two spot in the voting. That’s a testament to the fan support Tate has developed in his time on the show.

4. Fifth Harmony (5): Hmm, let’s see, which group would I rather see perform? Five gals who sound fantastic every time they harmonize and seem to be improving each week? Or three guys with mediocre vocals whom Simon would like to turn into the next One Direction? Hmm, I think this ranking answers that question. Kick butt, Fifth Harmony. I’d love to see you outlast Emblem 3.

5. Emblem 3 (6): Hey, believe me, I’d rank them lower if I could, but all three singers below are woefully inconsistent. Emblem 3 just didn’t come across as that sincere on “Secrets” last week, when everyone else showed up on stage fully invested in what they were singing. I don’t understand the superstar praise. If these guys are superstars, I don’t know what word you’d use to describe the far more talented singers I’ve heard on The Voice in recent weeks.

6. Diamond White (9): I’d like to see Diamond go young and fun this week. If she does, I think she could pull in some of the votes that had been going to Arin Ray and Beatrice Miller. To date, it’s been a steady diet of ballads from Diamond. But last week, she was splendid on “Because You Love Me.” For the first time, she justified her return to the Top 13 after an earlier elimination.

7. Paige Thomas (7): Where was the Paige Thomas who turned in such a brilliant vocal during her save-me performance two weeks ago? She might have been affected by the emotion of the night, but her vocal on “Everything” was far from brilliant last Wednesday and pretty much shattered my hope that Paige would be able to put together a string of solid performances.

8. Cece Frey (8): She’s still here? Really? OK, it’s time for her to leave. I don’t mean to be Simon mean, but she’s been off-key more than on-key since the live shows began. I could understand her singing being affected by the dedication to the sister she lost to cerebral palsy; heck, that story brought tears to my eyes. But Cece was awful on her save-me song the next night, too. Yet she’s still around. And Beatrice Miller isn’t. Unbelievable.

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