X-Factor: Top 10 “Rock and Roll Week”
A collaborative post between anibundel and Marnifer.
With the Stereo Hoggz gone, we are left with only Lakoda Rayne in the groups category. It feels a little cheap that the young white girls the producers put together are the only ones left standing. Groups don’t do well in the UK version either.
I wonder what the name of the guy is who does the voiceover, and is he available to replace Steve Jones? How much does Joan Jett get paid in royalties every time they play “I Love Rock’n’Roll”, anyway? And why does Steve Jones get dancing girls? They don’t improve him any. Steve Jones says all the performances will be “Rock songs or songs in a rock style.” Can we say cop-out?
Judges come out to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” I don’t believe they are.
Let’s go to the performances, or songs done in a performance style.
LeRoy Bell – “We’ve Got Tonight” Bob Seger. LeRoy’s tattoo represents that he can never have a real job again! LA calls him Boring, then spells it. LA can spell. We’re very proud. As for the singing, this is the least Michael Bolton-ish he’s been since he started. He’s continually flat throughout the song. They’re trying to gospelize this song and it’s not really working. The backing singers and key changes are throwing him off. LA doesn’t think he’s going to sell albums. Paula’s trying to say you need energy, but in a nice way. I think she also wonders why Nicole got the over 30s and she didn’t. Simon calls him a “session singer” and says “you should have been a shark but instead you’re a goldfish.” Nicole lies and says this is his best performance. When confronted with whether he could win, she says: “It’s a possibility.” LeRoy’s upset; his glasses fog up.
Note to Steve Jones: You never say that their comments are horrible, even when they’re mean. You never actually say the judges are harsh. Maybe after watching a few seasons of American Idol he’d pick up how it’s actually done.
Rachel Crow “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Rolling Stones Don’t know how I feel about this, besides CLICHE! This is a horrible song choice for her. And a horrible jacket — with backing dancers in fringe, horrible fringe! It is really creepy seeing her do bedroom eyes. Her voice is decent, but it sounds young and her “attitude” feels put on in the same way that she’s mimicked the whole competition. She sounds like a kid doing karaoke at a birthday party. The 50s soul styling of the song does not help. You can’t fix everything with an LED wall. People give her a standing ovation because it’s over. LA thinks she can sell tickets — but he fails to mention it would be for Kidz Bop. (But don’t underestimate it. THAT SHIT SELLS.) Nicole thinks rock n roll is supposed to be easy, but no, it’s supposed to be sexy. Simon can see Rachel Crow in a Pepsi commercial, standing in the shoes of Hailey Eisenberg.
Chris Rene “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright/No Woman No Cry” Bob Marley. This is not rock n roll. (But he’s gonna do it in a rock style!) He’s gonna sing most of the time — I’m gonna cry! This is the worst version ever. It’s almost unrecognizable. Oh no — he’s rewritten lyrics again. This is more of that rewriting the verses and name-checking the chorus. He’s essentially doing the Fugees version, except they did it MUCH better. He’s wearing the “Jay-Z making money off Occupy Wall Street” Tshirt! Going for the protest votes who were all sent home this week! Nicole thinks this was “very original” but not her favorite performance. Rolling Stone called this one of the best rock songs? But it’s not a rock song. Simon says it would have been great if this was reggae week. AGREED. LA says he’s happy Chris stayed on key. What key? He didn’t really sing! LA is trying to slip his contestant by on a technicality.
Stacy Francis “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” Meatloaf. Stacy says in her video package she has a “loving, deep relationship” with Nicole. This could be interesting. She’s doing it some justice, but I still hear Meatloaf and Celine Dion doing it better. Anddddd the wind machine kicks in! And she stops hitting the notes. It kind of devolved into a puddle of melisma by the end. Paula hated it. Stacy takes the criticism badly. Simon: “I wanted rock, that was a pebble.” He calls her a lounge singer. This is not a cabaret, he says! Nicole says it was the best she’s ever done, but Stacy knows she’s being lied to; her face is broken and she doesn’t smile until she talks about her “Franatics.” Sorry, Astro-Nauts is still a better fanbase name.
Melanie Amaro “Everybody Hurts.” R.E.M. Once again we’re skirting the rock genre. It’s a flawless performance. The incongruous smiling at the pianist is odd. And she takes it to church! Things we learned this evening: R.E.M. works surprisingly well as a gospel song! Things we also learned: It is NOT rock! Nicole demands to know why it didn’t make her cry, because apparently this song always makes her cry. Paula says she took it to church (I think I said that already). The low-lying residual smoke makes it looks like Simon’s on fire.
Josh Krajick “The Pretender” Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters, MTV’s token rock band! Either he’s not singing loud enough, or he’s too low in the mix. This is either too high or too low for his range. Either way there’s no punch to his vocal. All that yelling got him winded by the time he finishes the first chorus. This is so not his style — vocally he’s not comfortable and he’s exhausted. But for all that, this is first rock song sung in a rock style we’ve had all night. LA says Josh is the only one who’s really rocked tonight. Nicole starts talking about herself and gets reigned in.
Astro “Every Breath You Take” Diddy (Puff Daddy at the time). LA says he’s the most popular contestant. Let’s stare at the oddity that is Astro. The glasses aren’t prescription — they’re part of his costume. What’s he going to do with rock and roll, rap? Yes, yes he is. Once again, like Chris Rene, the verses are rewritten and the song is only name-checked in the chorus. And again, he’s not singing either. He’s not singing, and this is not rock. It’s right there in the lyrics “Hip Hop.” “I miss you, hip hop” is Astro’s final line. Nicole, Paula and Simon all ask the wrong question. The question is not whether he’s old enough to win 5million, if he’s the best contestant or if this is rock or rap. The question is, is Astro a Mutation, or the next step in the evolution of this genre of show? There’s no time to contemplate that now. I’ll come back to it.
Lakoda Rayne “Use Your Love” The Outfield/”You Can Go Your Own Way” Fleetwood Mac. One of the girls in this manufactured group was born in South Africa. No trace of an accent. The Outfield song is so boring in its original format, and even worse as Lakoda Rayne performs it. Glee would kill this. Once the mash up comes in, it becomes obvious they should have just done a Fleetwood Mac song — it’s already set up with great harmonies! The mash up was just the way they get around having the girls sing the verses of the song. If they didn’t like the message of the verses, they should have just done a different Fleetwood Mac song. This looks like what a group of 13-year-old girls make in those video booths at Bat Mitzvahs. They’re even dressed like it. None of the judges want to say how bad it was because we all know they’re bound for the bottom 2. Oh wait, Simon says it. Good for Simon.
Rock week is making me miss Idol and Adam Lambert and David Cook, Kris Allen and all the others who actually did, y’know, rock. They should really stop trying to put a theme to each week and just call it “whatever songs we felt like doing.”
Drew “With or Without You.” U2. At least she didn’t do a drippy ballad version of “One.” This song is always beautiful. I know this is exactly the same drippy ballad thing she’s done four weeks running now that I complained about last week, but it’s gorgeous. Up until the children’s chorus backing her. Eccch. Simon is still daydreaming dollar signs when he stares at her. I love the arrangement of her voice, the notes she chooses to emphasize, they are good, grown-up decisions. She’s doing a Tori Amos style, before Tori got weird. This could be really great as her own album, her own songs. But her doing the same thing over and over is going to get boring to voters. Americans need something with pep. Nicole is frustrated with Drew the way I was last week. Simon better realise that this isn’t the UK, his girls can’t do ballads every single week and get away with it.
Marcus Canty “Piece of My Heart” Janis Joplin. Saving the blandest for last? Janis? Really? Gospel here we come! Oh no. No nonononono. This is bad. Like Usher singing Janis Joplin, if Usher couldn’t sing. Choreography has him crawling through the dancers legs? Ewww. This is just terrible. The pyrotechnics can’t hide the badness. Cover our ears with something flashy, not our eyes. This is tragic, because Marcus can actually sing, we’re heard him sing better than this. Instead he’s just lost among the dancing girls. Nicole says he lit the stage on fire. Nope, that was just the pyro. LA is blowing sunshine and fairies at Marcus and he doesn’t know it.
TO RECAP! LeRoy was underpitch. Rachel Crow was covered in fringe. Chris Rene realllllly can’t sing. Stacy Francis can sing, but someone needs to teach her restraint. REM makes a great gospel song. Josh was the closest thing we had to rock all night. Astro is going to need his own blog post. Lakoda Rayne: Wooooh Bat Mitzvah! With or Without You makes a great drippy ballad. And Marcus do not got it cuz it don’t make me feel good. And we’re done with 2 mins to spare. Steve Jones is very proud of himself!
We got one rock performance in Josh, and 9 people in the bottom. Of those 9, Lakoda Rayne will definitely be in the bottom 2. And let’s face it, most likely LeRoy. I think the only reason he’s made it this far is because all the groups had to go home first. I’d like to think Chris or Marcus is in the bottom, but I know better. The only question is if two trips to the bottom will be the end of Lakoda the way it was the end of the Hoggz, or if the judges will save them twice to save Paula complete embarrassment.