The X Factor's Night of Double Performances: Did Carly Rose Finally Show Some Weakness?

By Staff

Dec 06, 2012

Your hosts arrived on stage as different people following Mario's weekend marriage and Khloe's weekend spray tan to announce another double elimination this week. The episode intro failed to explain the premise for the evening, which had each singer perform twice. It makes you wonder why The X Factor bothers with the brief host segments if not to pass that information along.

Here are our thoughts on the night's performances, listed in the order they took place.

1. Cece Frey – Cece went first and revealed the first of this week's songs would be acoustic (or piano) backed. So naturally she sat on a piano to sing "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. There was nothing particularly wrong about it—she hit the notes, even if she shouted a few of them. L.A. decided he's "starting to become a fan." Britney thought it was only good, not great. Simon flat-out said it: "I don't think you are worth the five-million-dollar recording contract."

Note: this is only the second weirdest X Factor performance that has started off on top of a piano; This UK act easily tops it.

2. Emblem3 – They performed second this week and their intro video featured Demi bashing their repetitiveness. So they brought out their own guitar and took a seat on the stage for a Bruno Mars song. L.A. oddly took the opportunity to bash Fifth Harmony's inability to harmonize. Britney thought it was Emblem3's best performance of the competition. Demi called them "a downgraded version of the Jonas Brothers from five years ago." Simon straight-up called her dumb in response. The gloves are off!

3. Carly Rose Sonneclar – She broke her streak of doing "bigger" songs for an acoustic Justin Bieber number this week, perhaps the first attempt to market herself to a younger generation. She was solid, but the judges really went crazy for it. Demi thought it was her best and made a comparison to Jojo, who hasn't been relevant in years. Simon said that most girls Carly Rose's age are "annoying," but she isn't. Britney again gloated over her great luck as a judge.

4. Fifth Harmony – They went for an Adele song this week and did their usual alternating leads thing instead of harmonizing. L.A. called out some background singers on the sides of the stage and suggested another new name: "Fifth Unison." Britney wondered what separates them from other girl groups. Demi boldly suggested they might be better as solo artists, which we've been calling for from the start. Simon emphasized their great personalities and L.A. shot right back: "This isn't a competition of niceness." He's right.

5. Diamond White – There was a lot of Diamond-bashing in her intro video given she survived in place of Vino Alan last week. L.A. said he wanted more Britney in her performances. So this week she sang a conspicuously not-acoustic "It's a Man's World," which she also sang in her audition. It felt a bit rushed at times, but she certainly hit some impressive notes. As the song ended, however, she delivered a swift ninja kick to the mic stand, which was completely unnecessary and hilarious. L.A. said she brought "attitude" and "showbiz," which probably referred entirely to the mic-stand dropkick. That's exactly what Demi focused on as well, so we guess it worked. Simon was bummed by the song choice, having heard her sing it before, and he called it "a little bit screechy."

6. Tate Stevens – In his intro video, L.A. and Tate shared beers and discussed Tate's wife. It was awkward. But then, a "Living on a Prayer" alert! A bold, bold choice just outside his usual skill set. And while we liked it, he didn't attempt the highest note on the chorus! We were also weirdly distracted by the expressive twin guitar players who were backing him. Britney said he's moving too far away from "down the middle country." Demi called out the lack of that high note, the best part of the segment. Simon said Tate doing Bon Jovi during acoustic week "is like taking a goldfish for a walk... (awkward pause)... in other words, you can't." Yep.

"The Pepsi Challenge" – A New Thing They Made Up
An hour into the show, the hosts announced "The Pepsi Challenge," which allowed the Twitter audience some input into second song choice of the evening and also invited them to offer suggestions on performance and wardrobe. We had no idea this was happening, so kudos if you did and participated.

1. Cece Frey – The fans chose Katy Perry's "Part of Me" and a return of the leopard spots, which was a lot of fun, but led to some shouting and a few awkward pauses while Cece caught her breath for the high notes. L.A. reversed course entirely and called it a karaoke performance. Then Britney reversed course as well and complimented Cece's energy. Simon felt the love and declared that he would miss her as she's "a tryer." Demi jumped all over Britney's compliment: "If the Princess of Pop is sitting right here saying you did a good job, I think you did a good job."

Consider, though, having survived this far it's not inconceivable that the Cece Miracle continues. She's got a bit of Ke$ha in her. Autotune her up and she's in business. Add a clever indie director for her music video and we still believe you could be looking at a star.

2. Emblem3 – The audience went with "Forever Young," performed in front of a band. And to meet L.A.'s biggest concern, Emblem3 did harmonize quite well. We've realized, though, that the douchiest of the three Emblems, the one who raps... one second... (Googling...) Drew, is the painfully weak link vocally. Still, we enjoyed the performance, even though it lacked some of their signature jumping around. So did the judges: L.A. thought they nailed it. Britney called it a superstar performance. This led to Demi, who thought it was much better than the first performance, but wanted them to "work the stage." Simon didn't really know what that meant.

Khloe stepped in as host and focused on one of the more important matters at hand—trying to figure out which Emblem Demi has a crush on. Drew then stepped up to the mic before the director silenced them (always a risk) and issued an awkward statement that he probably didn't mean to sound like a goodbye: "We're going to do something awesome with our lives. So thank you so much."

3. Carly Rose Sonneclar – The audience chose Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy," which Carly Rose tried to go big with. This is the first time we've been down on Carly, but apparently we're wrong as "Carly" chants rained down from the audience... and L.A. Reid as well. Demi called it "a phenomenal vocal," but wanted something up-tempo. This led to more awkward sniping between Demi and Simon, including Simon's second use of the word "naughty" for the evening. More on that later.

(For fun, compare Carly Rose's performance to Rachel Crow's version of the song fom last season, which we think tops it.)

4. Fifth Harmony – Simon was supremely annoyed that the audience chose Demi's song "Give Your Heart a Break," but Fifth Harmony nailed this one. Perhaps their best performance ever and all four judges agreed. L.A.: "Unbelieveable, I actually heard harmony." Demi said the song was better than the original. Simon then put on his smug face for a minute and used the phrase "girl power."

5. Diamond White – The audience got a little cheeky here, having Diamond White sing Rihanna's "Diamonds." It's unclear whether they also specified she be lowered to the stage in a diamond cage, but that's what happened. We didn't mind it at all, but L.A. disagreed. Demi thought she looked like a star on stage. Simon credited the staging, but basically signed Diamond's death warrant by citing the competition she's up against, adding a somewhat dismissive, "Overall, I think you've had a good night." Mario then confirmed the audience was responsible for the staging choices. We're hoping this was simply the work of a single clever Twitter user.

6. Tate Stevens – The audience chose one right in Tate's wheelhouse with "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks. Backstage, Tate's wife looked nervous, but Britney enjoyed the performance and Simon welcomed him back to the competition. Only Demi was a little bored, but at least we know she's consistent. Tate gave another shoutout to "Tate Nation" and we chuckled along with the less mature viewers out there.

"Let's do it live!" Our favorite judge and host moments of the night

– When Cece tried to thank her fans for their support, the mic cut out for the majority of her speech.

– When Demi leaned in to interrupt Simon's Emblem3 intro, he said he would send her to the "naughty corner" soon. This made us extremely uncomfortable, as Simon undoubtedly calls a wing of one of his mansions the "naughty corner." Later in the show, he updated it to the "naughty chair," which he surely has on a few of his private jets.

– Mario mentioned a Carly Rose sign reading "Carly is Gnarly," and his delivery made him sound like the oldest person in the world.

– Mario also announced that Ke$ha will be on tonight's show and called out Britney's previous faux pas in calling her "Quisha." We poked fun at this when it happened, but we'd like to imagine that Simon chewed him out backstage for messing with the Princess of Pop.

– Simon gave a vote of approval to the audience choosing the songs, so apparently we'll do it again next week. We don't know how the process works, though, so if it's something you're excited about, please let us know how to join the party.


1. Did Carly Rose offer a first hint of weakness?

2. Are you on board the Cece train?

3. Will the show really let the audience choose all the songs next week?

  • Comments (15)
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  • rasa_radz Dec 07, 2012

    Could Simon Cowell please button up his shirts? I would really like to keep my eyes from burning, k? Thanks.

  • c07111 Dec 07, 2012

    XFactor for all it's glam and glitter and stage productions, seem somewhat cheesy. The loudness of the audience while the contestants are singing is distracting and irritating. Poor Diamond White, has a great voice she just needs some vocal training on how to control it. And Jojo is very relevant to ppl who like and enjoy ppl who can actually sing. Which doesn't seem to be the ingredient for pop star anymore. Carly Rose is of course the best vocalist out of the bunch.

  • draustin1953 Dec 06, 2012

    1. Carly Rose did not offer a hint of weakness 2. i am not on board the Cece train 3. I hope the audience does not get to pick songs for next week... !!

    I was going to do the the Pepsi challenge and pick songs , clothes, etc. The song choices to pick from for each arrtist were all !! really bad !!, and the other choices (clothes, hair, etc ) were stupid, so I did not finish and submit my selections....

    about next week, if the choices are as bad as this week, don't let the audience decide.
    imo.. fix the Pepsi challenge or drop it from the show. I think it made all the contestants performances worse last night.

  • patsully Dec 07, 2012

    I'm sure they were terrified of making the Pepsi Challenge too open. Imagine what the Internet would have chosen if they hadn't limited the options...

  • InkramNestoes Dec 06, 2012

    I really don't get all the Emblem3 love, they are so bad, only one can actually sing. I loved their first audition, that was great, something different. But for some the X Factor just doesn't work well, it definitely destroyed Emblem3. They already act like they are superstars now, they feel way to good.

    I'm so torn about Cece right now, I kinda like her, I kinda don't like her at all. I just don't know what to think about her anymore. I liked both performances of her this week and she can actually be a popstar, but she can also be very annoying. This girl... I just don't know!

    My favorites are Carly (just wonderful) Fifth Harmony (Give Your Heart a Break was amazing, best performance!) and Diamond, don't know why everybody is so harsh on her, she has a great voice and I really liked her rendition of Diamonds! I like Tate too but it's just not my style of music but he's really humble and seems genuinely sweet. I can really see him go big in country, but he doesn't need to win the X Factor in my opinion.

    I really missed Paige this week though!

  • bendylegsnick Dec 07, 2012

    Ugh, you're the worst.

  • patsully Dec 07, 2012

    Which part is the worst? Have to agree with Fifth Harmony being pretty great last night.

  • bonezrulz05 Dec 06, 2012

    I hardly think Mario is in a position to be calling out Britney for mispronouncing names when he outright didn't even know Carly's surname and called her Carly Rose Sonenblurg. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • draustin1953 Dec 06, 2012

    I have had a very low opinion of Mario Lopez as an entertainer for several years... It is so low that I can't imagine anything he does making it any worse

  • patsully Dec 07, 2012

    He's still way better than Steve Jones (last year's host).

  • StefanoSeebin Dec 06, 2012

    I can't get behind of any X Factor's contestants. It's just karaoke.

  • patsully Dec 07, 2012

    Even Carly Rose? That would be some other world karaoke.

  • StefanoSeebin Dec 11, 2012

    Especially her. Singers her age haven't lived, ergo can't be believed. I want authentic singers singing about authentic things. Not doing impressions of their idols.