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'X Factor' Recap: Chris Rene & Melanie Amaro Dominate Semi-Finals

Wed, December 14, 2011 9:47pm EDT by 42 Comments
X Factor Semi Finals

It’s down to the semi-finals and I think it’s pretty obvious who will be eliminated before the final three!

After last week’s emotional and shocking elimination, it seemed like there was a big weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders tonight on The X Factor. With all the kids eliminated, the adults came out to play — and I think Marcus Canty will be the one left behind tomorrow, as Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik all brought their A-games.

Round one consisted of songs chosen for the contestants by people voting on the Pepsi Challenge. Here’s what went down:

Marcus Canty: Marcus threw the dance moves out tonight in exchange for a rose and lots and lots of fog. His romantic ballad was sweet, I guess. But it definitely wasn’t my favorite song, or performance. “You’re the entertainer of the group and you didn’t disappoint,” Paula Abdul said, sweetly. I agreed more with Simon Cowell, who said the staging with the dancers and the rose didn’t fit the song. Zzzzz.

Chris Rene: Luckily for Chris, he was given a better song (Sugar Ray‘s “I Just Wanna Fly”) than Marcus. The laid back beat worked well with Chris’ whole image. However, I felt like he was out of breath for much of the performance. He does such a better job with his original music. I really don’t like when he covers other people’s work. After he finished, the crowd was going nuts in the background, chanting his name. Clearly, at the time of his performance, he was the winner.

Melanie Amaro: The Pepsi Challenge voters couldn’t have picked a more fitting song for Melanie. She belted Mariah Carey‘s “Hero” like it was written for her. It gave me chills. “I didn’t feel your usual passion,” L.A. Reid complained. Disagree. I’m sick of Simon and L.A. tearing each other down through their contestants. Also, I have to applaud Melanie this time around — she didn’t talk too much, which was really nice.

Josh Krajcik: Josh killed The Beatles’ “Come Together” and finally came back into his own. I’m still baffled that his look hasn’t changed at all throughout the course of the show, but his voice is insane. “You attack our souls. You get into us. It’s unbelievable,” Paula said. “You’ve come back and you’ve come back strong this week,” Simon raved. “It would be a massive shame if you weren’t in the finals next week.” I would be upset if he didn’t make it.

Here was round two:

Marcus Canty: I thought the little electronic bridge in Marcus’ rendition of George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper” was a great way to make it more relevant and current. Also, he looked sharp in his white suit. All of that said, I like him, but I don’t think he’s meant to be in the finals next week. I see Marcus performing in Las Vegas or at a theme park — not selling out world tours. “This was a joke, an absolute joke,” Simon said. “Seriously, L.A. that was as bad as I’ve ever seen.” I wouldn’t go that far. However, it wasn’t my favorite performance.

Chris Rene: I got chills when I heard Chris would be playing piano tonight and then I started crying when he talked about saying goodbye to his cancer-stricken dad. This guy sure does pull at heart strings, doesn’t he? I was a little bummed he sang “No One” by Alicia Keys instead of another original, but Chris still managed to make it his own. “You may be the dark horse in this competition. Good for you!” Simon said. (Side note: Did anyone catch this? “Your spirit transcends across the universe,” Nicole said. HA! She says the most ridiculous stuff. I’m so over her.)

Melanie Amaro: I was nervous when L.A. and Simon were making such a huge stink about this mystery “classic” song (“Feeling Good”) but wow, this was her best performance to date. From the very first note to the last wailing pitch, Melanie couldn’t have sung this sone better if she tried. Plus, she looked phenomenal in her black fitted dress. I have to admit, Simon does a fantastic job of styling his contestants. After this performance, I’m torn between Chris and Melanie as my favorites.

Josh Krajcik: Josh pulled out the good old standard “Hallelujah” and played the piano while he wailed. I thought it was simple, yet beautiful. I can’t wait to hear Josh’s original music — the tone of his voice is unforgettable. He’s a pro.

After tonight, I will be absolutely devastated if Josh, Melanie and Chris aren’t the performers in the finals next week. Marcus has had a great run of it, but it’s time for him to go. (And if Steve Jones and Nicole Sczherzinger were to get the boot too, I wouldn’t be upset…)

What did YOU think of tonight?


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