Josh proved he’s not just a wildcard — he’s a superstar in the making! Did you love his performance as much as we did?
Proving oldies never go out of style, The X Factor‘s final 13 contestants — last week’s final 12, plus one surprise wild-card return — took on some of Motown’s most beloved classics on the competition show’s Nov. 6 episode. Some contestants, like Josh Levi, shone bright. Sadly, others fell flat, basically confirming their spot on tomorrow night’s chopping block. Read on for HollywoodLife.com‘s take on the evening, including our favorite acts!
‘The X Factor’: Top 13 Take On Motown… To Varying Degrees Of Success
Josh Levi — the surprise wildcard who got a chance to return and redeem himself — kicked off the night with a soulful performance of “Who’s Loving You,” which the judges loved. Simon Cowell even told him that this performance took him from “zero to hero!” (Welcome back, Josh.)
Up next, Rachel Potter took a bit of a risk with a sped-up version of “This Old Heart Of Mine.” Her risk must have paid off, though, because she got (mostly) high praise from the judges, including Demi Lovato, who remarked that Rachel has “come a long way since the four-chair challenge.” (That was a compliment, right?)
Then came Carlos Guevara with the first sub-par performance of the evening. His take on “What’s Going On” left the judges asking themselves that very same question. “I thought it was cool for your voice,” Kelly Rowland told him, “but you could have done better.” (Ouch! Carlos is definitely on the chopping block after that.)
Fortunately, our spirits were quickly lifted by the boys of Restless Road. The all-American trio’s rendition of “Easy” won over the judges — and the screaming girls — with Simon prophesying, “I can see you in the finals.” (As can I, Simon. As can I.)
Ellona Santiago — who, bless her heart, is juggling SAT prep with X Factor prep — proved she’s a force to be reckoned with. After her performance of “Baby Love,” Kelly referred to her as “a little powerhouse,” and Demi said she “couldn’t be prouder.” (No lie, I’m in awe of this girl. I see her sticking around for a good long while.)
A super-nervous Jeff Gutt came out swinging, putting his signature rock edge on the classic tune “Say You Say Me,” and the judges has plenty to say about it. Paulina Rubio, for example, said she loved his “energy,” while Simon said Jeff delivered the “best vocals of the night.”
Genetically flawless — and hopelessly lovable — couple Alex & Sierra brought their usual adorable flair with “Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which Demi remarked was “sexy and hot!” Then Paulina made things super weird, telling them, “You make me sweat. I want you to kiss.” (Yikes! Save it for backstage, Paulina.)
Khaya Cohen, who continues to slay us with her incredible vocals, got a special honor from Simon after her performance of “My Girl.” The grumpy Brit said she sounded like Amy Winehouse! (I think Khaya is definitely one to watch this season, especially if she continues to improve as she has been.)
A harsh lesson was learned by Carlito Olivero, who put a little too much “girly” energy — Simon’s word, not mine — into his rendition of “Stop In The Name Of Love.” (Why, oh why, did he do this as a ballad? Carlito needs to find his ‘way’ soon, or he won’t last much longer.)
Thankfully, Lillie McCloud quickly took the stage to purge Carlito from our collective memory. Her powerful performance of “All In Love Is Fair” blew our minds, inspiring Paulina to refer to Lillie as a “goddess.” (If this woman doesn’t make it to the finals, I’m losing all faith in democracy. I’m #TeamSexyGrandma all the way.)
Another solid performance came from girl group Sweet Suspense, who got everyone out of their seats with an upbeat rendition of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” The judges were so thrilled with the ladies that they showered them with adjectives like “special” and “sensational.” (And I’m inclined to echo that!)
Next up was one of the world’s most talented eighth graders, Rion Page, who blew the judges away by putting her own spin on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Kelly wasn’t thrilled with Rion’s version of the song, but Demi and Simon disagreed, calling the whole performance “beautiful.”
Tim Olstad, on the other hand, was a little more disappointing. Though the judges know he’s super-talented, his cover of “I’ll Be There” failed to meet their expectations of him at this point. “You have an incredible voice,” Demi told him, before describing his performance as “an incredible karaoke song.” (Hey, at least she said it was incredible! Right?)
WATCH: Josh Levi Performs ‘Who’s Loving You’
HollywoodLifers, which act(s) did you love most tonight — and who do you think deserves to be the next one voted off? Personally, we were all about Lillie McCloud and Josh Levi. (Seriously, why did that kid have to come back at a wild card? He was so good tonight!) Vote for your favorite act, then drop a comment with your thoughts on the season’s current standings.
— Andy Swift