It is Michael Jackson week on X Factor. The top 7 are performing and there will be another double elimination this week. But there is another surprise in store…the Jackson brothers come out to show their support. They are in the audience and so are his children, watching. Wow.
Up first is Josh. He is nervous, because he says this music is out of his realm a little, so he will have to strive harder to own it. He sings and plays guitar to…are those writhing women on the floor? Anyway, Josh is singing Dirty Diana. Even though he was nervous, he seems to do a good job of it. LA said it was cool and proud that he stepped out of his comfort zone. Paula said it was show-stopping. Simon said he was over-produced and buried under the choreography. Nicole says she likes to take risks and it paid off.
Astro takes the stage next. He also thinks he is stepping out of his comfort zone to adapt a song. He chooses Black or White and does a nice job with it. Michael’s children in the audience seem to agree too. Nicole and Paula dance while he sings. Nicole says it was BAD, but not her favorite performance. Paula said he was extraordinary. Simon disagrees with Nicole and says he made it younger and fitting. He loved it. LA said it was excellent. He hopes the family is proud.
Drew gets her turn to do her version of Michael. Will she actually step out of her box or make it her folksy version? Simon has stripped away the props. She starts out sounding like the same old Drew, singing Billie Jean. And yes, she has Drewified it…with a little bit more upbeat tone. Was Simon right in choosing this route for her? LA says even though she made it her own, he liked it. Nicole says she likes Drew, but not how Simon is playing it safe by keeping her sitting in the chair. Paula said it was her best vocal performance but Simon made a mistake of not making it visual too. Simon starts out by saying too much dancing is why her acts are out of the competition. Ouch. Simon loves how she did it.
Rachel goes onstage and starts to sing with a lot of enthusiasm. And lots of visual. Why didn’t Simon let Drew have some of that visual so Rachel wasn’t overshadowed? I don’t like the song, but she does a great job with it. LA said he didn’t believe she was having a good time with this song. Nicole said she didn’t feel the connection with everything that was going on on the stage, even though she likes her. Paula didn’t think the song fit her either. Simon says it was anti-Simon night and she put on a fine show.
Marcus is back and going to sing Pretty Young Thing. He has dancers and visuals, but this song seemed to actually fit him. He connected with it and had a lot of energy. Paula and Nicole stand up and dance to this one too. Nicole loved the performance. Paula says he is the whole package and the entertainer of the show. Simon agrees with Paula but said his vocals weren’t very good. LA says he loved it.
Chris, another rapper, gets a chance. How will he make a Michael song a rap? He takes I’ll Be There and actually rocks it! He does an excellent job making it his own, yet sounding true to Michael. He looked comfortable on the stage and the vocals were solid. What will the judges think? Nicole said she felt the spirit and it was beautiful with a fresh spin. Paula says he looks the best he has looked thus far and has a lot of heart and can connect. Simon said the vocal was shaky but it was a smart choice. Simon says he will need a lot of votes to keep him in. Ouch. LA says the performance speaks for itself and he did a great job.
Last is Melanie, Simon’s darling. Can she take a song and wow people away with it? She sings What About Us and wails with it. Nice visual, lots of dancers and background singers. Will the other three judges still find something to criticize, since it was Simon’s singer? LA thought he was at a concert and not a competition. Probably the best of the night. Nicole says it was the best of the night and of the show thus far. Paula said she was flawless and nailed it. Simon, of course, says he is proud and amazing.