The X-Factor: Live Show – Top 12 Podcast

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Episode 28 direct download

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Time Stamps
0:00 – The Stacy & Dexter controversies, group routine lip syncing, the Eliminations show format and PEPSI!
7:50 – Bottom Two – The Stereo Hogzz (Yep, they’re lip syncing!) and InTENsity
12:36- Leroy Bell
14:32 – Rachel Crow
16:40 – Lakoda Rayne
18:20 – Brian “Astro” Bradley
20:34 – Drew
23:06 – Quick words about the other acts: Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Marcus Canty and Stacy Francis
30:06 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 31:46

Vocal artists and lip syncing, this topic gets debates raging about what’s acceptable and what’s not in the world of music performance. It’s known that pop artists make use of lip syncing when their live shows involve lots of dancing or when performing and sometimes during late night television appearances, but what’s more controversial is whether this practice has a place in singing competitions. The X-Factor showed us in several instances that lip syncing is being used during the elimination episodes, from Leroy Bell’s vocal cue mishap during the group number to the Stereo Hogzz using a backing track during their survival song “Emotion.” To our ears, it also sounds like the Stereo Hogzz’s live Wednesday performance contained enhanced background vocals to beef up the sound. FOX issued a statement about the observations, which admits to lip syncing being used during the top 12 group number and for the backing tracks in the survival songs.

Aside from the lip syncing stuff, the performance episode contained a mixed bag of performances, from the excellent Melanie Amaro and Drew to our lukewarm reaction to Chris Rene. Rachel Crow’s performance did not work for us, being too focused on flash at the expense of substance. Rachel’s vocals again weren’t as strong as we’ve seen from her (see “Mercy” and “If I Were A Boy”), but we’re more concerned about the image and performance style Simon grafted on to her. It’s bubblegum pop that wears thin on the ears. Josh Krajcik’s “Jar of Hearts” performance also had its issues in the first half of the song. The arrangement placed him in the bottom-end of his range, which led to several sour notes and the loss of his trademark bluesy grit. By the end he regained his strength, but we’re not happy that Nicole gave him a song that made half the performance weak.

Lakoda Rayne we found to be the worst act of the night, from the brutal harmony clashes at several points in the song to the “sweet” arrangement and performance that jarred with the lyrical content of “Landslide.” We don’t know what in the world the judges were thinking with the “singing with one voice” comment, or why the dresses were the point of contention, a silly superficial distraction from the larger problems of the number. For them to be the only safe group on Thursday night shocked and confused us, begging the question, who likes this and is voting for them?

We agree that Steve Jones needs a new tagline (“Bye bye” doesn’t work), that Nicole needs to give Leroy Bell songs that are closer to his solo album material and that Vote For The Worst’s pick of Astro doesn’t bother us at all. InTENsity’s departure, while sad, doesn’t upset us as we weren’t too attached to any of the groups. As we discussed in previous podcasts, we were expecting the various groups to go home first in the competition. And Marcus Canty, while a fun performer, isn’t proving to be memorable for us. James in particular completely forgot what his performance sounded and looked like by the time we got around to recording the podcast!

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! Leave us a comment here, on Pure X-Factor or tweet us. We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

  1. Alex
    November 21, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    “Although we’re still of the belief that we’d like her to wait a couple more years until her voice develops”

    And yet Rachel could probably sing rings around whoever said the above.
    Sour grapes anyone?

    How long do we need to wait for Astro or Drew to develop any talent at all? 🙂

    • November 21, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      I never claimed to be a singer, and in the podcasts I’ve had nothing but good words for the amazing vocal abilities of someone like Melanie Amaro, so I fail to see your point about my words being “sour grapes.” If you bothered to listen to the podcast and read the rest of the sentence beyond what you quoted, you’d see that we gave lots of compliments to Rachel. But the reality is that she’s going through puberty and her voice is still transitioning. At times her voice has a youthful, precocious quality (which we don’t enjoy) that should smooth out in a couple years. That’s what we meant by “develop further.” Our general issue is that it’s this young quality that is being emphasized in her performances instead of the depth we know she’s capable of (see her last boot camp performance).

      It looks like we touched a nerve, not everyone thinks Rachel is the best performer in the competition. And just because you don’t understand what he’s doing doesn’t mean Astro is talentless, he’s got loads of it 🙂

      Thanks for the drive-by comment.

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