Friday, November 30, 2012

The X Factor: Red, White and Why is CeCe Frey Still Here?

If you're here, then you're most likely a fan of big time talent show, The X Factor.  This is my second X Factor entry on this blog; my first featured my favourite UK contestant from season 7, Cher Lloyd.  I'm happy to see that my predictions have been right; although she didn't win the competition, she has been successful after the show.  I love her fun, charming and poppy style and I really believe that she will continue to make waves in the music industry.

The beautiful Cher Lloyd rocking a red pouty lip
As the title suggests though, this entry will focus on The X Factor USA.  I've been following the second season and I've been enjoying it for the most part but find myself frustrated about some others, which I'll get into later.  There are definitely some wonderful acts that I have been rooting for.  At this point of the competition though, I see one act with the undeniable X Factor; that would be the amazingly talented Carly Rose Sonenclar.  At the tender age of 13 she has proven to be a force of nature with a remarkable singing voice.  She is a major sweetheart and never fails to captivate the audience.

America's sweetheart Carly Rose Sonenclar
Britney Spears is a great mentor and I feel she does a great job figuring out what works for her acts and what America wants to see.  Britney is the gravitational force that had me tune in.  The Queen of Pop definitely doesn't have trouble drawing in a crowd.  I'm so glad to see her on the judges panel.  I love Ms. Spears' funny facial expressions and honest feedback.  Her body of experience makes her a great asset to The X Factor team.

The many faces of Britney Spears
I feel the opposite about judge and mentor Demi Lovato.  While I think she's personally talented and very likeable, I feel she doesn't quite understand the competition.  Her acts have not been strong under her guidance.  I've never felt blown away by any of them during the live shows, except when Paige Thomas sang Coldplay's "Paradise" for a survival song (having been in the bottom 2.)  Everything about that performance was brilliant, but unfortunately Paige's talent couldn't be showcased in this fashion during regular live performances and she has been sent home this week.  I really wish the best of luck to Paige Thomas.  She seems like a very sweet person who has the passion and drive to follow her heart and dreams.

Paige Thomas and her adorable daughter on stage during auditions
I feel Demi really needs to start listening to Simon Cowell.  Every time Simon has an opinion about one of her acts, I am in full agreement.  I feel she is doing her acts a disservice by not taking any of Simon's feedback.  He's been doing this show for a long time and understands the perfect formulation for The X Factor.

Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell in disagreement on the X Factor judges panel
Demi makes a lot of bad decisions, but I think there is one decision she should have never made.  I saw a star in one of the acts she didn't put through onto the live shows.  I believe that if Jillian Jensen, whose audition has now reached over 10 million hits on YouTube, had the chance to perform live, Demi would've had an act that would've made it far...maybe even win.  Although seeing how Demi's acts have been doing under her wing, maybe it's in Jillian's best interest to have not made it through this time.  I hope Jillian tries again, because I know she can go far in the competition.  Who doesn't like a good comeback!

Jillian Jensen pouring her heart and soul on stage during auditions
With that said lets get to the nitty gritty.  You may disagree with me, but I can't help but feel this way after seeing so many wonderful acts being sent home. I strongly feel CeCe Frey should not have lasted this long in the competition.  She has been in the bottom 2 far too often, and I feel she gets saved any week that America sees she's in a vulnerable position.  In this season they reveal the rankings of the American vote and her results have been very volatile.  It almost seems she is getting the pity vote whenever she suddenly jumps a few rankings up, from being in the bottom 2 the previous week.

It's so sad that someone like Vino Alan who has been in the top 3 numerous times, is being sent home this week.  What a shame.  Vino Alan has a soulful and powerful voice, so much heart and a loveable personality.  He's an example of not to judge a book by its cover.  With his rough and tumble exterior, inside he is nothing but a big pool of love!  He does a lot of great work spreading joy to the troops with his voice and I really hope that life outside The X Factor treats him well, but I'm sure it will! Good luck Vino!

Vino Alan connecting with the audience
Back to my rant though...I'm going to sound like Gretchen Weiners from the movie Mean Girls talking about "Queen Bee" Regina George, but what's so special about CeCe Frey?  Yes, she's a beautiful girl, but the X Factor is more than just looks (ex. Susan Boyle.)  CeCe misses the mark on all other points.  Her vocals are not technically sound.  While she has a powerful voice, I often find her songs are sung flat or off key.  Watch Demi's facial expressions and you can see even she is not impressed.  Each week I have not seen her progress in the vocal department.  On another account, her personality is seriously lacking.  Demi, who is CeCe's mentor, even said during the judges houses that her personality was unlikeable...and I still find her to be.  If CeCe Frey is not sent home next week, then I will have to say goodbye to another amazing act.

The remaining acts include:
  1. Diamond White:  This young diva is like a little Whitney Houston.  I know that whatever happens in the competition she has a future in music.
  2. Fifth Harmony:  These wonderful girls have formed a strong and genuine bond over the course of the competition.  Each of them on their own sound amazing and together they are incredible.  It's exciting to see the birth of a new girl group.  Girl power all the way!
  3. Emblem3: These boys with their fun and energetic personalities and cool Cali sound weren't always a favourite of mine, but they've definitely grown on me.  They have proved to be a talented group over the course of the live shows and I know they have more musical skills to showcase.
  4. Tate Stevens:  To have a country singer in the competition is refreshing.  You may be surprised to hear this, but I happen to like myself some country.  He's definitely a fan favourite and his devotion to his wife is so lovely.  He dedicates every performance to her...doesn't that melt your heart!
  5. Carly Rose Sonenclar:  Need I say more?
In conclusion, if CeCe takes out another talented act who is far more unique, loveable and talented than her, then this blogger is going to have a virtual hissy fit haha.  Okay maybe not that bad but I'll be kind of disappointed as a viewer.  Now don't get me wrong CeCe fans, I never said she outright sucked, I just think she doesn't embody The X Factor.  Remember American voters...this show is the X Factor, not season 2 and on of American Idol...no more pity votes please!  And now I leave you with CeCe...

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