By Jessica Galang
Emblem 3, Fifth Harmony, Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar are the final four left standing in the competition, and it’s getting super intense. You can tell all the musicians have their game face on and are bringing it with everything they have. Like last week, the acts will sing two songs: One chosen by the singers themselves, and one chosen by their mentor. Every performance is getting better and showing the true potential of the artists, which is why it’s getting hard to pick just three favourites.
Emblem 3 – “Baby I Love Your Way” (Picked by Emblem 3)
Emblem 3 picked this song because they said it’s their mother and father’s favourite song (Aww!). I’m a sucker for oldies, and I felt like their cover was really modern and creative; I wasn’t a big fan of the rapping part, but I still liked that they put their own personal spin on a classic. Like LA said, they’re super charismatic and they’re good at getting the audience into every performance. Demi said it was the first time she felt they actually lived up to what she expected of them. Twitter user @sassquatchet tweeted “I actually really think Emblem 3 deserves to be in the finals — they have such a unique, raw sound that’s so different than everything today”
Tate Stevens – “Fall” by Clay Walker (Picked by LA)
LA picked an emotional song for Tate, and he performed it so well I felt like he was singing on his wedding day. I don’t even know what to say about Tate anymore – I think everyone understands that his voice is impeccable and unwavering in every performance, and even if he doesn’t win first place, this show won’t be the last we’ll see of him. Demi said: “Your wife must feel like the luckiest girl in the world, spending your fifteenth anniversary singing your heart out to her.” Simon said he was happy that Tate decided to enter the competition.
Carly Rose Sonenclar – “Imagine” by John Lennon (Picked by Britney) Read more…
By Jessica Galang
Everyone knows intense emotion and reality TV go together, which is why this week’s X-Factor will be perfect for the reality junkie. Last night, the top 10 sang songs dedicated to people they’re thankful for. The Thanksgiving-friendly theme was perfect for falling-behind acts like Arin Ray and Paige to get a popularity boost, but unfortunately neither did as well as they could have. Still, I found myself fighting back tears because some of the stories were so emotional — particularly CeCe’s.
While it was difficult to choose the best (I had a lot of favourites tonight), here are my top three picks for this week:
Carly Rose Sonenclar – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
Carly Rose might as well have her own reservation on my list every week. Her voice, which is so good I swear it should be illegal, was amazing as usual. I’m a big fan of this song already, but I think her version is better than the original. Her notes were spot on, vocalized flawlessly, and it never seemed like she was trying too hard. I also love how she always looks so confident and sure of herself in every performance, which is a rare quality for a 13-year-old. Demi made a bold statement by saying that Carly will be in the music industry for the rest of her life, and she got a standing ovation from judges.
Diamond White – “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
Besides the fact that her hair was awesome (I love that she broke away from the teeny bopper pony tail),this performance was absolutely phenomenal. It was probably my favourite in the competition so far. She picked a perfect song to dedicate to her mother, who White said “gave her life for her.” It seemed like a genuine performance as White sang the song with her trademark powerhouse vocals and emotion. Despite being so young, she was able to pull off a mature song. After this performance I can’t believe she was kicked out in the first place. LA tweeted: “Shine bright like a diamond. @diamondkwhite.”
Tate Stevens – “I’m Already There” by Lonestar Read more…
By Jessica Galang
I enjoyed the performances this week way more than last week. The singers are becoming more confident in their respectful elements — Beatrice Miller is doing great with her rocker persona and Arin Ray showed his upbeat hip-hop side with an awesome performance of “American Boy.” However, these three stood out the most.
Carly Rose Sonenclar: “It Will Rain,” by Bruno Mars
Britney Spears has a real advantage with Carly Rose on her team. I’ll just come right out and admit I absolutely HATE this song. But Carly Rose somehow made it bearable — perhaps, amazing? She dressed all in black and took on a dark, gothic persona, which really added to the emotional appeal of a song since it’s supposed to be about desperate love. I actually felt the emotion in the performance, which I think is what made it so powerful. “This is you in your element and I would watch this over and over,” Demi said. And Simon said “I’ve got a feeling with you Carly, we’re watching a star in the making.”
Emblem3: The Tempations/Katy Perry/One Direction mashup
I was already loving Emblem3‘s high-energy performance when I heard One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” beat. But the fact that they used it to cover The Temptations’ “My Girl” (One of my absolute faves!) and Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” made this performance my favourite of the night. Personally, I think when you can flawlessly mashup a modern and classic song, that’s when you’ve got a solid performance. Even LA said “I don’t know what to say, I want to say something, but I don’t know.” This performance left me as speechless as he was.
Diamond White: “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston Read more…
By Jasmine Williams
We’re down to the final eight dancers and the finale is so close, you can practically smell it. My GBFF Jesse Tyler Ferguson was on the panel last night, so everything is going to be 35.6 percent better than the average episode. Yes, I made that statistic up but the sentiment is totally valid.
Here are my favourite moments from this week’s episode:
1. Witney and Twitch’s Hip Hop
Although I wasn’t a fan of Witney’s puffy sleeves meets droopy pants concoction of a costume, I have to give props to Luther Brown (from SYTYCD Canada, what what!) for this hard-hitting East Coast hip hop routine. It was all kinds of stupid, and I mean that in the best possible way. Twitch can do no wrong and Witney brought just the right amount of sassy girl power to their paring. But what I loved most was that there was no crazy storyline, no awkward props, just straight up hip hop, and I loved it. Take notes, Christopher Scott.
2. Eliana and Ryan’s Quickstep
I don’t think a week has gone by where Eliana hasn’t been one of my favorites. Even dancing the “dreaded” quickstep, this girl shines. She was playing the role of a forgotten housewife, but she completely turned the tables on this routine, turning this somewhat stiff dance into something truly unforgettable. Even Mary Murphy, who always has some criticism for the ballroom routines, praised her form in this piece. Give this girl a first-class ticket to the finals!
3. Cole’s solo Read more…
Both high-schooler country singers duked it out once last time, for the top prize to be announced tomorrow night.
The first round had both singers reprising their favorite song of the season. McCreery went with Montgomery Gentry’s country song ‘Gone,’ while Alaina sang Carrie Underwood’s ‘Flat on the Floor.’
McCreery worked the room with some swagger, ending with a powerful golf swing and more high-fives for the kids down front. Alaina sounded in fine form as well, adding some rasp to her voice and ending with a big, rich note that proved she was in it to win it.
The second round had the contestants’ own idols offering up their choice, with Country Hall of Famer George Strait suggesting one of his own hits, ‘Check Yes or No,’ for Scotty. Alaina’s idol, Underwood, suggested the 1991 version of ‘Maybe it Was Memphis’ by Pam Tillis. McCreery crooned his signature bullfrog voice, while Alaina went more theatrical and put some smoky emotion into the vocals. Both played what works for them.
McCreery’s final song of the night was the single he’ll release if he wins the competition, “‘Love You This Big,’ a swaying ballad. The camera even panned to his mother shedding a tear – a sure-to-win-votes tactic.
Alaina’s last song was ‘Like My Mother Does,’ a song mentor Jimmy Iovine said is the perfect encapsulation of Alaina’s journey on the show. The uplifting ode to maternal love and strength was also sure to catch votes. Nicely played.
Over all, the judges had favourites throughout the show, but all three say it’s too close to call at this point. Who do you think will win the top prize?
Tomorrow night’s finale will feature performances from this season’s top 13, as well as judge Steven Tyler and a number of yet-unannounced special guests.
Rapper Eminem and teen sensation Justin Bieber dominated the 2011 ‘Billboard Music Awards,’ each taking home a total of six official awards each.
There was also a six-way tie for second place between Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Usher, Mumford & Sons and Taoi Cruz, who each won three trophies.
Eminem won six awards, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Song and Top Rap Album. He previously won two Billboard Music Awards in 2002 for Best Album of the Year and Best R&B/Hip Hop Album Of The Year, giving him a total of eight career Billboard Music Awards. His awards were not given out during the ceremony.
Justin Bieber won The Billboard.com Fan Favorite Award, as well as Top New Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Digital Media Artist, Top Pop Album and Top Streaming Song (video) at his first-ever Billboard Music Awards.
The ceremony also featured performances from the Black Eyed Peas, Keith Urban, Cee Loo Green, Lady Antebellum, Ke$ha, Far East Movement and a special performance by Neil Diamond. Just to name a few.
The awards show took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more…
The legendary Stevie Nicks has had to cancel a series of upcoming appearances and performances in New York City due to pneumonia, reports Perez Hilton.
The iconic musician, whose first new album in ten years is dropping on Tuesday, was scheduled to appear on the ‘Today Show’ and ‘Good Day NY’ on May 3rd. Nicks was also set to perform at a star studded event thrown in her honor by her record label at New York’s Webster Hall on May 4th, but she had to cancel both days.
Nicks was told by her doctor to “stay in bed and not fly” until she’s feeling better. Here’s her released statement:
“I want to apologize to all my fans and hope that we can reschedule and of course I hope you love the new album. It’s for you.”
Not a great start to her publicity tour, but I’m sure she’ll bounce back in no time. ‘Rolling Stone’ calls her latest album ‘In Your Dreams’ her ‘finest collection of songs since the Eighties,’ so I’m sure the album will make up for this stream of missed events. It’s so great to see such legends still doing their thing.