‘The X Factor’ USA review: CeCe Frey, Emblem3 take on the judges’ houses

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“The X Factor” finally delved into the judges’ houses round this week, and while this show was incredibly heavy on the filler (so much so that we’re really only seen about five performances within the first hour), we did get some more evidence as to why there are some people worth rooting for this season. With that being said, there was no one on the level of Drew Ryniewicz from last year with her incredible take on “It Must Have Been Love.”

Like this episode, we are going to divide this episode into halves. (Therefore, you will see angry L.A. Reid tomorrow.) This time around, we are going to focus on the teams fronted by Demi Lovato along with Simon Cowell.

Young Adults – While you could make the argument that Demi Lovato would have been a better choice to mentor the teens, we don’t have a problem with this grouping. Why? She’s still young enough to be in this age group, and knows what these people should be singing.

CeCe Frey – We know that people may not really love CeCe the person, but you have to love CeCe the singer. This was actually the best performance of the night, and the coolest rendition of “Sexy and I Know It” that we’ve ever heard. The melody here was so cool, and our only fear is that viewers are not going to vote for her just because she’s actually confident with herself.

Willie Jones – Is Willie really that great, or is he just a fun-loving country singer? We can’t really say, and in some ways we compare him to Cyrus Spencer on “So You Think You Can Dance.” We’ve seen people who are better than him, but very few who have the same sort of light and positive energy.

Jennel Garcia – We loved her first audition, and we loved right away here that Demi chose to instruct her on how to fix was pretty clearly her biggest problem during the audition rounds: her overuse of the hairflip. Her performance of “I Kissed a Girl,” though, was pretty solid.

Nick Youngerman – Who is this? He’s a good performer, but the show has pretty much treated him as cannon fodder for most of this season save for his “Ice, Ice, Baby.” This “Tik Tok” was just bad. Really bad. Nobody can really sing Ke$ha … not even Ke$ha.

Paige Thomas – We learned in this performance that Paige really wants to be Rihanna. Really. She also doesn’t really know what to do with her hand and just flutters it around.

Jillian Jensen – Have we ever seen Jillian on this show not crying? We feel bad almost that producers are refusing to show off any more of her personality. We’re not completely in love with her voice on the same level as some of the others.

The Groups – We will give Simon Cowell credit for taking a gamble here and putting his reputation on the line here for a category that bombed in America last year. While there are still some duds in here, we will give Simon some credit for assembling some good groups this time around … and keeping one that was strong all season long.

Sister C – For their first audition, they were labeled a little “annoying,” and we get that. We’re not sure that these three ladies will do well during the live show, mostly since Lakoda Rayne already proved that it’s not easy to be a girl group that also sings country.

Dope Crisis – Yes, it is pretty clear that this group is going home. We barely know who they are, and we also barely saw them here.

Emblem3 – The superstars of the audition round, Emblem3 had probably their weakest performance of the entire show at an inopportune time. One of the singers, midway through losing his shirt, also lost where he was supposed to come in during the song. Even with this being said, though, we still think they are beyond worthy of making it to the live shows.

Playback – For a newly-formed group, Playback actually had a pretty great energy about them. It’s clear that Simon wants this group to be the American version of One Direction. There’s even a blonde one! As fun as they are, though, there still is nothing really about them that actually pops on the screen.

One4Five -Hip-hop groups can be a little bit hit-or-miss, but we really liked this group with the addition of Lyric Da Queen. They were charismatic, fun, and there is a genuine place for them in the market. Please, please advance.

Lylas – Simon’s segment ended with a promising girl group that really did well with their harmonies. We really don’t know anything about any of them individually, but as a group they really do rock.

Who was your favorite act from this portion of the competition? If you want to read some more news when it comes to Demi, all you have to do is read the story that is up over at the link here.

Photo: Fox

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