‘The X Factor’ USA review: Tate Stevens, Panda Ross blow us away

Thanks to the absolute madness (believe us, there was plenty of it) surrounding the finale of “Big Brother 14” Wednesday night, we are a little bit later than usual in posting our review for “The X Factor.” With that being said, it actually was a pretty good night for the signing competition. There were not only some good singers that we enjoyed, but some personalities that felt a little bit more real and less cookie cutter “struggling singer” types that are on “The Voice” right now. (That show may have more polished vocalists, but their personalities make them largely forgettable.)

We have some impressions of some of the good contestants from tonight below, but we also have to give a shout-out to Louis Walsh for anchoring the fort at the last minute for a sick Simon Cowell … even though we are certain most people here in America do not have any idea at the moment just who Louis Walsh is.

Rizzloe Jones – Despite being 18 years old and having a look like a country singer, he has some serious rap swag. Our only worry? Voters don’t like cockiness on their singing shows, and this guy seems to believe that he invented rap with the way he moves around the stage.

CeCe Fray – Another example of a character we probably would not have gotten on another show. From one standpoint, she is pretty bratty for 22 and she needed two songs to convince Louis and the judges that there was talent there; on the other hand, there is some vocal ability here, and you can tell based on how she acted later that she really wanted it.

Vino Alan – Head tattoo guy! It’s actually a good thing that he has this, since he would otherwise be someone who was pretty easy to forget. Yes, he has a great gruff voice, but we have heard both it and his audition song “Trouble” before.

Tate Stevens – We’re typically very hard on country acts, but there was something brilliant with Tate’s voice. He was genuine. His “Anything Goes” felt like something you would hear out in a farmhouse with your pals, and we mean that in the best way possible. We don’t know if he would sell records, but we are sold on him.

Citizen – Ladies and gentleman, an attempt to show us that “The X Factor” has groups! That doesn’t mean that they are really that good, though. Simon Cowell said no to this boy band, and we understand why: this was straight out of 1998, and the vocals really weren’t that great. However, they are still moving on.

Diamond White – She’s a very good 13-year old singer, but was anyone else thinking of Rachel Crow the entire time that she was on the stage?

Ally Brooke – Despite having a terrible backing track, Ally really does have a nice singing voice, and she made a very brave move in performing a Christian music song in “On My Knees.” We think Ally is going to be rather popular with America, and she could stick around for a while.

Panda Ross – Seriously, Panda could be the Susan Boyle of this show. We’ve seen her being carted around on a stretcher a dozen times in commercials, and we seriously thought she would be a trainwreck. However, she may be a gospel music superstar! By far, this odd audition was our favorite of not just the night, but the whole season.

Jessica Espinoza – We love her story about growing up in a bad part of town, and her voice isn’t bad. However, we’re not sure she was worthy of the final spot given that her phrasing was a little weird and her voice had a little too much growl.

Who was your favorite from this show? If you want to check out some more news about what is coming up a little later in the competition this season, you can do so by checking out the story over at the link here.

Photo: Fox

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!