Capitalizing on the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, this week’s live performance episode of “The X Factor” packed an emotional punch as the contestants were charged with dedicating and then singing songs to people they are most thankful for.
“These performances could get very emotional,” Spears cautioned. And boy did they ever. Several contestants broke down in tears during their songs, which at one point also had Spears and fellow judge Demi Lovato grabbing for tissues.
Not in the spirit of the season is the fact that it’s double-elimination week and two acts will be sent home Thursday night (November 22).
Here are the highlights from Thankful week:
Diamond White: One-time elimination rescue White sang her heart out with a stripped-down version of Celine Dion’s ballad “Because You Loved Me,” which she dedicated to her mom, who cried along with Lovato and Spears, who called her “a little angel.” “You blew me away,” Lovato said. “You are the truth,” L.A. Reid added.
Arin Ray: Performed Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero,” which he dedicated to older brother and “best friend” Aris, who we got to meet via a cute pre-performance exchange. Unfortunately for Arin, his vocals did not impress the judges. Cowell and Reid said the song was a bit too big for him. “I wouldn’t have signed you,” Lovato was more direct, “I was so bored.”
Beatrice Miller: Miller chose to perform Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” (a familiar jam for “Grey’s Anatomy” fans) and dedicated it to her very cute adopted twin sisters. Despite the warm fuzzy from the 10-year-olds surprising Miller by being at the show, Lovato said it seems that too many of her songs sound the same and she should mix it up with some upbeat song choices.
Carly Rose Sonenclar: One of the evening’s showstoppers, Sonenclar dedicated her standing ovation-worthy version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her brother, which had judge Simon Cowell proclaiming Sonenclar’s take to be one of the “best versions of it I ever heard.”
Demi’s Young Adults
CeCe Frey: Frey might win the award for biggest tearjerker of the night, due in part to the very emotional song dedication of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” to her sister who suffered from cerebral palsy and died at age 7 on Christmas Eve. Frey cried throughout and had everyone feeling for her at the end. “It’s really hard to critique someone when they’re pouring their heart out like that,” Spears said.
Paige Thomas: Took a chance in singing one of Spears’ songs, “Everytime,” but had some trouble getting through it without shedding a few tears. Despite the fact that her coach Lovato cited problems with pitch, Spears was gracious about the performance and called it “really beautiful.”
L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s
Tate Stevens: In dedicating Lonestar’s “I’m Already There” to his father, Stevens wasn’t able to finish his heartfelt performance without getting choked up at the end, which didn’t win Lovato’s support but moved Cowell enough to counter that there’s “not a cat in hell’s chance” the country crooner will be eliminated this week.
Vino Allen: In dedicating his impassioned version of “God Bless the USA” to the troops, Allen received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience for his performance and his patriotism. “We could be seeing you at #1 tomorrow,” said Cowell.
Emblem3: Breaking away from the mold here, the trio dedicated their performance OneRepublic’s “Secrets” to their “spiritual leaders.” The arrangement allowed the three guys to showcase their individual voices and as indicated by the female screams for Keaton’s solo, showed he might be the current audience favorite. Spears called their version of “a nice change of pace” but had Reid feeling the blahs, who said it “lacked emotion.”
Fifth Harmony: The quintet dedicated their performance to God and sang the Pretenders classic “I’ll Stand By You.” The judges praised the fact that “their harmonies are always on” but also that all five girls were able to be showcased and that the performance had “so much emotion.”
What was your favorite performance from Wednesday night’s episode? Leave your comment below!