The X Factor recap: On the Edge

The top six acts compete for four spots in next week's semifinals
Ep. 22 | Aired Dec 5, 2012

EDGE OF THE SAME OLD STORY Right on the limb is where CeCe knows she'll be tonight.

Fox

Britney Spears, looking hot in a netted black top while nestled in a cloud of oblivion, shared a heart-to-heart with her charge Diamond White about toning it down onstage and letting her voice sing for itself. I know the judges all complained that Diamond had already performed "It's a Man's World (But It's Really Her World)" (Britney's last-minute title change) during auditions, but I barely remembered that and doesn't everything change anyway once all the hyper-production and elaborate staging is ushered in? I felt like Diamond was in a serious zone at the end of this (dare I say sexy? she's 13!) rendition -- she delivered some on-point wailing and angrily threw down the mic stand. She's a good little actress!

For her cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds," Diamond White descended from the rafters in a giant diamond structure. Mario Lopez didn't think The X Factor's viewership would pick up on this subtle metaphor and had to go ahead and announce that it was the viewers who had chosen "Diamond in a diamond, which I think is pretty clever." Are we sure he's not the alien in the room? I'm just saying maybe they should check. Anyway, this was a case of staging trumping the intrigue of the performance, but I still thought Diamond did better than Emblem3 and CeCe by miles and miles of cobble-gemmed sky-streets.

"Being the last of the old guys is tough," said rapidly aging Tenderheart Bear Tate Stevens, so he and Coach L.A. went to sip on fancy conical glasses of beer in some tragic hotel lobby. They talked about normal stuff, like being of legal drinking age, and Tate losing his hometown job for good, and how Tate needs to make sure his wife "understands that this is your destiny." Ugh, L.A. Should Tate get voted out tonight, that guy will not remember Tate's name by Friday. You know it's true. L.A. chose Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" for the country dude possibly named Tate, and Tate disappointingly opted out of all the high notes in the chorus. It was almost like sabotage, it was such a letdown.

Dripping with condescension, L.A. introduced Tate the second time as "the guy that America looooooooooves to vote forrrrrrrrrr……" Was this his way of begging them not to? (Why am I so anti-L.A. this season? I just am! Because he's the biggest faker baker out there, even though Simon Cowell is sitting RIGHT THERE!) Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes" fit right into Tate's wheelhouse, so this was a great one for him to close the show with. I like him so much better when he's performing the types of songs that come naturally to him. I even became somewhat mesmerized by the dramatic white stitching on Tate's black western shirt; it suggested an angry but very attractive eagle. Or maybe a lion? Possibly two Olympic torches, flanking his chest. Whatever, I was into it.

Which two of the six acts go home tonight? Is Demi annoying or is the she only judge with a brain at this point? Discuss!

Read more:
Top 8 performance recap: Run Around and Desert You
10 Ways to Improve 'The X Factor'
The X-Factor: Meet the Top 16


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