The X Factor recap: Gobble Up the Emotions

The top 10 acts and their traumatic backstories would love nothing more than to make you cry. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ep. 18 | Aired Nov 21, 2012

CAT OUT OF HELL Simon says Tate ain't in danger.


Fifth Harmony, who would like to thank God, were largely drowned out by the backup choir on "I'll Stand By You." I don't think they'll be heading home, but I didn't connect to any part of their performance or tearjerker package. Nobody had died -- how dare they? My expectations for pre-performance drama had officially become absurd. The magic of Thanksgiving! Anyway, the judges offered them a total of 21 platitudes, including "so much emotion," "touching and beautiful," "harmonies are always on," and "you can definitely feel the friendship." I feel like this should be one of those gossip magazine quizzes with the answers in upside-down print, but it's not even interesting enough to attempt that in Photoshop. Just head left to right down the panel and there you go.

Adopted Vietnamese twin sisters with learning disabilities and scabies! Suddenly I was re-hooked. Brutal but true. It's their game; I'm just recapping it. Beatrice Miller dedicated her cover of "Chasing Cars" to 10-year-old sisters Georgia and Esther. They surprised her at the show and gazed up at her adoringly while one of them cried and the other mouthed the words. They are probably going to ask their two moms when they can get cool teal and red hair extensions like their big sis. "Not until you're on a reality show that's about to crush your dreams!" either Kim or Hillary would tell them. This was not Beatrice's best performance and I actually agreed with Demi that many of her songs do sound the same -- angsty and morose, overall heartfelt but just slowwwww. She does it well, though, and I don't think she'd be believable jumping around the stage needlessly on a current teen hit. I mean, Beatrice lives in the '90s, so wouldn't that be kind of weird?

Even if you thought Vino Alan's decision to cover "God Bless the USA" -- one of Simon's faves, let him tell you -- was pandering and cheesy, you gotta admit he did finish with a huuuuuge "moment" that could have warmed over even the stoniest of hearts. Vino's increasingly frisky left hand was also working hard for the votes tonight. He's easily the most bizarre and amusing live-action character on the show right now -- muttering guttural nonsense in response to each judge's critique (hilariously unnecessary) and wiping his sweaty mouth with a spare flag. Simon thought he'd slip up into the top spot with that crowd-pleaser, but would later change his number-one vote to Carly. People were saluting him! Vino can't lose.

Khloe's about to cry, y'all! No one knows why! No one saluted her, either.

It's weird that I'm willing to overlook CeCe's pitchiness due to emotional destruction but I have trouble forgiving Paige Thomas -- the other act who had a loved one die on evil Christmas Eve -- for bungling pretty much every time a note occurred during "Everytime" by Britney Spears. So much cringe. "I think you performed it beautifully," said Britney herself. Of course. Demi, Paige's coach, admitted the whole thing was pitchy and insisted Paige had sung it much better in rehearsal, which I totally believe. I don't know… I want to love her, especially after last week's sing-for-survival knockout, but I seem to be back to wondering why Paige is still here.

"You know I'm a fan," L.A. Reid told Paige. As if!

Carly Rose Sonenclar went with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as a dedication to her brother, even though the pre-performance package was mostly about her mother who'd suffered a severe stroke. It's lovely to appreciate any and all family members but I didn't feel much of a connection between Carly's live performance and that package. It really doesn't matter because the important thing is that Carly got the perfect opportunity to close the show with a stunning, lounge-y cover of a classic hit that started out super-drawly and languid and finished with more power than Khloe Kardashian exclaiming "Yes!" after everything Mario Lopez says. Sorry to bring them into it. That was wrong.

Carly was crazy good here, though; with the production value (love that low yellow spotlight) and caliber of the vocal, it seemed like she was performing on a completely different show. Or maybe…SHE IS AN ALIEN. That's what Demi Lovato suggested, quickly adding, "It's okay, because I love aliens." Well phew. All four of the judges remarked for the millionth through million-and-fourth times that Carly is way too good to be 13. Yawn. Script some better lines for yourselves, overpaid princesses. The alien shtick is a start.

Are you thankful for aliens? Want to go hug your families? Who goes home tonight? Discuss!

And gobble gobble! Time to stuff yourself. While sobbing.

Read more:
Last week's recap: Funky Divas
10 Ways to Improve 'The X Factor'
The X-Factor: Meet the Top 16

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