'The X-Factor' Recap 12/12: Semifinals

By Kaitlyn Vella,

This week, the semifinals of The X-Factor kicked off with a bit of new news regarding how this week is going to work. Instead of two eliminations this week, only one act will be sent home and it’ll be all based off of America’s votes. There will be no sing-off and no judges’ decision this week. There will also be a leader board “blackout,” meaning we won’t know how the contestants ranked.

This week, each contestant sang two songs. The first song was a song that the contestants got to choose themselves. The second song was a song that the mentors and the acts chose together and that they believe will get them into the finals.

Over 25s act Tate Stevens kicked off the night with his version of “Bonfire” by Craig Morgan. He chose this song in appreciation for his friends and family, and he truly had a fun time with his performance. Britney Spears didn’t think it was his best, but the other three judges seemed to love it. Simon Cowell, in particular, believed that Stevens chose a song that he could see being recorded in the future. Cowell admired this and said that Stevens “looked like a man who believes he can win this competition.”

Teen Carly Rose Sonenclar was up next singing her own rendition of “Your Song” by Elton John. She chose this song because it was one of the first songs her father ever played for her. Demi Lovato said it was her favorite song that Sonenclar has performed, but she didn’t enjoy how predictable it was. The other three judges had nothing but positive things to say. Cowell described her performance as a “beautiful version of a fantastic song.”

“You did things with that song that I’ve never heard before,” said L.A. Reid.

Next up was group Emblem3. They chose to perform Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way.” All four judges seemed to love their rendition. Lovato gave it two thumbs up, saying they did exactly what she wanted. Spears said they were “more than a boy band.” Reid believed they looked and sounded like recording artists. What Cowell liked most, though, was that their performance reminded him of their first audition.

Group Fifth Harmony took the stage next to perform their version of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen.” Their performance was fun, girly and upbeat. All four judges seemed to love what they did with the song. Reid described it as “the very best vocal performance you’ve ever done.” Cowell even said that although they were the underdogs and that it would take a miracle for them to make it into the finals, “anything can happen.”

Tate Stevens took the stage again to perform “Fall” by Clay Walker. His emotions really shined through in his performance, which was dedicated to his wife in honor of their anniversary. The judges all loved it and Cowell assured Stevens that his life would never be the same and he wouldn’t be going back to his old job any time soon.

“I’m really happy you decided to enter our conversation,” Cowell said.

Next up was Carly Rose Sonenclar to sing the popular “Imagine” by John Lennon. She started off her rendition by playing the piano. Reid, Spears and Lovato praised her on her performance.

“The only predictable thing was that it was going to be amazing,” Lovato said. She also added that she thought the performance was beautiful.

“It’s time for you to go beyond this stage and compete with the biggest stars,” said mentor Spears.

Cowell, though, didn’t enjoy it as much as he wanted to. He thought Sonenclar should have stayed at the piano the entire time. He also thought she made the beautiful song, “fussy” by adding big notes. He said that it “overcomplicated” the song.

Emblem3 quickly followed, performing “Hey Jude” by The Beatles. All of the judges thought they did a really great job.

“I just feel so proud of what you’ve achieved tonight,” said mentor Cowell.

Last, but not least, Fifth Harmony took the stage to perform “Impossible” by Shontelle. They sang this song earlier in the competition, but this time they added their own twist by singing some of the lyrics in Spanish. Reid, Lovato and Spears thought they did a good job, but didn’t think it would truly be enough to get them into the finals. Cowell, though, stuck by their sides and said that he thought they “really deserved to be in the finals.”

With the competition getting closer and closer, be sure to check out the results show Thursday night at 8/7c on Fox where three acts will advance to the finale. Bruno Mars and Bridgit Mendler will be performing.



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