Welcome back, Diamond White. You’re the next American Idol! Oops, wait, wrong show. Our bad. But maybe you have the X Factor? It’s possible. Being offered a chance at redemption worked for last season’s winner Melanie Amaro.
Yes, 13-year-old Diamond has returned to Britney Spears’ Teens team after the judges realized they screwed up by tossing so many good contestants last episode. But while we’re happy they attempted to right the wrongs, they didn’t get it quite right. They really should have brought back David Correy, or at least given viewers the chance to vote one of the eliminated contestants back into the mix. Still, Diamond is a solid, if not safe, choice – she didn’t deserve to get booted, and no one’s going to be like, “Booo to you, little girl!” But does Britney’s cutesy, chock-full-of-potential-winners team really need more talent? No. However, L.A. Reid’s long shot Over 25s would have really benefitted from 27-year-old David’s youthful presence. Still, like we said, welcome back, Diamond.
With the Top 12 becoming the Top 13, the contestants sang for viewers’ votes for the first time this season. The theme was Songs From the Movies, which was a real stretch when they used, say, Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” from recent box office dud Rock of Ages, but totally blew our mind when Lyric 145 did an over-the-top, Alice in Wonderland-inspired rendition of Mary Poppins’ “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” It’ll be a real travesty if the group doesn’t sail into the finals.
Other than that, there were no real standouts. Everyone was either passably “good” or not so great. Either way, though, the judges pretty much gushed. Perfect examples were the overhyped Paige Thomas, who did an uber-theatrical rendition of “Take My Breath Away” to try to distract us from the fact she can’t sing, and Emblem3, who’d seemingly get a free pass even if they burped their way through a song. “You guys are perfect,” said a delusional L.A. with dollar signs flashing before his eyes.
Overall, Demi Lovato’s Young Adults team had the roughest night. In addition to the less-than-impressive Paige, Demi seemed to push style over substance. Apparently she feels that drastically changing a person’s looks equals “rock star.” With both Jennel Garcia and CeCe Frey – it’s pronounced Fry, “like a French fry,” for those who cared about that non-controversy – we couldn’t agree with Simon Cowell more: Demi has completely stripped them of their personalities and sent them down the wrong paths. We much preferred Jennel’s wavy-haired girl-next-door innocence to the blunt-banged rock’n’roll bad girl parody that has taken over. As for newly bleached CeCe, the knock-off Lady Gaga look isn’t working, and her voice isn’t suited for rock-tinged pop songs like “Eye of the Tiger.”
In terms of the worst performance of the night, though, the judges were gunning for Jason Brock, who sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Britney called him a “Vegas lounge act” before Simon took a catty swipe, saying, “You look like a singer in an Italian restaurant. I don’t believe you can fly, maybe jump a couple inches off the ground.” We’ll soon see if America agrees.