CeCe Frey Takes on Lady Gaga, Katy Perry on 'X Factor' - Rolling Stone
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CeCe Frey Takes on Lady Gaga, Katy Perry on ‘X Factor’

Top six go acoustic, tackle viewer requests on road to semifinals

Love her or loathe her, CeCe Frey is still going strong on The X Factor. Some speculate it’s because spoiler site Vote for the Worst has been encouraging its readers to jam the phone lines in her favor. But we think she’s actually won people over – especially considering VFTW initially (and blasphemously, we might add) picked Lyric 145 as its “fave.” That means Miss CeCe kept herself afloat for at least three rounds of eliminations. 

But we digress. With yet another double elimination looming one week before the semifinals, it could prove to be CeCe’s last stand. But it seems like the judges have given up on gunning for her, instead setting their sights on other acts. (We’re looking at you, Fifth Harmony, Diamond White and, surprisingly, Tate Stevens.)

‘X Factor’: Rolling Stone’s Complete Coverage

It was a drawn-out night, with each of the top six contestants performing two songs: an acoustic version of a hit single chosen by their respective mentor and a track (and clothes and staging) picked by viewers through an online Pepsi plug, er, we mean poll.

For CeCe, it was a one-two contemporary punch of a stripped-down, cabaret rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” and Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” respectively. She sounded a little shaky and pitchy on both, but she was as entertaining as always. She’s especially fascinating to watch during uptempo pop tracks like “Part of Me,” during which she spit attitude like a true diva. But we can’t help but think Vote for the Worst had a hand in choosing her outfit, a hot mess of denim, leopard print and Crayola colors. If she hadn’t bathed for a few days, she would have been a dead ringer for Ke$ha. 

Also stealing the spotlight, as usual, was Carly Rose Sonenclar, who sat atop the leaderboard last week. And we’re sure she’ll find herself at the summit yet again this week, based solely on the fact she sang Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me.” We only wish the girl would loosen up. Why none of the judges tell her to smile instead of making stank face all the time is beyond us. She did it all through the viewers’ choice, Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy,” too. If you ask us, it detracts from her flawless vocals and could prove to be her Achilles heel in the finals. Time to lighten up, girl! (You know we love you.)                        

On the flip side, the judges weren’t so enamored with Stevens. Part of the problem was that he performed his second Bon Jovi song of the season, a stripped-down version of “Livin’ on a Prayer,” which the judges softly slammed. As Demi Lovato noted, it was “a little boring” since he’s “not doing much evolving as an artist.” His second song, Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” fared slightly better, but only because it was within his country wheelhouse. After third-placer Vino Alan got thrown under the elimination bus last week, Tate must be sweating bullets right about now.

Indeed, he’d better watch his back, as boy band Emblem3 could well steal his second place spot on the leaderboard. Despite some blasé remarks from Demi, who admittedly has a crush on one of the guys, they pretty much garnered rave reviews from the judges for their renditions of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” and the Eighties new wave cult classic “Forever Young,” which One Direction covered, as the girls in the audience shrieked their heads off. 

Getting lost in the shuffle were Diamond White and Fifth Harmony, who America pranked by choosing a song by mentor Simon Cowell’s nemesis, Demi. While neither act was necessarily bad, they just didn’t stand out, which could prove to be problematic on elimination night. 

Previously: Paige Thomas, Vino Alan Eliminated on ‘X Factor’


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