'X Factor' Recap: Carlito Olivero Edges Out Restless Road - Rolling Stone
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‘X Factor’ Recap: Carlito Olivero Edges Out Restless Road

Latin singer surprisingly makes it into the finale

Carlito Olivero is safe? To quote the Smiths, that joke isn’t funny anymore. 

However, Thursday night’s X Factor results show wasn’t kidding: Carlito made it into next week’s finals over Restless Road, who reached the end of the, well, road. And someone somewhere is laughing – probably Carlito’s space-case mentor Paulina Rubio. But the joke is so old that it’s for the birds.

Rolling Stone’s Complete Coverage of ‘The X Factor’

While frontrunners Alex and Sierra littered the top 100 of the iTunes songs chart (hitting Number One with their rendition of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity”), and Jeff Gutt and Restless Road even made appearances, Carlito was nowhere to be found. And that means people who don’t actually want to listen to him are voting for him. We’re looking at you, teenage girls.

But they aren’t the only ones to blame, because viewers have in fact sent Carlito into the bottom two twice this season – and the judges saved him. So when Simon Cowell looked downright annoyed, deadpanning he was “thrilled” for Carlito’s success while Restless Road bit the dust, he had no one to blame but himself. In fact, Cowell has done nothing but heap praise on the tone-deaf former Menudo member, especially during this week’s performances. If Simon thinks roping in Latin viewers is key to keeping the show on the air, he better consider all the other viewers he’s alienating by perpetuating a borderline unwatchable show.

Now, those of us still hanging in there have to sit through another week of Carlito’s pitchy performances as he carries around a giant chip on his shoulder. If he somehow manages to pull off the win – or even runner-up status – the show should just be canceled on the spot.

That said, he gave his best vocal performance yet (which isn’t a huge feat) during victory song “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo. Was he lip-syncing? (Remember the week he was sick and dropped the mic away from his mouth but his voice was still audible?) Or did singing in mostly Spanish suddenly trigger all the training he got from winning the 2007 MTV reality show Making Menudo and landing a two-year spot in the revered Latin boy band? Whatever it was, it needs to happen more often, because it might make him bearable.

Meanwhile, Alex and Sierra sounded spot-on as usual during their take on Passenger’s “Let Her Go,” and Gutt did a gutt job on Journey‘s “Open Arms” (although he seriously needs to lose the cheesy leather getups and fingerless gloves).

As for Restless Road, they did not get a goodbye song, only the parting words from Simon that he was “really disappointed” while being reminded “this is not the end of the road for Restless Road.” But, really, yeah, it is.

Stretching out the ultra-fluffy night was a performance by Enrique Iglesias, who sang “Heart Attack.” 

Previous recap: Demi Lovato Calls Alex and Sierra ‘Winners’


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