Singing Double on ‘X-Factor’

In lieu of memorable starpower among the contestants, “The X-Factor” is playing up the fake fued between judges. Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul chose to keep Marcus Canty last week over Drew and Simon Cowell won’t forgive them.

There are a lot of bad decisions ahead for those women as they mostly overpraised the work on this week’s performances by the Top 5. Even among the quintet there seems a few acts who could still easily be cut.

Thankfully it was a two song night, so they had to cut all the unnecessary film packages for each and go straight to the songs to get them all into the 90 minutes.

Melanie Amaro, who has been lately closing the show got  to open this time with a dance remix version of Adele’s “Someone Like You” that ended up packing a wallop. Marcus Canty did Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” and again did a workmanlike (but hardly remarkable) performance. Even if this kid wins, I can’t imagine anybody rushing to buy his records.

It was the first of three cross-gender performances: Rachel Crow went upbeat on B.o.B. and Bruno Mars’ “Nothin’ on You” with its “beautiful girls” chorus and still rang true; Josh Krajcik seemed a bit at bay in a big overproduced version of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”  Chris Rene does T.I.’s “Live Your Life”

For part two, it was supposed to be chosen by the public in some big Pepsi promotion, but because of some glitch it wasn’t ready (they’ll try again next week). In the meantime, they all had to pick and learn a snew ong within 24-hours. Which really isn’t that tough a task, it would seem. Most went for ballads.

Amaro had no problem with “When You Believe,” the Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey song. Crow went for a leftover from last week’s Michael Jackson night, “Music and Me.”

Canty did that “Idol” standby, Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” while Krajick handled the Beatles’ “Something.” And Chris Rene, whose raps I have found wan and unappealing, got to sit with a guitar for the first time since his audition and sing an original song “Where Do We Go From Here.”

It got a big swoon from the audience and judges, but I’d still like to see Rene in the bottom two with Canty.

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