‘X Factor’ Recap: It’s Make-or-Break Time for the Final Four

Contestant Tate Stevens Performs on 'The X Factor' (Photo: Fox)

Underdogs Fifth Harmony made quite the comeback on Wednesday night’s episode of “The X Factor.” Unfortunately, it was a two-song show, and they quickly reversed their good fortune in their second number.

In fact, the second number could prove make-or-break for all of the final four contestants.

Here’s the make-or-break breakdown:

Make: Tate Stevens and Emblem3. Tate found the perfect complement in “Fall” to his first song, “Bonfire.” “Fall” was an emotional ditty dedicated to his wife, sniff sniff, while “Bonfire” was some southern rock country stomper with a picture of a pile of tires behind Tate as he sang. He definitely came across as versatile — for country.

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“The X Factor”

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Emblem3 used their second song to show a little consistency, with two fun performances harking back to their audition. They started off with “Baby I Love Your Way,” some reggae, a little rap. Simon Cowell called it raw, but to go a little deeper, it was rough around the edges, not nearly as overproduced as everything that they’ve done the last few weeks. Their second song, “Hey Jude” wasn’t quite as spot on, but it brought the energy the guys had been lacking. Overall, a good night for Emblem3.

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Break: Fifth Harmony and Carly Rose Sonenclar. Definitely Fifth Harmony, who started out with heretofore unseen vocal assuredness and matching Bat Mitzvah dresses on Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen.” But their second number, a repeat of the one song anyone remembers them doing well, “Impossible” (from the judges’ houses week), was repetitive and, for no apparent reason, partly in Spanish.

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Even invincible Carly Rose Sonenclar displayed a chink in her armor, doing a modernized take on two songs from the early ‘70s; at first, on “Your Song,” it was cool, but the second one, “Imagine,” not so much. On “Imagine,” Carly played the piano for about 2 seconds both starting and ending the song. But then she got up and belted and walked a bit. And then there was a choir. As Simon put it, she “made a beautiful song fussy.” There could be trouble for the young prodigy.

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Meanwhile, Britney Spears’ commentary was as vague and useless as ever. What happened to the mean Britney of yore? She brought back “girl power” again, as her go-to phrase apparently, when she’s talking to girls. In a bright yellow dress, her, uh, endowment was a bit too prominently displayed to be appropriate for the den mother of the last remaining Teen in the competition. Still, her average of nine words per contestant was still more eloquent than Khloe Kardashian Odom’s classic slip-ups. She asked LA Reid how he liked wearing a “country hat” in support of Tate. A country hat?

Only one contestant goes home Thursday, leaving three to compete in the grand finale. Most likely, Fifth Harmony is going home, but as they pointed out, “Anything Could Happen.”

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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