On the X Factor this Halloween night, in an abbreviated one-hour episode, we get to Meet the Top 12 contestants left, as the title of this episode’s called. This is basically a recap episode, a reminder of who the remaining 12 competitors are, and what led them to tonight’s episode. I
Ellona Santiago is up first. She lives in California, though she was born in the Philippines. Ellona relates that they lived in someone’s garage when they first came to America. She was in a group called Intensity, but she was sent home.
Demi said that Ellona is a diva, and has an intensity inside of her. We see her progress towards being one of the Top 12, and we’re shown bits of the songs she sang which led her to this Halloween episode.
Rion Paige, 13, is from Jacksonville Florida. She is shown when she tells Simon about her congenital birth defect, about her hands being curved. She says she wants to be know as “the girl with the voice.”
We see as she got four “yeses” from the judges, and glimpses of the songs she sang to get to tonight’s episode. She talks about how hard she’s worked, and about what a great mentor Demi is.
“I want to prove to America I have the X Factor,” she says.
The third girl left on Demi’s team, The Girls, is Khaya Cohen. She says that her mom’s a midwife, and her father’s a teacher in New York. She has a 20-year-old brother.
Right from the start, she had a few fits and starts — Simon stops her as she’s singing, and says “That was terrible,” but he then asks her if she has a second song. Fortunately, she did, and sang it so well that she got a standing ovation from both the audience and the four judges!
Paulina has The Boys team. First, we meet Carlito Olivero, who talks about his early life, and how he told his parents that he’ll take care of them one day. He hopes that this competition will lead to that day.
Like with the others, we see how he has progressed to this point in the competition. He says that he definitely feels safe with someone of her background to guide him.
Carlos Guevara, 16, is next. He is shown telling the mentors/judges about his having Tourettes, and how it has adversely effected his life. Now, he is no longer in school. He is concentrating on his music.
We see Paulina saying to him: “Carlos, I don’t know, but I am proud of you.”
Of the boys, Carlos, IMHO, might have the best singing voice. He sings with so much emotion!
Tim Olstad, 24, is the third and last of Paulina’s team. We hear him as he auditions in Denver, Colorado — awesome edition, one of the best I’ve seen. Paulina kicked him off in one episode, but then, after a commercial break, with the audience shouting “Tim! Tim! Tim!” Paulina decided she had made a mistake, and she asked Tim to please rejoin her team.
He looked ticked off, but agreed to return to her team, and Paulina had to send someone else home, in a very controversial move. Tim is a great singer, though, and IMHO, he deserves to have gotten to this stage in the competition.
After commercials, we move on to Kelly Rowland’s category, The Over 25s.
The first one on her team that we meet is Rachel Potter, who auditioned in Long Island. She sang Someone to Love by Queen, and killed it — she is one of Kelly’s best singers, if not the best. She tended bar in Nashville, and doesn’t want to go back to doing that. She had a somewhat weak Four-Chair Challenge, but Kelly still decided to keep her. She vastly improved after that.
Jeff Gutt, 37, a single dad from Detroit, Michigan, is the second one we get to meet from Kelly’s team. He made it through Boot Camp last year, but no further — however, this year, he has proven his vast singing skills, and that he deserves to be one of the Top 12 contenders left in this season of The X Factor.
Kelly told him “I am so glad to see you back in this competition!”
Jeff tells the camera that he was “thrilled” to have Kelly choose him, as she “has a lot of experience.” One of the last songs he performed was Try by Pink, and he rocked it out.
Lillie McCloud, 54, has three children and seven grandchildren. She is the final one of Kelly’s competitors in The Over 25s group. She has a truly amazing voice. She says that “the Four-Chair Challenge was nerve wracking,” but, she didn’t sound like it as she sang — she was incredible! Kelly siad that Lillie was “a beast” singing so stupendously, that Kelly hasd to keep her on her team.
Simon has The Groups. The first of his groups to be introduced to us tonight is Alex & Sierra. Alex says that both of his parents are teachers. Sierra relates that her mom is a refugee from Vietnam.
Simon: “The first time that I saw Alex & Sierra, I thought they’d be terrible. I have to be honest with you.” He ended up really, really liking them, though. They make the songs that they sing uniquely their own. The last song they performed was Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. They did an acoustic version of it, and it sounded pretty awesome.
After a commercial break, we meet the second one of Simon’s remaining groups, Sweet Suspense. They are Simon’s only all-girl group left. their ages run from 14-17. We get to hear a little bit about each of the girls’ lives, and see how they have gotten to this point in the season. Their version of I Love It was one of the high point os the last episode IMHO.
Sweet Suspense was one of the groups that Kelly and Simon put together, to see if they’d mesh as a team. Another one that they did this for is Restless Road, who have also made it this far.
Restless Road is the third and final group of the night we get to meet. Their rendition of Katy Perry’s pop hit, Roar, last week was another of the episode’s highlights, IMHO. They countrified it, to an extent, and somehow managed to pull it off.
Restless Road are clearly one of Simon’s favorite groups. They harmonize really well together, and they sing together as if they’ve known each other all of their lives.
Next Wednesday, on November 6, the Top 12 acts left will sing head-to-head against each other. While I don’t, in general, like episodes that recap what’s gone on before in the season, this episode of The X Factor did as good of a job as any reality show of recapping the previous episodes.
Also, as the Playoffs and World Series interrupted this season’s continuity, perhaps Simon Cowell and or Fox thought that a recap episode would refresh the memories of viewers of The X Factor. What did you think of tonight’s episode, Meet the Top 12? Please leave your comments/opinions below, and have a Happy Halloween!
Written by: Douglas Cobb