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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

X-Factor, Nov. 9 – A Night at the Movies

Paula’s only remaining group, The Stereo Hoggz, get their shot after being in the bottom two last week. Paula admits she was shocked to see them in the bottom two. The guys call it a reality check. Trace feels he was born to be an entertainer. He grew up with a single mom, and knew he wanted to do music someday after seeing Thriller. L.A. does not love how they sound week after seek. He’s a bitchy one, isn’t he? They sing Ain’t No Other Man from Get Smart and put out a great production here. They don’t deserve the bottom two again, but I don’t know who else does.

L.A. calls it a tough week for the group being in the bottom two last week, but this is their recovery week. They did a song he’s not that familiar with, but they did a great job and look amazing and always entertain. Paula points out it’s a Christina Aguilera song, and he asks, “From what decade?” Nicole’s comment is “Bananas.” This is her favorite performance from them yet, and she gives kudos to Paula for their choreography.

Simon chides Nicole a little, telling her it was really helpful advice … bananas. “It was really digging deep.” His problem is that while their choreography and work ethic are amazing, they’re not performing the record they would make. They were much closer in week one, because it was current. The problem he has is they need to become less cabaret and become recording artists. Paula couldn’t disagree more and thinks the song sits right in the bank for movie week. It’s a great song for them. Trace is a great leader with great vocals.

Josh Krajcik, Nicole’s last act, is up. He’s happy for his mom in all this, as she’s having a blast. It still takes her breath away when he sings. The people back home are going crazy for him and have even created the Krajcik Burrito. He’s doing a Joe Cocker song this week, who he’s always compared to, but L.A. thinks he now needs to prove he can sing as well as him. Josh wants to show how different he is, though. He sings With a Little Help From My Friends from Across the Universe. Where it really succeeds is they update the song to sound more current. Dare I say it? He doesn’t just show he can sing as good as Joe, he might even sound better. Wow.

L.A. tells Josh it was really strong. It was one of his favorite voices on one of his favorite songs. “Well done.” Paula finds Josh’s voice very comforting, like Chicken Soup for the Soul. He did not take a risks; it’s who he is. “Amazing, amazing, amazing … beyond.”

Simon loves the song choice. The first half didn’t quite work, but the second half was great. He offers up one quick criticism. It’s his mentor’s responsibility, but he looks like Dracula and the brides up there. He thinks next week he needs to lose the gimmicks and just be himself on the stage singing a song. Nicole tells Simon to not hate, and just congratulate. She feels Josh is “so worthy and ready for a $5 million recording contract.” Amen, Sister.

L.A.’s last act to perform is Chris Rene. His mom came to the show last week and told him there are two things she is proud of, one his sobriety, and two, this. He knows it was heartbreaking for her to watch him go through his addiction, but now this is like the opposite of all that. L.A. thinks they’re going to nail it with him this week, and it’s a good thing, because Simon is looking for the Chris Rene they saw in his first audition. He sings a song from Dangerous Minds, putting in his own rap lyrics, obviously taking a lesson from the kid. However, it does recapture his success from his original audition. This is who he is.

Nicole tells Chris he just channels and it’s a gift. She especially like the lyric he wrote about “thought I was the king, but I was acting like a clown,” and ended with “headed to the top and when I get there I ain’t never gonna stop.” ‘Nuff said. Paula feels glorious seeing Chris in his element tonight, as he was real, truthful, and amazing.

Simon can only say, “Welcome back, Chris Rene, as it was what they loved about him. He also points out all of them made an agreement together, and he’s really proud of the fact he has stuck to what he has done and what he promised he would do. It’s obvious he’s talking about his agreement to them to stay sober. Hopefully the show will make his life what he wants it to be, because Simon thinks he is potentially a real star. He tells L.A. he has done a great job with his acts tonight. L.A. is proud of Chris too, and only says it was like a long way home, but they’re there now.

Last up for the night is Simon’s last act, Rachel Crow. She’s from a small town in Colorado and is and adoptee. Her mom discusses bonding with her and feels they’re soulmates. Rachel asks who would’ve thought a few months ago she’d be there with Adam Sandler. Simon doesn’t think he’s done a good job with her so far, but he listened, and he thinks they’ve come up with a killer song that could be a game changer. She sings I’d Rather Go Blind from Cadillac Records, and from the firs few notes, I’m saying “Wow.” How can this girl be 13? That’s what was missing before; Simon was trying to make her too young. She has an old soul, and he needs to exploit that.

L.A. also issues a few wows. Up until now, he wasn’t sure if Rachel was a sure contender for the big prize, but tonight she proved she was. She was his favorite yet. Nicole is happy Simon listened to her about his song choices for Rachel. Rachel interrupts and says she picked her own song this week. That explains it. Nicole doesn’t know where she gets her soul, but only God knows.

Paula tells “Baby Girl” she loves her some Rachel. She is so glad she is teaching Simon humility. It is the best performance and who she is on this stage. Simon brags he isn’t afraid to admit when he gets something wrong, unlike the others, but when you have a relationship with an artist you trust, like how he trusts Rachel, it led to a conversation. She reminded him tonight of a mini Beyonce. Right now, she is back in the game.

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