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X-Factor, Nov. 16 – Searching for a Definition of Rock

Paula introduces her one and only group she has left, Lakoda Rayne. They talk about being so close to having their dreams materialize, but last week, came so close to having it disappear after being in the bottom two. They aren’t just a group, but now see themselves as sisters and best friends. One of the group members is from Cape Town, South Africa, and moved her at age 10 to follow her dreams. Paula is confident they’re here to stay, and they want to make her proud. Tonight, they sing a medley of (I Don’t Want to Lose) Your Love and Go Your Own Way. If Randy Jackson were here, he’d be talking about them being pitchy.

L.A. is happy that it’s the first time he’s seen Lakoda Rayne have fun. Does it measure up to the competitors and do they have what it takes to become superstars? The group feels they do, but he found it bare. He can’t find it in him to call it amazing and great. Nicole thinks they found their lane, country rock. She’s been missing some of the edge and rawness, but wants to see them let go even more. 

Simon always thought Lakoda Rayne had potential, but his honest opinion is that tonight was a complete mess. He really hopes America sticks with them, because he thinks they have a great performance waiting to happen. But at the point they jumped off the boxes with the ridiculous dances and stupid unnecessary choreography made it gimmicky. L.A., of all people, interrupts to tell him he’s being mean, saying it wasn’t that bad. Paula means no disrespect, but says the girls have earned their place. She’s most proud of them for coming together as a group, and standing their ground. They chose this song. She sees a void in the marketplace that The Dixie Chicks once owned.

Drew, Simon’s last act, is up next with a U2 song. Drew talks about L.A. not being nice last week. Simon thinks L.A. is competitive and just trying to get into her head, but he tells her not to let him in there. She calls it shocking, as she never had that happen to her before. It’s her first negative feedback. On top of everything, she, Rachel, and Astro also have to go to school for three hours a day. LA. notes he heard she’d doing the same thing over and over again this week, but she’s prepared for the criticism this time. She sings With or Without You, and I have to agree with L.A. here that it sounds the same as every other week. It’s a little boring after awhile. I couldn’t take a whole concert or record of that.

L.A. tells Drew she already knows that he thinks she has the most original voice in the competition, yet he’s still in that place he was in last week. He loved her last week, and does this week, but he’s pushing for more and feels she has what it takes to go the distance. She explains she’s trying to keep her base on the genre she wants to be. Nicole tells Drew she knows how much she adores her, but she loves that song and was waiting for the tempo to pick up and waiting for more. It’s the slowest rock song and leaves her frustrated.

Paula points out a good thing, that Drew is in a good place with a big fanbase. She needs to take advantage of the genres and show diversity, which will lead to long, long success. She’s hoping for an uptempo from her though. Simon wants Drew to take no notice of the three witches on his side, particularly “Cruella” in the middle who thought doing Meat Loaf with tempo was original. It’s about being unique and appealing to her fanbase and doing something no one has done before. It’s why he believes in her and feels she’s going to be there until the end. She thanks him and thanks her fans for supporting her. Don’t do that too quickly. It gets a bit precocious.

Last up for the night is L.A.’s Marcus Canty, who he describes as a “PK,” a preacher’s kid. Marcus explains the church is definitely a huge part of his life and started to sing with his mom in the church choir at about 11 years old. One of the things he does at the church is look after the kids, and sees himself as their role model. His aunt is the pastor. L..A. wants him to be bad, sexy, and dirty this week. Marcus indeed finds it difficult to go there, and it has to be a week his mom and aunt are flying in to see him. He wants to show he can be a good boy and a rocker. Tonight, Marcus sings Piece of My Heart, and is dressed like Usher Lite. You have to love the scoot on his back between all the female dancers’ legs. It’s not the right song, though. It’s too iconic in its original genre.

Nicole notes Marcus took on the queen of blues rock and lit the stage on fire. It was great, it was raw, and it was him. That’s all she could ever want. She also knows he rocked his church out tonight. Without a question, Paula feels Marcus is the entertainer of the competition. He doesn’t have a choice. He’s amazing and considerate, as he mopped the floor … literally. Simon points out Marcus said he was going to be a good boy, then he saw him looking up ten girls’ skirts while he slid between their legs. His mentor, the Devil, just put him in Hell. He didn’t’ think the song suited him, as it was like him pretending to be somebody. L.A. tells him not to listen to any of that, because “you rocked!”

Of course the question of the night will be who the bottom two will be. Paula’s group didn’t seem to earn their right to climb out of the bottom two, so they will probably be one of them. I love Stacy Francis, but this week found her to be the second weakest act. She could be standing next to Lakoda Rayne for an all-female bottom two.

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