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November 22, 2014

'The X Factor': Top 5 Memorable Performances from Chicago and Seattle

by Laura Prudom, posted Sep 29th 2011 5:00AM
The X Factor judgesThe first of this week's 'X Factor' episodes was a little lacking in actual talent, but it's reassuring to know that we only have to suffer through one more audition round before we can get to the good stuff.

(I wonder if all of the true stars are being left on the cutting room floor so that they can shine during Hollywood Week bootcamp instead?)

Though not every contestant can be like Chris Rene, there were still a few memorable performances this Wednesday night, so we waded through the filler to dig up the Top Five most memorable acts -- good and bad -- for our video highlights.

Hit the jump for more!

The Good:

1. Josh Krajcik
Though the husky Josh is 30 and a burrito maker with a highly-strung mom, the producers (thankfully) didn't patronize him with a sob story background video -- his vocal talent spoke for itself. It was clear that the judges didn't expect much out of him at the start, but seeing their expressions change as Josh launched into a confident, bluesy rendition of 'At Last' was worth all the minutes we had to spend watching his mother freak out over her hair. He reminds me of a less arrogant version of 'Idol's' Casey Abrams, one who doesn't need to try so hard to be twice as good.



2. Skyelor Anderson
An earnest 16-year-old from Mississippi, Skyelor wants to be successful just so that he can buy his mom a house -- how can you argue with that? Luckily for his mom, he was every bit as talented as he was charming, even after his backing track cut out and forced him to continue a capella (almost without missing a beat). He went country and rocked it, earning a well-deserved four yeses.



3. Drew Ryniewicz
A giggly 14-year-old who's obsessed with Justin Bieber? Sounds like my worst nightmare. But after a hell of a lot of build up and some trouble with math ("Justin Bieber's favorite color is purple and red!") the brave little toaster hit the stage to perform her own twist on her idol's song 'Baby,' even in front of the mighty Bieber-gatekeeper L.A. Reid. To everyone's surprise, her version was even better than Biebs', with actual range and impressive control. Maybe she'll get her dream duet after all.



Honorable mention: 4Shore were a little bland, and didn't sound half as spectacular as they apparently sounded to the judging panel from my couch, but they were easy on the eyes and their harmonies were nice enough. All of their attempts to liven up the crowd got a little wearing, though.


The Bad:

4. "The Good Girls"
Thankfully, there wasn't too much screechy horror in this episode, but this ironically-named, scarily intense mother-daughter duo from Seattle did send a chill down my spine. Mom was a surprising 70, while her daughter's make-up was bad enough that Simon mistook her for the elder of the pair, ouch. Their attempt at Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On?' had me asking the same question. "It's the worst group I've ever heard in my life," Simon succinctly declared.



The "WTF":

5. J. Mark Inman
I've got to question the rationale of the judging panel when Paula and Nicole are prepared to stonewall perfectly passable singers like Tiah (or anyone else with breasts) while creepers like "J. Mark" are given four yeses just for being weird. His apt performance of Radiohead's 'Creep' wasn't the worst thing I've heard in my life, but it sure wasn't anything close to the best -- his dancing was definitely more inspired than his vocals, but mostly he just made me feel uncomfortable.


'The X Factor' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8PM ET on Fox.

Who was your favorite act on Wednesday night? Did you think the judges were right to fight over Tiah? Share your reactions below!

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