Via XFactorUSA.com

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

But, Tate Stevens y’all? Is he really that good?

I have a theory about Tate Stevens and you can let me know what you think about it in the comments. Tate may be the least offensive contestant in the history of all music shows. How can you dislike him? He’s a good dad and a good husband and a good son and the guy is hard to dislike. Does it make him a great singing contestant? I don’t think so.

I think part of what’s hard to judge about him is that he sounds like any old country artist you’ve ever heard. I don’t listen to a ton of country music, but I have listened to enough to know the good from the bad. Is Tate Stevens better than Scotty McCreery? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m not sure it’d even be a race.

Scotty was original, young, and charismatic. Tate is just an old guy with some soul and a decent voice. I don’t buy him at all as the winner of this competition. We are desperately missing a Melanie Amaro this season. The one front runner is Emblem3 and what will hold them back is that they look like douchy goof balls who you wouldn’t let date your daughter or hang out with your son.

After last week’s eliminations, we need a moment of silence for Jennel Garcia and Lyric 145. In three, two, one …

Jennel’s look was too unfocused and she felt fidgety. And while Lyric 145 had grown on me, there was no chance they were going to win this show. No chance. CeCe Frey, you are lucky girl.

This week’s theme was giving thanks. There were lots of sad and tearful stories about who the contestants were singing to including CeCe Frey’s older sister who passed away because of complications from cerebral palsy. They were tugging at the heart strings tonight.

Also, Mario made sure this time to tell us that they were doing a double elimination show again on Thursday. So two acts will be leaving on Thanksgiving. Oh, how nice.

Performances Of The Night

Most of the performances were at least solid. But half of them were much better than the others. I’ll rank them.

5. “Secrets” by Emblem3 – The douchy threesome come correct every time. I’m not sure they’re as likable as they’ll need to be to win, but they are consistently good and this was no different. It was fairly laid back and they may eventually have to switch it up, but if they don’t at least make it to the top three, it will be because of their likabilty factor.

4. “God Bless The USA” by Vino Alan – He dedicated his song to the US Military and it was the smartest song choice of them all. What they’ve done with his image is just remarkable. He went from being the scariest looking dude ever to the most cuddly teddy bear. His vocal isn’t ever perfect, but I don’t think it matters. He’s got soul.

3. “Chasing Cars” by Beatrice Miller – She’s been the most disappointing to me so far because I thought she had the total package and I thought she’d win the whole thing. But with this song, she’s starting to come into her own. She hit all the tender parts perfectly and when she needs to sing, she can sang.

2. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Carly Rose Sonenclar – I didn’t even really like it because it was so darn theatrical, but from a vocal performance, it was absolutely amazing. I think Judy Garland would’ve whispered to Ray Bolger and said, “She out over the rainbowed me.”

1. “Because You Loved Me” by Diamond White – This was the epic performance we’ve been waiting for. And man, Britney gives her the hardest songs ever.

(By the way, I really loved Fifth Harmony’s version of “I’ll Stand By You” even if it was uneven and even if they shouldn’t really let all five girls sing lead.)

Were There Any Duds?

There were only two duds. Arin Ray continues to disappoint, but some of it has to do with the songs he’s given to perform. No one in their right mind, unless it was the reincarnation of Enrique Iglesias himself, should sing his version of “Hero”. You want to sing “Escape My Love” (aka the stalker song), fine. But “Hero”? Come on Britney. My man should be doing Usher and Michael Jackson stuff.

The other terrible performance was CeCe Frey. I really don’t want to pick on her, but she’s just bad. She performed “Wind Beneath My Wings” for her deceased big sister and it was such a sad story, the judges didn’t want to give her any negative feedback. She was strong on stage and stuck it out, but she still wasn’t good. Her vocals were all over the place.

Paige Thomas performed a Britney song. Her version of “Everytime” could’ve been good, but she couldn’t keep her composure. Her voice isn’t strong enough to win this. But her look can carry her. She just needs to compose herself out there so she can perform at the level necessary to stick around and not sniffle through her song.

Who Improved Their Stock?

I think Beatrice and Diamond White helped themselves most. Vino and Carly should be one and two or two and one tomorrow, but they’re already top three.

Who Hurt Themselves?

Tate Stevens won’t hurt himself to the point of leaving the show. But I do think he lost a bit of his footing with his version of “I’m Already There”. And also, by opening the show, he was easily forgotten by the time it was over. Arin Ray and Paige Thomas are already perennial bottom-dwellers and I think they’ll stay there.

Khloe Watch

Simon talked about Tate singing with emotion which may have caused his vocals to crack and either Khloe didn’t hear him or she didn’t understand what he was talking about. Her very next question was to ask Simon what he’d just stated. And in a few separate instances when Mario was taking the show into commercial, she simply couldn’t look at the camera in a calm manner. She’d smirk. She’d look away. She’d have a goofy face. Can someone train her?

Who Goes Home?

If not for CeCe’s story, I think she’d be a goner. Instead, I think it’s going to be Arin Ray and Paige Thomas.

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