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X Factor USA Recap: Fifth Harmony Surprises, Tate Stevens Slays During Semi-Finals

Fifth Harmony X Factor USA semifinals

Fifth Harmony

With just four acts left in the competition on season two of the X Factor USA, it’s time for everyone to step it up. On last night’s (December 12) live semi-finals performance show, a few of the singers did just that.

Britney Spears‘ last teen, L.A. Reid‘s final over 25s performer and Simon Cowell‘s two groups all went head to head, hoping to do enough to make it to next week’s big finals performance night and  results finale. Some proved that not all hope is lost while others continued doing what they do best. Here’s the full rundown on last night’s semi-finals performances.

Contestants’ Choice

Tate Stevens – Over 25s: Tate turned things up a few notches with a fiery performance of Craig Morgan’s “Bonfire.” All the judges simply swooned over the performance–all but Britney Spears that is. “I have to say at this point in the competition it has to be your best and I don’t think it was your best,” she said. Impartial judge Demi Lovato thought it was “freaking amazing” though.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens: Carly threw down some excellent vocals during her performance of Elton John’s “Your Song.” The children’s choir joining her on stage was a bit much but it was still a really good effort. L.A. thought she did things with the song that’s never been done before but Demi thought it was predictable. That said, she really loved the song choice and the more r&b arrangement.

Emblem3 – Groups: Tears. Real and actual tears fell from our eyes as we witnessed the murder of Peter Frampton’s beautiful “Baby I Love Your Way” at the hands of LFO 2012. Clearly, there’s something we’re missing because this group of SoCal boys suck. L.A. thought the performance was “inventive” and Britney said they’re more than a boy band.

Fifth Harmony – Groups: The stars aligned and magic came together to help Fifth Harmony give one of the best performances they’ve ever given. Not only that, but this performance of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen” was one of the best performance of the entire season. It was visually stunning and the vocals were on point. L.A. (finally) praised their vocals and Britney loved everything about it.

Winning Song Choice

Tate Stevens – Over 25s: Tate gave a gorgeous performance of Clay Walker’s “Fall,” ending his semi-finals performance night on a super high note. Britney says we’ve seen him hit and miss a lot (what?!) but this was a direct hit. Simon says “there is about as much chance of you going back to your old job as there is of me flying to the moon tomorrow night,” adding that he’s done enough for the finals.

Carly Rose Sonenclar – Teens: Carly Rose performed a fantastic song: John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The vocal overkill she performed on the song, however, was not fantastic. Carly could have really nailed this by making it a tender, piano-driven performance but it became a cluttered and crowded affair with the too-big-for-the-song notes and addition of the choir. Simon agreed, saying all of the extras “made a beautiful song fussy.” All the other judges adored it and an off night for Carly is still better than everyone else’s best so she should have nothing to worry about.

Emblem3 – Groups: Again, what are we missing?! E3’s performance of the Beatles’ classic “Hey Jude” was nightmare-ish yet the judges nearly got on their knees with praise. L.A. even went as far as saying they’re heartthrobs like the Beatles were in their day. No. Please just stop the lies.

Fifth Harmony – Groups: After the brilliance that was their first performance of the night, it’s so hard to see things not really come together for their second. Their performance of Shontelle’s pop gem “Impossible” was just winning material. The addition of Spanish was nice but the vocals were not pitch perfect, leaving us all to compare the performance to the first time we’ve seen them perform it during the judges’ house rounds.

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  1. How bad is this author says:

    Does anyone actually read your awful writing?

    • Ex-American Idol fan says:

      Evidently you do if you’re commenting on it.

      ANYWAY, I thought everyone did a decent job except for that awful Emblem 3. I’m amazed that they’re still there to be honest. They’re about as bed as that Ke$ha copycat that got voted off not too long ago.

  2. I agree Emblem 3 are awful ! The one guy rarely sings and likes to show off his muscles. Well i’m not impressed. They can’t stand still and act like they are on something . There is nothing special to their voices. And yes they are just another boy band.

  3. Loved everyone but Emblem 3. They are very over rated.

  4. What?! I thought Emblem3 were actually really good! Okay, so sometimes their vocals aren’t on point, but that’s mainly because of the rubbish songs they are given. You should listen to their original songs
    Like “curious” or “Tequila sunrise”. They have a reggae/punk sound, and Simon is just trying to turn them
    Into another rotten pop act by singing mainstream songs. These guys are incredibly talented.
    My winner is definitely Fifth Harmony( they have grown so much in the competition and they have more of an appeal and would sell really well) , I don’t even know why Tate Stevens is still there-like wtf?, Carly rose is overrated and she is pretty mediocre-I don’t care how old she is, she isn’t gonna sell records..another Melanie amaro, Emblem3 should come second-they have been trying for years and they are actually really talented in real life and not to mention they are pretty damn hot.
    And it’s too bad I live in the UK , so I can’t even vote :(

  5. Carly’s first song is one of my favorites from Elton John. What a performance. She made it her own special. On her second song, we may sometimes not like what Simon says but he knows his stuff. “Imagine” is a beautiful song that does not need all the fuss. That said, I thought it was good to showcase Carly on the piano.

  6. They traded the brit guy 2011 who was annoying for Mario Lopez yay!! but why add Chloe K O she is stiff and loudly obnoxious seems like she tries to focus the attention on herself, not a good commentator at all, stops n starts when she talks, horrible!! Has a weird sour puss look on her face often.

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