Out of The Comfort Zone! THE X FACTOR USA – Live Shows Week 3 Recap

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Out of The Comfort Zone! THE X FACTOR USA – Live Shows Week 3 Recap

Last week’s “The X Factor USA” Wednesday episode saw some disreprenices in the voting totals, and the show had to have a “redo” with the voting. At the start of Wednesday night’s episode, it was revealed that Carlos Guevara had the least amount of votes and was sent home. Carlos was the fist eliminated contestant. After his elimination was announced, his mentor Paulina advised – “Keep going, keep doing it!”

The X Factor USA - 80s week

Tape cassette. Remember these? – THE X FACTOR USA

It was “80s week” on The X Factor USA. The mentors got decked-out in 1980s clothing with the hair and makeup to match, except Simon Cowell who wore a nondescript white collared shirt and suit jacket. Hey, that look is always in style! Kelly Rowland’s singer Lillie McCloud performed first.


LILLIE MCCLOUD (Kelly – Over 25s) TOP 10

Lillie said she had a record back in the 80s but “it didn’t go any where,” she recounted. Kelly seemed inspired by Lillie, stating, “After 30 some years, this woman is still hungry!” Kelly gave her 1983 hit”Ain’t Nobody” song by Rufus & Chaka Khan.

Paulina said, “You’re a Godess – even in the 80s!” Demi was taken by Lillie, “This is your time right now. You really shined right now. Showing something different and having fun.”

Simon, who keeps telling Lillie that she is “dated” touched on the topic again in his comment to her, “You’re out of breathe aren’t you? You’re a naughty little thing there. You were making eye contact with me and it was sexy. You made an attempt to be current. You were like a night club before. I don’t think that dance hit is your thing. But it was different than what we’ve seen before.”

Kelly advised her, “Sometimes you have to get out of your head. Keep showing people who you are!”
Simon asked her if she thinks she can win this. Lillie answered, “yes” because she’s a Cameleon and will do anything that they ask.


CARLITO OLIVERO (Paulina – Boys) TOP 10

He said last week he felt like he didn’t give his best. He sang “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine released in 1987.

Kelly’s complaint to Carlito was, “You suppose to be suave and smooth when you’re singing to these ladies!” Demi gave more praise to the backup dancers in his performance, “I’ve paid more attention to the dancers than to you. You were getting lost. It wasn’t for me.”

Simon was not impressed, “You have to start taking more control more of what you were doing. You didn’t have the vocals. You’re trying to remember too many things. You’ve had two bad weeks now.”

His mentor Paulina saw a different issue, “What we need to do now, is you’re struggling with your face.” Simon said “What, he’s struggling with his voice.”


RION PAIGE (Demi – Girls) TOP 10

Rion thought that the Spice Girls were from the 80s! Rion was born in the 2000s. Demi said “it’s hard to embody a decade that you weren’t around for.”

Rion sang Pat Benatar’s 1984 single “We Belong To The Light”

Kelly commented, “I love how you sang that, like you were born in the 80s. You really delivered on that performance.” Paulina said, “You’re fantastic. You’re a fire cracker.”

Simon loved Rion’s talent, but not the song, ” I thought you were sensational last week. What I like about you – no matter what song you get, you sing it 110 percent. I don’t think Demi has connected the best song with you yet. You need to have more input, you understand?”

Demi fired back that she felt like it was a good song choice. Rion said her and Demi did collaborate on the song choice when Simon asked. She said she felt like she related to the song.



Simon said this group is about “having fun”. Singing “Mickey” released in 1981 by Toni Basil

Kelly said, “I feel like this week you guys fell into a rhythm. I want it to be great.” She said their vocals “weren’t great.”
Paulina’s advice to the Country crooners was, “Smile, look at each other all the time. You three are amazing.”

Demi’s harsh critique was, “The best thing was the fire. I feel like they have low energy. They need to work the stage more. Too much on their dance moves.” Simon told Demi to “shut-up.” Then said, “I think actually think it was the best performance of the night so far. You look commercial,” and that he was really proud of them.


TIM OLSTAD – (Paulina – Boys) TOP 10

Singing “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins was recorded in 1984 as part of the movie soundtrack by the same name. Tim said he has a new friend now whom he met off Twitter – its’ @Sarah_Hyland from the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family”.

X Factor USA, Tim Olstad, Sarah Hyland

X Factor USA, Tim Olstad, Sarah Hyland

Kelly sweetly told Tim, “I adore you. I have to be honest, that still fell flat this week.” Paulina rushed to his defense and said, “I don’t agree. I think you are giving your all. I know this is a very well-known song. You did what I asked you for.”

Demi was not so sweet and had some harsh words for Tim, “There is no X Factor and the dancer stole the show. If it were up to me, you’d be going home.”

Simon said he agreed with Demi (for once), and that “there was this dancer doing something weird behind you. She was dying. It was like a horror show. You have to do something a bit more outside of your comfort zone.”


KHAYA COHEN – (Demi – Girls) TOP 10

Khaya sang “Borderline” by Madonna released in 1984. Khaya said she has to deliver a great performance.

Kelly said, “I can definitely say from that performance I get the feeling you’re ready for this whole music thing!” Paulina simply said, “You are singing better than ever!”

Simon was pleasantly surprised! The playfulness that Khaya showed towards him during her performance didn’t hurt either. Simon reacted with, “I’ve got to know you better. Now you’re showing personality. Now you’re showing confidence. I think we’ve discovered someone really, really special!”

Demi told Khaya, “I keep getting more proud of you every week. YOU Killed it!”


RESTLESS ROAD – (Simon – Groups) TOP 10

The 80s is one the most iconic decades said “Restless Road”. Simon said that they have to “rise up to what the 80s was.” Simon said it’s about selling their personalities. They were worried about competing with the rest of the singers with dance.

They sang “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. It was released in 1984 as a single for the soundtrack for the movie by the same name.

Kelly wants her tickets now! She said, “You guys are loads of fun. I will be front row at your concert when you’re on tour.” Paulina said, “You did great! I love the song It’s awesome.” Demi was amazed, “This could have been your song. You’ve been doing well each week.” She thinks singer Colton is stealing the show.

Mentor Simon said, “I love the fact that you love being here and that’s infectious. I have a good feeling about you.” Colton said, “I think we’re just a bunch of normal guys. But I think we definitely could win this whole thing”.



Rachel said she was “a really silly kid in the 80s.” Kelly advised Rachel, “When you tap into an emotion, then it becomes extraordinary.” Kelly also told Rachel that she needs to “stay connected.” and “The only person you need to get past yourself.”

Rachel sang “Alone” by Heart who made the song number one in 1987. It was originally recorded for a CBS sitcom “Dreams” in 1984.

Paulina reacted to Rachel’s performance, “you are such a great singer. After this performance, you can show everybody that you’re all show and entertainer. A little sassy.”

Demi gave her high praises, “You make me so proud every week and you’re not even in my category. You remind me of a mix between Shania Twain and Martina McBride.”

Simon said, “Thank you. You had a great song to sing this week. What kind of recording artist do you want to be?” he asked her. She said “Country”. Simon said he didn’t see that in this song.

“I don’t think anyone in his category hits those notes” said Kelly in response to Simon’s comment.


ELLONA SANTIAGO – (Demi – Girls) TOP 10

“Her greatest challenge is her dancing. Because she dances more than anyone else in this competition,” said Demi about her singer Ellona.

She sang “I Wanna To Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston released in 1987.

Kelly was amazed, “This voice is just bigger than your tiny, tiny body. I always feel like you have so much to give us!” Paulina said, “You are perfection.”

Simon was completely honest, “Ellona, I thought that the first two thirds of the song were literally mad. Then the last 30 seconds, you hit that note and the melody came back.”

Demi agreed to showcase less dancing. She said Ellona slipped but she still “killed it” and she picked herself up. Then she dove into Simon, “He’s so excited because its 80s week and he is 80!” Demi said about Simon’s 80s photo which was shown on a large screen in front of the audience.


JOSH LEVI – (Paulina – Boys) TOP 10

Josh sang “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul

Josh wasn’t born yet in the 80s. Paulina worked with Josh on singing and dancing at the same time. She had him sing while he was doing cardio which included jogging.

Kelly told Josh, “I’m going to go on record saying this. I think you young man just arrived! I don’t want to see you in your head. You have to live more outside yourself.”

Demi was astounded, “I don’t know how you were ever let go in the competition. You are so amazing. You are already on fire at fifteen.”

Simon was thoroughly impressed with Josh, “One minute we’re watching and hearing Karaoke singers, then the next minute we’re watching and hearing a future super star. You are someone serious to watch in this competition! You were amazing!”

Paulina said, “You sang like crazy, you danced like no one else. You are amazing!”


JEFF GUTT (Kelly – Over 25s) TOP 10

Jeff said he only has $1 in his bank account – nonetheless, a stressful time for him and “can’t raise a son on a dollar.”

Jeff was fighting exhaustion before his live performance, but got the rest that he needed before showtime! Singing “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” by Cutting Crew, released in 1986. Jeff sang against a silhouetted back-drop of sexy women with a similar style as a James Bond movie opening or, Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” video.

Paulina said, “Evey week you’re giving us new material. I understand your thinking. I love it.” Demi told Jeff, “You know you are one of my favorites in this competition. We are lucky we have you covering the rock side in this competition.”

Simon said he was like a wannabe. “Its’ a little bit like ‘I want to be a rock star.’ Something that makes you original. You have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It’s a bit Spinal Tap and it’s forgettable.”

Kelly defended her artist. She said Jeff is not afraid of hard work and can do it all.” She mentioned that he can “fix” it.

Simon decided to offer some constructive criticism to someone who isn’t even in the competition, the host Mario Lopez! He told Mario that his dancing tonight has been “notorious!”


ALEX AND SIERRA (Simon – Groups) TOP 10

Simon was afraid a little bit of Alex and Sierra’s act which included dancing. He said, “this is either going to be amazing or dreadful.”
Sierra said she’s been singing more now for only a few months.

Simon said, “They have to push themselves a little bit more and that there’s more pressure on them this week. They sang “Addicted to Love” released in 1986 by Robert Palmer which became his signature hit. Alex and Sierra performed the song in a very original arrangement. There were mostly negative reactions from the mentors.

Kelly said, ” I love you guys. I love watching you all as a couple. But when you got on the other side of that wall, your show performance changed. It was very magnetic.” Paulina said, “Very vintage, and 70s”.

Demi said, “I feel you could have worked the set-up a little better. I don’t know how you’re walking in those shoes (to sierra’s high platform-like shoes). When it’s more organic, It comes together.”

Simon said, “We don’t like to do the same thing week after week. We like to be original. You lost your melody. I hate to say this but it wasn’t as good as it could have been.” Once you lose the song, Sierra did lose the melody in the beginning , it put off Alex as well.




The top 12 opened the show by singing “Perfect Day”, a dedication song to Lou Reed who recently passed.

The first elimination of the night happened during the show’s second act. Everyone was shocked when host Mario Lopez revealed that the act going home was Simon’s girl group “Sweet Suspense”. Simon responded by saying he was shocked and told the girls “you did nothing wrong. Without sounding rude, there were worse singers last night.”

A pre-taped performance by Selena Gomez was shown to the live audience and broadcasted. Selena Gomez performed last week.

The acts that are safe to go through to next week’s live shows were announced as (in no particular order as announced by host Lopez): Carlito Olivero (people were shocked as well over this one, but for different reasons), Josh Levi, Rion Paige, Jeff Gutt, Lillie McCloud, Tim Olstad (another shocker), Ellona Santiago, Restless Road, and Alex & Sierra. All three of Paulina’s acts went through.

The bottom two acts who had to sing for their lives in order to return to The X Factor were: Rachel Potter, and Khaya Cohen.

A live performance by Simon’s girl group from last season Fifth Harmony returned to The X Factor stage to perform their latest release “Me and My Girls.” The show did a glamour girl-like parody with the contestants earlier in the show to promote one of the show’s sponsors ” Herbal Essences” shampoo while singing “Me and My Girls” song by Fifth Harmony.


Mentors Vote Second Elimination

To round-out the shocker of the night, as if Sweet Suspense going home wasn’t enough and the bottom two being two of the best singers this season, was when the mentors had to choose who they were going to send home.

Their votes were as follows: Kelly said “They are both incredible. There is no reason in the world why some of the best vocalists are in the bottom two” She then nominated herself to go home. But, then ended-up voting for Khaya Choen to be eliminated.

Next, Paulina said “You two girls are so different. Such good talent, both of you. Music is unpredictable as life. I’m so sorry, “it’s Rachel” she picked to go home.

Demi voted next. Demi said, “I think honestly what happened is America thought these two girls were safe. So they didn’t vote. You need to vote for the MOST talented people in this competition. Rachel Potter was her choice.

Then Simon, who was the most frustrated, said, “Both of you did very well in that sing-off. The act who I think I’m going to keep is the one I believe has the most potential. The act I’m sending home, I’m sorry is Rachel. Khaya is whom he chose to keep. Rachel was the second eliminated act of the night and week.



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