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‘X Factor’ Recap: The Top 10 Contestants Perform Rock Songs

X Factor
FOX

It was all about rock on ‘X Factor‘ tonight, with the Top 10 artists performing songs from the rock canon. Some of the choices were arguable — can Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ really be categorized as rock? No, it’s reggae — but Marley was a rock star, so is there a right answer? Many of the singers struggled, since they are used to belting out pop, not rock!

The fist-clenching Nicole Scherzinger was quite critical this evening, showing disapproval for most of the performers except Marcus Canty. We were also unsure of what was up with that one-shoulder, leather dress thing she was wearing, too. We prefer Nic when she’s kinder and gentler. Oh, and about that forced banter between the judges? It burned at a fever pitch tonight. We guess Rock Week does that to people.

Here is your PopCrush recap of all 10 performers.

The Boys:

Chris Rene: Rene went reggae and served up a soulful, R&B-flecked version of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry.’ We loved it, even though the judges took umbrage with the song since it’s not “rock” in their eyes.

Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley: He rapped over Sting‘s ‘Every Breath You Take,’ which Diddy and Faith Evans once did in tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. But all in all, Paula Abdul said it best: “Why don’t you ever suck?” Did Jay-Z sign him yet? All in due time, Astro.

Marcus Canty: Marcus is an urban star and a consummate entertainer, but he gave it his all with a soulful rendition of Janis Joplin‘s ‘Piece of My Heart.’ He got dirty sexy with his choreography, too.

The Girls:

Rachel Crow: The 14 year old’s kicked up version of the Rolling Stones‘ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ was satisfying. L.A. Reid asked if Crow could sell records and concert tickets and he answered for her: “Yes, Rachel, you can!” She’s improving by leaps and bounds each week.

Melanie Amaro: Her challenge was to show us an edge, since the fact that Amaro can sing isn’t arguable. Her voice is golden. She turned in a torchy version of R.E.M.‘s ‘Everybody Hurts,’ which was also “questionable” as a rock choice, since it’s a ballad. Abdul said she sent us “to church.” Say what? Abdul also said it’s time for Amaro let ‘er rip. We agree.

Drew: She offered a slow but powerful version of U2‘s ‘With or Without You.’ Drew is consistent and like ‘American Idol‘ Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, she is perfecting her skills instead of trying to be something she is not. We love her voice and can’t fault her for that.

The Groups (Make that the Group):

Lakoda Rayne: Abdul’s last remaining group was performing to keep her alive in the competition as much as they were for themselves. If they go out, she goes out. The Lakoda Rayne ladies mashed up the Outfield’s ‘Your Love’ and Fleetwood Mac‘s ‘Go Your Own Way.’ They found their lane and all signs point to country rock.

The Over 30s:

Leroy Bell: He rasped through Bob Seger‘s raspy ‘We’ve Got Tonight.’ It was largely considered an uninspired performance, since Bell was a bit to loyal to this sad, sad, ballad.

Stacy Francis: She went low, low, low, with Meat Loaf‘s ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.’ Francis is gospel one week, pop the next, and soul the week after. There’s no continuity, and while she can sing, she isn’t forging an identity. None of the judges liked the song choice. Neither did we. She is going backward each week.

Josh Krajcik: He turned in the most muscular and masterful rock ‘n’ roll performance with a rough, raw and edgy rendition of Foo Fighters‘ ‘The Pretender.’ Well done and well played. Josh ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Tune in tomorrow to find out who is going home and who will comprise the final nine.

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