The X Factor – Trey & Nick’s Rankings – Top 3
This was a really close ranking between Trey and myself, and it’s to the point where I feel like it’s actually somewhat incidental where each act is ranked, given that there are only three remaining. More than any other week since we’ve been doing this, this week’s list is influenced more by what we want to happen than anything we actually expect will. And that will probably add up to this being one of the more contentious installments we’ve ever done. But more than that, I personally feel that all three acts were so even throughout the night that it’s hard not to just rank them all the same. Each act had at least one underwhelming/questionable performance, with the other two varying between solid and exceptional. We invite disagreement in the comments, along with your own rankings! Seriously, if you disagree, let us know where you would have put them!
Trey and I have enjoyed doing this, even if we have caught the occasionally bit of flack over our rankings. But disagreement is the bread and butter of social discourse, so cheers all around. Now onto the list…
1. Fifth Harmony
Neither Trey nor myself think Fifth Harmony is actually going to win this season, but it’s what we’re both rooting for. They’re a unique act on a singing competition, a direct refutation of the “Guys rule” philosophy of recent talent shows, which has only recently been broken by the victories of The Voice winner Cassadee Pope and last year’s X Factor champion Melanie Amaro. They have far more mainstream viability than even their mentor makes apparent, and the fact remains that they’ve been one of the show’s most consistent acts. Last night, they delivered two repeat vocals, yet smashed both performances. If there are any detriments to proclaiming them this week’s top act, it’s in how far out of their depth the girls were on “Let It Be”, to say nothing of their continued struggle to actually harmonize (as much of that work was done by the background singers). But even then, we found that we enjoyed their performances better than any performance by either of the other two acts, and they came across as unexpectedly radio-ready in their performance with Demi. Is it good enough for the win? Probably not. But it’s crazy to think of what a Fifth Harmony win would mean for a show like this, where not only are females a viable force once more, but an entire group of them could go all the way.
2. Tate Stevens
Tate is here less on the strength of his vocals (though his “Anything Goes” is probably his best performance of the entire season alongside “From This Moment On”), and more on the complete package he presents: voice, look, attitude, and his engaging midwestern sentiment. Because if Tate wins this season, that’s going to be much of what compels people to vote for him. There’s just something immediately endearing about a big old roughneck who loves the hell out of his family, and is often driven to the verge of tears by his love for his wife – which is not to say he wouldn’t be a deserving winner on the merits of his talent. But he’s never grown or changed or done much of anything different the entire competition. Even Emblem3 tried different avenues, even if it didn’t exactly pan out for the boys. Maybe it’s just a byproduct of LA Reid’s lackadaisical mentorship, but Tate has had opportunities to show different sides and he hasn’t. Then again, we often talk about it being a negative when an artist doesn’t know who he/she is, so Tate knowing exactly who he is from the very first week of the competition is probably one of the biggest factors in his success. You know what you’re getting with Tate, and more often than not, if you’re a fan of what he brings to the table, you’ll really enjoy what he does from one week to the next. For this season, that could very well be good enough for the win.
3. Carly Rose Sonenclar
It’s not that Carly had a bad week, but for the first time in the competition, her performances felt kind of forgettable. Well, except for “Hallelujah.” But even by that point in the evening, I had a hard time remembering anything else she did. “Feelin’ Good” was a great vocal, but it wasn’t a very interesting performance on its own. And “How Do I Live?” was memorable for the wrong reasons. That said, Carly is still a likable, immensely talented performer, and that means a lot on a show like this, even if I don’t think she necessarily exudes the ineffable star quality that the judges insist she does. I would be perfectly happy with a Carly Rose win, but I don’t think either Trey or myself is that invested in actually seeing it happen. Of course, contestants have won singing shows doing less than what Carly did last night.
And that’s it for our rankings this season. Whether you agreed or disagreed with us, both Trey and I would like to thank you for reading. Your readership really means a lot to us, as does your input and conversation each week. We plan to make some significant changes to the rankings when we do this for Idol this spring. We hope you’ll join us then. Regardless, have a safe and happy X Factor finale! Oh, and a happy holiday too.