The X Factor Top Story

The X Factor USA – Results, Recap and Live Blog – Top 4 – 12/12/2013

Welcome to the results, recap and live blog of The X Factor USA Top 4 Results for December 12, 2013!

It’s the final elimination before the finale! Which three acts will make next week’s final? And which act will be eliminated? Also, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Nettles perform!

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Rickey.org readers predict the end for Carlito Olivero, who won a landslide in our “Who’s Going Home?” poll with 61.23% of the vote. The only other act that comes close is Restless Road, which took in 28.95%. There’s no sing-off tonight, so no safety net for the lowest vote-getter! Who’s going to be eliminated at the last stage before The X Factor USA finale? There’s still time to vote in the poll, so head on over and add your predictions, and vote on who’s your favorite among the Top 4!

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Intro

-Just throwing out a cheap plug for the official Rickey.org Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide for 2013. Last year I did the Gift Guide solo, but this year, I got the rest of Team Rickey involved, and I feel it did wonders for the variety of gift suggestions offered. The new guide features gift suggestions from myself, Cassie, Joe, Noelle, Vickye and Trey, in a variety of different categories including TV, movies, music and quirky, random, nerdy stuff. There are some really cool gifts this year, so check it out!

Recap

-We kick things off with a brief montage from last night, followed by Mario’s introduction and a reminder that there will be no sing-off tonight. Whatever happens tonight, it’s all on America. From there, we head into our first musical performance of the night…

The Top 4 sing “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson: Everyone sounds great here. Carlito has a really nice, understated voice when he isn’t pushing it. As the song wears on, I once again wonder why the lead singer in Restless Road was ever cut from his category. He’s arguably a better vocalist than some of the boys who actually went through, and Paulina would have been a far more serious threat for the win with a solo male country singer. But I shudder to think what Restless Road would be without him. (I really do need to learn their names at some point)

-Mario asks the judges about who they’re predicting for the finale, and Demi says her money had been on Ellona (of course, Ellona went before Rion, so I guess she gave up long before Rion went home?). Simon is nervous but confident, and reiterates that last night’s show featured some of the best performances we’ve seen so far. I’m not sure I can even argue with him on that. I was impressed by just about everyone.

8:09 PM

-Back from break with Mario announcing that next week’s finale will feature the return of…One Direction?! OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! LET THEM LIVE! Poor boys, stuck in an endless cycle of X Factor results show performances. From the UK to Australia to America and America again.

-We get a recap of last night with backstage comments. Carlito Olivero is hopeful about his final chances, while Restless Road talks about wanting to show America the kind of music they want to make after the show. Alex and Sierra are hyped about the positive comments they received, and Jeff Gutt is keeping things in perspective, recognizing that this could all go away in a moment. Kelly, meanwhile, is proud of Jeff and declared he huffed and puffed and blew the house down.

For the duets, Carlito feels he held his own and showed the world he means business. Restless Road feels they did what they had to do by making the song their own, while Jeff reflects on how much he loves Restless Road, adding that they’re great guys.

For the third performance, Carlito says he wants to be in the finale, adding that he gave his heart, and that’s all anyone can ever ask. Restless Road say tonight is the most important night of their entire lives, and they hope their families and friends pick up the phones back home. Alex and Sierra are incredibly moved by how touched the judges were, and Sierra says she hopes the feeling never goes away. Jeff and Kelly hug backstage, while Simon talks about not expecting that performance from Jeff. “It’s a fight,” Simon says.

-Mario interviews the contestants, who are backstage. Carlito says he loves each of the contestants, and that they all deserve it. Restless Road echo that opinion, saying that it’s always rough to see someone go. Jeff says he really hopes he’s not the one going home, and that he just hopes he’s advancing to the finale. Mario then throws back to Restless Road without ever asking Alex and Sierra anything. That was weird.

8:21 PM

-Back from break with pretty much the exact same dramatic video package from last week, about how badly each of the contestants want this, and how huge this opportunity is. Jeff says he won’t let anyone take this away from him or his son, while Carlito says life isn’t about proving everybody else wrong, it’s about proving yourself right (that’s…pretty poignant, actually. Well said, Carlito). Restless Road talk about doing this for their hometowns, and Alex and Sierra talk about the pressure of potentially making the finale. Interspersed throughout are comments from the finalists’ family and friends. Pretty compelling stuff. Surprisingly so, given that we’ve gotten variations on this video package for at least three weeks now.

-It’s time to learn the first act going through to the finale. All the contestants are brought out onto the stage and Mario does the long, dramatic pause…a longer pause than usual…a pause that lasts an eternity…a pause that borders on sadism…before throwing to a commercial break.

Dude, American Idol could get away with that kind of tease at the height of its popularity, but ya’ll aren’t pulling in those kinds of ratings, so it might be best not to jerk people around, lest they decide to see how things are going over on The Sing-Off. Don’t jerk your audience around, Simon. Particularly when you don’t have many to jerk, in the first place.

Results, pt. 1

-So we’re back and we get right to it. Mario has the envelope and stresses this is in no particular order…

CARLITO OLIVERO is through to The X Factor USA finale!

OH MY GOD! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!

-Carlito breaks down and says how much he loves America, and how they’ve made his dream come true. Paulina echoes his sentiments, and the crowd is losing it. This is a great moment. Say what you will about Carlito, but he worked his entire ass off to get here, and so it’s exceedingly hard not to feel happy for him. Of course, the question now is, who goes home in his place? I swear, if it’s Alex and Sierra, they might as well just cancel this show now.

Carlito Olivero advances to The X Factor USA 2013 Finale

-Carlito celebrates with a performance of “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo, and I’m surprised he didn’t sing this sooner in the competition, because this is among his smoothest, most effortless performances. I’m sure part of it was his sheer joy, basking in the moment. He even gets a standing ovation. All in all, I really enjoyed this. But then, maybe that’s just a result of my appreciation for the song, which is from a musician who’s Puerto Rican, and currently being sung by a Puerto Rican, on a reality talent show currently being reviewed by a Puerto Rican. We’re through the looking glass here, people.

8:35 PM

-Back from break with Mario hanging out in the audience with Jeff Gutt’s parents and reiterating that One Direction will be on-hand for the finale, although I’m not sure why he’s so joyful about the continued imprisonment of five innocent boys in an interminable prison of results shows with performances cloaked in mood lighting.

-Mario asks Simon and Kelly backstage what was going through their minds when Carlito was announced as safe. “Thrilled,” they each say, in a sly way that suggests they’re considerably less than happy about their acts still being in danger. But I’d like to think it’s simply that they’re offended that Paulina Rubio could theoretically win this thing.

Enrique Iglesias performs his new single, “Heart Attack”: I wonder how Demi feels about this. And Trey Songz. And the litany of other people who’ve released a song called “Heart Attack” over the last year. “Heart Attack” is the pop music title equivalent of indie artists naming their one good song “Untitled”. But hey, I kind of enjoyed this. I mean, I’m not going to download this or anything, but I can appreciate that Enrique is trying to mix it up, although I wish he’d taken a different path than soft-dubstep.

Results, pt. 2

-And now it’s time to find out the next act going through to next week’s final…

ALEX AND SIERRA advance to The X Factor USA finale!

YES! YES, DAMMIT! This is a good Thursday.

Alex and Sierra advance to The X Factor USA 2013 finale

-Mario interviews them, and they’re obviously stoked. Simon, meanwhile, is proud of his act (unfortunately, it’s looking less likely that his prediction of having two acts in the final will come to pass. Seriously, I’ll be FLOORED if Jeff Gutt goes home).

-Alex and Sierra sing a celebratory song, and it’s “Let Her Go” by Passenger. This is exactly as great as you’d expect it to be. Once again, Sierra completely runs away with the performance, and I wonder how she hasn’t auditioned for a singing show before this. But hey, I’m glad she waited to go with Alex, as I doubt either singer would be the same without the other.

-After the performance, which receives a standing ovation from the judges, we get a brief finale promo once again pimping the musical acts that will be on hand. #FreeOneDirection

Results, pt. 3

-And I guess we’re skipping the Jennifer Nettles performance?

JEFF GUTT advances to The X Factor USA finale!

Jeff Gutt advances to The X Factor USA 2013 finale

RESTLESS ROAD has been eliminated from The X Factor USA!

-Restless Road thank their fans for even bringing them this far, and add that this isn’t the end for them. Simon is, of course, disappointed but reiterates that this isn’t the end for them, adding that they’ve been a pleasure to work with. The guys were among the more admirable acts in the competition, if only for how they kept their nose to the grindstone and learned and grew from the criticisms they received. They also took their lumps like men and set out to prove they were worthy of their spots, and it’s hard not to respect them. Hell, their final few performances were among their best in the entire competition. I’m still listening to “Wake Me Up” and “Wanted”. I guess the finale just wasn’t in the cards for the boys, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end for them.

-We hear from Jeff, who thanks his fans for putting him in the final, and he also thanks Kelly. “America rocks!” Kelly states, while Jeff says he’s ready to start working towards next week’s finale as soon as he sings his celebratory song.

-Jeff sings “Open Arms” by Journey, and anyone tuning in right now might mistakenly think Jeff is on his way home, particularly when they cut to his emotional family in the audience. But this was a performance worthy of the finale, I thought. Jeff has a great, throwback rock voice. The video backdrop is making me motion sick though. Still, this is a really good vocal, to the point where I kind of hope it finds its way to iTunes.

We meet our final three:

CARLITO OLIVERO
ALEX AND SIERRA
JEFF GUTT

And that’s our show! Thanks for hanging out guys! It’s been fun, as always.

So what do you think of these results? Did the right acts go through to the finale? Was the right act eliminated? Who will be the winner of The X Factor USA 2013? Sound off in the comments! I’ll see you next week for the finale!

Goodnight

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