“The X Factor” U.S. narrowed down its Top 17 finalists to the Top 12 in the show’s first live episode that Fox aired on October 25, 2011. In the end, three acts from each of the four categories made the cut, as chosen by the judge who is the mentor for each category. “The X Factor” U.S. judges are Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. (Voting from the public begins on November 2, 2011.)
Singing for their survival in the competition were:
Solo Singers Ages 30 and Older (also known as The Over 30s)
Mentored by judge Nicole Scherzinger
Contestants: LeRoy Bell, Stacy Francis, Dexter Haygood and Josh Krajcik
Dexter Haygood did a horrific, off-key performance of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” which he at least performed with plenty of gusto, even if his stage moves were bordering on a parody of what a rock star should be like. Given how out-of-tune he was and how much screeching Haygood did, the judges were nicer to him than they could have been, since they mostly complimented his on-stage charisma. Cowell noted of Haygood’s act that, just like the lyrics of the song that Haygood performed: “It felt so wrong; it felt so right.”
(Click here to watch Dexter Haygood’s performance.)
LeRoy Bell did a passionate rendition of Pink’s “Nobody Knows.” He got also got mixed reviews. Once again, Scherzinger and Abdul gave the highest praise. Abdul said, “Your voice is pure magic tonight.” Reid said that although he thought the performance was good, he would have picked a better song. Cowell noted that although Bell “has one of the best voices in this competition,” Bell’s performance had a “lack of confidence” and “awkwardness” and spent “too much time on the silly choreography.”
(Click here to watch LeRoy Bell’s performance.)
Stacy Francis sang a gospel-like version of George Michael’s “One More Try,” which got mostly good reviews from the judges. Scherzinger, Reid and Abdul loved the performance. Reid said that Francis got “The whole thing right.” Cowell, the lone dissenter, criticized Francis for what she was wearing (she was wearing a black feather jacket and dark blue sequined pants) and for the song choice, and he said that Francis’ vocal performance reminded him of a church singer.
(Click here to watch Stacy Francis’ performance.)
Josh Krajcik delivered a soulful, a cappella version of Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young,” that was low-key in comparison to all the flashy choreography and loud musical accompaniment that many of the other contestants had. Krajcik’s stripped-down performance made a powerful impact since he his voice was not overshadowed by anything else, and he got some of the best praise of the night from all of the judges. Scherzinger said it was a “soul-stirring performance.” Reid called Krajcik “one of the greatest singers in this competition.” Abdul gushed, “Your voice is my favorite voice I think I’ve heard in the past decade.” Cowell said to Krajick:, “You’ve got it going on. It was a brilliant choice of song …You are the real deal.”
(Click here to watch Josh Krajcik’s performance.)
In the end, Scherzinger chose Bell, Francis and Krajcik to represent the Over 30s category in the show’s Top 12 of 2011.
(Click here to watch Nicole Scherzinger announce her decision.)