Sometimes it is a good thing to get mixed reviews from the judges. Sometimes it isn’t. On the “X Factor” Top 8 performance show on Wednesday evening (Nov. 28), getting mixed review will most likely not win the finalist any votes. And at this stage of the game — where there remains only eight contestants — winning converts can be crucial. And Judge Simon Cowell may have pronounced the end of CeCe Frey’s stay on the show when he gave her some brutally honest career advice.
“I don’t think that is going to endear you to the public at home,” Simon said. “My advice tonight is: Pack a suitcase.”
Frey had just performed Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” the sassy hit song that topped the charts in 1974 and in 2001 (the second time as a collaborative effort by Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil Kim, and Pink for the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack). She sashayed around the stage in a mini-hoop dress (think: Southern belle with three-quarters of the bottom of the dress removed) and garter belts, alongside about a dozen other female dancers. It was somewhat of a “Moulin Rouge” performance, but minus the sexy. It was more high school play-ish.
At the same time, it might have been Frey’s best live performance to date, though, considering some of the awful performances she has had (and she’s had almost nothing but sub-par renderings of hit songs during her stay on the show). Judge L. A. Reid grudgingly said that he liked the performance, while Judge Britney Spears said the 21-year-old singer had stepped it up a notch. But Simon, however, thought the entire stage show was too distracting, like getting too many portions of cake. A quick camera shot of Frey showed her doing a coquettish nod/shrug as he critiqued her.
(Watch CeCe Frey perform Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger.”)
Unfortunately for Frey, the Top 8 faced another double elimination performance and most of the finalists performed well. She finished in the bottom again on the Top 10 results show last week, her third time in four shows. Luckily for Frey, though, she was next to last to perform on Wednesday’s show and the last acts are generally the most memorable. It is a much-sought-after spot (because people tend to remember best what they see last). But Emblem3, the act that followed Frey, may have done the Illinois girl a big favor by giving their worst-ever performance on the show, a very karaoke-ish version of The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer.”
And yet, Emblem3 seem to have a solid backing, finishing fourth two weeks in a row. They could drop but it is difficult to believe they would drop too precipitously.
Her only hope seems to be that the leaderboard laggers like Paige Thomas and Fifth Harmony will continue to do so, and perhaps Vino Alan’s less than stellar performance of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” could cause him to drop in the rankings.
Still, if Frey ends up in the bottom again in a showdown, the judges are likely to vote her off the show. And yet, Frey has been in this position before and like the proverbial cat with nine lives, she has survived each showdown. But near-misses tend to get old after a while, and with regard to judges and their patience with finalists, Simon may have let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, on just which way he’ll vote.
(Watch CeCe Frey’s rendition of Patti Smith’s “Because The Night.”)
Find out if CeCe Frey has any more lives left on Thursday evening at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television. The live results show will not only reveal the Top 6 “X Factor” finalists, but Season 1 runner-up Josh Krajcik and Grammy winner Alicia Keys will perform as well.