With a place in the final and a $5m recording contract up for grabs, the four remaining X Factor contestants were obviously hoping to impress. But while they tried their hardest, they couldn’t come close to competing with Britney Spears. For while she didn’t get up on the stage, the pop star certianly had the most eye-catching outfit in a plunging neon yellow dress. She and her fellow judges had plenty to say about the four acts appearing in front of them.
But for once that is where their influence ends – with viewers votes alone deciding the outcome for the very first time. Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony each sang two songs as they sought to win enough viewers votes to take them through to next week’s final and a shot at the $5m recording contract. Each act got to choose one song to stake their claim and their mentor got to choose a second tune. Kicking off the semi-finals was Tate Stevens, a 37-year-old road worker from Dalton, Missouri, who chose to sang ‘Bonfire’ by Craig Morgan. ‘I have to say that at this point in the competition it has to be your best and I do not think that was,’ said Britney Spears, who was decked out in a tight neon dress. Demi disagreed, saying: ‘That was a freaking amazing performance. Not only did it take me home and make me think I was in Texas but it was a winning performance.’Simon added: ‘You could have chosen something mushy, which would have got the votes, but you brought the song you want to record and that is why for me it was one of my favorites of your performances.
‘You look like a man right now who believes can win this competition.’ Tate’s mentor L.A Reid was so enthusiastic he grabbed his own black cowboy hat to deliver judgment. ‘You lit that stage on fire and it was the most fun I have had since doing this show,’ said Reid. Later Tate began the second round of the night, performing Fall by Clay Walker. Tate dedicated the song to his wife, with whom he celebrated his 15th wedding anniversary in the week. ‘We have seen you hit and miss a lot in this competition but I feel like that was a direct hit,’ said Britney. Demi was also positive, saying: ‘Your wife must just feel like the luckiest girl in the world.’
Simon was also happy with Tate, tipping him for the final, while LA told him: ‘You are consistent, you have been great every time and tonight was no exception. You were great again, good luck to you,’ he said. Second up was Carly Rose Sonenclar, a 13-year-old schoolgirl from Westchester, New York. Carly, wearing metallic lace printed trousers, a sleeveless top and a black hat, chose Your Song by Sir Elton John. ‘You did things with that song I have never heard done before,’ said L.A. ‘It is no secret I have no contestants left, which sucks,’ said Demi. ‘But it means everyone can 100 percent trust what I say.
‘Honestly it was still very predictable, you walked out on stage and it was like “Here we go again.” ‘You sound phenomenal, which is great but it was another slow song. That said it was my favorite song you have performed. I don’t care if it was predictable because it was great.’ Simon jumped in and said ‘Demi I’m confused you did not like it but it was your favorite? So you did like it? Why didn’t you just say that.’ Demi shot back saying snidely ‘He can’t hear, he is really old.’
Simon and Demi then stared each other down in silence before Cowell said ‘I am going to ignore my little brat. ‘This is the first time I have genuinely seen emotion from you during this competition. ‘I do not think it was your best performance so far and you are very lucky you have a second song.’ Britney added: ‘I think you have blossomed into a huge superstar already and I so proud to be your mentor.’ For her second song she played piano and sang John Lennon’s Imagine. ‘What I love is that you have taken your artistic credibility up a notch by playing the piano. It is a very difficult song but you always know how to go in and find that note,’ said L.A.
‘The only predictable thing about that performance was that it was going to be amazing,’ said delighted Demi. ‘You sounded beautiful, I love that you took a risk.’ Simon, on the other hand, was not overly impressed. ‘I would have kept you at the piano because the weird thing was it was like there were five things going on during that song. It made a beautiful song fussy,’ he said. Britney came to her contestant’s defense saying: ‘I disagree. It is time for you to go beyond this stage and compete with the biggest stars in the world.’ – Dailymail