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MARCUS CANTY: BEST ''A Song for You''
I probably should have picked one of his more upbeat sparkle explosions for his best — those, like Rock Week's ''Piece of My Heart,'' have added a lot of visual performance quality to the season. But vocally Marcus sounded strongest on Top 5 night's Contestant's Choice number.
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MARCUS CANTY: WORST ''A Song for Mama''
Yes, I cried when he reached out for his mom to save her from the Smoke Monster and tell her she was the queen of his heart. But boy sounded a mess!
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CHRIS RENE: BEST ''Where Do We Go From Here?''
Chris Rene's original tune was simple, unpretentious, and exactly what he needed to seem legit as a member of the Top 4. With his stripped-down staging and acoustic guitar, it was like watching an entirely different contestant.
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CHRIS RENE: WORST ''I'll Be There''
With the exception of his other original track (''Young Homie''), most of Chris' early performances blend together for me. But I do remember ''I'll Be There'' as one of the weakest Jackson Night numbers. Blanket was certainly not impressed.
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MELANIE AMARO: BEST ''World's Greatest''
Melanie's vocals are nearly flawless each week, but ''World's Greatest,'' during the Thanksgiving episode, showed the most raw feeling from her — and an outpour of joy. In the few weeks since then, her performances have almost seemed angry.
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MELANIE AMARO: WORST ''Someone Like You''
Having Melanie sing a wildly popular but very slow and mournful Adele single remixed as a dance hit was a bit bizarre. I'm not sure we can count it as a valiant effort for her to go upbeat. (Of course, she hit all of the notes anyway.)
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JOSH KRAJCIK: BEST ''Wild Horses''
I love to see a contestant play the piano, and this song from Josh delivered an emotional impact on par with my other favorite performance of his: ''First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'' at the judges' homes.
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JOSH KRAJCIK: WORST ''We Found Love''
''Dance Music Hits'' and ''Josh Krajcik'' don't belong in the same sentence, but couldn't his mentor Nicole have let him branch out a bit here? (Official Rihanna Presents The X Factor rulebook says nope, sorry!)