X Factor
Top Finalists Perform

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Their Own Worst Enemies

Demi introduces Paige Thomas, who will apparently be doing "Last Dance" by Donna Summer. Paige plans to draw on her personal life for this performance. I'm all set to make fun of what a deeply emotional song "Last Dance" is, but then Paige reveals that her mother was killed in a car accident when Paige was six, on Christmas Eve. Nice one, Santa. Paige cuts a rather striking figure for her performance, standing behind a mirrored pyramid that serves as a mic stand and wearing shoulder pads that make her look like an inverted pyramid. Then the beat kicks in, and it's a decent production, and the arrangement has been updated nicely, but Paige's vocals? Not great. L.A. must not have heard what I did because he says it was her best ever. Britney says it was the "best disco throwback ever," which is not quite word salad, and Simon agrees with L.A. except for how there was too much other distracting stuff on the stage with her. Again. Demi claims that wasn't what she wanted, but promises more sides of Paige in future weeks. How many different polyhedrons can she turn the poor girl into?

Simon has decided that diva week calls for a Mariah Carey song, so he's having Fifth Harmony do "Hero." We see them all talking about how well they've blended, while making pancakes at the contestants' mansion as a single unit. Get it? Blended? So there they are in their white outfits singing the song, and this is one of those performances by them that relies more on passing the lead back and forth than the harmonies. And they actually pull it off, mostly. L.A. says they struggled at the beginning but it turned great and he's happy for them. Britney says Simon's doing a great job with them, and Demi said she expected to be bored but wasn't. Simon generously says to them, "Maybe this isn't a one-horse race." Gosh, Simon, who would that other horse be?

Up next is Carly Rose Sonenclar. During her mentoring session, Britney asks Carly about her emotional moment at the end of last week's performance, which was apparently about both her parents being there. We see her dad being supportive, and then Britney breaks the news that she's making Carly sing "My Heart Will Go On." Carly somehow doesn't run screaming from the room. Instead, she ends up singing on a stage surrounded by ruined chandeliers and sounding eerily like... Beatrice Miller. Except Beatrice sang a whole song in the slow, sad mode that the Titanic song famously leaves behind, and Carly blows it out. Advantage: Sonenclar. Again. L.A. turns to Britney and reluctantly says they could be looking at the winner. Demi doesn't actually get how Carly could be so good. Simon takes it further, saying he doesn't believe she's a human being, because you can't do that at thirteen. Britney tells her how proud she is, and when Mario and Khloe ask if she has anything to say to her parents, she of course thanks them and says she loves them. Good, now she doesn't have to say it in private to them later.

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