X Factor
Top Finalists Perform

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Eight it Up

Coming back, Simon is tapped to introduce Fifth Harmony, whom he claims he can feel a wave behind. Normani talks about how it was hard to lose Arin last week, but she's still got her other conjoined quintuplets to lean on. Even sadder is the fact that apparently Ally's grandfather died this last week and she's taking it pretty hard. I don't think she wants to take back last week's performance, though. Tonight they're singing "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, with their feet planted the whole time. It's a decent arrangement, except for how the bridge highlights Dinah Jane as the weakest singer of the five and the Charlie's Angels graphics of them that keep flashing on the screens. L.A. starts by offering his condolences to Ally and tells her to stay strong before saying the performance was good, but not groundbreaking and he didn't hear enough harmonies. Britney says something about how it worked for a group, but feels her self-imposed five-second comment deadline looming and blurts, "Girl power!" Demi also expresses her sympathies, but says it was a little low-energy with the lack of movement. Simon gives a shout-out to the songwriters and calls it a "fantastic, fantastic performance," and says Ally's grandfather would be proud. Mario doesn't manage to get them off the stage and into the commercials without a measure of inappropriate smarm, though.

Britney is caught off guard at being asked to introduce Carly Rose Sonenclar. In her intro reel, Carly gets to have a cupcake-date with her brother Russell, who warns her that she's the target now. So she smushes a cupcake in his face. Britney is having Carly sing "Rolling in the Deep," so I guess we can set the Adele clock back to zero. Here we go again with the slow beginning and Carly gets through most of it without even trying, just coasting on the maturity and quality of her voice until it's time to blow it out at the end, which she does, but again, without even trying that hard. L.A. tells her she's insanely talented and lovable, but this wasn't her very best. "Even your second best is better than everybody else's first best," he allows. Demi says she's not even Carly's mentor and she's so proud of her. I think Demi might try to poach her. Carly has to answer the question about her age for the umpteenth time (still 13), and Simon says it was good for the first half and sensational for the second half. Simon's only issue with her is that she's clearly not human and thus may need to be disqualified. Britney says they took a risk and brought her to the next level. Insightful.

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