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Emblem3: Review of an X Factor USA Boy Band
Emblem3 is a boyband (but don't tell them they are!) competing on season 2 of X Factor USA. Simon Cowell is their mentor.
Let's take a look at their journey so far...
After seeing Emblem3 audition, I both loved and hated these boys. They were a cocky and a tad bit annoying, but their performance -- an original song! -- wowed me and thoroughly impressed the judges. That hatred has faded. These boys are good looking, confident, talented, fun, and enthusiastic. Plus, I have a new appreciation for Pacsun-esque clothing now -- that's how much of an impression these three boys have made on me.
That original song they performed? It's called Sunset Blvd. Check out the version they recorded and posted on YouTube here. It's also available on Spotify.
They may hate being called a "boyband," but that doesn't stop FOX from using music by the it boyband of the moment, One Direction. Demi Lovato looks like she's having an orgasm throughout their performance. Which is a fair reaction. L.A. Reid asks Simon if he will love them 20 songs from now. I know I will.
We get to hear more about who the boys are. Whatever. Hurry up and get to the music.
Ah, finally. So from the editing, we're meant to think that the boys really screw up. Seriously though? They sang an original song for their audition, everyone loved it, and Simon has a man-crush on the boys (and Demi's got a real crush on them). Plus, there's a bigger focus on showing the boys' abs than telling us their story. They could have refused to sing and still been sent on to the next round. Subtle, X Factor producers. You think nobody's picking up on your attempts to build a fan base for these boys?
The Live Shows Begin!
I can't tell if Keaton's name is really pronounced "Kee'tahn" or if he just says it funny. Whatever. Side note: there's a few videos with the boys between this performance and the previous one, but they aren't actually performances, and I strongly dislike the boring filler episodes.
So, on to their performance! Once again, absolutely amazing. These boys totally know how to work the crowd. I have no idea if they're actually that talented when it comes to singing, since they don't exactly pick songs that really show of their voices, but that's fine. I'll still buy an Emblem3 CD and can't wait to go to their concerts.
The judges comments contain absolutely nothing useful for the boys. Apparently there's nothing they can improve on. And Demi uses this as her opportunity to hit on the boys.
Apparently it really is pronounced "Kee'tahn." Hmm. We learn about how these boys know each other. Of course there's a sob story. All of the contestant's have to have one. Ugh.
Finally, the boys perform! What's with the obsession with using One Direction for the boys? Demi doesn't get it either. Whatever. We get a cool mashup of "My Girl" and "California Girls." I don't know why "My Girl" is part of it at all -- it's rather boring. Not their best performance to date, but there's no way these boys are going home soon.
Top 12 Again - Diva Theme?
Since last week included the "shocking" return of Diamond White, we're at the Top 12 again. What is up with this theme? Divas? What does that even mean? And of course we get more sob story from them. And Simon tells some (made up?) story about them saving kittens. Seriously? These boys could get last every week and the judges will always save them.
I'm still not sure about their actual vocal ability. But they're so much more entertaining than everyone else that it really doesn't matter. They have amazing stage presence, once again. Not their top performance, but that may have more to do with the idiotic theme than anything else.
Top 10: Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving episodes were tough to watch. Seriously, these shows are frustrating because they spend so much time using sob stories to generate interest in the contestants. For Thanksgiving, we get an astounding ten sob stories! Everyone has one! Ugh.
Anyway, the boys sing "Secrets" by One Republic this week. It was a little bland, but I enjoyed it. We got to hear their voices when they aren't running around trying to sing over girls screaming and loud, fast-paced background music. They're strength, as always, is when the song picks up. They're just such an enjoyable group that it doesn't matter that they don't have the strongest voices, because they definitely have the X Factor, and that's what the show is about.
L.A. Reid says their performance lacked emotion. What were they supposed to do, get on stage and cry? They're three boys who don't want to be a typical boy band. The closest to emotional you're going to get out of them is something Sum 41- or blink182-esque -- and that's good! That's who they are. Britney says it was a "nice change of pace" from their previous performances. Thank you, Britney. Demi points out that there was emotion. Simon calls L.A. a grinch -- because he is. Why is L.A. even on this show?
Khloe Kardashian calls L.A. out and tries to get him to explain what he means. He can't. I know her hosting ability has been ridiculed by a lot of commentators, but this is why I love her. She calls out the judges on idiotic comments, and has the balls to tell them she thinks they're wrong and she thinks America disagrees. It's mildly awkward, but it's raw and real.
Top 8: Still a Believer?
Oh dear. They got some girls to chase the boys around for a staged scene.
I love Emblem3, but seriously? They're over-doing things.
And this song choice... Why? I'm getting bored. Demi's right, Simon's wrong. I hope that they end up in the bottom three this week and have to have the judges save them to stick around, just to prove to Simon that they need to show us why they deserve to be here.
Also, look at Drew -- the one of the right -- starting around Demi's comment. Does anyone else think he looks like it's all he can do to keep from punching someone or breaking something? He really should have kept his shirt on. After telling us that this kid is a dropout with a potentially shady history, Simon should tell him that he needs to work on maintaining a nicer, cleaner image. Or am I totally over-reacting? Let me know what you think in the comments!