Tuesday, December 18, 2012
LeAnn Rimes to duet with Carly Rose Sonenclar on X Factor: Unfair?
Rimes' career isn't exactly impressive right now.
This week is The X Factor’s Season 2 finale. On a previous post, I talked about some of the things that made this season a train-wreck. My main problem is that after a first season that fell very flat, I was expecting more, but sadly, nothing incredibly great has happened. Yes, we got more, but that’s not always a good thing. For example, more hosts is not a good thing, especially when one of those is Khloe Kardashian-Odom.
Then we went through a season when we saw X Factor ratings go lower and lower -- a season so boring that not even Britney Spears and her wunderkind Carly Rose Sonenclar could save it. Demi Lovato became mean to the point of being annoying, and did a poor job mentoring her contestants. LA Reid, who has announced that he won’t be back for a third season (yay!), was vocal about not wanting to work with the “grown up” contestants and ended up with Tate Stevens, a country singer who currently is the front-runner. Simon Cowell did something right with the groups, allowing the manufactured girl group Fifth Harmony to peak at the right time and showcasing the ridiculous Emblem 3 as a “boy band” to get hordes of teens fan-girling over them. Emblem 3 is now gone, hopefully forever, so hooray! Yeah, the season has been a disaster.
Duets for the finale have been announced. Some of them make sense and actually sound like a good idea; then there is one that has confused. Let’s see if we can figure out the “why” of some of these.
LeAnn Rimes to duet with Sonenclar. It seems like Sonenclar is being thrown under the bus. Why would producers choose someone who is mainly a country singer to join Sonenclar? What could they sing as a duo to make Sonenclar break out of the box the judges are telling her she is in? Sonenclar is Broadway with a hint of pop and has never sang a country song on the show. Why pair her with a country singer?
Maybe they are being paired because Rimes, like Sonenclar, started at a young age, did musicals, and had experience as a talent show contestant. But then again, there really hasn’t been much about Rimes in the headlines lately other than her constant struggles. But a quick visit to her website will tell you there’s a new album coming in spring 2013, so maybe that’s part of the reason.
There were also rumors of Rimes joining this season as a judge, which obviously didn’t happen. Are the producers maybe testing the waters, since Rimes’ paycheck could be less than the $15 million that Spears is being paid to make hilarious faces and provide one-sentence commentary? Maybe.
If Sonenclar is being thrown under the bus, it possibly is because of what happened with Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro. If you are asking yourself who Amaro is … well, that’s my point. She has released a couple of singles that are mediocre at best and even her “homecoming performance” this season failed to impress or revitalize her songs on the charts. It pains me to say that because I thought Amaro was great on Season 1, I even voted for her, which is more than I can say about my nonexistent voting this year. But as it happens on shows like these, the producers think everyone should be pop and, well, not everyone is.
In its current situation, The X Factor cannot afford to have a winner who is just a fantastic singer; they need a commercial success story. That’s what I liked about Paige Thomas: She wasn’t the best and cried too much, but she was the most marketable act of the bunch, even if this meant sometimes looking like a Rihanna copycat.
So, Cowell must not want a female singer with a huge voice to win again and I totally understand that. It already happened on season one.
Cowell’s group Fifth Harmony will be performing with Lovato. Lovato currently has no contestants in the finale, which means that this performance could bring in huge support for the girl group courtesy of Lovato's lovatics. Fifth Harmony had a solid performance last week when they sang Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” (see it below starting at the 2:15 mark), and having Spears dismissing them apparently worked to revitalize their fan base.
Fifth Harmony: “Anything Could Happen” - THE X FACTOR USA 2012
Then there’s Stevens, who will be joined by country group Little Big Town in what could be a match made in country heaven. Stevens has been the top vote-getter most weeks and a miracle would have to happen for him not to win it all. He has a good story, a good country voice, and even Lovato says she wants her future husband to be like him.
Can Cowell make Fifth Harmony happen in the real world as he did with One Direction? Has Sonenclar been thrown under the bus? Will Stevens be X Factor’s country superstar a la Carrie Underwood for American Idol?