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Sweet Suspense, Restless Road “Roar” Into “X Factor” Top 12

Airing on the same night as “The Voice” did FOX’s ratings-starved “The X Factor” absolutely no favors.

While NBC’s flagship series was loaded with stunning, creative performances, FOX’s show found itself overcome with shaky vocals and awkward dancing more reminiscent of drunken bar karaoke than a spirited music competition.

That is not to say Tuesday’s show, which narrowed the field from sixteen to twelve, was without its bright spots.

After eight consecutive disappointing performances–spanning Demi Lovato’s “Girls” group and Paulina Rubio’s “Boys” segment–the show took a dramatic turn for the better. None of Kelly Rowland’s four “Over 25s” delivered a legendary performance, but all were compelling. For the first time of the evening, “X Factor” showcased performances that actually belonged in a marquee music competition.

Things started slowly but ultimately reached an even higher peak when Simon Cowell’s “Groups” took the stage.

Following Roxxy Montana’s tone-deaf version of “Royals,” which traded on the very extravagant imagery the song condemns, Sweet Suspense stunned with a surprisingly engaging rendition of “I Love It.”

The trio’s performance was not without its share of corniness–the girls are, after all, being mentored by Simon Cowell–but it featured confidence and chemistry that would be impressive for any group, let alone one that was assembled during the show’s preliminary rounds.

Still riding the fan enthusiasm earned during their captivating audition, Alex and Sierra delivered a cheesy, contrived version of “Blurred Lines” that was well received nonetheless. But any excitement over that performance went out the window once Restless Road, another assembled group, closed the show with a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

Like Sweet Suspense’s number, it was not a work of high art, but for a show that desperately needs fun, energetic performances to stand against NBC’s vastly superior “The Voice,” the trio’s charismatic cover could not have been more welcome.

Following the performances, each judge eliminated one member of his or her group to produce a Top 12. Those results follow:

The Girls | Team Demi Lovato
Ellona Santiago
Rion Page
Khaya Cohen
ELIMINATED: Danie Geimer

The Boys | Team Paulina Rubio
Carlito Olivero
Carlos Guevara
Tim Olstad

The Over 25s | Team Kelly Rowland
Rachel Potter
Jeff Gutt
Lillie McCloud
ELIMINATED: James Kenney

The Groups | Team Simon Cowell
Restless Road
Sweet Suspense
Alex & Sierra
ELIMINATED: Roxxy Montana

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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