Kelly Rowland was in the hot seat last night on The X Factor USA, as she chose her final four acts for the next round of the singing competition.
The Destinys Child star presided over the new, cruel Four Chair Challenge which determined which singers would make the live shows and we thought it was even more evil that the musical chairs element of X Factor UK bootcamp last weekend.
The whole concept was fairly similar and like the British version, the judges watched on as one by one, the remaining contestants on their category performed, however instead of six seats by the side of the stage, in the US show there were only four, which led to a whole lot of lineup changes.
Winning a seat never guaranteed anyone their safety and there was quite a lot of swapping and changing as new performers stole seats from people that had already sang.
In the end Kelly did come to a decision and the contestants in her overs category going through to the live shows include Jeff Gutt, Rachel Potter, James Kenney and Lillie McCloud.
Jeff is a familiar face to fans of the show, as he also appeared on last year’s series, but never made it past bootcamp. This time round he wowed Kelly with a rocky and raspy version of Amazing Grace.
Rowland immediately gave him a seat and a place in her final four and Jeff got off lightly, as he was one of the first to win a chair and managed to retain it until the end of the trout session. Kelly told him:
“Dude you’re so talented. There is a seat over there and it has your name written all over it.”
Things were a bit more tense for Rachel and as she was feeling a bit unwell at bootcamp.
She told the music star “I want to live my dream,” and then sang ‘Irreplaceable’ by Kel’s BFF Beyonce.
It wasn’t a great performance and nowhere near the level of her previous auditions, however Rachel insisted that she’d been sick in the run up to the tryouts and while a disappointed Rowland confessed “I did expect you to be ready to blow everyone away,” she took her through to the live shows anyway.
James branded the new twist as ‘The Hunger Games’ before singing Bill Withers’ Lean On Me, but luckily for him the whole panel loved the emotional rendition.
Kelly said: “You took one huge leap of faith and made us believe you have something truly special.”
She was desperate to have him in her team but had no spaces left. That meant that someone had to lose their spot and that someone was poor Jeff Brinkman.
54-year-old grandma Lillie was the last of her category to take to the stage and she was a shoe in from the time she finished the first line of Dionne Warwick’s hit A House is Not A Home. The judges were elated with the performance and Lillie’s finace wept openly from the audience as he watched her sing.
Rowland was placed in a tight spot again, but she couldn’t afford to let the grandmother go and decided to swap Lillie for Lorie Moore, saying:
“You’ve got to know with every single fiber of your being how special you are.”
Did you agree with the choices? Did Kelly make the right call? Leave your comments below…