Right out of the gate on Wednesday evening's performance show for the Top 12, it was announced that one of the contestants had been brought back for another shot at the "X Factor" title. In a move reminiscent of Season 1, the judges got together and decided that 13-year-old Diamond White of Team Britney's Teens would be brought back to the competition. So the night began with a twist, but there was no twist in the direction the young performer took when she hit the stage.
There probably isn't a blog in existence that hasn't compared young Diamond to Whitney Houston and apparently Judge/mentor Britney Spears sensed it as well, because that's exactly where the direction they took with the Top 12 theme: Songs From The Movies. Singing "I Have Nothing" from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, the tiny Diamond did an excellent job of channeling the late Houston. It didn't hurt that she was dressed in immaculate white and had her hair severely pulled back, a definite nod to Houston's look on her first album cover.
And the judges loved it as well.
L. A Reid noted that it was an "ambitious song choice" and that he was "concerned" at first. But, he acknowledged, "when you went to the modulation, you know you brought it home, girl."
Demi Lovato appeared to be a little emotional and admitted she was "trying really hard not to cry." She said the performance "tugged at my heart." She then turned to Simon.
Simon Cowell said that Diamond White was proof that dreams come true. Eliminated, then brought back into the competition, fighting for her place. He praised her performance as "gutsy, great vocal, great performance. And I'm so happy you're back in this competition."
Britney got the last word in, going straight to the obvious comparison. "I feel that you definitely channeled Whitney in that performance, and she would be very proud."
No small praise, that.
And how did Diamond feel about her return? "Awesome," she said a couple times, obviously excited about it all. And what was not to be excited about? She had been called back to a competition she thought she was leaving, she got to sing for America's votes, and she received overwhelming kudos for her performance. Awesome just about says it all.
But does Diamond have a chance, having already been eliminated from the competition? Some might think her odds of winning have been lessened by her dismissal. However, it should be pointed out that the Season 1 winner, Melanie Amaro, was also a last-minute callback. She, too, had been a thirteenth finalist in the Top 12. It is also interesting to note that, prior to her elimination on the Top 16 results show, professional oddsmakers had placed her a close second to fellow Team Britney singer, Carly Rose Sonenclar, as most likely to win.
Besides, a judge had kicked Diamond White off the show, not the voters. This time around, the 13-year-old's fate would be in the hands of the voting public. And given a couple of lackluster performances by her colleagues (like Jennel Garcia and CeCe Frey, whose movie song renditions left a bit to be desired), Diamond shouldn't have much to worry about.
But one never knows...
The results of the "X Factor" Top 12 (plus one) will be announced live on Thursday evening's episode, beginning at 8 p.m. (EST). The pop phenomenon One Direction are scheduled to perform.
Watch Diamond White's return to "X Factor" as she performs Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing":
(photo credit: rocor, Creative Commons)