The X Factor USA 2012 resumed October 31 with the very first live show of season two. Following two hours of mostly solid performances by members of the top 16, Emblem3 closed out the night with a routine that left all four mentors wildly impressed and in some cases, sputtering for words.
During their pre-performance taped segment, the members of the trio--including teens Drew Chadwick, Wesley Stromberg and Keaton Stromberg--admitted that they "live life to the fullest," but insisted that "music is by far the most important thing." Mentor Simon Cowell likened them to "three excited dogs when you perform" and stressed the importance of rehearsing repeatedly. In response, they promised to work hard and dedicate their lives to pursuing musical greatness.
And their live rendition of "One Day" was definitely a product of some seriously hard work. The boys were cute and very engaging, and the vocals were excellent. They even accomplished the tough task of getting a standing ovation from Simon.
But it wasn't just Simon puffing the egos of his proteges: All of the panelists were blown away. Over 25s mentor LA Reid practically sputtered as he turned to Simon and told him he'd gotten it right. He called them "unbelievable" and predicted they'd become "America's next pop sensation." Teens mentor Britney Spears called them "absolutely adorable," and Young Adults mentor Demi Lovato took it even further, gushing "you boys make me swoon" and "you're so talented. And I'm not going to look at you" for fear of losing her objectivity. A very proud Simon called their progress "unbelievable" and told America to remember the night because the trio from southern California would be superstars.
If Emblem3 clears the November 1 judges' elimination--which they no doubt will--they stand an excellent chance of becoming a favorite with young, female voters. They're cute, energetic and fun, and on top of that, they can actually perform at a high level. And that annoying overconfidence that made them unappealing earlier on has faded markedly.
So which eight acts will find themselves singing for safety on November 1, and which will get the axe at night's end? Watch The X Factor USA 2012 as it continues at 8 PM with the first live show eliminations.