Made in America was the theme of The X Factor USA 2012's October 31 live show premiere, which saw the final 16 --and new hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian-- taking the stage in real-time for the very first time. So how did Young Adults mentor Demi Lovato's most controversial protege, CeCe Frey, fare with the amped up pressure?
During the pair's mentoring session, Demi said wanted to give her a "brand new look" and "a clean slate" with viewers, who Demi rightly worried might have been turned off by CeCe's attitude. And it was serious business for Demi, who added "if CeCe doesn't become likable she doesn't have a future as a pop star" because no one wants to work with a diva.
CeCe and her newly platinum blonde tresses hit the live stage wearing one of the evening's more interesting outfits in neon yellow eye make-up, blue platform shoes and a black and white bodysuit. Her rendition of "Because the Night" was passable, but probably not a great selection for someone like CeCe, who seemed to be out of breath and not using the full range of her talent. To her credit, she played to the camera very well and showed off some fledgling performance chops, going so far as to writhe on the floor at the end.
Over 25s mentor LA Reid said "congratulations, that was really strong" though he thought it "left a little to be desired vocally". Britney Spears loved her outfit and performance but agreed with LA that "your vocals were a little weak sometimes". Simon Cowell called her "fearless" and "interesting" and appreciated her ability and willingness to "reinvent" herself. He too agreed that hers wasn't the best vocal of the night, but insisted "I think you're someone we need in this competition". Demi finished the judges' critiques with "I feel like you can do much better vocally" but added "you are a pop star". CeCe took the criticism well, telling the panelists "I appreciate the critique".
Given her bordering-on-oboxious confidence during the audition phase of the competition and her genuinely knockout voice, it seemed reasonable to expect an impressive debut from the former postal clerk, but it didn't work out that way. Still, it seems unlikely that tonight's The X Factor USA 2012 November 1 elimination show would see her get the axe, especially given Simon's affinity for her style and personality. Tune in at 8 PM ET/PT to see which four acts are sent packing -- and if CeCe Frey is among them.