‘X Factor’ Recap: Beatrice Miller and Diamond White Set the Bar High (VIDEO)

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FOX’s The X Factor continued with its Judges’ Homes round on Thursday’s episode. This time, L.A. Reid with Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun kicked off the episode with the Over 25s. Then, Britney Spears and guest mentor Will.I.Am surveyed the field of six teens.

While they were on opposite sides of the age spectrum, both groups had one thing in common: Nerves and lots of them. In many ways, it kept some very strong singers from giving their best performance in my opinion.

Who caved and who served it up on Day 2 of the Judges’ Homes round?

The members of the Over 25s are Vino Alan (40, from Laquey, Mo.), Daryl Black (38, from Elk Grove, Calif.), Jason Brock (35, from San Francisco, Calif.), David Correy (27, from Riva, Md.), Tara Simon (28, from Smyrna, Ga.) and Tate Stevens (37, from Raymore, Mo.).

During his introduction, L.A. may have been just being honest. But, wasn’t it enough to tell the members of the Over 25 group that he was angry about getting them in the first place? Did he have to continue to call them underdogs before they had a chance to perform?

It’s his right. And, for sure, the Over 25s come off as a somewhat motley crew who could use some work in the image department. Yet, they aren’t rough when it comes to talent. But, a common concern with L.A. and his guests was the idea that one’s exterior can shape your chances at winning this competition.

Jason, for example. The 35-year-old is overweight, unapologetically gay and proud of his very high singing voice – so proud that he would sing a song like Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” without changing the gender. I can’t say that I can name anyone else in the business quite like him. And yet, the mentors’ comments seem to suggest that he wouldn’t play well when it came to getting America’s votes

Initially, I was surprised to see Vino had made it through after the temper tantrum he threw on and off-stage during Boot Camp. I then reminded myself that this is TV and that volatility probably gave him a better chance of moving on. I’m not discounting his talent: Aside from Jason and Tate, Vino completes my Top 3 of the Over 25 performances. If I had to pick a fourth, I’d give my vote to David.

It was then time for the teens to perform for Britney and Will.I.Am. The group’s members are Reed Deming (13, from San Antonio, Texas), Beatrice Miller (13, from Maplewood, N.J.), Arin Ray (17, from Cincinnati, Ohio), Carly Rose Sonenclar (13, from Mamaroneck, N.Y.), James Tanner (15, from Columbus, Ohio) and Diamond White(13, from Los Angeles, Calif.).

Diamond certainly set the bar high for the competition as the group’s first performer. At 13, she really has a knack for interpreting songs in her own way and finding the adult emotions to do so. I was surprised to see that Will.I.Am and Britney weren’t more excited about her. True, she may need work on making her staging and movements seem more organic, but there’s no denying she’s an exemplary talent.

My top pick for the teens wasn’t Carly Rose – though I’m sure The X Factor wanted me to just love her – thus positioning her performance last. Her performance felt a little flat for me, although Britney and Will.I.Am probably showed the most enthusiasm for her.

My top spot would go to Beatrice Miller who I thought just seemed so natural during her performance. Her take on David Guetta and Sia’s“Titanium” felt genuine beyond her years. I was happy that Will.I.Am thought it was “fresh.” Yet, Britney was a bit of a wet blanket when it came to her critiques throughout the episode. She always had a “but.” In this case, she felt Beatrice could control her voice, more specifically its volume. “She’s loud,” Britney said. Um, OK.

So, my four top choices to move on for the teens are Diamond, Beatrice, Reed and Arin.

Who do you want to see move on from the Over 25s and Teens groups? Tell us in the comments section below.

Watch our interview with Diamond White below.

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