"The X Factor" USA 2013 continued Dec. 4 on FOX as the top six finalists hit the stage to perform not just one but two songs apiece. After turning in a rock solid Nov. 27 rendition of the Nina Simone classic "Feeling Good," over 25s contestant Jeff Gutt kept his competition momentum going in the right direction with a universally well-received diva round take on Mariah Carey's "I Can't Live (If Living is Without You)."
During his pre-performance package, Gutt marveled over the standing ovation he received from the notoriously picky Simon Cowell following his top eight performance. Although he told mentor Kelly Rowland that singing a diva's song was "definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone," he wanted to do his hometown of Detroit proud, and vowed to make the popular tune his own.
When his turn to perform live arrived, Gutt stood alone on stage bathed in filtered yellow light. He brought an understated yet decided rock and roll flavor to the song, and performed with a great deal of passion and conviction.
The live audience loved it, as did the four mentors. Demi Lovato said "my niece is obsessed with you... you have the X factor." Paulina Rubio offered up some of the evening's most bizarre commentary when she said "you remind me of Axl Rose and that's a good thing... show me blood" next week. A confused Cowell reinterpreted Rubio's strange comments as "she wants you to stab yourself next week," and then moved on with his own thoughts. Although he called Gutt "quite boring as a person" he praised him for his ability to "completely transform" on stage. Rowland, finally, called the offering "absolutely amazing."
To see if Gutt survives another gut-busting double elimination, watch "The X Factor" USA 2013 top six results show Dec. 5 on FOX.