The “X Factor USA” aired the intense elimination round last night, Dec. 12, and everything was on the line for the remaining four contenders.
All of them were vying for a place in next week's season three finale in which one winner will walk away with a one million dollar recording contract. Only three artists could go through to the next round to try and claim it.
Local fans and members of the growing JAG Army have been inspired by the amazing strides Detroit native Jeff Gutt has made this season. A huge victory cry spread quickly through his social media sites when his spot in the finals was sealed with America’s vote. This important win for the talented determined rock singer is not surprising; given the momentum he’s gained over the entire course of the competition.
The powerhouse vocalist climaxed in this week’s live performances with his prodigious twist on Leonard Cohen’s incomparable ballad “Hallelujah” followed by a formidable delivery of “Demons.” Jeff's mentor Kelly Rowland was reduced to tears at the end of the night and he earned two impressive four-judge standing ovations for an overall extraordinary effort.
Fans at large held a collective breath as Jeff was finally announced as moving on to the finals and Restless Road hit the end of their “X Factor” journey. He joins Paulina Rubio’s Carlito Olivero and Simon Cowell’s remaining group, Alex and Sierra. It was great hearing Jeff sing a love song with his smoldering rendition of Journey's hit "Open Arms" to close out the night. His fiercely loyal band of supporters undoubtedly received the message in his song and are clearly ready to embrace him.
The single father has certainly battled his own demons to get to this place, where he can almost touch the ultimate prize. He’s spent much of his 37 years on a quest for catching the right kind of break. He’s played scores of gigs and gone from playing on stages in front of thousands of people to small clubs with a handful of listeners.
He’s suffered setbacks and disappointments along the way but through it all, his obvious gift and passion for music sustained him. His tremendous grit brought him back to “The X Factor” after being sent home last season at boot camp level.
During a recent Examiner exclusive interview, Jeff candidly discussed his musical journey and his humility and grace in the face of all he’s experienced is one of the most impressive things about him. Second, perhaps, to the obvious love he has for his son, Talon, and his appreciation to his own father, Greg, for the sacrifices he made to support his musical dream.
Here’s another obvious thing about Jeff: He’s a fighter and he’s determined to win.
All of the judges are duly impressed with Jeff’s progression leading up to this week’s night of musical perfection. Demi Lovato has declared “your time is now” more than once. Simon Cowell advised him his moment has arrived. Paulina Rubio has branded him both powerful and amazing repeatedly and a tearful Kelly Rowland voiced her love and respect for Jeff as both a father and a man, while also acknowledging how hard he has worked to get here.
America is certainly excited as well, as six of his live performance singles are still dominating the iTunes Top 10 Rock chart, with “Hallelujah” and “Demons” still commanding the number one and two spots.
Accolades and sales stats aside, Jeff Gutt clearly stands out in terms of sheer talent and vocal skill. More importantly, he moves people and inspires them when he sings and establishing that kind of connection and emulating that sort of power is probably the greatest thing an artist can achieve.
@Vina_Lelono said, “@JeffreyAdamGutt Good luck Jeff you have touch the world with your story and your voice... I hope you win the show!!”
@gicaacanjica said, “@JeffreyAdamGutt you kinda made me believe that nothing can ever stop you if you don't let yoursef be stopped. thank you.”
These are just a few of the thousands of messages the gracious and grateful rocker has received during his season three “X Factor” journey. He has garnered fans from Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Latvia and more and his growing national and international social media fan base continues to pour in streams of support and praise.
Above all, his local fans in Michigan stand firmly behind him across the entire state with a collective Jeff Gutt salute being raised in double-fisted pride for a hometown hero who is clearly poised and ready for battle in his pursuit of an end game victory.
Watch “The X Factor” Season 3 Finale on WSMH FOX66 on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 8 pm ET.