“The X Factor” judges had their work cut out for them on Oct. 29 as they returned in a live television event to trim their teams to three acts each to move forward to the live shows. Multi-layered Detroit native rocker Jeff Gutt showed yet another dimension to his vocals with his straightforward and earnest rendition of Pink’s smash hit “Try.”
The song may seem like a surprising choice, given Gutt’s rock foundation, but he has clearly demonstrated diversity by jumping from his standout “Creep” performance to his breathtaking and show-stopping delivery of the classic hymn “Amazing Grace,” which kept him rooted to his seat in the four chair challenge.
“Try” underscores the single dad’s determination to take his second shot at a record contract very seriously and hopefully, with hard work, take home the top prize.
Gutt continues to impress the judges, especially Simon Cowell, who dubbed him “the one that got away” at his audition. Simon was equally thrilled with his performance last night saying, " Jeff, I’ve gotta be honest with you, it was raw, honest but I thought it was bloody brilliant. You have a great, great voice, all-American. You’ve waited for this chance for years. I know that. I thought, without any gimmicks, it was an outstanding performance.”
Demi Lovato noted, “You bring something to this show that’s not in the competition.”
Demi is right. Jeff Gutt is the only contender with a rock edge and his power and vocal range place him near the top of the playing field with a bar set really high for his competitors to reach. He’s completely comfortable on stage and totally understands himself as an artist.
At this stage of the game, it seems like Gutt’s stiffest competition comes within his own category from 54-year-old R & B sensation Lillie McCloud, who seems destined for stardom, though the judging panel, overall, were less enamored with her performance than previous ones.
The Groups also house some strong contenders, with Simon predicting that his male country trio, Restless Road, could win the whole thing. They definitely fill a gap in the market, as there currently isn’t any group like them on the charts. They made a huge impression with their unique rendition of Katy Perry’s current megahit anthem “Roar.”
Unfortunately, Simon sent fellow Detroit artists Roxxy Montana home in a tough decision between them and rival girl band Sweet Suspense.
Jeff Gutt, however, moves into the live shows determined to make Detroit and his number one fan (who is first and foremost in his heart) proud. He mentioned his young son to mentor Kelly Rowland in his post-performance remarks. He said, “I feel I paid my dues many times over. But, even more importantly than me, there’s a five-year-old kid out there who’s really counting on me to come through and I’ll do anything not to let him down.”
Something tells us some big father/son smiles were shared after last night’s show and many more seem destined to come their way.
“The X Factor” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on WSMH FOX66 in Flint at 8 PM ET.