Detroit’s chances of laying claim to an “X Factor” winner are still alive but were cut in half Tuesday night, when one of the show’s two homegrown finalists was sent packing from the competition during the program’s first live episode of the season.
The good news: Jeff Gutt (rhymes with “boot”) advanced to the next round and was one of three finalists to make the cut in mentor Kelly Rowland’s Over 25s category. Gutt, the 37-year-old single father billed from Detroit, received excellent feedback from Simon Cowell after his version of Pink’s “Try.”
“I thought it was bloody brilliant,” Cowell told him. “You’ve just got 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.”
Gutt told Rowland he was in the competition for his son.
“I feel like I’ve paid my dues many times over,” he said. “But even more importantly than me, there’s a 5-year-old kid out there who’s really counting on me to come through, and I’ll do anything not to let him down.”
Gutt moves on to next week’s live show, where viewers will determine who among the Top 12 finalists advances in the competition.
Wayne trio Roxxy Montana was not as lucky. Despite positive remarks for their version of Lorde’s “Royals” during Tuesday’s show, Cowell couldn’t find a place for the group in his top three, and sent the sisters home.
Cowell’s decision was between Roxxy Montana and pop trio Sweet Suspense, who sang a bouncy version of Icona Pop’s “I Love It.”
“I can make a place for both of these groups,” he said, calling Roxxy Montana’s potential “amazing.” “I’m really, really torn here.”
He tried to take both, but in the end he cut Roxxy Montana. “I’m really really sorry… this just doesn’t feel right to lose either of you,” Cowell said.
Roxxy Montana — Tenija, Tiara and Temperance Moton, who grew up singing in their parents’ church — made “The X Factor’s” Top 16 on the strength of their semifinal round performance of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”
Prior to the start of next week’s live rounds, Gutt will be featured on “The X Factor’s” meet-the-Top-12 special, which is scheduled to air Thursday night on Fox.