As the judges looked at Rachel and Aiden performing, they couldnt help but feel like it was tough to know who was singing better.
Both of them had a unique set of skills that were very different from each other.
Rachel was someone with the talent to hit high notes comfortably as if it was a walk in the park for her. Apart from that, her vocal range and skills were top-notch in the competition, and her elegant voice just added to it.
On the other hand, Aiden was a very different type of character.
His voice was very charming and endearing, and with his looks, he could easily become a heartthrob among female fans, but that didnt mean his skills were any bad.
His vocal strength was quite good, and the best thing about his singing was that he knew where his strength lay. He used it very well, and he had a uniqueness that no one in X-Star bears.
‘He expresses emotions like no one else.
Music was all about emotions, and Aiden had a natural talent for that. The judges didnt even know how he had it because it takes years of experience to show emotions like this, even for a genius.
Because of all this, it was tough to judge these contestants when they were pitted against each other.
In the end, they just thought of one thing.
‘At best, we can just enjoy the performance.
Upon thinking about that, their eyes were glued to the stage where Rachel and Aiden were on the second half of the song, performing with as much vigour as possible.
“I know that I wasnt any good, but can he love you the same way I do”
“I know I make mistakes, but I promise I will stay true.”.
“We will make it through.”
“So, baby, can you please stayyy”
As the verse ended, Aiden felt a bit weak. It had taken too much of him to keep up with Rachels skills, even though he had done well.
But at the end of the song, his vocal cords had started aching.
It was because there were a lot of high notes in the song in the middle, and Rachel would stretch them too far to show her prowess, and he would struggle to keep up with her.
At the same time, Aiden was trying hard to showcase emotions with the help of his special ability.
The whole stage was filled with white light with tinges of silver here and there. The silver light was created when both of them sang the chorus together.
‘I need to give my best here for a while.
Aiden tried to ignore the pain in his throat and just sing to the best of his ability.
After all, there was only the ending to go.
“Without you, I know Im a mess.”
“I dont even know how to explain, but I know I was the one to give you stress.”
“Still, I cant forget about you every time you are away.”
“I feel like asking you to stay.”
Aiden felt like he was breaking through something when he sang the line and tried to stretch it as far as he could. On his side, Rachel was doing it with ease, but he was clearly struggling.
Even Steven, who focused his attention on him, realised it, but he was also impressed.
There was no scratchy feeling in Aidens voice, and he was clearly giving his all to the performance. This was his evolution as a performer rather than just a singer.
At that moment, the music started becoming softer, like a flying feather was slowly landing on the ground, dangling through the air.
“I know I made some mistakes on the way.”
“But please, can you stay”
The final two lines were sung softly, utterly different from the usual catchy pace of the song.
In this song phase, Aiden tried his best to win it as the notes became lower and lower. By incorporating his emotions into it, he really sang it way better than Rachel, who somehow struggled while taking the high notes to the ground despite performing brilliantly throughout the song.
The song ended like that, and Aiden rubbed his forehead to find it all sweaty.
He felt drained, his vocal cords were hurting, and he was scared that he hadnt performed better than Rachel, but his heart carried a sense of satisfaction.
The audience enjoyed the performance. They were clapping, cheering, and some even gave a standing ovation.
‘At least I gave my best.
He thought, looking sideways to Rachel, who seemed exhausted. At that moment, the judges started speaking on the mic.
“Aiden, Rachel, you two are contestants that have always exceeded our expectations. Today was the same. You performed brilliantly.”
Andrew said, giving a smile to the two of them.
“You know, sometimes, we get contestants for whom we ourselves are biassed. You two are those types of contestants, having a unique charm.”
Alyssa, sitting beside him, nodded at those words and thought it was the same for her. From what she had heard and seen of Rachel and Aiden, she felt like they could go a long way in their careers.
“Lets start from the song. Its a very famous song. A type of song that, when released, would spread like a forest fire everywhere, and it is imperative to do justice to it and enjoy yourself while singing. I feel like you two did that.”
“Rachel, I really think this competition is too small for your level. But, on the other hand, its somehow frightening how much talent you have, and Im saying this because I have worked with many singers.”
Rachels eyes shined hearing that praise. It was genuine and from a judge. Even the audience cheered at those words as they felt the same way.
The next evaluation was from Steven.
“Well, its hard for me to talk about the performance as Alyssa and Andrew had already said what I think. However, the harmony and chemistry between you two was the main thing for me in this performance.”
Rachel glanced at Aiden, hearing that. She wasnt really trying to get any chemistry between them and just focus on her own parts, but their voices suited together.
“Aiden, your voice is something I really like and enjoy listening to. I still feel your vocal skills need work, but you have very, very unique talents.”
Steven looked at Aiden, and he nodded his head.
“Just keep working hard.”
After that, it was time for evaluation. Again, the judges looked at each other, and conflict suddenly was apparent in their eyes.
“Give me some minutes to tell you the result.”
Steven said on the mic and looked at his fellow judges. They seriously needed to think hard about who to send ahead among the two of them as they both were deserving in their eyes.
“Who do you think should go ahead”
Steven whispered, but he got no answer. Alyssa was the first one to speak among them.
“Uh, both of them sang great. There were times I liked Aiden more, and sometimes I leaned towards Rachels high notes. Its hard to decide.”
Andrew shared the same sentiment. But in this round, they cant let both the contestants go ahead. Only one is the definite rule, and they cant change it.
Even if it was harsh, they needed to make a decision.
“Uh, personally, if I need to choose, I think Rachel sang better. What do you two think”
Andrew asked, and Alyssa made a regretful expression.
“For me, its Aiden. I know there were patches where Rachel was better, but the emotions that Aiden showed deserve backing. We dont get talent like him every day.”
Here, it was necessary to note that Alyssa was being a bit biassed about Aiden as a fellow songwriter, but her arguments werent wrong either.
Both Andrew and Alyssa looked at Steven, who now had the final say. He frowned while thinking hard about his choice as it was a matter of immense importance.
After a while, he finally said the name that he thought was more worthy of going ahead. The conclusion was made.
“Aiden and Rachel.”
Andrew looked at the two of them and said with regret hidden in his voice.
“We thought hard about who should go ahead. Finally, we concluded that you two sang wonderfully, but as only one can go ahead, it would be…”
He took a break from his words and glanced toward the two judges before saying the name.
“Rachel. You are going ahead.”
Rachels face made a bright smile hearing that as she thanked the judges. The audience clapped for her, but Andrews focus was on Aiden.
“Im sorry, Aiden. Unfortunately, you are being eliminated.”
As soon he heard those words, time stopped for Aiden.
Stevens words dug into his heart like someone was continuously stabbing him with a knife. But it was just his reality.
Aiden was eliminated!