The Top 11 contestants of The X Factor‘s inaugural season have a daunting task in front of them: Performing CPR on the bloodied, lifeless corpse of modern music, which received a shocking death blow during this week’s results-show telecast from a lanky, screeching child in a leather-and-chainmail onesie.
Okay, yeah, so I have Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” in my iTunes library, but that “Fireball” business she hurled at the audience tonight had me dialing 1-800-End-Nepotism.
(“Um, hello? Can we get the party started? Um, hello? Can we get the party started?” Hey! Stop singing along while you read this!)
Anyway, I know it’s taking me a long time to get to the results, but seeing how it took a full 34 minutes to name the first of the nine acts that were immediately sent to safety, I think my pace here is positively zippy, no? IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, that cardboard cutout of Steve Jones kept reminding us, the acts who received enough votes to go straight through to next week’s Top 10 performance telecast were:
* Stacy Francis (that sound you heard was a collective gulp from the 10 other acts who were sure homegirl was in the Bottom 2)
* Melanie Amaro
* Marcus Canty
* LeRoy Bell (uh-oh, Paula!)
* Rachel Crow
* Josh Krajcik
* Drew (Ryniewicz)
(“Paula’s still yet to get an act through!” Thanks, Steve!)
* Chris Rene
Call it the curse of the Brewer Boys — because you know the little floppy-haired one put a hex up on her — but for the second week running, the Bottom 2 was comprised entirely of acts from Paula Abdul’s “Groups” category.
Here are my extra pithy descriptions of the participants in the sing-off. (No, not NBC’s The Sing-Off, but the X Factor‘s belt-for-your-survival ritual.)
Lakoda Rayne: Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s “No Air”
Kinda pretty, but the brunette in the pajama pants hit some serious bum notes — especially that low exhalation into the mic during the closing harmonies. Yowza. Also, I know Steve was trying to keep the telecast from running over, but you’d never hear something this utterly charmless from Ryan Seacrest or Cat Deeley: “Ladies and gentlemen, Lakoda Rayne! Thank you so much girls. Off you go. Thank you.”
Stereo Hogzz: Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone”
Dudes know how to rock some suits, especially that lead singer (who was badass enough to don a black-sequined dress shirt). But I can never distinguish a single vocal characteristic of any of this act’s members — with the sole exception of Trace. Speaking of which, that ending of his was wildly overwrought, no?
Judges Votes on Who Should Go Home
L.A.: Stereo Hogzz
Nicole: Stereo Hogzz
Paula: (after many tears, much hand-wringing, an attempt to abstain, a rule-change by Simon allowing her to abstain, a lot of douchery from our mirthless host, and then the realization that by abstaining, she’d automatically doom Stereo Hogzz to a 2-1 or 3-0 elimination, whereas if she voted for LR, and Simon did, too, the ousted act would be the one with the fewest viewer votes) Lakoda Rayne
Simon: Stereo Hogzz (remember last week when he said that there isn’t a band in the world right now as good as them? Riiight.)
Eliminated: Stereo Hogzz
Now before you hit the comments, a few thoughts on the results show:
* That group rendition by the Top 11 of Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World Tonight” was a hot cauldron of too many voices and too many green Matrix-esque letters and numbers floating on the screen behind ’em. And yes, there was also the occasional wretched note bubbling up to the surface. (Psst! Stacy Francis, I’m talking about you!) Steve Jones’ autopilot reaction to it all? “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.” (Ever feel like dude is trying so hard to endear himself to the show’s powers-that-be that he’d say absolutely anything they put on the teleprompter without a second thought. “If you want to download that performance…you must really effing hate yourself!”
* I wonder if L.A. saw the weekly vote tallies before or after deciding to publicly apologize to Melanie for calling her cover of “Man in the Mirror” predictable and unimaginative on Wednesday.
* It’s hard not to feel a little bad for Paula, who seems to be working pretty diligently and has done a pretty good job in the song-selection department. But honestly, short of having advanced the Brewer Boys instead of Intensity, I’m not sure there’s anything she could have done differently to avoid this early-season bloodbath in her division. Ultimately, I think it takes longer for voters to attach themselves to groups over soloists, especially when it’s pretty clear none of those groups has a real chance at winning the whole enchilada.
And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of this week’s X Factor results? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and for all my reality ridiculata, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!