The X Factor Top 9 Results Recap: Did the Right Two Acts Go Home?

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like winning a reality singing competition and becoming a global music superstar (please pardon the Kelly Clarkson paraphrase). Others wind up respectively landing in eight and ninth place, which doesn’t quite have the same confetti-from-the-rafters, loved-ones-crying-tears-of-joy, celebratory ring to it.

Alas, though, that’s the “reality” part of being on a reality show, and this week’s installment of The X Factor was all about the cruel business of sending two acts back home – on the worst travel day of the year (¡!), while outfitted in bizarre circus garb (the result of some weird Pepsi “power to the people” group performance that I’m not really sure is worth discussing).

In case you missed Tuesday night’s performance show, the rules for Top 9 week went like this: The act with the lowest number of viewer votes would face immediate elimination; the second- and third-lowest vote-getters would be forced into a sing-off in front of Self-Serving, Weepy, Lala, and Haughty.

Twenty minutes into the episode, Welsh Teleprompter-Reading Machine Steve Jones called Lakoda Rayne and Drew to center stage, and ominously declared, “I know this comes as a surprise.” Um, not really, dude. I mean, let’s have a show of hands: Did anyone out there actually think Drew Ryniewicz was the lowest vote-getter — even after L.A. Reid’s ludicrous critique that she only sings old-lady songs, despite “Skyscraer” being a recent hit for 19-year-old Demi Lovato? (Turn on a radio, sir!)

And so, with little fanfare, and with barely a mention that mentor Paula Abdul hasn’t got a single horse left in the race, Lakoda Rayne was eliminated — and the curse of the Brewer Boys was completed — but not before the gals declared that they’d eventually be going on tour worldwide. You’ve been warned! (I kid, I kid!)

And then there were seven, with two of em destined for a “save yourself” performance.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, the square jaw and carefully flipped hair reminded us, the acts who received enough votes to go straight through to next week’s Top 7 performance telecast were:

* Chris Rene
* Rachel Crow
* Josh Krajcik
* Melanie Amaro (“Well done, Simon!” said Steve Jones, who forgot that Melanie dedicated her Tuesday-night performance to GOD, for cryin’ out loud.)
* Astro (So “people” “accepted” that “apology” that didn’t include the words “I’m sorry”? Hard to say.)

And with that, we came to the “save yourself!” performances. Here’s my breakdown — in ten words or less — on LeRoy Bell vs. Marcus Canty (who suffered from overpraise for a truly horrific rendition of Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” on Tuesday).

Marcus Canty: Christina Aguilera’s “You Lost Me”
Mighty voice trumps histrionic ballad. No way they cut him.

LeRoy Bell: The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down”
Solid as usual, but we don’t need another Michael Bolton.

Judges Votes on Who Should Go Home
(Shouldn’t they make Paula go first next week?)
L.A.: LeRoy
Nicole: Marcus
Paula: Marcus
Simon: LeRoy

After Simon’s tying vote, the word “DEADLOCK” magically appeared against an ominous red backdrop. And Steve Jones explained the decision would come down to America’s vote, with the second-lowest vote-getter (after Dakota Roadhouse…see, the name is already escaping me!) also getting sent to the guillotine.

Eliminated: LeRoy Bell

“He’s amazing,” Nicole said of her second ousted artist (on the heels of Stacy Francis last week). “He represents so much.”

Next week: ANOTHER DOUBLE-ELIMINATION! “At this stage, being brilliant isn’t enough,” said Steve. “You’ve gotta be amazing.” Wait, amazing is definitively better than brilliant? Alrighty then.

A few other notes:

* Kelly Clarkson looked and sounded amazing, and I can’t help but think X Factor suits positioned her right at the top of the show to punish folks who tuned in late assuming the opening half-hour would be nothing but product placement, judges intros, and a performance-night recap.

* Whoever writes Steve Jones’ script needs to stop putting lies in his mouth. I mean, I know the show made a big deal of this Pepsi-sponsored shindig where viewers got to choose a song (Pink medley), set (giant record player), dance style (hip-hop), and theme (circus), but his respective pre- and post-performance commnents — “What have you come up with America? I’m intrigued!” and “Nicely done, America! Nicely done!” felt about as authentic as a “have a nice day” down at the DMV.

* Also, to continue a tradition I started two weeks back, let’s change the last half of Steve Jones’ sentence about said group number: “If you want to download that performance…I bet you also enjoy shaking your wallet out of a moving vehicle!”

* Not to pile on Steve, but he’s got to come up with a better question than “How are you feeling?” for acts that land in the “save yourself” sing-off round. That said, I appreciated the honesty coming from Marcus (“I’m feeing kinda funny: I’ve never been down here before”) and LeRoy (“Uh, scared. Yeah.”)

* Is there a serial killer prowling through the X Factor results-show audience every week? How else to explain all those blood-curdling screams percolating through the duration of the episode?

* Loved Paula pre-empting our host’s standard “Hurry up and tell me who you’re eliminating” by starting her deliberation process with, “It’s not that quick, Steve.”

What did you think of this week’s results? Did the right people go home? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. anibundel says:

    As much as it pains me to say, if Leroy didn’t go home this week, he’d be going home next week. As for Marcus, I’m not sure I see him surviving next week’s double elimination anyway.

  2. ck says:

    Leroy was better tonight. I’ll miss him.

  3. Stacie says:

    Not gonna lie, love that Nicole grabbed the microphone from Steve. Hilarious. I watch a lot of TV and never seen someone take the mic away from the host before. That says a lot about what they think of him. Just sayin’.

    Next week I can see 2 boys going home. Marcus and Astro, unless Rachel has a bad week. I think Top 5 are Melanie, Josh, Drew, Chris and Rachel. But with 1 person not being able to sing for their life I guess anything’s possible.

    • Deej says:

      What was even better was the look on Steve’s face when she did that and his tone of voice was just dripping “I’m gonna cut you later, bitch”

      • rod says:

        I think Steve Jones is doing a good job, he just needs to get more comfortable and stop saying silly one liners, he is WAY BETTER than THE VOICE´s host

        • Mercedes S. says:

          There has never been a worse TV-host, ever, than Robo-Steve. When he has one more act left to name as “saved”, he sure racks up the suspense by saying, “and in no particular order…”

    • DrewFan4Life says:

      I agree you’re top 5 is how it SHOULD play out but I have almost never seen these thing go the way they should. I expect that Astro will still be around for a while. Oh god please let me be wrong, please please please let me be wrong Amen.

  4. Greg says:

    I wish Simon had voted Marcus out just to piss LA off, he would have lost it.

    And the ‘no particular order’ call out left Astro until the end to make him sweat and make everyone at home wish he was in the bottom 2 again. His comments to the media about the voting being rigged, saying there was no way he was in the bottom 2 etc was worse than that non-apology.

  5. Jaded says:

    I turned off the tv in disgust upon learning that astro was safe.

    • Nadine says:

      I was surprised that Astro didn’t go home after his continued horrible attitude, but doesn’t that just attest to how talented he is! He is so very talented. I hope he gets a clue because no matter how talented he is, his attitude sucks.

    • yeah says:

      VFTW claims to have voted en mass for Astro and that they saved him. Im not sure they have that power. Although maybe xfactor doesn’t have Idol level votes so maybe they can have a slight influence.

      Astro has been tweeting something about not believing he was really in the bottom two since he has the most followers and youtube views and believe the fix was in to punish him for something that went on (some claim wearing Beats head phones while performing, against the rules for advertising reasons or something) and that he acted all crazy since he thought the whole thing was a sham or something. I don’t know.

      • Gorm says:

        VFTW gets maybe 2000 unique hits per week. Their Alexa ranking is abysmal. They have zero impact on anything, and get by only as a collective of a few dozen bitter hearts in their forums. I love them dearly, but they dont sway network tv show voting in any capacity.

        • yeah says:

          hah, I figured as much although I didn’t know it was quite that bad, that said apparently with android it’s easy for one person to vote 20,000 and if they got just 300 of their vistors androiding it each week then 300*20,000= 6,000,000 though which actually might well be enough to bump someone a bit when it comes to this show and the way voting goes for it hmmmm

        • yeah says:

          I didn’t bother reading so maybe they explain, but I’m puzzled why VFTW picked Astro. Since he’s been such a producers pet and so praised and does have some talents, if you like rap. So in what way is he their pick? Maybe they figure he annoys the whole not crazy about rap crowd and they figure that is a decent percentage of viewers??

  6. johnn says:

    Glad to hear they’ll be clearing out a couple more next week.

  7. Nadine says:

    Huh, what 2 acts went home? I only caught the end, but I was sad to see Leroy go. He kind of deserved it, but if only he had shown some hunger, he had the potential to win it all. He was very likable and talented. He just didn’t seem to care. Sad. A show of strength would have gone a long way.

  8. Tess says:

    I would’ve kept Leroy for the sheer sake that Simon’s three girls and Josh are now more vunerable to possibly getting booted early with another double elmination next week. I mean, Marcus’ fans (assuming he has some) will do like Astro’s and vote heavier next week to keep him safe because otherwise if he hits the bottom he’s a likely goner, Astro’s fans (which I guess he does have since he was safe tonight) will continue to vote heavier for him to keep him safe again, and Chris apparently has fans who already are voting heavily because let’s face it, he massacred “Let It Be” last night but he was safe so someone’s power voting there. The three girls and Josh *should* be the top 4 but I fear that one or more of them could wind up getting screwed with a second double elimination. Had Leroy been saved this week, he still could have wound up in the bottom 3 next week since this week was pretty good for him and he still was in the bottom 2. I really want to see LA lose two of his boys next week though, because he deserves some comeuppance for being so ignorant about music…and like I said, no way any of his boys are better than the other 4 acts.

  9. Joseph Venutolo says:

    I just don’t understand how fans voted for Drew?She sounds the same every time,I don’t know what the the voters are listening to but they must be all tone deaf.I though this was a singing contest were does Astro fit in there?
    The judges are bunch of phonies all they do is vote for their own people,not who is the best singer.And as far as Simon, he was a jerk on American Idol and he hasn’t changed on this program.

    • Erin says:

      Fans vote for Drew because her voice & style are current and in line with what is popular today. Also, it isn’t a SINGING competition. It is a MUSIC PERFORMANCE competition. Rap is a form of music performance, whether you like it or not (see: Grammy award categories). Astro is an annoying punk, but he’ll probably be the most successful out of the bunch.

      • Alex says:

        Fans vote for Drew because they are tone deaf and cannot tell the difference between good singing and bad yodeling. Rap is NOT music. Its a bunch of posturing while spouting bad rhyme to ripped off music bytes. Hip-Hop has musical content and is what Grammy awards are won for. What Chis does is Hip-Hop among other things. What Astro does is rap and nothing else.

        Lastly, it’s not a singing OR music performance competition. It’s a marketability contest. The “X Factor” is how well an act can sell CDs and pack concerts. That’s the reason you can babble like a gangsta thug or screech like a yodeling banshee and still stay in the contest week after week. :-)

        • anonymous says:

          The music industry disagrees with your assertion that ‘rap’ is not music. The fact is, while there IS some bad rap, there’s also some amazing rap out there, and that rap has roots in hip hop. Do your research before spouting off an ignorant opinion please.

    • VerizonVoter says:

      First, Drew rocks and will win the $5 million.

      Second, you have no idea how easy it is to power vote with the Verizon Android application. I can, and did, vote for Drew over 20,000 times in two hours, last night with it. 2 plus times a second, times 60 seconds to a minute, times 60 minutes to an hour, times 2 hours for voting.

      Verizon voters using the Android Application, all by ourselves, can determine who wins.

      So every week in 2 hours I will get my 20,000 votes for Drew. Maybe I’ll get my second cell this week to have a West Coast number so I can give her another 20,000 voters for 40,000 votes a week.

      • Steve says:

        Okay. You’re saying Drew is where she is because of cheating voters like yourself? Interesting. Think I’ll send your post to the production staff with a suggestion they get with Verizon and other communication companies to see how many votes are generated from the same phone SIM cards then take a really hard look at Drew’s Voting stats. Thanks for the heads up.

        • Tim says:

          How is that cheating?

        • Verizon Voter #3 says:


          If they didn’t want “power voters” using the Verizon smartphone application, they wouldn’t have given it to us, think about that when “you report it,” stupid-head!

          It’s provided, in part, because they know you can vote over 20,000 times in 2 hours with almost no effort whatsoever. I watched two tv shows after X-F and voted like crazy, also for Drew, the entire time.

          So before you make a fool out of yourself, think things through logically and ask why we were provided the app in the first place?

          Poor AT&T former power voter, Idol never helped you with a power voting app, just your 10x a minute, if you’re lucky, text votes. Verizon and X-F have given us the ability to deliver 10,000 plus votes per hour if we wish.

          Deal with it.

          • `` says:

            Lol, trollin’. o u feel so gewd u can b cheezbawl. The whole reason they have that is because they know people who have no life whatsoever will make Verizon $$$$ and the production can fart rainbows when they say they have more votes in the finale than the world population.

      • Another Verizon Voter says:

        You’re not kidding how easy it is to POWER VOTE with the Verizon app.

        Easily, I got 18,000 votes in for Drew every week. That’s taking it easy and not pushing myself either.

        The Verizon Droid Application may determine who wins X-Factor.

        BTW I voted for Drew as well. Between the two of us, she got almost 40,000 votes in 2 hours!

  10. Me says:

    Bah, Lakoda Rayne outright gone, they probably would’ve been saved. At least they were different from everything else on the show (and cute as heck) and kept some interest going (and if got me to like country, when they did it, they have to be doing something right; I have a weird feeling they might be more popular sticking to straight pop though or at most very xover). Glad to hear it sounds like they have some sort of deal most likely (maybe Paula will try to develop them?) or so I hope.

    Rap is not really my thing, Drew does have a really cool voice although there is a slight chance she might not be able to change up enough to keep from being boring eventually (but she did belt it and uptempo it a bit this week so there is hope). Glad she stayed. I think the put her against Lakoda not for drama but to not torture Lakoda with false hope since it seemed clear from stats that no way could Drew go home at this point.

    The rest are so-so to not bad at all but not truly memorable or at all unusual or different. So, sad to see Lakoda Rayne dumped.

    I’ll come back and watch the finale if Drew makes it, otherwise nobody left really has anything unusual or super special (unless you count rap as unusual and the rhyming/writing special).

    Marcus is going horribly off key on the single most critical or the painful if off key notes too often now (maybe Lakoda, as with most of the rest, has an off note here and there but never in a hideous way or at the critical points), sort of like Stacey ended up doing so I think Leroy should have stayed (although he has had a couple boring weeks mixed in). Neither was going to make top three anyway though.

    • Jake Y. says:

      I agree. Now that Lakoda Rayne is out, I’m not motivated to watch this show any more. I stuck it out last night, knowing that the odds were against them, but honestly it’s a shame they didn’t get more of a chance, especially given the potential they had to do well in pop music. Marcus was hideous last night and got off easy tonight. I can’t take Rachel seriously, as one week she’s walking on sunshine, then she can’t get no satisfaction . . . really, do they know what that song is actually about? Drew is mature as a vocalist, but every week is a funeral march. Josh is talented but stuck in the 80’s, and he lacks charisma. Melanie has the best voice of the group, but she has no personality (except for the split personality we saw last night when she became a possessed Jamaican out of nowhere and said that God is the only who hasn’t failed her). Astro is a brat and rap sucks. Chris Rene has only sung one song well, “Young Homie,” and he’s done it twice.
      The X-Factor should have promoted the groups more beforehand as a hallmark of why X-Factor differs from Idol, because now we have all soloists in the Top 7 and not much to look forward to from them.

      • Alex says:

        You can take Rachel seriously. Those songs were picked by Simon and arranged by somebody who should be horsewhipped. Given those stumbling blocks she’s done very well and is one of the most consistently professional and unflappable contestants.

        If anybody is a mature vocalist, it’s Melanie. Even if she loses, (which doesn’t seem likely at this point), she will be big in the industry. I can’t see the big labels letting her slip back into obscurity. BTW, She grew up in the Virgin Islands, of which Jamaica is NOT one.

        Josh is a huge talent. Sounds a bit like Bob Seger but I think he’d be willing to take genre risks Seger never did and become a viable and lasting artist.

        If anybody deserves to be kicked to the curb, it’s Drew. As much as the public would like it to be true, yodeling is NOT singing. It’s just noise, like nails on a blackboard. I’d like to hear her sing just one note in a steady and clear fashion without cracking high and low and playing games.

        Astro needs to grow up, learn humility and get the voice and the life experience needed to make him believable. For now though, he needs to be home doing those things.

        • yodel says:

          umm Drew doesn’t yodel one bit. ever.

        • Jake Y. says:

          Good points, Alex. I meant that Drew was mature as a vocalist for her age. Melanie is very clearly mature as a vocalist, but she’s also a few years older than Drew and Rachel. I can imagine a 19-year-old becoming a pop star (e.g. Rihanna was 17 going on 18 when she released her first album) and legitimately feeling lyrics about love and loss, but it’s harder with a 13- or 15-year old because they have had less time to go through that. Those few years make a difference. So basically, Melanie IS vocally mature, I just didn’t note it because she’s a bit older and it is expected of her. As for Rachel, she is only two years younger than Drew, but she acts even younger. I agree also that Drew’s voice has gotten to be grating of late- Simon better give her an uptempo song, or something new, or she could be at risk next week.

        • Alexander says:

          Josh is NOT a big talent. He’s nowhere near a $5,000,000.00 talent. Fact is, he’s another Taylor Hicks. If he wins, it’s the worst possible start for a long-term X-F.

          Josh is the typical scruffy white guy who has won Idol after Idol the past few years and then disappear after their first CD. David Cook was the first in the string. If you don’t believe me, look at every typically scruffy white guy from Cook on and see if their second CD even came close to charting, Cook’s included.

          That’s what Josh is. Plus he could use a hair wash, stylist and grooming assistance.

          No “over group” member who has ever won any X-F in the world has ever been a success. Josh won’t be an exception to that. He would have been your typical AGT winner who makes a CD and is forgotten.

          Melanie and Drew are the two, truly potential, world-wide stars on X-F. The final should be the two of them.

          Josh is NO better than third and that’s with a lot of old women voting for him,

          • `` says:

            Lol. NONE of these people are worth a 5m dollar contract, are you freakin’ kidding me? And Cook is still making CDs, I dunno if you’ve noticed one came out not too long ago. There’s actually a market for it, it’s just not Katy Perry or Lady Gaga territory, because those kinds of singers don’t appeal as much to per-pubescent girls.

  11. alex says:

    the group aka lakoda was what was making the show interesting and different. they have a lot of potential and i am disappointed they are not staying longer for the audience to connect further. i guess they will get a deal eventually.
    tough luck for the show. rating is probably gonna plummet. good luck recouping the 5 million cash prize sony. make sure that kid wears YOUR headphones.

  12. karenb says:

    Sooo glad that Lakota Rayne is off my tv now. And, no, I won’t be attending their “world-wide” tour, either!

    On a side note-I saw a flash tonight of what you were saying, Slezak-about the Marcus/Kris resemblance!

  13. `` says:

    Skyscraer es such a beautiful songhai!

  14. darcy's evil twin says:

    Booooo! Put me in the “I’m sorry Lakoda Rayne is gone/they were different/they were cute/and at least they were interesting” contingent. I’m just sorry they didn’t get more of a chance to form as a “group”.
    While I wasn’t overly-crazy about LeRoy Bell I liked him and I’m sorry he’s gone. I’d rather listen to him sing the entire Sarah McLachlan catalog than sit through ONE performance by Astro.

    Don’t get the Drew love – I really, REALLY tried to like her but I just can’t handle that whiny voice, but it seems I’m clearly in the minority.
    I like Josh the best but he’s pretty old-school – and so am I.

    • Shindig says:

      I agree with you all the way, albeit I like Drew (but she gets very tiring.. she reaaaally needs to mix it up). But Josh isn’t all old school — though.. maybe I’m getting old school at this point now, wow LOL. He can jam out alternative style rock very well, as well as 80s. I love his bluesy singing, but I also love rock. It’s sort of why I liked Haley. Real rock has been pretty absent from the mainstream, though. so yea I guess I am old school too :(

    • Bonnie A says:

      You so often write exactly what I’m thinking. I liked Lakota Rayne the best and am quickly losing interest in this show. Drew was interesting at first but she needs to change up the tempo or style or something. BTW I also loved Haley on AI and can’t wait for her album.

  15. sol ortiz says:

    I was surprised and am sad at the results because people who actually want to be there and deserve to be there are gone. Astro is young but his attitude sucks now. OMG was that an apology? Where is the I’m sorry? That’s usually included in there. Lol. I hope he learns but he shouldve gone home last week. Don’t knw if ill keep watching. I was excited about the show but excitement has walked out and slam the door behind it. Lol!

    • Owen says:

      Okay, please explain what he did to you that he needs to apologize. Am I asking you to apologize for having a horrible opinion and no insight into human behavior? Cause from where I’m sitting, Astro decidedly DOES want to be there and completely deserves to be there. But that’s objective. Astro did NOTHING to Sol Ortiz that he needs to apologize for.

      • Billy says:

        Owen, please explain why you have not taken the advice of so many of us here on the TVline blog and cleaned your ears out so you can actually hear what your pet gangsta-wannabe said the other night. JeezLouiz, get a clue!

        • Owen says:

          I heard. And yet no one can explain to me how his attitude hurt people to the extent that people are calling him a potential wife beater. He did nothing to you people and you act as if he killed your Republican gramma.

          • Shindig says:

            I think you’re the one taking most offense from it xD on the other post when someone made the Chris Brown comment, it was a JOKE. There’s nobody gathering torches and pitchforks for the kid, man. Lighten up. People just think he’s a brat, which he is. How many kids aren’t? How likeable is brattiness? Not one bit.

          • Shindig says:

            (I wish there were edit buttons)
            *And to be clear, none of us know him, and this is all based on what he shows on stage. Say that we don’t see the whole picture all you want, but unfortunately that’s how judgement was made. The kid studies ballet and refuses to dance on camera because he feels he’s above it? ok.

          • Billy says:

            OH NO! Let me go on record here as the one who started the (totally fabricated) rumor that Astro was a student of ballet before turning into a master of music, LOL. The image of him in a tutu, prancing about the stage while doing his shtick made me laugh out loud and I thought a few TVLiners might get a kick out of it too. IT IS NOT TRUE. It IS true, though, that he is the reincarnation fo Tupac. I know that’s true because I read it on the internet.

          • Shindig says:

            At first i was like oh ): and then I was like lol

  16. BG says:

    I’m honestly a bit surprised that anyone was actually vying for the ad-hoc Lakota Rayne. The one girl in the group was so bad that they never let her sing LoL! Sure they were fun to look at, but that’s only 1/3 the puzzle (the other parts being singing and personality).

    I hate to ruin the fun for everyone, but this is how it’s going to end:
    7 Marcus Canty (lacks talent and personality)

    6 Chris Rene (lacks talent in a severe way)

    5 Astro (is retarded (I honestly believe that))

    4 Rachel Crow (adorable but there’s no chance she’s going to win)

    3 Drew (a one-trick pony incapable of holding the audience’s attention)

    2 Melanie Amaro (Simon’s hype can only carry mediocre talent so far)

    1 Josh Krajcik (needs to revisit his look, but that’s the only thing that he’s lacking)

    • Rick says:

      I was so ready to say you were ALMOST right and then correct it, but honestly, this sounds about right. Maybe Drew and Rachel might switch places, and Josh could be edged out by one of the chicas if he screws up royally over the next few weeks, but otherwise, this season’s live shows will end just as predictably as they began.
      Josh got the “unattractive everyman with an amazing voice” edit and will ride it to the top. It’s a shame that useless Nicole Scherzinger will get the first season’s winner, though.
      Rachel is not a pop star- she’s too young and hasn’t found her musical identity yet. It’s amazing that Rachel and Drew are so close in age, because Drew has so much more maturity.

      • BG says:

        I don’t know if you follow Josh on Twitter/Facebook, but he is very set in his rock/ballad path and that seems to be working out quite well for him thus far. The only way that Josh could screw up and lose at this point is if he forgets to wear pants on the show. Seriously…

        I agree that Nichole is getting far more credit than she deserves. If I told you to think of Josh’s best performance so far this season, you would probably think of “Forever Young.” After watching the performance, pay very close attention to Nichole’s comments… “We’ve been working on this for so long and you went up there and just did your own thing… You threw (all of my advice) away!”

        • Rick says:

          Exactly! These judges praise each other and tear each other down, but it seems that the stand-out performances occur when the contestants make their own decisions, like Rachel Crow with “I’d Rather Go Blind” (which for me was far and away her best effort) and the example you gave for Josh. Nicole clearly screwed up with Stacy in terms of directing her toward a particular genre, and she always gave Leroy snoozer songs. And who could forget Dexter Haygood, a horrible choice to begin with, singing Britney Spears and Katy Perry? Thank goodness Josh has taken more control of his artistic direction, because Nicole would probably have him singing classical opera or bluegrass to stand out.

      • matt says:

        Oh so Rachel is immature just because she is human, and cried during eliminations last week, or she had talked about having her own bathroom too much? Please. Her artistry and vocal talent are the most mature of the competition. Listen to the beauty of her voice when she sings songs she has chosen herself, she is an old soul. I hope either her or Josh wins.

        • `` says:

          she picked one song, if i’m not mistaken. She’s good, but I disagree with your comment. She could mature a bit more and grow leagues more. her most recent performances have been terrible.

    • Rich says:

      I don’t agree with all of your comments, but I do agree with your general order. Josh should win this.

    • Shindig says:

      I feel like that’s how it /should/ be, but the pessimist inside me says that the ones we think are in the top 3 won’t be. As much as I want Josh to win, he doesn’t have boobs or is marketable on Nickelodeon, so I see him finishing around 3rd or 4th realistically.. and I painfully feel either Chris or Astro will be in the top. It gives me the heebiejeebies just thinking about how screwed up the ending will be, just like the Idol finale being a total snoozefest :<

      • yeah me says:

        I don’t know. I still think it will be Drew, Josh, Melanie for top three.

      • BG says:

        I have to admit, Shindig, I share your fear. I have failed to pick the winner of American Idol only once in the show’s history (seriously – I picked Scotty McCreepy to be one of the first people to go home) but there is always that one talentless-but-loveable person who coasts long enough to eliminate the show’s real talent. But that’s the beauty of the X-Factor format… The idiots behind VFTW can only save Astro and Chris for so long (I love Chris as a person but he’s Cruise Ship material).

        • although says:

          Although now that I see that any with an Android can easily put in 20,000 votes, maybe VFTW can influence more this tim.

          • Shindig says:

            Man, that stuff is so messed up. xD
            It’s so true though. I’ve come to realize anybody I find myself wanting to listen to more won’t win.

    • Lenny Leon says:

      Agree with you
      The only act that will have a career is Leroy. He will sell albums and sell out shows.

    • My Alter Ego says:

      BG, while, in general, I like your list, I do disagree about a few things:

      1.) If Chris severely lacks talent (and I agree with you on this), why wouldn’t he go next?

      2.) Marcus doesn’t really lack talent, but said talent really hasn’t been as “present” during the live shows, as was evidenced earlier. Is that because of nervousness, his “mentor’s” bad guidance, some other factor, umm????

      3.) I truly doubt that Astro is retarded, but he does seem to be severely lacking in social skills.

      4.) Rachel: Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. Wow. Where to begin? The girl really does have an incredible voice that is mature far beyond her years. But then there’s that overly effusive, obsequious reaction that she has to praise, that reminds us all of her age and, at least for me, leaves me feeling nauseated.

      5.) Drew — for me, Drew is like why are we still talking about Astro, Drew and Chris? I don’t hear (let me emphasize HEAR) what anyone could appreciate there. Drew has from, at least the Judge’s House episode, displayed nothing but a “nails on chalkboard” performance. But it seems as though many people find that to be “music.” Things that make me go “hmmmmm….”

      6.) Melanie: I’m not sure why you consider her to be a mediocre talent. Melanie’s got the best voice of the group that is left (Diva voice without diva personality). But if you are referring to her lack of really putting her own spin on whatever song she’s singing, has it occurred to you that it’s her insecurity that makes her take the safe approach? (And by insecurity I’m referring to both how she ended up being on the live shows, as well as her childhood which definitely came out this past week.)

      7.) I wouldn’t mind if Josh took it all home, but I’m doubtful, given what I’ve learned in the past few years of AI. Which means that the American public doesn’t have the good taste, sense, or intelligence to actually vote for real talent (do the names Scotty McCreary, Lauren Alaina and Lee DeWyze ring any bells?)

      • Billy says:

        That’s why Ah’m afeard that that-them-thar Chris Rene is gonna win the whole thang, dagnabbit!
        All it will take is just ONE country rap song from him (dedicated to his grandma) and he’ll be in it to win it, YO!

      • Lily says:

        Insulting the American public, who is going increasingly country from a musical standpoint, for voting for the person they want to keep hearing more of? I’m no country fan, but Scotty and Lauren’s albums flew off the shelf faster than someone like Haley’s or James’s will. In addition, many people with ‘real talent’ don’t sell albums. Many people without it do, largely because of their marketability and persona- I won’t blast anyone in particular, but look at the current pop scene. I’d rather the $5 million prize go to the best investment, and that’s probably Astro in the long run. I’m not his biggest fan but his style is current and the boy is talented.

        • `` says:

          That was his point. But honestly if the other people had the marketing, it could be possible. but it doesn’t take one. Music is like fashion, it goes in circles.

  17. Rich says:

    What use is it to “sing for your life” when a judge will sit there, tell you that you sang better, but vote you out anyways?

    • Rick says:

      I get why they would base decisions on the whole season and not just on the one performance, but you’re right- don’t call it “sing for your life” if that’s not actually what is going on.

  18. Owen says:

    Slezak is such a disingenuous ass. He used to be somewhat objective but he gets worse and worse. He doesn’t even post a real recap of the performances, not even an “update” mainly so he doesn’t have to be honest about his favorites. Yes, blame LA for his (admittedly) stupid remarks about Drew, but ten to one, Slezak KNOWS she’s losing steam performance-wise. And a part of him, the rational part, knows exactly what LA was getting at. Plus SHE had her only little arrogant rant (but let’s just mention the scary little black boy, the white blond girl from the burbs is perfect). And then there’s Melanie, who, last night, apparently went crazy. But no mention of any of this, just about Astro’s “non-apologize”. As a gay man I am embarrassed and ashamed he’s one of us.

    • Shindig says:

      Dude, I’m a gay guy as well — and don’t really get where you’re finding Drew’s attitude as something to criticize about her. She was telling the TRUTH. That’s what she wants to do. That’s what she’s doing. Exactly what Astro is doing. The kid didn’t sing a rock song on rock night when there were soooo many rock songs featuring rap. Yes, Drew turned a U2 song into a dirge, but she’s doing what Astro should do /politely./ This has nothing to do with race. If Drew did what he did, I’d say the same thing in reverse. The kid didn’t say sorry and basically put himself in the right, and is now saying the whole thing must have been a set up. Sigh. His tantrum can be forgiven in the end, he’s a kid, but he’s doing next to nothing to make up for it.

      • Shindig says:

        Also, need I remind you another reson people don’t like him is the way he acted during the boot camp dance thing. He put himself above dancing, saying (paraphrased)”I don’t dance, rapper x, y z don’t dance so why should I” — if you’re going to argue Drew was being a brat for saying she’s singing how she wants to sing, I don’t want to know what acting like that is like!

        • Owen says:

          So what? I don’t care if Drew is arrogant? And this is the SECOND week, remember last week was: no one has ever criticized me before. LA was mean to me…I just want it pointed out that she is as full of herself as Astro is, and they both should be full of themselves, they’re very talented. Why should the play at the humility game just so Shindig can like them better? What harm does being “arrogant” do anyway, really?

          • Shindig says:

            …are you the same Owen that wrote the first comment? Lol. You bring up Drew, and suddenly it’s like you didn’t. That was part of the argument, which I don’t feel like you’re clearly stating. This doesn’t seem like an argument worth getting into as I have absolutely know idea what you’re trying to get at. So, I’ll just leave it at that.

          • Shindig says:


            I do hope you’re not taking it personally, because I’m not trying to be a jerk, nor am I trying to act entitled, which is seems like you reply with often (saying x has to please y user)

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Owen, while you have a right to your opinion, that doesn’t mean that your opinion is right.

            Neither Drew nor Astro are “artists,” nor do either deserve being considered musicians/musical. Neither of them have seemed to put any serious study into music, and, of course, both are pretentious (or delusional) enough to think that the performances they foist on the public should be considered “art.” What infinite nonsense/rubbish!!!

            They are both spoiled children, operating out of some nonsensical sense of entitlement.

            Neither are good musicians.

    • BG says:

      No need to hate on Slezak… I’m sure he’s humiliated himself enough already with his picks from Week 12:

  19. Kathy says:

    Astro should go home and so should the other rapper! Rap is NOT music!!

  20. opus says:

    I am not a fan of rap but you are wrong, Kathy, in saying Astro should go home for doing rap; he should have been sent home immediately last week for his arrogant and disgusting behavior. X-Factor should have sent a message that actions like his will not be tolerated. I am tired of hearing that we should forgive him because he his so young and talented – there is no excuse for anyone of any age to behave that way (and I dispute that he is as talented as some people claim, but that is not the point here). X-Factor did us all a disfavor by allowing Astro to stay and even making excuses for him.

  21. Amber says:

    Ugh I wanted to see New Girl last night. This stupid lame show for dummies and FOX screwed up everything.

  22. Lenny Leon says:

    has no Balls! His show and he cops out. wow! What a wimp. Marcus should hae gone home based on his lame performance. This show will not make it to a 3rd season. Lost all respect for Simone. Mark my words. Leroy will record an album that will out sell all those left. He will sell out his performances and Simone will take all the credit. Did I say Simone is a total wimp. no balls

  23. Amber says:

    Astro is 16. I know he behaved appallingly, but I remember being a 16 yo girl and listening to “apologies” from 16 yo boys. All apologies by boys that age pretty much deserve quotation marks.

    • Billy says:

      Just a few weeks ago Astro was 14. So now he’s 16? I guess anything’s possible, since Rachel is 13 and presents herself as a 7 year old little girl.

      • Alex says:

        Rachel Crow is 14. And if you’ve listened to the interviews and seen other things she’s done besides this show you’d see she presents herself with more maturity than Simon does most of the time. Bubbly she may be, childish she is not. Especially when it comes to singing.

        • Gorm says:

          hahahaha what a load of nonsense. Her outside of xfactor resume is completely irrelevant, the way she presents herself in this competition is the epitome of childish. Do remember how she baby-lisped her way throuh that backstreet boys song in Simon’s French luxorium? All the giggling and stage-managed preciousness does not add up to even the low standard of a teen performer. She IS a child, she carries hersef like one, her whole act is based on the premise of a big voiced child. Its what her parents and the show want out of her, and she is delivering like a pro. She. Acts. Like. A. Child. its not possible to argue with that.

          • Shindig says:

            Very true. I’d say more that she acts like a child trying to not act like a child. AKA… Shirly Temple. To be fair though, she’s been getting somewhat more realistic as the show goes on, but it’s still a little grating.

    • Shindig says:

      I remember being a 14 year old guy in high school and people being called an ass+ for acting like that. There’s the jerks, and there’s the ones with some courtesy. I don’t get the “he’s only 14” argument for the most part, except the fact that all that pressure could make most 9th graders snap.. but the jerks are separated from the group with /how/ they snap. But really, that was last week’s news to me already.

  24. whynotcanada says:

    um …
    Chris Rene can’t sing. Period.
    RAP, while a legitimate form of artful expression, poety with a beat, but it is definitely not music. So somebody please send that little arrogant snot home.
    Crow, give her good r&b soul, she kills it. But too young. give her 5 years.
    Drew is talented and has an unique voice, but LA is right, same old same old same old same old ZZZZZZZZZZZ. Seriously, could anybody possibly listen to a whole concert of that. Bluck.
    Marcus, sometimes quite good with right song. But, i don’t know, something missing upstairs. The mama’s boy thing grating on me.
    Josh and Melanie are better than the rest by a long shot. Either could win. I look forward to both each week … But neither have any sort of X factor.
    Bring back Tora Wolishin – she had voice, personality, looks, likability, talent …. um what the others don’t have … X factor.

    • Shindig says:

      I don’t like rap, but according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it has a rhythm, and is therefore music. I mean.. vocal music /is/ poetry, with a beat, melody etc etc etc

  25. BG says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you, whynotcanada. I believe that Josh DOES have something about him that is automatically likeable, and his talent is simply unmatched on the show (we barely seem him play the piano and the man is classically trained, and he also plays guitar (acoustic and electric)).

    PS, whynotcanada; this is why:

  26. PatD says:

    Wonderful voices they may have, but neither Josh or Melanie will sell millions of songs nor will either of them fill stadiums.

    Drew has a chance in that Taylor Swift demographic, but her success will be entirely dependent on what kind of material she gets post X Factor. Judging on the past histories of these reality show winners, that can be a real crap shoot.

    I really don’t think Astro is going to sell a lot, either. His retro rap style plays to a very narrow niche that may be voting for him, but I don’t see those numbers paying for his raps.

    Chris Rene, on the other hand, has established a HUGE online fan base (his videos and original music MP3’s have been clicked/downloaded 15 million+ times… more than any other reality show competitor… ever). People are voting for him based upon how much they like his original music, not for the karaoke stuff he’s getting stuck with on the show. Rene doesn’t have mad singing skills like Melanie, but this is NOT a singing competition. It’s a contest to see who has the most marketability… the X Factor. I don’t know why people keep harping on who has the best singing skills, because this contest has nothing to do with that. He’s certainly not the best singer on the show, but he’s a very good vocalist, and even better songwriter. The guy has written some insanely radio-ready songs with killer hooks. And make no mistake about it, writing catchy, hit worthy hooks is a very rare skill. It really, really sucks that they won’t let him sing something like his “The Same Blood” straight up, because I really think the casual viewer would see him in a much different light. I think he’s going to sell bigger than any of the other contestants combined. Not only are his tunes earworm-like, they’re chock full of positive messages, no profanity, and not disrespectful of women. Seriously. Go give a good listen to his music. It may not be to your taste, but his marketability is undeniable. And THAT’S what this is all about.

    • Alex says:

      WELL PUT! I may not agree with your taste in competitors but you summed up the purpose of the show admirably. FIND AN ARTIST”S MARKETABILITY…. oh, yeah, and sell more Pepsi…. :-)

    • swaggur says:

      i agree 100% about what you said about chris. seriously all these posts are just hating on everyone, finally glad to see a positive view on things for once! and these haters need to listen to his songs, definitely full of positive messages!

  27. Joline says:

    In all seriousness, I am actually starting to enjoy Steve Jones. Seeing what an idiot he makes out of himself every week is really the only reason to tune in anymore. It’s quite entertaining.

    • Shindig says:

      “Josh Krajcik and Leroy Bell!!! …..Leroy Be–.. I mean!!”

    • Gorm says:

      I too love steve’s instant transformation into clockwatching taskmaster. In the auditions he was this lunking awkward pole to lean and cry on. He was barely there and had no personality to speak of. As soon as the first results show was aired Steve exploded into his current and very unpleasant role. Sooooo many people on forums hate him and dont want him back. All i can remember is his little impromptu shout of glee when Simon announced the show had been renewed for a second season. It was such a dark little moment as he’ll be the first one to go, but only after he was forced to bereate the crappy judges in fear of crappy local FOX stations not getting money for airing car dealership ads.

      Poor Steve, out of a job due to 0% financing on new and used GM cars and SUVs.

  28. David says:

    Kelly Clarkson was awesome but did anyone notice how they hardly got any close up shots of her on camera? The whole performance (except for a few glances) were so wide that you could hardly make her out. What’s up with that?

    • Gorm says:

      No idea why, but I think you are right. My best guess is that she pissed of someone in the production. She also didnt get the moment you’d expect which is her speaking to Simon and Pauler in the same contestant-judge capacity. Instead you got Steve Jones barking “What a set of pipes! Wheew!” while Kelly spoke a meek “Hi simon Hi paula” underneath Steve’s bluster.

      Perhaps Mr. Slezak can do some investigative journalism and find out what got Kelly that bad edit.

      • cg says:

        I highly doubt that the reason that they barely showed any close up shots of her is because she pissed of someone off. Were talking about Kelly Clarkson here, who is probably the most down to earth, nicest celebrity out there and everyone that has worked with her only says great things about her and that she is nice and respectable towards them. The reason that they probably didn’t have many closeups is because they wanted show the graphics behind her *maybe*. After her performance she did say “hey Simon, hi Paula” who were both grinning from ear to ear and looked like proud parents and if you look closely you can see Paula saying something like “hi dear”. :)

  29. Valerie says:

    I think Lakota Grill would be a great roadhouse name. Maybe feature generically cute but personality-less servers…

  30. Sasha says:

    I agree about the whole Kelly Clarkson thing.

    I did not expect her on so early AND I thought that bum Steve Jones would give her at least a mini interview.

    A-holes…it would have been nice to hear what she had to say and give non-fans an idea of her personality…

    • Billy says:

      I think they gave her the ‘ol Steve Jones “off you go” treatment because last week’s Rhianna performance (not to mention last month’s Willow Smith performance) made Kelly look like an amateur.

    • Billy says:

      My post above should read “made Kelly look and SOUND like an amateur”. Given a few years of voice training, I’m sure Miss Clarkson will improve, but she’ll never be in Rhianna and Willow’s league of incredible female vocalists.

      • Tusk says:

        Soooo….you’re saying Willow Smith is in the “league of incredible female vocalists”… and it was Kelly who needed “a few years?

        11 year old Willow Smith is an Incredible Female Vocalist….erm yeah I just heard a lot of yelling and saw a bunch of running around…LOL “Incredible Female Vocalist”, ….Willow Smith….riiiight.

        I never tire of Kelly’s voice and personality, and a TRULY Incredible AND UNIQUE Female Vocalist.

        Willow Smith….an incredible female vocalist…omg that’s hilarious.

        • Billy says:

          Thank you. I aims to please, ha ha!
          Ok, so MAYBE Kelly is AS GOOD a singer as Willow. But Rhianna is truly in a class of her own – she can lip sync with the best of ’em!

        • `` says:

          Tusk, I love you from previous followings on Slezak’s page, but I would like to school you in blatant sarcasm some day!

          • Tusk says:

            My experience is not to assume sarcasm…Willow Smith has fans, as did/does Jacob Lusk, as did Sanjaya…plenty of people weren’t sarcastic then….so no need for sarcasm school.

            Most who attempt it in text form fail.

      • sarcasm says:

        Oh dear, people always forget who I am.

      • cg says:

        Rihanna & little ol’ 11 year Willow Smith (who is talented for her age) better vocalists than Kelly ha that’s so not true. Here’s the thing (no pun intended) when Kelly was on Idol right after she performed “I Surrender” Simon told her that she put herself in the same league as Celine Dion and Mariah Carey and he was right. Kelly is a million times better of a vocalist than Rihanna is and besides she lip syncs. Rihanna & Willow are definitely not in a league of incredible female vocalists. Look at this video from when Kelly was a senior in high school and had the lead role in Brigadoon and that girl has an amazing voice for a then 17 year old.

  31. katherine says:

    No mention of Steve’s charming, tactful “the dream is over”? One of the few times I actually liked Lakoda Rayne (ugh, I promised myself I’d never type that again) this season.

  32. Shindig says:

    As inept as Steve Jones is, the production… I mean they got leagues better compared to the first results show, but. If you’re so worried about time spilling over from the judges giving their inspirational stuff, don’t take a commercial brake after being on for 3 minutes to squeeze in two more until :54, and actually give the leeway for it. If they did this in the first place, maybe our little tall host-in-a-box would have had a chance

  33. (!) says:

    So did anyone catch the screaming in the audience after Astro’s performance that sounded like a girl giving birth to alien babies?

  34. Teri says:

    Who do you think Pepsi,(who’s paying big bucks for this show)would want to represent their company in the end? Astro? I think not. They will want a likeable role model for their company. One who can perform in their ads and sell their product.

    • yeah says:

      I almost feel like Lakoda rain could have worked best for them for ads.

      The others all seems a lot rougher fit for that sort of thing.

      Maybe Rachel it they go for the cute little kid sort of pitch.

  35. PatD says:

    Speaking of Astrotude, The Hollywood Reporter had an interview with Simon where he described the meeting at his house the next day with L.A., Astro and his stepdad. Simon is quoted as saying he was told that Astro’s mother was responsible for that whole episode. She advised him to behave as he did. I don’t know if it was a planned busing of mom, or if she really did cause the drama, but that’s really messed up if she did.

    Astro also keeps insisting he wasn’t really in the bottom two, as he is the most popular contestant on Twitter and YouTube.

    That’s a bunch of baloney. He does have way more Twitter followers, but by his own admission, he spends close to nine hours a day on Twitter (I’m embarrassed I know this, but it was all in the same THR article). He, clearly, doesn’t have anywhere near Rene’s YouTube’s views, though, so I’m not sure where he’s getting his erroneous information.

    • swaggur says:

      yeah straight up, idk why he thinks he’s the best. rene has 15 million+ veiws on youtube and a lot of people are downloading his songs! and if his mom really did that, thats some messed up s***

  36. papoila says:

    Ok look, I love Kelly Clarkson as much as the next girl but didn’t anyone else think that the song was just a bunch of clichés disguised as lyrics?

  37. lindsayjo87 says:

    Boo :/ I was hoping Astro (because although extremely talented, too young. Also starting to bore me because I’m not a rap fan…) and Marcus (reminds me of dozens of other blah contestants on these shows) were going. I’m really sad that Lakoda Rayne and especially Leroy Bell are out. Thought both of them were really good and were getting better all the time.

    On another note, Steve Jones is starting to seriously entertain me in a completely unintentional way. I will look forward to his “in no particular order” every week :D

    • Billy says:

      I miss him saying “cat-a-gourrries”.

    • Kathleen says:

      I too find Steve Jones unintentionally entertaining. His attempts at levity and compassion are laughable in all the wrong ways, but they’re now one of the reasons I actually watch the entire show. I need to know just how long the judges can pour false adulation on a contestant before Steve starts hounding them about the time. And his one liners are so misguided and ridiculous that I wait to hear what stupid thing he might say next.

      Is that so wrong?

  38. Sara says:

    I would really love it if Marcus went home.
    Then I’ll be happy with each and every single member left on the show.
    While I’m not into rap and hip hop, Astro is incredibly impressive and I’m just a sucker for Chris Rene. :)

  39. ricky mccauley says:

    Kinda mad that lakoda rayne went home but glad to hear they aren’t going to give up they knew they had to work for it this week and blew it but its all good I see big things coming from them girls maybe even a record deal ill keep them in my prayers

  40. umbrella says:

    I’m just watching The Sing-Off WOW the judges really know music and give very worthwhile comments.
    Love accapella!

  41. nitelite says:

    Not invested in anyone this time around, I just watch for the lulz factor.

    But I have 2 words for Alexander: Susan Boyle. She’s over 40, came in 2nd in the UK version of X factor, and is making Simon an even richer man. I really don’t understand how peeps can vote for such drekky talent, but there you go. Bad taste abounds everywhere.

  42. Stonebearer says:

    Wonder if Brian Dunkleman is available?

  43. abrakadabra says:

    I don’t think Leroy Bell should have gone home just yet, but I would have picked him for the next week to go home. I do agree with Lakoda Rayne going home. However, who I really thought should have been the first to go home was Chris Rene. Sure he has a great story, but he doesn’t have that good of a voice and his last performance was flat. *wince* Sorry guys, but I thought he should have been gone a while ago.

  44. Kelly says:

    “Well done, Simon!” said Steve Jones, who forgot that Melanie dedicated her Tuesday-night performance to GOD, for cryin’ out loud.
    Perhaps Steve knows something the rest of us don’t. ;-)

  45. Guy says:

    I think the final 3 will be Josh, Drew, and Melanie. The only person that could possibly break it up would be Marcus. Marcus will only break it up though if LA gives him a good song, he sings it well, and gives a memorable performance. At this point he’s too forgettable. However, with one person going home without a singing oppurtunity, anything could happen.