The X Factor Top 5 Performance Night: Follow Along With Our Pithy Live Blog!

Season 1 of The X Factor is down to just five contestants, but fret not: There are still five massive judges’ egos to help fill out the 90-minute episode. Actually, Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, and Rachel Crow will be singing two ditties apiece — starting with dance music. (Woot! Woot!)

So back to the middle and around again, I’m gonna be here till the end — of the episode!

As the show rolls on, I’ll update you on who’s performed what and offer my opinions of said performances in 10 words or less. So keep refreshing the page for all the good, the bad, and the inevitable cover of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” (Prove me wrong, mentors!)

Ready, set, discuss!

Melanie Amaro: Adele’s “Someone Like You”
Felt like big diva ballad with drums. Slightly wobbly, too?

Marcus Canty: Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”
Great vibe, solid vocal. They make sequins in rubber?

Rachel Crow: B.o.B. & Bruno Mars’ “Nothin’ on You”
Looked good on her voice, except the lightning fast cadences.

Josh Krajcik: Rihanna’s “We Found Love”
Made as much sense as salmon ice cream. Stooopid Nicole!

Chris Rene: T.I.’s “Live Your Life”
Respeck. Booyakasha. Can’t help buy what he sells — even when imperfect.

Melanie Amaro: Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe”
Best voice in the competition + dreary ballad = I’m scared!

Marcus Canty: Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”
Methinks a new duo will end up in the Bottom 2 tomorrow.

Rachel Crow: Michael Jackson’s “Music & Me”
Am I a bad person if I can’t deal with her prefab persona?

Josh Krajcik: The Beatles’ “Something”
Organic peach in Gummi Bear factory. Wish I liked that vocal a little better though.

Chris Rene: “Where Do We Go From Here?” (original track)
Best he’s ever sounded, and a better track than half the hits covered tonight. ¡He’s in the Top 4! (And yeah, I needed more than 10 words.)

Likeliest Bottom Two: Rachel and Josh.

Your turn: What did you think about Top 5 performance night? Hit the comments and share your thoughts, and look for my full recap to post in the morning right here at!

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. Winnie says:

    She’s ok…not her best!

    • Kevin says:

      Chris is not the best singer, but I always find myself smiling at the end of his performance. Of the others Marcus is the only one that can sometimes entertain, but he is cruise ship level.

      • Dane says:

        I agree with this COMPLETELY. Chris isn’t great.. but he’s got that something.. the X-factor as it were! Marcus really irritates me for some reason. I want him gone soon.

      • RT says:

        Loved him tonight! I think that performance was a game changer for him and really made me think he could win. I didn’t think that before, even though I really liked him. Based on last night, Chris is the one I can most see having a successful recording career. He certainly shines on his own original music.

  2. Margo says:

    What? I thought tonight was dance music? I’ve always wanted Melanie to sing Adele but since when did it become dance music. Secondly, the girl was as stiff as a rail…c’mon even Celine Dion and Whitney Houston like to move around a bit…jeez.

    Great vocals though

    • BG says:

      Sorry, Margo, but there actually IS a dance version of Someone Like You. It’s AWFUL, but it exists (and it’s an official/radio-release version):

    • karen says:

      yea, I agree. I just love Mel but its now time for a little less talk and a little more action. Simon wake the hell up and mentor this girl properly before its to late.

    • GingerSnap says:

      You know, Jennifer Hudson doesn’t do a whole lot of moving when she sings, but she’s got an awesome voice and she’s done alright. Whatever happens after The X Factor, this is her groove.
      And this type of nitpicking is also why a female can’t win these things. You can deliver flawless vocals from a huge set of pipes, but the women who vote are gonna go for the guy with the sob story. . .

      • Sadie says:

        I agree completely. Woman with big (and technically excellent) vocals are shunned in favor of the more trendy males with less than perfect vocals. That said, Marcus’ and Chris’ second performances moved me more than anything Melanie did. I think she has/deserves a big career after this – but maybe on Broadway??

  3. Shindig says:

    Sorry Melanie, but that sucked. Empty, boring, bleh. Dance music night? REALLY? Add to that that most dance tracks don’t even try pretending to be unprocessed vocals.. sigh. Ah well.

    • brian says:

      I believe that Simons got to get his ass in gear and get Melanie much more in tune with the emotions of the song. The comment I keep hearing from the judges is, ” your a great singer” but I don’t hear them commenting as to how great an entertainer she is. Simon needs to sit her down and have her watch someone like Christina Aguilera, if nothing else for the passion that she puts into her songs. i.e The Voice Within”. I just find her lacking in this department. Go Mel.

  4. Gorm says:

    Hahahah! Melanie forgot to use her fake/put upon/horrible accent while thanking the judges right up until Simon reminded her that she had an accent, all while telling her how real she is.

    I dont hate Melanie, but her personna is a total joke. Her parents didnt have such strong and silly accents when Simon visited her entire extended family at home in Miami.

    Oh well, i shouldnt get so excited, its not like Pepsi or Verizon will let her use that rediculous patois on a commercial if she wins.

    • ashlee says:

      I 100% agree about Melanie! What’s up with that girlfriend???!

    • RT says:

      I think her accent comes from growing up with her grandparents somewhere in the Caribbean. Her parents weren’t there. She got back with them in Miami later in her life. It may not be fake. I have a Texas accent that I can tone down most of the time, but that inexplicably gets thicker when I’m nervous or upset, or around relatives with thick accents themselves.

  5. Bad Breaker says:

    Agree, Michael. It was an Adele ballad that they put some dance beats behind. She sounded good though.

  6. Margo says:

    Totally enjoyed Marcus today! Great control with the vocals

  7. Jason says:

    Melanie and Rachel better make it to next week. If another guy wins a singing competition, I’m gonna be super sad.

    • Shindig says:

      It depends. Honestly, I don’t think Rachel deserves to win. Josh and Melanie could. If the guy deserves to win, it’s cool. Not when the girl is clearly better, though.

      • BG says:

        I’ve been in Josh’s corner all season and even I have to admit that he has been less-than-great over the last couple of weeks. I think it goes without saying that if his fans aren’t detracted by tonight’s lackluster performances; they never will be. And Josh needs every vote that he can get at this point because last week really tipped the scales. I hate to say it, but Melanie will benefit the most from the elimination of Marcus, Chris, and Rachel as the type of person who prefers looks over talent isn’t the kind of person who is going to vote for Josh… I think Josh gets the greatest voting bump from the 30-and-over audience.

  8. Bad Breaker says:

    The most in tune that I have heard from Marcus.

  9. Shindig says:

    I guess dance music is better for Marcus. I still didn’t like it, though. He’s just sooooo.. cheesyyyy.. it’s like watching Milli Vanilli

    • Marianne says:

      Hey – Shindig – Haley fan??! Yes!

      I agree about Marcus being cheesy. His ever-present cheesy smile bugs me just like Tim Urban’s did on Idol.I also don’t think he’s very marketable – not right now anyway.

  10. Gorm says:

    Song Over! Quickly Rachel, de-age down 6 or 7 years from your performing personna so you can belch saccherine glitterpuffs everywhere!

  11. Margo says:

    Rachel was great! She was too cute! Melanie…take a note from Rachel on how to have a good time on the stage!

  12. Bad Breaker says:

    Anyone else think that Rachel banter with judges was scripted?

  13. Gorm says:

    Hate the show so far, but love Josh with the thick lipstick and his frilled 2 foot long taffeta collar coat.

  14. iaguy87 says:

    How are Paula and nicole so talented musically but yet are so bad at judging talent. Their comments really have no liability anymore on this show. Nicole lost that when she put that homeless rocker through and had him sing britney.

    • Shindig says:

      Is today opposite day? Nicole and Paula..talented? And Dexter didn’t sing Brittany, he sang Katy Perry. Not that it’s that different. Josh was very good.

      • iaguy87 says:

        Dexter sang Womanizer/I Kissed a Girl. Yes-Nicole and Paula are talented. Nicole’s album Killer Love is actually really good and needs to be released in the states. And yes, Josh is way good.

        • Shindig says:

          Ah, I didn’t realize that! I apologize then. The talented thing is obviously an opinion — I’m not a fan of either’s genre, I only liked Nicole as a backup singer before she was on TV. And she barely did any. I just got confused because their comments were actually right about Josh :P

    • Kelthen says:

      Well at least Nicole and Paula are not biased, they only get up from the start for the wantabe boy toy Marcus. Before he opens his mouth they are up and swinging thier arms in the air. Stupid cougars.

  15. Shindig says:

    LOL Simon way to try hard. “ridiculous dance routine” wat, what about the guys doing backflips all over the stage for Rachel? And then the “totally inappropriate song choice,” huh? I don’t even.. Who writes for the judges? There is just no sense being made xD

    Rachel: AhyueUehHEUhe I love this guy! — Gag me, please!

    • Terry says:

      IKR??? Who the bleep is he to say ‘totally inappropriate song choice’ when Drew was singing ‘Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl…’ and Rachel is singing ‘Beautiful girls all over the world, she ain’t got nothing on you baby…’ or some damn thing? WTF???

  16. Margo says:

    L.A needs to get over himself just because Rihanna is his artist….jeez the guys ego can be way to distracting! And Simon has no right to talk giving Melanie a “dance remixed” version of Someone Like You.

    I thought it was a bold move by Josh to sing that song, and obviously he would never record such a song on his album but he didn’t sound horrible

  17. Margo says:

    What…Chris…NO! That sounded a mess, he sounded even worse than Rihanna and Rihanna can’t even sing!

    These judges must be tone deaf tonight!

  18. iaguy87 says:

    Dear Lord, someone get Chris Rene off that stage and my television screen. Thats not music. Thats pathetic. How is he still in this competition?

    • susela says:

      His original stuff is good—he’s got a soulful, wistful vibe that seems honest and heartfelt. But unfortunately, he’s only done two of his own numbers, and can’t fit into any of the other boxes they try to squeeze him into week after week. If they keep him stripped down like his second song tonight, he might just hang in there.

  19. Casey says:

    I do not get the Chris Renee love. He’s so out of tune and his voice is so thin you can barely hear it. Oh wait I do get it – they aren’t really looking for a good singer just someone they can autotune the crap out of.

    • Gorm says:

      Chris has appeal within the substandard-is-good-enough theme that pervades the modern world. Everyone is a-ok, any genuine criticism is unfair & hurtful and we can all get by if we just keep lying to eachother, coasting along in ignorance.

      See, Kardashian, Kutcher, Gingrich, Cain, Willow Smith and Randy Jackson.

    • TomTed says:

      Casey…you are not fit to carry Chris Renee’s bags.

  20. Rose says:

    Michael, in Columbus where Josh is from is home to Jeni’s Ice Cream (one of their xmas flavors is Frankincense & Almond Cake)and I bet in honor of Josh salmon ice cream will be on the menu this week!

  21. Bad Breaker says:

    They will autotune the hell out of Chris, market him well, and he will sell big time.

  22. iaguy87 says:

    Melanie. I love you. I will buy your album when it comes out. So I say this with love-make your accent go away again please.

    • susela says:

      Oh, but I *love* her accent and the way it changes (or disappears altogether) every time she speaks! Trying to predict how heavily she’ll lay it on at any given moment is the most interesting thing about watching her.

      • TomTed says:

        So…they will autotune Chris, market him well, and he will sell big time.

        Is that your opinion based on your years in the music business? How come we’ve never head of you “Bad Breaker”? Could it be that you don’t know what you are talking about? Could it be that you know absolutely nothing about the music business? Yea, I think that is what is up here. Mr. “Bad Breaker” doesn’t know diddly!

  23. Bad Breaker says:

    Melanie, girl, you need to just shut up.

  24. Deb says:

    Love Melanie’s voice but she is so 90s and NOT current…and I wish she would shut up! She’s the Danny Gokey of X-Factor. Yes, LA it was safe.

    • BG says:

      Good call, Deb! Melanie really IS the Danny Gokey of X-Factor… She’s a decent singer but her vanilla-bland personality is all-too-apparent during her interviews…

      • GingerSnap says:

        Melanie just needs some coaching up. Of the top 5, both Melanie and Josh just stand there and sing. Makes them looks stiff and boring.
        But Jennifer Hudson just stands at the mike and sings, and she’s awesome.

  25. Alex says:

    I am baffled by the negative comments about Melanie’s accent. That is who she is, yet to assimilate she has had to fake it for years. Hell, have you heard Tyra Banks switch back and forth between ghetto and valley girl? How about Madonna going from Detroit to British and everything in between? Not to mention all of the British singers who sing with no accent at all then have crazy accents when they speak. You do what you have to. Give the girl a break. She is an amazing talent.

    • blingedup.susan says:

      Yeah, Madonna bugs me too, when she puts on her fake English accent. Accents don’t just come and go…’s annoying.

      • Tusk says:

        Not entirely true. I can’t speak to whether Madonna is faking an accent or not but, I grew up in England, but lost my accent after years of living in the States. My friends always used to say my accent would show up when I’m around my family but, I wouldn’t notice it.

        Your brain sometimes assimilates how you speak to the people you are conversing with. Part of the brain’s learning mechanism is mimickery, and it does occur with accents without the speaker realising it. Happens to me.

    • Tusk says:

      Mila Kunis learned how to speak english from watching american shows and she’s Ukranian. Many foreign actors learn their craft in similar fashion so they assume an american accent.

      Yvonne Strahovski from Chuck has a convincing American accent. Given this evidence, are you still surprised that foreign entertainers in an english speaking market have english/american accents?

  26. Shindig says:

    ehhh sorry Melanie, but that was boring too :/ Yes Simon, it is safe when she does something like that every single time. And I agree. She’s kinda talking too much now, ever since she had that freaky channeling thing going on a few weeks ago — it’s not her accent, it’s just repetitive

    • Margo says:

      Why wouldn’t that be her accent, she grew up in the Caribbean. Often times, when people with accents come to North America they try to hold back so people can understand them. I have a lot of Caribbean friends, and when they are talking to people they don’t really know they ease up on their accent so people can understand them. But if they know you well, or they are talking to a person of the Caribbean…their accent will come back out again. This is not just for Caribbean people, its just something that happens when people have accents in general.

      • Shindig says:

        No, you misunderstood — I said it’s not her accent that’s annoying. It’s the repetitive things she says. I’m pretty familiar with how accents work, my family isn’t American either :)

      • Gorm says:

        If her accent was anywhere close to genuine she’d be able to sing with it. You dont seem to understand that what people dont like is the switcheroo she pulled to be palatable. She preened around like a debutante for weeks, but in actuality she wants us to believe she is right at home with a can of Goombay punch and a plate of conch fritters. Its the fact she is provably fake and malleable that nobody likes.

        Would you still feel the same way if she broke out a west African or French accent next week? Its not beyond what she is capable of.

        • (!) says:

          Now this I don’t quite agree with. I listen to plenty of foreign singers that sing in their native language, and then switch to English, and sing with little to no accent. And then they speak, and it’s a thick accent.

        • Margo says:

          Wow…you just sound way to ignorant…smh

        • Alex says:

          “If her accent was anywhere close to genuine she’d be able to sing with it. ”

          So, is Elton John’s speaking English accent fake? Is he really from the Bronx? Because he doesn’t sing with a British accent. George Michael? Hell, Bono? Do you know how silly you sound?

  27. Margo says:

    Thank You LORD for providing this error on the show! I was finally reminded why I was rooting for Melanie from her audition. Finally she more than just sang that song, she actually have an emotion connection to it which I’ve found has been lacking in most of her live performances. Imma need for her to be choosing her songs, NOT, Simon!

    Great great great stuff!

  28. Candy says:

    I thought Melanie’s rendition of the Adele song was just okay, so I was scared for her second performance. But boy, was I wrong. Within the first 5 seconds, I had my mouth drop to the floor. GO MELANIE. I thought that performance of When You Believe was great, I forgot I was watching a competition show. I will admit though, she needs to talk less but her talent makes me forget all that.

    Marcus, Marcus, Marcus. Your time has come. You will be gone tomorrow. L.A if he’s been in the bottom TWICE, it means people aren’t voting for him! I know I don’t.

    Will be voting for Melanie and Josh. To be truthful, all the contestants are outstanding when doing slow ballads, none of them are pop singers or upbeat contestants.

  29. JVC says:

    Well slezak passed on your sentence description for melanie’s 2nd choice, is code for melanie’s fans, and drew’s fans for that matter to vote like beasts. I say this as a melanie fan: SOMETHING DIFFERENT NEXT WEEK PLEASE!!! You’d think that now they would have 2 songs each they would make them both different. I missed her adele performance so don’t have an opinion on that, but come on simon you should’ve recommended something else like “I’m a survivor”. I was so bored w/ this song because it have been done to death!! Please step up your game next week melanie!!!

  30. karenb says:

    Methinks Marcus was amazing, too, Slezak!!

  31. ana_muti says:

    Josh may have not had the best song choice in my opinion, but his vocals are still the best. No one is nailing it tonight.

    I’d like to see a Josh/Melanie final.

  32. Bad Breaker says:

    Rachel’s vocal on that last song was pretty shaky.

  33. Kelly says:

    Do none of the judges want to tell Rachel the truth? Oh, and that line about her wanting to be a role model, made me gag. Not because, its a bad thing but because someone obviously told her to say something like that.

    • GingerSnap says:

      They are softening their critiques because she’s a child. They could be more honest with Josh or even Stacy because they’re adults. We’ve already seen twice what happens when a child gets their heart broken.

      Her vocals were shaky, but she wasn’t the hot mess that Chris Rene was.

  34. DrewIsn'tForgotten says:

    Rachel is an amazing singer. She also reminds me a bit of Minnie Mouse x’D

  35. Casey says:

    Sorry Marcus, but this song belongs to Elliott Yamin.

    • Sheila says:

      You are absolutely 100% correct…It is Elliott Yamin’s song. The rendition on Elliott Yamin’s debut CD with just him and the piano is absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful and the same time. Marcus sang it okay, but only okay.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Sorry, the only person who “owns” that song is George Harrison, who wrote it and John Lennon, who sang it. And maybe James Brown, because his cover was George’s favorite.

        • susela says:

          ??? Are you talking about “Something”? George Harrison both wrote AND sang it. But I think the posters you replied to were discussing Marcus’ song—which was written by Leon Russell—not Josh’s.

          • jennrae says:

            Color me confused as well. If you know “Something,” you know George sang it. I love John and Paul (well, I’m ambivalent about Paul), but they never lowered themselves to sing one of George’s songs, which he had to fight to get on a record.

    • T says:

      Only if you haven’t heard the Donny Hathaway version! And at least that song hasn’t been done TO DEATH like 90% of the other songs they pick. I’m glad he got to sing that song. He’s so much better when striped down.

  36. DinosSayRawrr says:

    FINALLY! Josh sounds amazing and seems he is actually enjoying himself without being over-produced with those lights that want to give me a seizure.
    And that’s right, he doesn’t need any props or back-up dancers to make his performance memorable!

  37. ana_muti says:

    Josh is so far evolved as an artist that no matter what happens I think he’s going to do very, very well. When he chooses his own songs, it’s transformative.

  38. Alicia says:

    ^^ Preach!!

    I also don’t understand people criticizing Melanie and the others’ choice in the 2nd half because they were the “save me” songs. If by some insane act of stupidity Melanie ended up in the bottom two, you bet your a** she would bust out a Whitney track. I don’t think they planned for the “boring” songs.

  39. Gery says:

    Its pretty obvious that its going to be Melanie and Josh in the final, DUH. Kinda obvious since the final 14. Happy with that.

    JOSH, did AMAZING. Just when I think I want Melanie to win, Josh sings and I’m like ‘No, he’s got this’. Then, Melanie sings and I’m like ‘No, she’s going to win’. Ugh, the finale is going to kill me. I just don’t know!

    Oh, and Nicole is so annoying and L.A Reid must have some HATER-ADE in that cup tonight. Marcus is obviously gone tomorrow.

  40. dan says:

    how about you comment on rachel’s performance instead of hating on her personality every god damn weak? christ. she’s 13, she’s allowed to act silly.

  41. Shindig says:

    I loved Josh’s performance (was worried at first, then it was awesome) but overall this episode sucks. It goes from “dance” music to pageant mode. bleh. I really hope Josh is in the finals, but I know everyone I like gets booted :/

  42. ziamp says:

    Oh my… Rachel is just so sugary-cute, I feel like I am going into diabetic coma. Yeah, ‘Hollywood’ is already knocking, because she is packaged as insipidly as any other TV, Teen-show Starlet. Miley better be looking over her shoulder; Rachel will make a million.

  43. Abby says:

    I thought Josh was pretty good in his second song but I don’t want to vote for him because Nicoles pimping is so insufferable. The male Adele in the industry today?? Come on!! It makes me want Josh off even though I like his voice just so Nicole shuts her trap.

    • Shindig says:

      Well to be fair, she said it because Simon did. What judges AREN’T pimping their contestants too hard? I’m sick of everything Simon and LA say about their own contestants xD

      • Abby says:

        I took Simons comment to mean he’s a singer songwriter not the male Adele. But either way anyone saying it is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, they are all annoying when pimping their contestants, I just find her comments the most ridiculous.

  44. Hankie says:

    Um. To be fair, dosen’t everyone do the same think each week?

    Melanie–a powerful slow ballad.
    Chris—off key on a song he had no buisness singing.
    Josh—a song where his face seems to be trying to escape its skeletor.
    Rachel–her annoying twist on a song that should be on something called Glee-Kidz Pop-Dance Party-Toyko Revoultion.
    Marcus–some urban slow jamz song, where he always tears up and winks.

    The End.

  45. ana_muti says:

    Chris improved on that last song! Who know he was a musician.

    • Billy says:

      He’s got an ear for decent melody, if that’s what you mean. I still think his lyrics are insipid and banal – as are 99.9 percent of pop / rock / hip hop songs’ lyrics.

  46. Scarlett says:

    Amazing. Simply amazing. I’m so going to buy Chris’s albums once they come out.

    Marry me, Chris Rene. <'3

  47. Say What?!! says:

    Wow. Chris! Dang!

    The only songs Chris Rene should sing are his own! Anything else… is god awful. But him singing his own songs is just magic.

    Dang. I can’t believe after weeks of awful songs from him – he converted me…

    Simon: “That was a stroke of genius.” Agreed. That is all. And the pimp spot too…

  48. Shindig says:

    If singing original tracks is so amazing for Chris and Astro, why doesn’t Josh sing one of his songs? His album is great.

  49. karenb says:

    Not the biggest Chris Rene fan-but that song of his was amazing!! He had me at the acoustic guitar! :)

  50. kgirl says:

    Chris Rene second song was phenomenal! Can’t wait to download it.