The X Factor Recap: Boogie Night

This just in from The X Factor: Sponsored by Verizon Wireless: Stevie Wonder is calling Chris Rene! Hollywood is calling Rachel Crow! And wait, Steve Jones’ internal motherboard is transmitting some vaguely worded text message about an “error in communication” regarding this week’s Pepsi viewers’ choice performances. (Next week, by the bye, Steve will be replaced by an AOL Instant Messenger box and a series of cutting-edge emoticons.)

What’s that? You’re not buying Steve’s explanation for the last-minute theme switch? You think Simon Cowell simply wanted to whip up some dramatic backstage footage and test the mental and emotional resolve of the Top 5 contestants? How cynical you’ve become since the days when you choked back tears watching Kelly Clarkson sing “A Moment Like This” through a curtain of confetti. Just because The X Factor is as organic as a Hostess Twinkie doesn’t mean there’s something untoward going on (except maybe in Nicole Shankamaker’s wardrobe).

Anyhow, whether planned or contrived, let’s take a deep dive into the week’s performances — where each contestant tackled (or was tackled by) a dance track, then followed up with a rendition of his or her “save me” song — ¡with only 24 hours to prepare! (I know, I know, not really all that shocking or controversial.)

Melanie Amaro: Adele’s “Someone Like You”
If Nicole deserves to be put in the stocks for doing a dreadful job mentoring Josh, then maybe it’s time Simon was shamed in the public square for keeping Melanie trapped in Big Diva Ballad Prison. Let’s be honest, given Melanie’s perceived popularity, and given the fact that she had two performances this week to showcase her pipes, this would’ve been the perfect moment to choose some offbeat but cutting edge material. (Oh how I’d live to hear Melanie cover some Kristine W or Sophie Ellis-Bextor or Ultra Naté or latter-day Jody Watley.) But nope, instead we got Melanie covering Adele’s “Someone Like You” — the world’s most subtle two-by-four to the gut — hoisted aloft on a clumsy dance beat, hijacked by a team of black rubber Storm Troopers, then cut off at the knees after maybe 60 seconds. Melanie hit all her notes, as she always does, but if it’s possible to flawlessly cover a very recent No. 1 hit and still manage to not sound like a current recording artist, well, then mission accomplished.

Marcus Canty: Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”
In the Book of L.A., he’s “Two-time champion and true survivor Marcus Canty,” and to the rest of the world (or maybe just me), he’s Bottom 2 dweller/dude who was generously gifted with Drew Ryniewicz’s spot in the Top 5. But like Simon said, you’ve got to judge Marcus on what he does, not on what Drew wasn’t allowed to do. And while “Ain’t Nobody” was not the most imaginative choice of material, I’d say Marcus — in his rubber-sequined suit and with his neon bolero backup dancers — nevertheless did the best job of bringing a genuine dance-music vibe to the stage. There’s a little part of me that always feels like Marcus is playing dressup — that he’s just a really good singer who’s nervously following L.A.’s “How to Be a Pop Star” manual — but there’s no denying he brought this groove to life and made me do a little bit of seated couch dancing. He also inspired yet another bit of Nicoleian Nonsense (TM): “God has a plan for you, honey!” Um, how exactly is that a critique, honey?

Rachel Crow: B.o.B. & Bruno Mars’ “Nothin’ on You”
This was one of Rachel’s stronger vocals over the past few weeks, but she struggled with the lightning quick cadences at the midpoint. That clunky delivery made me wonder whether Simon is bothering to help his little protege with her vocals, or if he’s too busy planning “fun” and “spontaneous” “banter” for Rachel that will further advance her quest to travel back to the late-1980s and play an adorably precocious moppet in an ABC Friday-night sitcom. Seriously, nothing will convince me that L.A.’s question — “who were you singing to on this record?” — wasn’t a plant that would allow Rachel to grin big and squeak, “I was singin’ to Paula and Nicole” followed by a maniacal laugh that continued for the rest of the telecast and well into my Wednesday evening nightmares. Fun fact brought to you by Mr. Cowell: Rachel used to do standup comedy! (Brace yourselves for the inevitable summer fil’m entitled From Rachel to Astro.)

Josh Krajcik: Rihanna’s “We Found Love”
Let’s be honest: Dance Music is to Josh as a New York City sidewalk is to a wild impala. In other words, it’s an uncomfortable and possibly deadly habitat. But I can’t help but feel like Nicole just zipped over to the iTunes store, looked for the first dance tune in the Top 10 singles, figured, “Eh, why not?” and then went off to get her false lashes applied. Josh, meanwhile, spent the performance adrift among a sea of backup dancers and a giant boa-constrictor collar, enduring his time on stage rather than fully owning it. Why couldn’t Sharbinger have assigned Josh a more rock-edged dance number, like Ultra Naté’s “Found a Cure” or New Order’s “Blue Monday”? #MissedOpportunity

Chris Rene: T.I.’s “Live Your Life”
Maybe it was the fact that he penned his own verses. Or maybe I got hypnotized by the hooded dancers of the apocalypse and the giant conveyor belt that propelled him across the stage. But if I had to spend an afternoon watching any of the evening’s “dance music” performances on repeat, it’d be Chris’ scratchy, joyous, imperfect, energetic number. Hey (ey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey) it was fun to watch! Also, memo to Nicole: Dude’s name is not Josh.

Melanie Amaro: Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe”
Of all the monster diva ballads in the world, Melanie goes and settles on a turgid piece of 1998 animated soundtrack dreck from Whitney and Mariah? Could there have been any less successful way to signal she’s an exciting and relevant artist ready to conquer modern radio? UGH! Look, I realize this is, at least in part, a singing competition. And I realize Melanie has a borderline miraculous vocal talent that should be automatically rewarded by a place in the finale. And sure, she sounded flawless on “When You Believe.” But ultimately, if this is what Melanie plans to so with her gift, I fear she could be on her way to an early exit. “When You Believe” was kind of like the equivalent of Bobby Flay using his culinary skills to make a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and 1% milk. L.A. was absolutely right that it was “safe but amazing,” right down to the backdrop opening up on the final refrain to reveal the standard operating Gospel chorus. If Melanie really is a child of the Caribbean, then let her talent loose with an a capella rendition of “Redemption Song,” or let her lift us up with Dawn Penn’s reggae-downer “No No No (You Don’t Love Me).” Because not even Mariah Carey is doing Mariah Carey ballads anymore. Oh, and one more thing, Melanie needs to take her post-performance inspirational rambling and put it on a one-way flight to the Bermuda Triangle, where it shall never be heard from again. Jah? Jah!

Marcus Canty: Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”
Was it Elliott Yamin level? Not quite. But damn, Marcus came close with a vocal that mixed beautiful restraint with unrestricted power. And most important of all, the Season 1 underdog completely nailed the emotional essence of the material — never letting vocal showboating trump the lyrical content. As Marcus reiterated his point — “And when my time is over/ Remember when we were together/ We were alone and I was singing this song for you” — the outlook for his four X Factor rivals got just a bit murkier. Like Chumbawamba, this guy gets knocked down, but I think he’s gonna get up again — for at least one more week, y’know?

Rachel Crow: Michael Jackson’s “Music & Me”
Let’s set aside, for a moment, that Rachel took to the stage in a black sequined frock from the Susan Boyle Juniors Collection. Let us forget that she momentarily transformed into a ghastly amalgamation of the Miss Teen USA pageant, Little Miss Sunshine, and Toddlers & Tiaras, cheerfully barking “My mission is to inspire the kids. That’s all I wanna do.” (SRSLY?) Let’s ignore the fact that Nicole was so needy for Simon’s approval that she screeched “That was me! I said that!” after Simon attributed her “old-soul” critique to Paula. Because ultimately, Rachel’s vocal on the verses of “Music & Me” was as flat as a Kansas cornfield, and hollow as an autumn gourd. L.A. may be right that “Hollywood is circling the wagons” for Rachel, but I can’t help but feel like this is the week where her X Factor dreams will be circling the drain.

Josh Krajcik: The Beatles’ “Something”
Am I the only one who wonders how Josh might’ve fared had he been assigned Paula or Simon or L.A. as his mentor? Because Simon, ultimately, was correct when he implored Josh to “not allow” Nicole to ever again weigh him down with crazy choreography or wrong-minded song choices. “Something” wasn’t entirely perfect — there were a few moments where I felt my attention drift, hoping Josh might zig where I expected a zag, focusing a little too much on his maniacal facial expressions — but there’s also no denying he’s got a gorgeous and distinctive voice and an authentic musical point of view. What are the chances that the Pepsi audience-choice performance is going to allow Josh to sing an original track next week? (Yeah, it’s nill…but I can still dream, right?)

Chris Rene: “Where Do We Go From Here?” (original track)
Speaking of allowing contestants to perform original material…let’s hear it for Chris Rene’s soulful acoustic ditty “Where Do We Go From Here?” — a number that highlighted everything good and unique about the smallest voice in the Season 1 Top 5. Compared to Melanie’s tidal wave vocals, or Josh’s deep and moody pond, Chris is more of a plinking spring shower. But I found myself completely riveted this week as HE sat there on his stool with his acoustic guitar, asking “Where do we go from here? God only knows.” Sure, after all the bright lights and booming backup singers and writhing dancers, a stripped-down performance (with Chris in a simple black t-shirt and slicked back hair) was like soothing salve for my tortured retinas and eardrums, but judged solely on its own merits, this was still one of the highlights of the entire X Factor season. The guy means every single word he sings, and even if he doesn’t sing it as powerfully or as steadily as his competition, there’s value in the unflinching honesty of it all. This week, Chris absolutely earned his spot in the Final 4 — and while that may be upsetting news for fans of Rachel, Marcus, Josh, and Melanie — I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

Bottom 2 Prediction: Rachel and Josh — with Rachel going home.

What did you think of this week’s X Factor? Who got your votes, and who’s headed home? Sound off in the comments. And for all my X Factor news, reviews, 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. JAson says:

    Slezak sucks

    • Krista says:

      Thanks for sharing, JAson. Apparently, you are clueless as to Slezak’s superior writing skillz and laugh your a** off recaps. Sux to be you, dude.

    • Deej says:

      Not to me. I don’t always agree with him (sorry Slez, I can’t like Drew) it’s always an entertaining read.

      • Jason says:

        His writing is a string of metaphors strung together with awful musical taste. Oh and he forgot to mention his precioius Melanie Amaro was out of key on her first performance. That was a trainwreck. Girl’s got a good voice. But the constant having to speak before the judges speak, the here today gone tomorrow accent and the stiff as a board body movements it would be hilarious if she won the 5 million. I think Chris Rene clinched the title last night. He’s the only one coming off believable

    • Gorm says:

      No, he dosent suck. He always gives good recap and shines a little light of insight on to contestants that some of us revile.

      He is how ever suck-ing at doing what made us all fans of his, the *ahem* video recaps & discussions that were oftimes more enjoyable than the bad week of Idol they covered.

      I consent that XFactor is not woth the extra effort, but something should have been put together the reunion of Simon, Paula and Quaaludes.

  2. Rick says:

    Melanie singing her own version of Redemption Song? GENIUS IDEA! How do we make that happen?

  3. GB says:

    I’ve just got to say that not one of these people is worth $5 million dollars, and that’s not to say that anyone who came before the top 5 was either, but it’s almost depressing that the winner of this thing gets that much money considering the caliber of talent.

    • Jason S says:

      Yeah I was thinking that all through last night. I was thinking can we just call it off and give Haley Reinhart the $5 million. Or bring in Amelia Lily from the UK X Factor. Now that girl is an international pop star waiting to happen.

      • Terry says:

        Oh man, my fingers are crossed for Haley, I’m really hoping her debut album is a big success!

      • dan says:

        I love Ameilia Lily. The English version had much more talent than the American one this season. I do think Disney should glom onto Rachel, though. Or they should bring her on as a freshman in Glee whenever she’s old enough.

      • Billy says:

        You really think Haley Reinhart is talented enough to be worthy of a 5 million dollar prize? Hmmm…yeah, that sounds about right. If you factor in her contagious laugh, I’d add another million bucks right there.

    • Gorm says:

      Nobody is getting $5m. They get a series of 1 year contracts that will require them to sell a lot of music each year in order to get that next year’s contract. It will be especially hard to make any sort of dent in their advance-agasint-sales because there is no X-Factor tour to gain them recurring local media exposure after the studio is torn down are rebuilt for Idol.

      In this current batch of contestants, I can only see Chris Renee lasting longer than the first year to get re-signed. Rachel’s problem is that if LA’s rumored Hollywood Wagon Circlers want her for their shows, they will have to pay a forturne for each appearance to SYCO tv, the rightful owners of her contract. They spent too much time and money to let her wander off and do 2nd tier Nickleodeon shows for scale rates. And its much cheaper and more reliable for Disney to whip up their own child creation at the Imagineer’s laboratory, so she wont be going there any time soom.

      Basically, nobody’s prospects are bright, especially given that Idol is what, a month away from another potential monster season?

      • tommytomted says:

        Hey Gorm…so Idol is just a month away from another potential monster season…tell me Gorm, when was the last monster season of American Idol?

        • GingerSnap says:

          Yea, I’m still trying to figure out how I’m gonna get interested in another season of Country Idol.

          • BG says:

            Ginger – You DO realize that Carrie has outsold Kelly, right? And Kelly has a five-year head start…

            And don’t hate on Idol, hate on 19 Records and their ridiculous albums that they’ve forced the last two winners to make! We always talk about song choice on the show(s) – look at the craptacular songs these poor guys have been forced to sing!

  4. karenb says:

    Hey Slezak-it looks like Chris got your text about “stripping it down and going acoustic!” Remember S8 AI?!

  5. Volcfom says:

    I’m interested to see what the last-minute save me songs will be for the bottom two tonight? I don’t want Marcus to land there, but he always picks good songs for it.
    Chris is best when he does his own material, but that song needed a bridge, or some change up. Too repetitive.
    I’m also upset that Josh’s save me song was just his voice and an acoustic guitar, but he wasn’t the one playing it. Conspiracy theorists can cry out that TPTB wanted Chris to have the only stripped-down personal moment.
    I want Rachel gone tonight. She’s overstayed her welcome, and she is the only one of the bunch I would not support winning.

    • BG says:

      I agree that it was time for Rachel to go home, but it was heartbreaking to watch her collapse and cry on stage while calling out for her mother. I feel bad for the kid, but she’ll land on her feet… My biggest concern is that this is now TWO WEEKS in a row when Scherzinger has been made to look worse than she already is, and I’m afraid that it’s going to create backlash for Josh and chip away at his support.

      The “mentoring” should stop after the Top-10… That was there can at least APPEAR to be some degree of impartiality…

  6. BA says:

    Slezak rocks!

    Plus, I still love Melanie, but I’m such a Chris Rene fan. His original music — the two that he’s performed on the show and those available on YouTube — are current, well written and addictive. I so hope he gets signed, no matter what his fate is on the show.

  7. RT says:

    Great recap. I especially agree with your assessment of Chris Rene’s second performance. There is definitely something honest and compelling about his performances that was highlighted by his original song. I felt like that was a game-changing performance for him. Up until then, I didn’t think he had a shot. Now, I’m not so sure. I can definitely see him making it as a recording artist.

  8. Jay says:

    Sad that we’re gonna have another white guy with guitar winning this show. It’s obvious that the hype around Chris or Josh is too much to overcome and one will win. Maybe it’s fair they win over Melanie or Rachel, but was in no way fair they won over Drew.

    • J says:

      I am hoping for a Josh vs Chris finale. As a Mexican female :P They’re just my favorites. I find Marcus boring and Melanie a little bit too, despite the perfect voice (this coming from a Celine, Mariah, Whitney, Barbara, etc. fan). I like Rachel, though. And if she doesn’t win, we all know she will be just fine and I’m glad. She’s fantastic. Now, while I would buy Josh’s record as I’m sure a lot of people will, he really will not get very famous after the competition’s over. I think he will vanish like other singing competition winners have and maybe only I and a few others will continue to buy his music in years to come. Chris however, I think he could be HUGE.

  9. Ashlee says:

    Chris Rene rocked!!! Sigh… Please marry me!!!!

  10. Monleo23 says:

    I was totally a Chris fan right from the start. That guy has what we call the X factor. And his talent in making his own music or writing raps is undeniable. He needs to win!!

  11. fela says:

    I would of loved if Josh sang a Bill Withers song like Use me up his soul singing would nail it. I am still rooting for Josh. I think it will be Melanie and Josh as the final two. Rachel sang better on the 1st song than the second. They really look like they have a problem dressing her and choosing songs for her. She might not win but I defintely feel Hollywood will grab her for a sitcom or a movie. Chris was Ok . I was not excited about either song. Marcus did a great job on a song for you. He is another one they keep trying to dress like a Vegas lounge singer with the sequin jackets. Melanie was good but she is beginning to annoy me with her long speeches. Yeah we get it you are gratelful just like everyone else who is competing along side you.

  12. Mateja says:

    LOL, if Josh ends up in the bottom 2, he’s toast. Syco has no use for him. Contestants over 25 are mainly there only for entertainment.

  13. Mark says:

    Rachel was adorable last night. I really enjoyed both her performances. She better not go home :( I hope Josh leaves. It’ll serve Nicole right.

  14. GingerSnap says:

    In our fragmented digital world, is it really possible for any one of these contestants to become a superstar like Kelly C or Carrie U? I rarely listen to music on the radio and there are only about 100 stations within range of my car radio. When it’s on, I’m listening to sports talk radio. The only way I hear new artists is through TV.
    That said, if the finale had been last night, Chris Rene would win, based on that final song. It was delivered beautifully, but, honestly, I wouldn’t spend 5 cents on a song that repeat “Where do we go from here?” 50 times. He gets an out because he only had 24 hours to compose that song, but it needs some meat between the bread of “Where Do We Go From Here?”
    Josh has a great, soulful delivery, but he’s not really different than what we’ve heard before. He might be a 21st Century version of Joe Cocker, but we’ve already had that sound. He seemed like a frontrunner, but he’s fading fast.
    Melanie is raw talent. She needs some refinement. I’m not going to ccriticize her for a Carribean accent or her babbling, because she is being genuine. She grew up poor, and this is her chance to make something out of her life and get out of poverty. It’s a shame that some people are so callous that they can’t understand how absolutely grateful she is for this opportunity. If you can’t understand that, then I you need to get out of your NY apartment and see the real world.
    Rachel: I’m from Colorado, and the Fox station here is pushing that angle of the story. She’s obviously got talent, but she’s also pretty raw. She’s one contestant who could have benefited from a couple of years of developing. But she’ll be great on The Disney Channel.
    Marcus: He isn’t always spot on with the vocals, but he is genuine, and his style goes well with all The X Factor stage tricks.


    • Bad Breaker says:

      That was a very well written synopsis of the final 5, their chances and futures. I agree with the Josh/Joe Cocker comments and I’m afraid he might suffer the same fate as Taylor Hicks. I do like Melanie and appreciate her gratefulness but I think she might lose some support if she doesn’t curb the ramblings. The cutesy of Rachel grates on me and I think she is often off pitch in her vocals. I wish her well, though. Marcus is too 90s boy band for me although last night’s vocals were by far his best. Chris is the most current of the 5 and last night was his moment.

      • sls8988 says:

        Taylor HIcks is a far better singer than Josh. Hicks has a bigger/wider range and grittier delivery. Hicks is also a seasoned stage performer, which Josh is not. Josh has got a long road to go to reach Hick’s skill as a blues/soul singer.

    • ana_muti says:

      I love Joe Cocker, and have followed his career since Woodstock and “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.” The thing is, Josh isn’t all THAT much like Joe. Not every singer who has a rasp and grittiness to his voice is a Joe-alike. Josh has a lot more versatility to his vocals.
      And we have to figure out a way to be able to paragraph in this site.

    • BG says:

      I don’t think Josh is “fading fast” as much as he was listening to Scherzinger entirely too much.

      He has had a couple of not-great performances at the same time when other contestants did their best and gave it everything, and he has STILL not been in the bottom of the voting. That tells me that he has the votes to win.

    • Shindig says:

      “we’ve already had that sound”
      I can name you, oh, 12 other contestants on this show that have sounded strangely similar to a “sound we’ve already had” :)

      For me, he’s like a male Haley. He has a soulful voice with a rock twist. I’d still love him to sing some Pearl Jam.

  15. Paloma Pigeon says:

    Can we start calling the dancers X-bots?

  16. Ken says:

    Michael, you are by far my favorite talent show recapper.

    That said, your suggestions for contestants’ song choices are annoying, self-indulgent, and myopic.

    • Gorm says:

      Oh come now, you cant hate on the last remaining fan of Ultra-goddamn-Naté to not take a moment push them at the most appropos time? I mean, nobody even remembers them let alone likes them, how can the possibly make you so angry. Are you some die hard Byron Stingily fan and I’ve just walked into the most awkward Sharks vs. Jets music-gang rivalry?

  17. Marty says:

    Hopefully there’s some sort of clause in the X Factor contract that can allow Simon not to pay out the 5 million..

    Chris Rene as the winner? He has no chance in hell at ever becoming successful. His victim edit is overplayed and annoying. Lets all be honest.. sure he had the best performance last night but I don’t think anyone would waste any of their money buying a single from him.

    Such a lackluster group of contestants. Rachel is the only one I see being marketable enough to make it. There’s no way Simon isn’t a little dissapointed in this final 5.

  18. Don says:

    Wasn’t a big fan of Melanie’s first song. She just seemed like she phoned it in. And I laughed when Simon suggested that that remix could become a hit on the radio (it’s already been done). I really liked Chris Rene’s second song, even though it was a bit light in the lyrics. Something catchy and honest about it. Rachel was not good (both songs). Maybe the pressure of the competition is finally taking a toll on the youngest remaining performer? Loved both songs by Josh and hope he wins. No comment about Marcus — he should have been gone two weeks ago (I guess I did have a comment about Marcus). Rachel or Marcus should go home tonight…

  19. blingedup.susan says:

    “Melanie needs to take her post-performance inspirational rambling and put it on a one-way flight to the Bermuda Triangle, where it shall never be heard from again.”

    Yes, yes, YES!!!

    • Kim R says:

      I actually muted the TV when she kept talking. I was embarrassed for her. (are there 2 r’s in embarrassed?? Looks weird.) If it works once does not mean it is going to work every time. :)

  20. Mary says:

    Michael, as always your recaps are the only interesting thing about X-factor. Like I said last week, I don’t find the need to waste my time watching, I can you-tube performanaces is necessary. I did you-tube Chris, however, it wasn’t bad, but it sounded like he just repeating the same line to me. Sorry he might have gained a few brownie points for originality but I still am not buying that he is worth the 5 million dollars.

  21. Just an opinion says:

    Melanie: I’m over it, mon. That more she talks, the more I walk. And I think she piqued too early and just stayed there and it got boring.

    Josh: Too bad he got Nicole. Worst mentor EVER. I miss the guy from the audition.

    Rachel: What is with weird clothes and songs that are too big for her? Cute is for puppies. Enough already.

    Marcus: Came back strong. Too bad for you Josh. I think Josh is going home.

    Chris: I think he’s gonna win. And I can’t believe it…There is something about that guy. He is piquing at the RIGHT time. Go boy!

  22. John says:

    Absolutely agree about Josh’s second song missing a spark, but I actually really liked his take on “We Found Love.” Brilliant interpretation, if not the best outfit. Having said that, I think he’s going home and Rachel survives to the Top 4.

  23. susela says:

    “…Rachel took to the stage in a black sequined frock from the Susan Boyle Juniors Collection.” So THAT’S who she reminded me of!! She is getting shaky, but I hope she stays in the competition. Seems to me every performer would benefit from the advice that Simon gave Josh: enough with all the dancers and the flashy electronic stage stuff. Let these guys sing, honestly and fearlessly, the songs they’d like to sing. Rachel was brilliant on “Id Rather Go Blind.” Chris was fabulous on his own song last night.

    Finally, did I mis-hear, or did Simon introduce Clive Davis to the millions of viewers as “Clive Baker”?

  24. akdar says:

    Last night was the first time I really liked Chris Rene. Josh also was very good, as usual. I wouldn’t mind “two white guys with guitars” finale at all. Marcus is entertaining, but not my cup of tea. Rachel should have been gone in Hollywood long time ago. I would have liked it much better if she went home instead of Drew. Drew felt a little repetitive, but it was still _much_better than Rachel’s cheezy Disney cuteness that is making me gag. Melanie needs to stop rambling, do some up-tempo stuff and learn to move. If she wants to make it in music business, she needs to be able to do a concert that is not a total snoozefest.

  25. Nedsdag says:

    I’m a Haley fan as well, but I don’t feel as confident that she’ll be a star like everyone thinks she’ll be.

    • Shindig says:

      She released a christmas song with Casey recently, actually, and it was at the top on itunes christmas list for a bit.

  26. Frustrated says:

    Did anyone else have trouble calling in votes last night? I was voting for Josh & I started getting a busy signal…..for over an hour. Either everyone was voting for him or something…..then I thought I would try voting for Marcus and I got 2 votes before getting the busy signal so much I just gave up. It’s hard on us unhip oldsters when we only vote one way.

  27. Dan says:

    Did you just say Rachel was FLAT? HOLLOW? WTF? Stop lying, your precious Melanie was all over the place on her second song.

  28. Shindig says:

    I’ll lol so hard if Melanie goes tonight — these comments will hit like, 900 tonight. I’m just glad Josh is through.

    • Shindig says:

      Well, that’s good so far, the results seem pretty accurate. So Marcus is in the bottom, again. Who knew! Another little kid having they dreams squeezed of all life! Who will go home?!

  29. yeah says:

    pretty sure Marcus is going home it looks like
    think they will pick Rachel
    do feel a bit sorry for him

    • yeah says:

      wow, Nicole is such a mess and disgrace at this, good grief

      and some of these kids are too young oh man

      show quickly turning into an utter train wreck last two weeks

      Marcus wasn’t as bad saving himself this week but Rachel went back to her thing and I have to say blew the sing for your life away and I say taht having been down on her a bit for a while

      what use is sing for life? it never matters!

      • rritter72 says:

        What is the point of having a save me song if you have an idiot judge who is too afraid to make a decision. Sorry but Rachel totally owned the save me. It should have never come down to America’s vote. If you don’t have the guts to make a decision, then don’t be a judge.

  30. yeah says:

    Wow, this has just descended into a total ugly, sad mess.
    Judges voting just isn’t working out and the age limit is just a bit too young.

  31. Tim says:

    How quickly can they get Nicole off this show. She was awful on The Sing Off, and she’s even worse on X Factor.

  32. Shindig says:

    Wow.. I understand what Nicole was doing, and she clearly believed Rachel was safe (Paula did this as well earlier in the season) but this just showed how disgusting it is to have an age limit this low. First, Astro’s tantrum. Drew broke down during her song. Look at how Rachel took it — that was horrible. I’m usually not that “worried” about that sort of thing, but it was.. kinda wrong, she was obviously nowhere near ready for that. I think LA sort of hurt her voting with saying the “there’s buzz that hollywood wants you” comment

    • Shindig says:

      With that said, she was probably going next week anyway, but Marcus deserved to go.

      • yeah says:

        Yeah either of them were probably gone next week but this just turned out to be the utter train wreck the show didn’t need, boos, whistles, hysterical moans and crying, not good at all.

        The sing for your life has also been proven useless since whatever they vote by it’s never sing for your life (although perhaps Paula did vote going by it this time).

        • rritter72 says:

          It is useless when you have judges…LA….who will vote to keep their guy no matter how bad they were…or judges…Nicole…who are too stupid and cowardly to make a decision.

          • yeah says:

            I can give LA a pass though, you could tell he really would’ve voted for sure for Drew or Rachel had Marcus not been his contestant and the way the show is set up I mean it’d be so harsh to vote person you are mentoring out I mean that’d make Marcus (or whoever else it might be) feel like worse than ####. So I understand why LA had to vote how he did (although he didn’t have to go on last week about keeping it real, come on, or way over praise his contestant so much this week, just be quick, I’m saving Marcus, he’s my guy, done.)

        • Shindig says:

          Yea, when Rachel fell on the floor and did the kid-that-wants-mommy moan, I felt really awful. It would have happened next week regardless, honestly, but I know people here are going to be all outraged (for whatever reason, besides the general consensus that she and Marcus are the bottom, with 50-50 on Chris). To be honest, I actually feel bad for Nicole. I’ll get a lot of hate for that, lol. But you know she genuinely thought Marcus was going, and tried to save face like Paula did earlier on.

          Sing for your life is a joke. It’s clearly just a vote between the two impartial judges.

    • yeah says:

      You could read the result on Steve’s face. As soon as he saw the result you could read the “ohhhhh boy, this is gonna be ugly again, ohhhh boy this is the last thing we needed, ohhhh crap I bet the audience won’t take it well”.

      • Shindig says:

        Poor Steve, he was so excited in the beginning of the show to tell us nobody told him to shut up yesterday. As soon as he stepped forward, yup.

  33. Octodad says:

    Nicole is an utter disgrace. Rachel clearly gave one of the best performances of her life, while Marcus was a shrilly, listless wreck. We already knew LA was going to vote for his man no matter what, because when it comes to voting, there isn’t an honest bone in his body. But for Nicole throw Rachel under the bus, to just vote against her so she wouldn’t have to choose between the two – that is unforgivable.

    Nicole, you’re paid very good money to be a judge. Now it’s clear you have no intention of doing your job. My only hope is that you lose your job before next season starts.

    I don’t know why anyone should continue watching, now that we know how useless “singing for your life” really is.

    • Hexamom says:

      Rachel (and Marcus) already gave those performances, it wasn’t even anything new. The “sing for your life” has always been a joke.

  34. Dan says:

    So we have a judge that basically admitted Rachel did better, yet voted for Marcus because he’s “my boy”. Then we have a spineless, emotionally retarded judge who cannot form an opinion for herself yet she is paid to judge, putting it in dead lock. Simon and Paula are the ones that voted CORRECTLY. Marcus is HORRIBLE and needs to GO.

  35. Madelyn says:

    I think Simon & LA were setting Josh up last night, hoping that he would get the boot. Did you see the look on their faces when his name was called first to go through. Last night, Simon and LA showed how petty they were by nitpicking on Josh, they were trying to sway the public to vote for their own contestants.
    I hate how the judges are competing against each other, it should be about the best singers, not about whose guy wins.
    According to LA, the “dance” song that Josh was forced to sing wasn’t Josh … but what was Josh supposed to do?? It was dance night. LA’s comments were stupid. He criticized Josh for choosing a dance song.. Um…on dance night.
    It’s all mind games but I was shocked that LA and Simon were so negative. I’m guessing it’s all part of the circus.
    I personally don’t think that judges should also be the mentors. Too much bias but I can’t blame Nicole one bit in her role as a mentor/judge. She’s looking out for Josh.
    I think America should decide who goes home based on the lowest votes & in this case, Rachel had the fewer votes. I had a feeling that she & Marcus would be in the bottom two but had no idea which one would get the boot. Having said that,I actually shed a few tears right along with Rachel tonight, my heart broke for her.
    I’m on TEAM JOSH!

    • Shindig says:

      I agree with this completely. LA and Simon were clearly pulling from too deep in their haughty asses last night for nitpicking; while it’s true, the overproduction sucks, you shouldn’t talk when your kid has people doing backflips across the stage, or a line of dancers in skimpy clothing. They really need to change the judges/mentor thing, because it really shouldn’t influence their critiques at all. If the contestant they constantly give flack wins, what’s their excuse?

  36. Yo says:

    Devastated children breaking down is not entertainment. These children are built up by the show only to collapse; it is twisted.

  37. Selena says:

    That was really upsetting. I don’t normally cry at these shows, but seeing Rachel’s heart break like that was hard to watch. And yes, it was America’s choice, but come on. Rachel was 1000x better than marcus. That was pure emotion that she poured in that song. I was probably her best performance. I like the idea of mentoring, but maybe it would be better if they switch mentors each week.

  38. Diana says:

    I was so very disappointed in this episode of x factor. I usually DVR all the episodes but I don’t ever want to watch this one again. Nicole is an idiotic fool. She gets paid millions of dollars so she should do her job and vote. That is what judges do! She really screwed Rachel over tonight. She sang her little heart out and I couldn’t bare watch what happened ever again. It really broke my heart! I loved how Rachel sang that song and she should have won based on the save me song. My kids and I watch this show every week. We were blown away by the decision that was made. I do agree that Rachel would have gone eventually but each week the judges told Rachel how great she was and never gave her any criticism so she was not prepared for this at all. Simon needs to fire Nicole. I heard rumors that she will be on the UK version of X Factor next season but I think she needs to be given the boot for good.

  39. Red in Denver says:

    I thought this same thing last week when Drew got so upset at being eliminated…. but tonight, poor little Rachel’s KNEEs gave way when she heard she was going home.


    14-year-olds are not mature enough to handle this stuff.

  40. Michelle says:

    The girl is suck on herself just like her coach. I am hoping it comes down to Josh & Chris.

  41. ejones says:

    In her interview with Slezak, Haley mentioned how difficult it is to give full value to a song when it is truncated to 90 seconds. Melanie’s first song finished rather abruptly in less than 80 seconds and suffered because of it. Rather than truncate the songs why not have them singing just the one song and give them around 3 minutes for that song. In her second song, Melanie belted well but when it came to actually singing in the middle of the song she was all over the place.
    Finallu, it doesn’t take a musical genius to say that Haley’s venture into Adele was a million miles better than Melanie’s attempt.

  42. Jackie says:

    Marcus came close to Elliott Yamin? I don’t think so. Yes, it was a pretty version, but his voice is just so thin to me. He’s a pretty good entertainer, but pretty good shouldn’t win the XFactor.

  43. Melinda says:

    You know, I don’t always agree with you, but I agree with everything that week. Melanie was doing her thing…again. Simon is really pushing it. He’s pushing the same old songs like Drew. Me thinks Simon lost interest in his group. Josh should just follow his own tune. Marcus WAS great. He wasn’t the best of the night (that was Chris) but he definitely showed the audience that he had a RIGHT to be there. Chris Rene. LA, thank you! THANK YOU, LA. Really great performances. He writes his own music…he feels it…he KNOCKS the performances right outta the park. Best contestant ever to grace the X Factor stage. He’s going to have a fairytale ending.