Sometimes it lasts on The X Factor, and sometimes it hurts instead. And indeed, this week’s Top 5 results-night telecast featured the hurting kind of conclusion — no matter which of the bottom two acts had your loyalty.
But enough of the Adele references — for there were almost enough tears spilled on Planet X during the 60-minute telecast to wash away Nicole Shameflinger’s copious sins against music, television, and general good taste. Let’s cut to the results…
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, said Steve Jones — who I’m pretty sure would exclaim “wonderful! wonderful!” even if a pack of hyenas stormed the stage for an act of synchronized excrement-dropping — the acts who received enough votes to go straight through to next week’s Semifinals were:
* Josh Krajcik
* Chris Rene
Wait! Hold up! Let’s break for some interminable commercials and a pointless interlude in which Steve gets to ask the thuddingly obvious question to Marcus Canty, Melanie Amaro, and Rachel Crow: “HOW ARE YOU FEELING?” (How do you think, you blooming foolio? And no, even if the bosses in your earpiece demand you ask that question, there’s no excuse for not improvising something better.)
Also safe: Melanie Amaro
Bottom Two: Marcus Canty and Rachel Crow
And with that, we came to the “save me!” performances. Here’s my brief breakdown on Rachel “Got Outperformed on Wednesday Night by All Four of Her Rivals” Crow vs. Marcus “Undeniably Talented, but Like I Said Last Week, Not Really the Best Investment Opportunity for a Record Label with a Spare $5 Million” Canty.
Marcus: “I’m Going Down” (a dubious title for a “save me” sing-off, no?)
Raw and powerful as hell; it’ll take a lot of Oxyclean to get rid of the stains left behind when he threw down his heart and soul on the stage.
Rachel: “I’d Rather Go Blind”
Damn, child! You know even guest performer MJB was trembling backstage about her future competition. I’ve only been intermittently impressed by the kid’s vocals — and that nauseatingly cutesy black-and-white kissyface photo they use before she takes the stage should be declared illegal — but this number made a strong case for sending Rachel to the brink of emotional collapse before each and every one of her future performances. If this was a musical boxing match, Rachel scored the TKO.
Judges Votes on Who Should Go Home
L.A. (a self-proclaimed “man of principle,” whose principles can be condensed into the philosophy of “vote for my own contestant”): Rachel
Simon (sounding pretty confident the vote would go his way): Marcus
At this point in time, the yo-yo in the irridescent snakeskin trash bag who likes to make it all about herself and who once infected the Idol stage by performing something called “Right There,” went into a sobbing breakdown of indecision. (Lady, please.)
“Please don’t cry,” said Rachel (who I think was also trying to convey a “lady, please” message). “It’s okay; I’m good with anything.”
And so Nicole voted to eliminate Rachel — in order to send it to deadlock and put the decision on America’s shoulders — and America voted with L.A. The teenage moppet in the cute pink jacket collapsed into a tear-soaked, screeching heap, and I was reminded why I think the minimum age limit for these types of talent competitions should be 16.
Actually, just a few other random thoughts:
Steve Jones Quote Presented Without Comment or Context
“No man should look so good in that much leather.”
Was Steve Being Sarcastic About the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul?
“Also coming up live, Mary J. Blige! Popular.”
Refreshing Honesty or Borderline Arrogance? (I’m Choosing the Former Category)
While Rachel and Marcus expressed their respective trepidation as they awaited word on who’d be participating in the sing-off, Melanie did the unthinkable for a reality-show contestant, kinda sorta acknowledging her front-runner status. “I’m kinda confident,” she told Steve, and with that, the trasition from “she’s boring and not current enough” backlash to “her ego’s getting too big” backlash can begin!
Satisfying Denouement to the Evening
Look, on one hand it’s easy to pillory Nicole for choosing to save Marcus when he clearly got outsung in the “save me” round (and, after three straight weeks of near elimination, is clearly not “in it to win it” in America’s eyes). That said, you could also make the case that his overall body of work this season — and his two performances on Top 5 night — were stronger than Rachel’s, in which case you could say Nicole did the right thing. What I can’t excuse, though, is Nicole’s phony, poorly acted effort to make herself the centerpiece of the results-night festivities. And so, yes, I’ll admit I got a surge of satisfaction when the weakest link on the judges’ panel got loudly booed by the audience at evening’s end. And actually, I don’t feel too guilty about it, either. Girlfriend can always go back to her Pussycat Dolls gig if this reality-show judging thing doesn’t work out, right?
Now I turn things over to you: What did you think of this week’s results? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Slezak on Twitter: @MichaelSlezakTV