The real winners of the night were the ushers…
The top 9 performances of The X Factor contestants had me thankful for a number of things. Sure, there were a couple of performances that I was glad to see… but I was also thankful that two contestants will be eliminated. I was thankful that my family members kept talking throughout the show — although they distracted me a lot, their running commentary and questions kept me more entertained than the show itself. I was thankful that Steve Jones’s suit was tighter than ever this week and that he used the phrase “oh snap” while talking about Twitter. And I was thankful that the judges made no effort to be kind or civil to one another.
The contestants have a lot to be thankful for, too, and that’s what this week’s theme was all about. Each aspiring artist got a chance to tell us the saddest story possible and then sing a vaguely relevant song about it and then say something endearing afterwards.
Rachel Crow was thankful to her mom and dad for adopting her, which is heartbreaking enough, but then they tell the story of Rachel being born addicted to crack and living in a crack house and her mama was on crack. Ding-ding-ding… we have a winner right out of the gate.
Since I hate being inspired, I’m not familiar with too many inspirational songs, so I’m going to have too look a couple up before the full recap. I think Rachel sang a song called “I Believe.” There are some strong moments in it and some parts where she sounds slightly off. But she shone even in those few less-than-stellar moments.
Marcus Canty is thankful for his single mom, to whom he speaks 2 or 3 times a day. He sings her Boyz II Men’s “Mama,” and you can feel the bond they have. It’s very… special. This was the only performance of the night that nearly made me cry and I liked that Marcus was intense, but not as sweaty as usual. The judges could see his passion and connection and felt he rebounded from last week’s weirdly unsexy performance.
Melanie Amaro just laid it all out on the line last night. She’s thankful to God, because He’s the only one who has never let her down. Yikes. I hope she gets thankful for a therapist sometime soon.
What better way to honor the Lord Almighty than with a song from serial peer and kid diddler R. Kelly? She gave a big performance of “World’s Greatest” with a full on choir dressed in white.
Since she sang about God, none of the judges criticized her. Things got crazy when Melanie started to go off on a tearful rant about being so happy and thanking everyone and her Virgin Islands accent came out, which was bizarre, because she’s had American accent up until this point. The judges ate that shit up, though.
Chris Rene is thankful for Tim, the counselor he met at rehab who also appears to do gothic exorcisms in his spare time. Tim saw through the mask made of the meth that Chris was wearing when he arrived at rehab.
Chris sang “Let It Be” mashed up with the song that got him into the competition, his originial “Young Homie.” So “Let It Be” was a great song choice — for a different voice. “Young Homie” was brilliant, because it reminded everyone how much they enjoyed Chris when he first arrived, and not of his weird, terrible performances since then.
Lakoda Rayne is thankful for a lot of things, all of them fairly mundane, and they sing Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” which was such a weird song choice since they were singing to their dads and Grammies.
Leroy Bell dedicated Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” to his mom, who was his best friend and biggest supporter before she died two years ago. I agree with LA: it wasn’t Leroy’s best performance, but it was heartfelt and he was deeply affected throughout it.
Astro is thankful for the fans who sent him inspiring messages after his hysterical meltdown last week. He and everyone around him try to justify it as a kid’s understandable reaction to being frustrated. He does a version of “Show Me What You Got,” in which he tries to name check every state and country in which he has a fan. He also apologizes again.
The judges thought he handled the fallout well and gave a solid performance that showcased his talent. They reminded him to remain grateful.
Drew is thankful for her best friend Shelby, who taught Drew to let her freak flag fly. They used to be losers, you see, but now they’re duh, winning! Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” is their “song,” so that’s what Drew is singing. And she finally went a little uptempo this week! Although that came 2/3 of the way through the song and lasted only a few measures. Baby steps….
The judges disagreed over whether the song choice was right. LA thought it was too old, Paula pointed out that a young artist sings it, and Simon essentially told LA to fuck off. Sounds just like your family’s Thanksgiving celebration, huh?
Josh Krajcik is thankful for his 13-year-old daughter Rowan who he “had” when he was 17 and in love. But that love disappeared and he was in dark place. Until he heard Rowan play the piano. That’s when he decided he would make tasty burritos and delicious music until the day he died.
He played the piano and sang “Wild Horses,” giving one of the best performances of the night. He took the song nice and slow and had great vocal control. The judges thought it was passionate and authentic and Paula thought it was world-changing. Strange. She’s never been prone to exaggeration before, has she?
So two peeps will go home tonight to moisten their turkeys with their sad, sad tears. Also, Bruno Mars will perform along with Kelly Clarkson, who won that other show that’s exactly like X Factor but totally different.
Did you get a chance to read last week’s recap? If not, you can check it out here! And someone who knows one of the contestants pretty well weighs in in the comments section, so be sure to check those out, too!
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