Yes. You did a bad, bad thing. Moron.
I said it in the minicap but I’ll say it again: if Nicole was getting death threats for sending Drew home last week, all I can say is, I hope girlfriend hired some serious security guards after the debacle that was last night’s elimination episode.
Sadly, the producers are probably sitting on their multi-million dollar yachts rubbing their greasy paws together and salivating over all of the press their show has received after ripping out the hearts of not one but TWO hysterically weeping teenage girls in the course of one week. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, after all.
But even though this is some of the best shit that could’ve happened to The X Factor in terms of ratings, I think most of America would agree that what happened last night (or last week, for that matter) was pure and utter farce and that the judges (and producers) should be ashamed of themselves.
In the interest of doing my job, I’ll hold off on the rest of my rant until the end of this recap and get on with the other 54 minutes of this GD show. Here goes nothin’.
The show opens with Lenny Kravitz performing a new song called ‘Rock Star City Life,’ and I’m reminded how much I haven’t missed hearing Lenny Kravitz over the past decade. The song isn’t very catchy and I find myself counting the minutes til it’s over.
At least he’s got Howard Stern playing guitar.
He eventually segues into ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way,’ which the audience digs a whole hell of a lot more since it makes them feel 18 years younger. Yes, that’s right, that album was released in 1993, folks…so start feeling old…NOW.
I’m sort of bummed that Lenny’s so lackluster, because it dims my excitement for this:
Oh who am I kidding…NOTHING could dim my excitement for THIS!!!
(That’s not sarcasm, by the way. I am a proud geeked-out fan of The Hunger Games – but not to worry, I’ve never even TOUCHED a fucking Twilight book.)
Once Lenny’s mini-concert concludes, Steve Jones gushes that ‘no man should look THAT good in THAT much leather!’ and we all cringe a little as we unintentionally picture Steve in full bondage gear.
Steve takes us through a rehash of the previous night’s performance episode. First up was Melanie Amaro, singing a discotheque version of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You.’ I thought her voice was crisp but a little lacking in emotional connection, but of course the judges lapped it up like homeless kittens around a dropped carton of half-and-half.
Marcus Canty sang the NOT DEAD Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ (see my recap of the performance episode here). It was competent but predictable and not exciting in any way, but once again, the judges fell all over themselves to heap praise onto mediocre Marcus. I can’t help but think about what Drew might have done this week, and how everyone would’ve loved her again after she cranked out an uptempo dance number that surely would’ve been far more unique than Marcus’ performance.
Rachel Crow’s dance song was ‘Nothin’ On You,’ and Josh Krajcik performed Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love.’ Both were strong, but while the judges were once again unanimous in their love for Rachel, they went 50/50 on Josh’s song – L.A. and Simon didn’t think it was a good fit, but what were they expecting when they forced a soul/rock singer to choose a freaking DANCE song to sing? Ugh.
Chris Rene sang ‘Live Your Life’ while showing off his balancing skills on an elevated moving walkway with no railings, which made Simon a bit nervous. I personally dug the walkway, as I thought it finally made Chris feel theatrical, like he was actually giving a concert and not just hamming it up on a reality television competition. Chris finally sounded good after weeks and weeks of being the vocally weak runt of the litter, and I for one was glad to have him back in the game.
Now we have to do a rundown of the contestants’ second performances of the evening…which means we have to see Melanie once again droning on and on about how wonderful she thinks she is and how all she had to do was believe in herself and SNAP, here she is about to prance away with a five million dollar recording contract. Mel’s sounding like she’s drunk somebody’s Kool-Aid.
You know, I’ve been envisioning a gigantic pile of money sitting in front of me from winning a $116 million lottery jackpot (solo, of course) for the past two years now, and still no luck. I’m starting to think that this whole thing is a scheme to get people’s money…
Marcus’ song is ‘A Song For You’ by Ray Charles. Simon wasn’t impressed, but Nicole thought he showed us all why he’s still in the competition. Yawn.
Rachel’s performance of ‘The Music and Me’ was one of her weakest, in my opinion, and probably a big part of the reason why she was so lacking in votes this week. That and her slightly creepy comment about her mission being ‘just to inspire the kids.’
I’M TELLING YOU, SHE IS AT LEAST 47.
Josh’s rendition of ‘Something’ was one of the best songs of the night, except for those crazy facial contortions Josh likes to pull out on the big notes.
Something’s being ruptured, here.
Simon thought Josh did a great job but looked insane, which Nicole told him was just Josh’s way of getting lost in the music. Simon then tells Nicole to get lost, and we all share a hearty laugh at Nicole’s expense.
The show was completely and utterly stolen, however, by the final performance of the evening, by one Mr. Chris Rene. He ventured out on a limb and did an original song called ‘Where Do We Go From Here,’ which was haunting and gorgeous and totally made Chris a front-runner again. Amazing how much everything has changed over the past two weeks…
Steve asks the judges for their personal highlights from the performance evening. L.A. and Nicole both pick Chris’ original song. Paula says that all of the contestants are on phenomenal terms right now, which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but hey – it’s Paula. She hopes that every contestant gets signed by Simon and/or L.A., but wouldn’t that sort of take away any reason for actually wanting to WIN the show? Hmph.
Simon also picks Chris Rene’s second performance as his highlight, saying it was ‘really special.’ So now that we’ve all agreed that Chris really shines when he’s doing his own songs, I’m sure we’ll see him stuck doing crappy off-key versions of Rihanna songs again next week, because the producers clearly like to do the opposite of the smart thing in any given situation.
A quick commercial break, and we’re ready for whatever is next…a group performance maybe? Perhaps it’s time for Mary J. Blige’s guest spot? Nope, none of the above! Instead, it’s time for an oh-so-thrilling PEEK BACKSTAGE!!!
So, this is where the magic happens?
The ten minutes of filler that follows is, quite honestly, not much more exciting than the above picture.
We get to hear the wardrobe and make-up people bitching about how difficult it is to do quick changes backstage, and we see that Josh does indeed get just as much pampering from the hair and make-up team as the rest of the contestants.
Coulda fooled me.
There are a bunch of shots of random dancers getting naked backstage. I’m guessing they’re dancers, anyway, and not just some crazy homeless gym rats that wandered in off the street. There’s also a lot of wide-eyed talking by this dude:
Who would frighten the bejesus out of me if he didn’t remind me so much of this:
Okay. Maybe they’re BOTH a little terrifying.
I like that this show is so desperate for filler that they’re actually forcing us to observe in detail a bunch of shit that we could care less about. Next week we’ll get an in-depth study on how the craft services table is set up.
Once we finish learning about the different shades of foundation that are necessary for each contestant, it’s time to start with the results. Dim the lights, please!
The first act through to safety (and the semi-finals) is…Josh Krajcik! Good, I can keep watching this show. My bosses will be pleased.
The second contestant through to next week is…Chris Rene! If it weren’t for his amazing performances last night, I’d be throwing my scotch in rage at the television screen – thankfully, my opinion on Chris has done a complete 180 and I’m actually stoked that he made it through.
Less stoked about that face, however.
We’re down to just three acts – Melanie Amaro, Rachel Crow, and Marcus Canty. I don’t think anyone doubts that Marcus will be in the bottom two, probably not even Marcus himself. Rachel is starting to look a little nervous – her Mickey Mouse Club 1,000-watt grin keeps faltering – but steely-eyed Caribbean Queen Melanie looks cool as a cucumber. She knows her seat is secure at the head table, regardless of how America voted.
Commercial break! Then it’s time for some more filler, as Steve does a remote interview with the three remaining contestants, who are backstage.
He asks each contestant how they’re feeling. Marcus says he’s a lover no matter which way things go, Rachel says she’s nervous but really wants to be here next week, and Melanie lies through her perfect teeth and says she’s a little on edge – but confident that her fans have sent her through. It must be nice to have so much self-love.
We’ve reached Mary J. Blige’s performance of ‘Need Someone.’ She’s got a beautiful voice, but I can’t help thinking that she looks kinda like a Real Housewife, or at least a politician’s wife.
You BEST be bedazzlin’ my microphone, PRONTO.
She’s so into the whole diamond motif that there’s even a giant green one floating behind her head.
Any second now Jor-El is gonna appear in that thing.
We’re only about halfway through the show, so I find myself wondering how they’re going to burn off all of this time…we still haven’t seen a group performance, but I guess we’re done with those and nobody bothered to tell me? Do they think these five contestants wouldn’t sound good together? Or is it because of the last-minute song switch-up…perhaps the producers didn’t want to force the singers to learn yet ANOTHER song? In any case, I sort of miss the group song, awkward and saccharine though it always is.
Steve does another remote interview, this time with our safe contestants, Josh and Chris, who basically say they’re super happy to be safe and thankful to their fans and PR PR PR.
SJ also reminds us that the Pepsi Challenge songs will make their appearance next week after whatever flub held them up this week. And now it’s time to re-focus on our final three singers.
The last person to be sent straight through to safety is…Melanie Amaro! Simon turns to hug her, and behind his back we see cracks in Rachel’s strong-girl facade for the first time.
Someone please hug that girl, stat.
She cries as she hugs Melanie and tells her she loves her, then reassures a worried Simon with a quick, ‘I got it. I got it.’ Miraculously, it seems she has indeed pulled herself entirely back together – good for her. Steve asks Marcus how he feels about being in this position once again.
GREAT! He feels GREAT!
He can’t believe he’s in the bottom two AGAIN, but as L.A. reminds him, it’s the bottom two of the top five, so in actuality, he’s doing pretty well. Every time he bitches about being in the bottom two, this happens:
I DON’T HAVE A LIIIIFE!! I DON’T HAVE A LIIIIFE!!
You guys all remember J. Mark Inman and his crazy creepazoid freakout, right? (Please be impressed that I dug through my rather copious amounts of notes on this show to find this weirdo’s name again.)
Steve asks Rachel how she’s doing in this new territory, and she says that she’s okay. She tells Marcus she loves him and that’s it’s okay. It’s like the cooing noises a mighty hunter makes at his prey right before he snaps its neck. She’s fully prepared to bring it, bitches.
Marcus is singing first in the battle for survival, and he’s chosen to perform ‘I’m Goin’ Down,’ which I’m 99.9% positive he’s already done during the live shows (but I already looked up GD J. Mark Inman, so I’ve exhausted my file-searching skills for the day).
I’m not rooting for Marcus in this showdown, but I’ve gotta give it to him – he’s really throwing his all into this performance. There’s a lot of frantic hand motions and only a couple of bum notes.
Is he wailing or WAILING here? I can’t tell.
This is my favorite performance of Marcus’ since the very beginning of the competition, and I gotta admit, Rachel’s got her work cut out for her. She’s up next, singing ‘I’d Rather Be Blind,’ which she has also already sung on the show prior to tonight. OH – I just got it. The contestants were forced to use their survival songs as their second performance piece, leaving them without a song for the bottom two…so instead of forcing them to learn an all-new save-me song, the producers let them drum up a previous piece to use. Fair enough.
Rachel starts to sing, and any chance Marcus had flies straight out the window and catches a bus to Miami. This girl has GOT IT. She starts to cry midway through the performance, but it actually ENHANCES the song. Now THIS is how to cry through your tears, yo!!!!
I say DAMN, girl!!!
Call me a sappy old harpy, but watching Rachel sing like this actually brings tears to my shriveled up old eyeballs. Even upon re-watching it, I get misty. Rachel has something so rare, to be able to funnel such emotion into what she does. It’s pretty astounding, especially for a 13-year-old. And anyone who thinks those tears were faked, well, I think ya best be carving a miniature Oscar for Ms. Crow, then.
ANYWAY…time for the judges to vote. The crowd is chanting Rachel’s name, and for a split second I have a vision in which all four judges make their first unanimous decision of the live shows and all decide to send Marcus home – even L.A. Reid. Every single one of us can see that while Marcus has his strengths, Rachel is clearly the contestant who comes out on top in this match-up.
But that vision is quickly squashed when L.A. votes to send Rachel packing, because he is a ‘man of principles’ that sticks by his guy. Okay, okay, I guess it would’ve been too much to hope for, that L.A. would vote to send home one of his own contestants. But you can tell he’s certain it’s Marcus’ last stand.
On to Simon, who sends Marcus home. Paula quickly follows suit, and we’re now down to Nicole’s deciding vote. The crowd continues to loudly chant, ‘Rachel, Rachel.’
Nicole is a frazzled mess, wringing her hands and crying and telling us she just can’t, she CAN’T make this decision. If she votes to send Marcus home, he’s off the show. If she votes to send Rachel home, it puts the voting into a deadlock and the contestant with the lowest number of America’s votes goes bye-bye.
Thinking so hard makes my BWAIN HURTY!
Rachel tells Nicole ‘please don’t cry, it’s okay, I’m good with anything.’ Nicole doesn’t want to make a choice, but Steve reminds her that if she wants to go to deadlock, she HAS to say she’s sending Rachel Crow home. So she does, but she clearly believes that Marcus Canty is the one who will be going home regardless – he’s been in the bottom two for the past three weeks now, surely he’s the one with fewer votes…right? You can tell that Nicole thinks it’s Marcus going home because she puts air quotes up when she ‘sends home’ Rachel Crow.
Too bad Nicole didn’t think about the fact that there was more than one possible outcome to this scenario. YOU COMPLETE TWAT.
The contestant with the lowest number of votes who is heading home is Rachel Crow. You can actually see the moment that it hits home for Rachel, the exact second when she realizes she’s lost the game.
Composure: breaking. Horror: dawning.
Rachel tries to smile, but instead sinks to the floor, sobbing.
Steve, who has been congratulating Marcus, sees Rachel’s meltdown and promptly kneels beside her. Suddenly I like Steve Jones a whole lot more. Simon rushes to the stage and helps Rachel to her feet, consoling her. Rachel’s mom also hurries on stage, which may have actually been a mistake, as it sends Rachel even further into hysterics. There’s a moment where it’s obvious the producers are trying to get Steve to do something – maybe pull Rachel away from her mother? – but whatever it is, he’s having none of it, evidenced by the way he keeps shaking his head while listening to his earpiece.
GOOD FOR YOU, STEVE!!! FIGHT THE MAN!!
Rachel continues to weep. Not to be outdone, Nicole has a breakdown of her own.
It’s your own fault, dipshit.
I cannot believe how stupid Nicole is…I like that she didn’t even think about the fact that she might actually send Rachel home accidentally. Remind me never to pick Nicole for my team on game night. She’ll be the one you have to explain the rules to fifty times before you can begin.
Rachel is S.O.B.B.I.N.G. onstage, and it’s awful to hear this little girl totally lose it like this…a lot of folks have slammed her for having such a meltdown, but come on people – she’s THIRTEEN, for Christssake. Don’t you remember how dramatic everything felt when you were that young? And especially something like this – I used to get moody and pout when I lost Chutes and Ladders, can you imagine upping that emotion by about 1000%? When you are in a competition that could make all of your dreams come true? That could mean providing your family with a better life and plentiful toilets? Sure, Rachel is going to be just fine – the internets are already buzzing with rumors of a Disney contract – but in that moment, all she saw was closed doors and failure. Give the kid a break.
There has also been some debate over whether Rachel said, ‘You PROMISED!’ to her mother or was simply asking, ‘You promise?’ As in, you promise it will be okay? I absolutely, 150% (sorry for all the percentages, I guess I’m on a math kick) sure that it was the second scenario – and I’ve watched it a dozen times over to be sure. Her mom is telling her that it’s going to be okay, and Rachel wants affirmation of this – she wants her mommy to tell her it’s all going to be all right. Is that so surprising? Like anyone, she doesn’t want to feel like she’s let her family down.
They show Rachel’s retrospective, but we’re all waiting for it to end so that we can see if she’s pulled herself together or not. We cut back to the stage, and it appears she has – thank goodness. She gives a tearful thank you to her fans and says that she hopes this isn’t the end for her.
Steve then asks Nicole if there’s anything she wants to say, but the audience erupts into a chorus of loud booing before she can speak. She’s so overwhelmed that the boos actually send her offstage.
Yes, go cry into your saucer of Pussycat milk.
Steve wraps up the show, and we’ve got our final four – Marcus Canty, Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene, and the obvious winner, Melanie Amaro.
I find myself in a whirlwind of shock – what just happened?!? Did Nicole really mistakenly send Rachel home, or is this all a giant ploy? How did Marcus Canty end up in the top four? And have I really, suddenly, out-of-the-blue and in the same week found a new appreciation for both Chris Rene AND Steve Fucking Jones?!? HOW CAN THIS BE???
Maybe Steve’s appearance on Ellen’s show helped, cuz god knows I love me some Ellen. She’s the best.
She brought out his charming personality, for sure.
All right guys – hit me with it! What are you feeling about this whole situation? I think we can all agree that whether or not Rachel was the one to send home, Nicole was clearly the Big Fat Idiot of the evening. I mean…how can you be hired to be a judge when you’re unwilling to make judgement calls, am I right?
Til next week, I remain your faithful Snarklesbee. Toodles!
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