I miss having a contestant that we could all agree to hate on.
On my MiniCap of this week’s X Factor elimination episode, the comments section LIT UP with people ripping on my love for dearly departed Drew (check it out here!). But I’m not worried. I know y’all aren’t really THAT interested in my humble opinions…you tune in for the funny commentary and the occasional reminder that things like Shirt Tales actually existed.
They were animals. Who wore shirts. But no pants. Much like Stacy Francis.
I find it fascinating that Drew is such a love-her-or-hate-her kind of contestant…but not to worry, I’ll make points in this recap that will appease BOTH factions and everyone can go home happy. Deal? Then let’s get started!
As you’re probably well aware, this week was Michael Jackson week on The X Factor, which meant that we were forced to sit through yet another bunch of contestants desperately trying to remember the words to ‘Man in the Mirror.’ I mean, they do a MJ theme week on American Idol practically every year, right? I know he’s the King of Pop and all, but can’t we switch it up a bit? How about a Right Said Fred week? Falco? 98 Degrees?
Or these guys. I think they had a hit or two.
Steve Jones starts off the elimination episode by intro’ing the final seven contestants’ performance of – sigh – ‘Man in the Mirror.’ As a tribute to Michael Jackson, Josh has put Jeri Curl into his flowing locks.
The song is lovely, right up until Chris Rene opens his mouth hole and murders every note he attempts to warble. Luckily, Astro and Rachel Crow save the day by being spectacularly awesome. Astro’s phrasing is amazing, and I love when they let Rachel really grind her voice. They’re actually making me sort of like this song, damn it.
Melanie Amaro gets in her customary diva notes at the end of the number, and my newly found love for this song gets shoved into a burlap sack and tossed in a river to drown. Steve reminds us that we can download this piece of crap great performance online.
Lice, however, you can only get in person.
Now for a little reminder of last night’s performance episode, where three of the Jackson brothers showed up to wave a little bit and cash their publicity checks, and MJ’s mother, Katherine, stated that she loves this show and doesn’t miss an episode, in a halting voice EXTREMELY reminiscent of the Life Alert lady.
I. Swear. I. Watch. This. Show. Each. Week. And. This. Is. Not. Scripted.
Josh Krajcik sang ‘Dirty Diana’ in a stripper cage, and though he was out of his comfort zone, most of the judges thought he managed to pull it off fairly well. Astro rapped his own version of ‘Black or White,’ surrounded by dancers wearing a strange melange of kilts, Russian hats, and face scarves. Paula said she thought he might win this whole competition, which just goes to show how on top of things Paula is.
Drew sang a slowed-down ‘Billie Jean’ while sitting on the toilet.
It’s so awkward when they put it in the middle of the room like that.
I had thought that Josh might sing this song, a la Chris Cornell/David Cook, which probably would’ve been a better choice for both him AND Drew, but sadly the producers have stopped taking my calls. Their loss.
Nicole slammed Simon for forcing Drew to sit for the entire performance, but knowing what Drew’s dance moves look like, I think he probably made the smart choice.
Rachel was up next, singing ‘Can You Feel It,’ a song I forgot even existed. Paula said the song ‘didn’t GIVE [Rachel] justice.’ Oh, Paula. You always ‘do’ such great advice.
Rachel was followed by Marcus, who was the only contestant who I correctly predicted the song choice for (P.Y.T.), which of course made me jump up and down in ecstatic ‘I told you so’ joy. He looked ridiculous and his tone was all over the place, but that didn’t stop Nicole from admonishing America to recognize and appreciate his immense talent and Paula from calling him the true entertainer of the show.
At least we can agree that it’s none of THESE jokers.
Lee Evans Chris Rene was up next, singing a fairly off-key ‘I’ll Be There’ and wearing a silly bedazzled letterman jacket that seems to go against everything we know about Chris.
Like how he starred in that movie ‘Mousehunt.’
Simon called ‘Earth Song’ one of MJ’s biggest hits, and everyone watching at home got a nice, hearty laugh. Because that was a joke, right? Melanie busted it out with her usual boring technical proficiency, which the Jackson children didn’t seem to appreciate.
I’m sure Prince twirling that mic in his hand is a sign that he’s TOTALLY ENGAGED in what’s happening. I mean really, these kids could NOT be fazed – their dad was Michael Fucking Jackson, yo. Are they really supposed to be impressed by a garbage collector and a couple of Jesus freaks doing karaoke? ‘Our dad took dumps that were more exciting than this crew, dude.’
Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Clearly they fucking adored it.
So that was the performance replay…Steve Jones is simply over-the-moon with joy and tells Simon THAT’S the show he signed up for! UGH. I know I ‘figured out’ last week that he’s a dork in hot-guy clothing, but I think I can now take it one step further…Steve Jones is just a really good-looking Lloyd Christmas.
I dare you not to think of this the next time Steve dorks out.
The judges all agree that the previous night was an amazing performance night, and Paula thinks – no, she KNOWS – that they did Michael proud. Nicole thanks the Jackson family for blessing us all with their presence at the show. By the way, Nicole’s hair is really gigan-tor tonight…it kind of looks like it’s auditioning to be Katey Sagal’s wig from Married With Children. You know, that ANCIENT show that starred the old guy from Modern Family, the matriarch from Sons of Anarchy, and the mom from Up All Night?
And poor, poor David Faustino.
Anyway. The point is, Nicole fed her hair after midnight and it took on a whole new, terrifying life.
I wonder how many Indian girls shaved their heads to pump up that weave.
Steve reminds us that two acts are going home tonight. I hope he’s one of them. He wants to talk briefly about that horrendous Pepsi Choice Performance from last week (read my recap of it here), which he says was ‘Phenomenal. Out there, but phenomenal.’ I think we can all agree on half of that statement.
Next week they’re doing something called the Pepsi Challenge (not to be confused with the Pepsi Choice), where the voting audience gets to decide one of the two songs each contestant sings. But much like an election, it’s not TRULY our choice, since we’re only given a very limited number of songs to pick from (three, to be exact). Democracy at work, people.
In case you’re wondering, the choices for the remaining singers are as follows…the Melanie Amaro picks span a WIDE range of singers: Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey. Jesus H., could this BE any more dull?!? Toss it up a little, producers, I’m BEGGING you. Everyone likes to bitch about how Drew did the same act every week, but you cannot sit there on your high horse and tell me that Melanie Amaro isn’t equally predictable. And if you do, I will ignore you, because you are an idiot.
Chris Rene has a choice between ‘My Love is Your Love’ by Whitney Houston, ‘Angel’ by Shaggy, or Sugar Ray’s ‘Fly.’ While I think Chris singing ‘Fly’ would provide hours of non-stop laughter, I’m sort of hoping he gets the Shaggy song, and that he does that weird nasal Shaggy voice a lot. I actually think it’s the song that’s best suited to him.
Marcus Canty’s songs are ‘We Belong Together’ by Mariah Carey, ‘Saving All My Love’ by Whitney Houston, or ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ by Boyz II Men. Soooooo…so far every contestant has a Whitney Houston option. Was that really well thought-out, you guys? I’m so sick of Whitney Houston songs on these singing shows – I think they should be banned. Unless Maya Rudolph is competing.
The song choices for Josh Krajcik are ‘Chasing Pavements’ by Adele, ‘Come Together’ by the Beatles, and ‘Every Time You Go Away’ by Hall and Oates, otherwise known as the end credits song from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The Adele song would be really ballsy, so it probably won’t happen. The Beatles song was picked because Josh Krajcik sound-alike Joe Cocker covered it once upon a time and therefore it’s a super easy breezy choice. I personally am hoping for the Hall and Oates song…maybe Josh will even take a cue from Glee and wear a fake mustache and wig for it.
‘Cuz that wasn’t a stupid idea at ALL.
Rachel Crow’s options are ‘Forget You’ by Cee Lo, Marvin Gaye’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ and ‘Valerie’ by Amy Winehouse. The first two songs are so similar to the type of stuff Rachel always does that I’m not 100% sure she hasn’t already covered them, so I’m rooting for ‘Valerie.’ That’d be hella cool.
Which song would YOU pick for each contestant? What if you didn’t have to stick to those three options – do you have another song you think would be perfect for one of the remaining singers?
All right, back to the show, where we’re about to find out which contestants will move on to the final five. First to safety is…WTF. Chris Rene.
Chris and 11.3 million other people are stunned. Melanie Amaro makes it through next, and she doesn’t even bother to act surprised. Methinks someone is getting a bit of a big head. Rachel Crow is the next safe contestant.
She can’t believe it!
Melanie could stand to take a lesson in humbleness and humility from little Rachel, don’t you agree? We’re down to four contestants, one of whom will be going home immediately, one sent to safety, and the other two have to fight each other to the death for the last spot in the final five. Oh, that’s not what ‘singing for survival’ means? I was hoping for a cage fight.
Steve Jones tells the contestants to try and relax, following up with ‘like THAT’s possible!’ Jeez. This guy should be a therapist, or maybe work for a suicide hotline…’Everybody wants you to live! Well, not EVERYBODY, but there’s gotta be one or two!’
Before we can find out who goes where, we have to sit through a performance by some British rapper with the hysterically ridiculous name Tinie Tempah.
He’s REALLY into soy.
As I mentioned in the MiniCap, I found it difficult to understand the lyrics to Tinie’s song, although I think one line is something like ‘I go pee pee at my front door.’ He also keeps saying he’s gonna ‘do this til I parse out,’ so I guess he’s really into grammatical structure, which I find inspiring.
And he’s being backed up by the DJ from Tron: Legacy, so THAT’s cool.
After a commercial break, it’s time to find out the fate of our four remaining contestants. Everyone looks hella worried, and I can’t help but wonder how all of this stress and pressure (not to mention the enormous amounts of physical energy being spent rehearsing) hasn’t resulted in Hurley Josh losing a few pounds.
He must have found the pantry inside the Hatch.
Ranch dressing for everyone, because Josh is our final safe contestant! He and Nicole celebrate by giving the audience a flying crotch shot.
A view normally reserved for her OB/GYN and Steve Jones.
With Josh through to the final five, we’re left with Drew, Astro, and Marcus on stage, waiting to find out which of them will continue to busk America for votes and who is going home. And the contestant with the lowest number of votes, who heads directly home, is…Astro!
I’m surprised, because I really do think that Astro is incredibly talented. I know people want to complain that he’s not a singer, but it’s all in the same family, right? After all, Blake Lewis made it to the number two spot on American Idol by beat-boxing (yes, he sang as well, but the beat-boxing was what he was known for).
I’m honestly quite bummed…Astro put a hell of a lot of effort into this show, coming up with new lyrics each and every week and slamming them out, rarely ever missing a beat. Even though he showed us his dark side a few weeks ago, I for one think he deserves success, and what’s more, I think he’ll get it. So as bummed as I am, I’m not that upset. He’ll be fine.
During his send-off speech, Astro tells someone named Molly (Miley?) that he loves her and will see her soon. WHAAAAAA?!? Who is this mystery woman? Until someone tells me otherwise, I’ll assume it’s his baby mama. Or his puppy. One of the two.
So now we have to watch Marcus and Drew sing for their lives (again: no cage fight). I’ve always liked Marcus, but lately I’ve found him to be rather one-note in his performances, and a little off-key to boot. I love Drew’s voice and think it’s definitely the most original on the show, but I agree with everyone and their brother that she should switch it up more, try some up-tempo numbers. Chris Rene really should’ve gone home before either of these two, but if I had to pick between Drew and Marcus, I’d send Marcus packing.
Steve asks Paula what she wants to see from the contestants, and Paula emphatically says (and I quote) “I want them to HIJACK this and KILL it.” A little much, perhaps, Paula? Wow. What brilliant mind thought it’d be a good idea to have her say something like THAT?? Pretty terrible.
Let’s focus on the singers, shall we? Drew is up first, and her survival song is ‘Listen to Your Heart.’ GREAT choice for her, and I can always dig a little more Roxette in my life. The beginning and the end of the performance is great, but the middle is sort of pitch-y and a mess – I’m gonna attribute that to Drew’s fear that she’s about to get sent home. I’m still behind her. So’s Steve Jones, apparently.
WHOA Steve, hold up, that’s not Hayden Panettiere, you know.
Marcus time. He wants to talk to us before he sings, to tell us that he just tries to give us his heart and soul every week. Way to guilt trip us, Marcus. He’s singing Gladys Knight’s ‘Neither One of Us (Wants To Be the First To Say Goodbye),’ which is officially the longest song title I’ve ever typed, outdistancing even ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).’
Marcus starts off okay, but if Drew was pitch-y, Marcus is the vocal equivalent of one of those Little League game where your team is getting the shit kicked out of them so badly that the coaches agree to call the game after only two long, painful innings. He’s all over the place, especially when he tries to belt and ends up just scream-yelling the song. But like Drew, he manages to end the performance strongly.
Steve says he doesn’t know how the judges are going to separate these two. I’m pretty sure he meant to say he doesn’t know how the judges are going to CHOOSE BETWEEN these two, but maybe he thinks Marcus and Drew are conjoined twins or something. Or maybe there’s a secret romance brewing between them. Right.
Time for the judges to choose who goes home. Marcus looks like he’s praying. Drew looks like she’s trying her damndest to not start openly weeping.
L.A. is up first to vote, and of course we know he’s gonna stick with his boy Marcus. And after some weak words of encouragement and a poor attempt to convince us that he’s actually debating his decision, he votes to send Drew home.
Likewise, we know Simon will send Marcus packing, and that’s exactly what he does, after actually apologizing for making mistakes in his coaching of Drew. He begs the lady judges to place the blame on him and save Drew from elimination.
The first of the gals to vote is Nicole.
Who looks to the spirit realm for answers.
Nicole tells Drew that she’s only been hard on her because she knows that Drew is one of the best people in the competition. She also says that Drew is going to have a long, successful career, ‘but you’re so young, already, still.’ Employing my Pussycat translator device, I see that she meant to say, ‘you’re really young, so don’t stress, you have plenty of time to find your path in this industry, and don’t forget to wear more hot pants.’
Nic tells Marcus that he puts his heart and soul on the floor for each performance. He also puts some notes there, but don’t tell her that! SHAZAM-BLAMMO! Nicole votes to send Drew home. A lone woman keeps screaming in the audience, and I think it’s probably poor Shelby having a breakdown.
We’re down to Paula, who says both contestants deserve a recording contract, but that she was looking for the person who moved, moved, moved her with their survival song. I sense bad things ahead.
Sure enough, she votes to send Drew home, who begins crying in earnest.
It’s like the puppies at the pet store. Heartbreaking.
You can actually hear her sobbing throughout Steve’s commentary, like the full-blown, gut-wrenching sobs you can only experience as a 14-year-old girl whose dreams have just been shit on by Paula Abdul. Simon is PISSED and refuses to say a word to Steve, who finally gives up, literally throwing his hands into the air as the other two girl contestants run onto the stage for a tearful group hug.
Don’t worry, Steve, we ALL give up.
I can barely stand to watch Drew’s retrospective, because I really didn’t think it was her time to go. I’m not sure how much of Simon’s rage I can believe is real, but I think it’s pretty clear that this was Paula and Nicole’s way of getting revenge on him for not listening to their advice about giving Drew more upbeat material. Jerks.
Drew keeps weeping and saying she doesn’t want to go home, and Simon claims he has nothing to say to the other judges, that America knows Drew is a star. And then a horrible, horrible thing happens.
Steve asks Drew if she has any last words, and after grabbing the microphone, she babbles out this: ‘Jesus loves all of you guys, and I haven’t gotten to say that, and that’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I was truly in this competition for, and now I’m saying it.’
Suddenly, I realize something I hadn’t known about Drew.
I can only assume she’s going to join the Republican presidential field.
Well. This takes a lot of the sting out of Drew’s departure, doesn’t it? I don’t mind people having religion, I mind when they try to force their beliefs on others…and Drew saying she was in this competition to let people know that Jesus loves them – well, it sort of feels like those guys who come to my door shoving pamphlets in my face, telling me that I’m headed for hell if I don’t accept Jesus into my heart RIGHT NOW.
I appreciate that the producers were on the ball enough to prevent Drew from spouting this crap before now. Let’s hope that Drew gets a recording contract and has to move to a big city where she’ll be exposed to people of different colors, religions, nationalities, and sexualities, where she can learn that not everyone has to be a white, straight Christian who waits to have sex until they’re married and wants 20 kids.
PLEASE DO NOT ASPIRE TO THIS.
With the departure of Astro and Drew, I feel like much of the more unique talent has left this show…I love Rachel, but she’s getting to be a bouncy little puppet – I really hope she gets back to her more serious R&B side soon. Josh is awesome but needs to work on the stage presence. Melanie = boringtown. She’s got a technically great voice – and I think she’s almost definitely going to win this competition – but she’s distant, even cold, in her performances. Chris is cool but weak vocally. Marcus is even more boring than Melanie.
So who would you like to see win…and who do you think WILL?
See you guys next week, when you’ll get a double-dose of me, as I’ll be covering both the performance AND the elimination episodes! Exciting! Catch ya later.
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