Okay, I'm throught with all of my rants. Tonight's episode was decent but all of the giving thanks themed music was a little over dramatic. But we'll try to weed out the worst of the night! Here we go.
- Josh Krajcik - "Wild Horses" - All of my complaining throughout the night of awkward contestant moments ended when Josh came on stage for the finale. No elaborate production. Just him, his piano and his moving message for his daughter. At this moment, I started to believe that this competition is his to lose. I've always liked the guy since the first moment we met him and his mother. And just hearing him take on a song with the piano (nice chops there also btw. And have we seen anyone else play an instrument yet?) I could tell that this guy is a musician, an artist and a real find. I'll be rooting for him from here on out.
- Melanie Amaro - "The World's Greatest" - I may have been rooting for Melanie too, but she totally killed me after her performance with her unstoppable rant about how this is the greatest thing to ever happen to her. Again, people may have thought this was touching, but I saw it as full-on Diva and inappropriate. Yet, the judges encouraged this behavior by giving her a standing ovation. It was so uncomfortable to watch!! That being said, you can't discount her performance for it. She is an outstanding singer and she took the audience to church! I have to say though, singing an R. Kelly song and declaring yourself the World's Greatest over and over again doesn't seem much like giving thanks. But whatever. She rocked! Just please Melanie, don't get weird again!
- Rachel Crow - "Believe" - This girl is cute as a button. No getting around that! From what I can hear, she was singing very well. But this again is the problem with the show and their stage production. It is way too elaborate. All of the gospel choir singers drowned out Rachel, and they didn't have her mic turned up enough. You could just barely hear it over the loud loud music and choir. How are we supposed to judge a contestant based on this? She's good though and people like her. We'll see.
- Chris Rene - "Let it Be" mashed with his original "Young Homey" - It figures that Chris has to break out his original audition piece to be relevant again. He even acknowledged that his fans probably know the words to it before he broke out into it (except his mentor L.A. Reid who got caught flubbing the words. Classic.). I agree with Simon that "Let It Be" didn't really work. And basically, any song EXCEPT "Young Homey" doesn't work for him. He has his one hit and that might be all there is to him. Or maybe he needs to do more originals if he has them. Hey, if Astro can make up his lyrics every week, why not Chris too? He'll probably get by on re-singing this song and his emotional backstory that was highlighted once again this week.
- LeRoy Bell - "Angel" - Say what you want of the Sarah McLachlan song, but it is a beautiful tune and very fitting for LeRoy to dedicate it to his mother who passed away a couple of years ago. I thought he actually did pretty well on it. Well enough to stay in the competition? I think so. There are some worse contestants that need to be dealt with. Not that LeRoy is bad, I just think we all have counted him out of winning for a few weeks now. But, I'm happy to hear him sing as long as he's still here.
- Astro - "Show Me What You Got" (with Original Lyrics) I think we all kind of figured that Astro's "package" tonight would be all about being humble, apologizing to the viewers/fans and thanking his own fans for their support. As these shows always do, I believe they successfully spun it all around. He is just a kid and dealing with this kind of competition is probably tough for him to handle. But, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from last week. And his forced smiles were a bit ridiculous! You could almost hear the producers telling him to smile as much as he can when he's out there. I thought it was also a little weird to have the parents defending his actions just because he's their son. Of course, their parental guidance is probably what made him act that way in the first place so it shouldn't be too shocking. If Astro had a lot of fans, then his performance was probably enough to keep them voting (and a few fans who never voted will probably vote now). I thought that compared to his other performances, this one lacked a bit. But it probably did the job. Simon's defense of Astro after his own almost dismissal last week will probably go a long way as well. But, for now, little Kanye West still has lost my support.
- Drew Ryniewicz - "Skyscraper" - I'm actually so glad that Simon put L.A. Reid in his place on this one. Well, Paula did too. Once he said that the song was written for a 40 year old, how much crow do you think he had to eat when he found out that it's a hit song from recently former Disney star Demi Lovato? I try to stay up with current music as much as I can, so I knew that. But come on. L.A. Reid!?!?! You're a record producer dude! How can you not know what's currently selling? Drew did well on the song as she always does, but there were some awkward moments in there. And I know part of her charm is to crackle and not always hit the notes dead on. But some of those bad notes seemed a bit unintentional. It won't drive away her voters though. Plus, she showed a little more pizazz out there than her usual droll song choices. (Even though, yes, this song is still in her wheelhouse) She'll be fine.
- Marcus Canty - "A Song for Mama" - Talk about predictability. The minute we knew this night's theme, my wife and I already knew that someone would be singing this Boys II Men tune. And how fitting that emotional Marcus would do it? This was another moment of awkwardness for me. Too much focus on his mother before, during and after the performance. Actually, after the song was over, I saw it in his eyes. And I just blurted out, "Don't you dare go over and do the cliche' 'Hug Your Mother after the performance!'" But there he went. And then it made Nicole an emotional mess so she had to get in on the hugging too. REALLY!?!?!? What is this show turning into!? Meanwhile, Robot Host dude is getting antsy to move the show along. Then each judge had to address Marcus's mother too. Come. Ooooon!!!! Ugh. Just painful television to watch folks. Oh, and the worst part? He sang AWFULLY!!!!! I don't know what people in the crowd were hearing. Maybe they were just bawling uncontrollably at the love between Marcus and Mama and not paying attention. There were so many bad notes in that performance that it was cringe-worthy. Will it be enough for Marcus to end up in the bottom 2? Ugh, I dunno. But it was bad, folks! Real bad.
- Lakoda Rayne - "You Belong With Me" - Why? Taylor Swift? Why?!!?! What does this song have to do with "giving thanks" or "inspiration" or whatever!? I don't get it. If that wasn't enough, it was just awkward to listen to as well. You can tell why these girls didn't make it on their own when they auditioned, their solo voices are not that great and it's pretty painful to listen to. Harmonies? Very nice. Solo? Not so nice. Overall performance? Eh. These girls are not going to win. And yes, I feel bad that Paula will have lost all her groups but I just don't think the groups really resonated with the American audience this time around. And maybe part of it had to do with the X-Factor production team CREATING 2 of the groups. I have to think this crew is on the chopping block. Then again, we are losing 2 contestants tonight so it could be interesting to see what happens here.
Okay so 2 are going home and I think I fell asleep when Robot Host (seriously forget his name. Chris??) explained what's going on. But I think they said that the bottom vote getter IS going home and then the 2nd and 3rd bottom vote getters will face off. So let's see how that works out.
Bottom 3: Lakoda Rayne, LeRoy Bell, Marcus Canty Wildcard: Astro
Picks: Lakoda Rayne, LeRoy Bell
I think Lakoda Rayne will definitely be going home tonight. But it'll be a little foggy who is going to face off. I think LeRoy will definitely be one of them, but who will he face off against? Will people be in the same boat as me with Astro and note vote for him forcing him to face off one more time? It could be fun for the show's sake to put him there again and see how he acts. But Marcus was so unbelievably bad, that I have to believe other people out there agree. I can't see any of the big 4 being there yet (Drew, Melanie, Rachel, Josh) so then that leaves Chris as another candidate which isn't unrealistic I guess. I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out. But I've made my picks and we'll see if it's right!
That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings, Happy Thanksgiving and see you next week!