12:48am PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor' Burning Questions: Where Did Marcus Canty Learn To Back Flip? How Did Rachel Crow Really Feel About Her Song?
The Final 7 paid tribute to Michael Jackson with their performances on Wednesday’s episode of The X Factor. The artists also experienced the rarity, the honor, and the nervousness of performing the King of Pop’s songs in front of his family. Katherine Jackson and her sons Jackie, Tito and Marlon escorted Michael’s children Paris, Prince and Blanket to the evening dedicated to their late father.
So, how did the acts handle the big night with another double elimination looming on Thursday’s results show? Here are some of your burning questions answered.
Already nervous about being outside of his comfort zone, how did performing first make Josh Krajcik feel? “It was a little more stressful,” the Ohio native tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I was surprised by that. Suddenly, it was like, ‘Oh, s--t. I don’t have anymore time.' So, it was little more rush, rush and I don’t like to rush. I’m a slow kind of guy, so, yeah, there was a little more added pressure there. But, I think it went pretty well.”
Where did Marcus Canty learn how to do a back flip? “I’ve always been able to do a back flip,” he says. “The funny thing is I don’t tell anyone this, but I took gymnastics when I was 10. That’s when I learned how to tumble a little bit. But when I got older, I played basketball and I found that I could jump a little higher than the rest. So, the back flip just kind of came back. I was kind of hiding it inside, because I didn’t want to show it too soon. I feel like me being in the bottom three last week I had to pull out all the stops.
Was L.A. Reid right? Was Rachel Crow not exactly feeling her song, “Can You Feel It”? “Yeah, kind of,” she says with some hesitation after THR asked if she liked the song. “Simon picked it for me. I wanted to do a different one, but unfortunately they changed it last minute. So, I was a little taken aback.”
Was Drew Ryniewicz’s song a nod to American Idol alum David Cook or Chris Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean”? “The inspiration actually came from Chris Cornell,” Drew, 14, says. That’s probably the most correct answer as Cook’s version was also a rendition of Cornell’s take on the Iconic Michael Jackson hit. “I tried not to do all the same vocals as him just because I’m the girl who sang ‘Baby’ and did that all on my own,” Drew further explains. “I honestly don’t like using other people’s versions. I tried my best not to sound like his version, because I don’t want to be compared to anybody.”
Why didn’t Chris Rene perform the Jackson 5 hit written by his grandfather, “Rockin’ Robin”? “We thought about it, but then we decided this song was a better song for me,” Rene tells THR. “This had a Lauryn Hill vibe to it and I could perform it my way. It’s more of a song I’d probably put on my album.”
Was Astro nervous about performing his very different rap version of “Black Or White” in front of the Jackson family? “No, not really,” the young M.C. says. “I just went out there and had fun. It was great performing in front of his family, but I wasn’t too nervous. It was just a night to have fun, which is why I was out there smiling and stuff. I just enjoyed the performance and I got great responses from the family, the judges and all of you.”
What kind of response did Melanie Amaro get from her fans in the British Virgin Islands after revealing she hid her accent up until last week? “They were like, ‘You shouldn’t have been hiding it in the first place. From the beginning of the show, you should have been talking with the accent.’ And I know and I’m ashamed of it,” Amaro, 19, says. “It’s my fault for hiding it in the first place and I will never do it again.”
What’s the deal with Astro’s glasses? The Brooklyn kid often appears on stage without them, so THR had to ask. “I just feel like the glasses are a statement,” Astro explains. “They just give that flair to the outfit and stuff. I just wear them to wear them. They’re not prescribed or anything.”
Marcus showed off the guns this week, but would he ever go shirtless? “Showing my arms was a risk,” Marcus, 20, says. “I don’t really do that on stage. And by the way, I’m not taking my shirt off on stage. The guns are as far as you’re getting. I don’t feel like to sell records or to sell out a show that I need to expose my whole body, because people think it’s sexy. I think that I have a voice and I have entertainment to do and it doesn’t entail me to take off my shirt. It kind of downplays me a little bit. There are a lot of people out there taking their shirts off. I like the ladies to be wondering what’s underneath, not already know.”
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro