November 10, 2011 7:00am PT by Shirley Halperin
'X Factor': How Astro Got Eminem’s Permission to Alter His Song, Plus 9 More Burning Questions Answered
It was a night of bold fashions, jacked up judges and songs that had never been performed on a television singing show before -- one of which required explicit permission from the actual artist. As for these 11 future stars, they’re starting to settle into their individual stage personas as we continue to learn what makes then tick. This week, more answers and background to X Factor favorites.
What’s the story behind Chris Rene’s lyric change from “Gangsta’s Paradise” to “Pastime Paradise?” Ever the self-marketer, Rene promises all will be revealed in his forthcoming book, but he attempted to explain after the show: “Trials and tribulations, life and death, like there are two different kinds of people in every person. There's the one that makes mistakes and the one that succeeds. I was the person who made mistakes for a long time, now I'm the person who's working on making things happen and succeeding. This song really came true. It's like Discovery Channel but I'm the narrator of my story.”
Did Astro have to get Eminem’s permission to perform the hit “Lose Yourself?”In a word, yes, especially because the 15-year-old Brooklynite was also messing with the lyrics. “It's the first time he ever let anybody on a show sing and remix his song,” said Astro. “L.A. [Reid] called Eminem’s manager who told us yes.” As it turns out, the Grammy-winning rapper has been keeping an eye on the future star. “The manager said that [Eminem]’s been watching me and enjoys that I'm doing rap on the show. That was awesome.”
Will LeRoy Bell ever have dancers during one of his performances? “I don't know that I need dancers,” says the soft-spoken 60-year-old who delivered a strong rendition of U2’s "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.” “I think it would just take away from it. For someone that actually moves and dances, it's great. But I don't dance. It would just make me look funny.” As for that confidence problem? No more, he says. “I moved past it by combination of having the right song and not worrying so much about the lyrics and stage and all that stuff. I thought, ‘I’m gonna have a good time it's my concert.”
After closing out the show last week, how did Stacy Francis feel about being the first one up on movie night? “In all fairness I probably had to go first because I was last last week,” she said after the show. “I'm just hoping people will remember it.” It was THR who taught Francis about the “pimp spot,” and on Wednesday, she used her new vocabulary word in a sentence. “Rachel Crow had the pimp spot and she killed it,” said Francis. “Everybody did phenomenal. It’s a pretty tight competition.”
Was Marcus Canty sick during the performance show? Technically, yes. “I went to the doctor on Tuesday because my throat was hurting really bad during rehearsal,” says the 20-year-old Bowie, Maryland native. “He told me that I had laryngitis and tonsillitis -- both of them! I’m on antibiotics and I was just giving everything I got. The show must go on.”
Did stylist June Ambrose consider discouraging Drew Ryniewicz from wearing her own creation? Not even for a second. “Drew is a young girl and young girls dream,” Ambrose told THR. “It's my job to help them super-exceed their vision for their artistic personas. And as whimsical and crazy as it was, I think Drew had a good time playing with it tonight. The worst thing would be that no one's talking about it, the great thing is that people are talking about it.” But are people talking about her performance of Coldplay's "Fix You" or was it completely overshadowed? We'll know the answer to that soon enough.
Will Drew Ryniewicz ever wear shoes onstage? “I might pull out some shoes later on in the competition,” the 14-year-old frontrunner says in all seriousness. “I gotta do it slowly because I don't want my fans to be, like, who's that girl? What's with the shoes, what?!”
Did last week’s comments about their prom-ready dresses prompt Lakoda Rayne to strip away all color? Pretty much, but it was also about personality. “We went for western Ralph Lauren couture feel,” Dani Knight explained. “We wanted to represent each and every one of us as individuals and being our own personality but still connect us in a group. We toned it down a bit but this is our comfort zone; it's exactly who we are.”
Will Josh Krajcik ever get to play a guitar on the show? “I don't know,” mused the 30-year-old Ohioan, who has a reputation for being a skilled player. “I'm always asking. At the same time, it's nice to not have that kind of crutch and to connect with a song with an audience.”
Which of the Stereo Hogzz cried most after last week’s near elimination? That would be Trae Badd, who is sometimes called “Cry Baby Badd,” according to his groupmates. “It was our first time on the show experiencing some type of rejection or loss so it was more of a reality check,” he defended, adding that the Jack and Jill premiere brought everybody's spirits back up. Said Trae: “It was, like, this is what we're here for, this is why they kept us around, so we just kept our heads help up high and I'm grateful to still be here.”