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One would think that a Michael Jackson-themed week would be a slam dunk for The X Factor, with such a wide availability of already proven hits. Instead, what viewers got was a mixed bag of performances resulting from lack of confidence, overconfidence for some and just plain bad renditions for others. In many ways, The X Factor’s inability to live up to the King of Pop is a tribute in itself. But in a double elimination week, the last thing you want to do is fail to sell the audience on your performance.
PHOTOS: ‘X Factor’ Behind the Scenes: The Top 11 Work Out the Week’s Performances
The people moving on to the final five in the order host Steve Jones calls them are:
Chris Rene — America apparently appreciated his Fugees-style take on “I’ll Be There.” The song has been performed by much more talented singers than Chris, but they did a good job of highlighting what he calls his “ringing” or rapping-singing.
Melanie Amaro — She can sing the phonebook, yada, yada. But, I would have liked to hear her sing something other than Jackson’s “Earth Song,” which hardly fulfilled on the promise of her take no prisoners dominatrix-like costume from the performance.
Rachel Crow — I still really like her, though she had a tough night of it. It was obvious that she wasn’t in love with the song choice. Judge Simon Cowell has been a bit off for a while when it comes to song choice, and his girls have been riding on their popularity. But how long can that last?
Josh Krajcik — He has been the most consistent performer this season. But his song from last night legitimately made him nervous, which made for an uncharacteristically safe performance.
PHOTOS: Get to Know ‘X Factor’s’ Top 17 Finalists
At this point, it’s time to find out who which two performers are leaving and who will join the top 5. In the case of these double eliminations, the singer with the least amount of votes goes straight home. And that person is…
Astro — The young M.C., who has garnered both good and bad attention for his very cocky personality, should get some props for getting this far in a singing competition. Last night’s performance was definitely at the high level in which we’re used to from the performer. But, the rap remake of “Black or White” may have robbed some of the Michael magic from the song.
That leaves two artists to fight it out for the last position in the Top 5: Marcus Canty and Drew Ryniewicz.
Marcus may have traded voice proficiency for a fast-paced, highly choreographed performance that included a back flip. But this is a singing competition, and America may have wanted his voice more on point. Meanwhile, Drew has suffered under Simon’s recent bout with bad song choices and his insistence that she make every performance a ballad. And Thursday’s “tribute” to Jackson in which she never stood up from her chair may have irked some fans who couldn’t imagine him ever staying put like that during an entire performance.
Both have to perform a survival song in order to win the judges’ safe votes. An emotional Drew does Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart.” And Marcus goes with Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Neither One of Us.” Hands down, Drew sang her survival song better than Marcus. But there are other things at play here between the judges.
EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Inside Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor’ Trailer
With the fate of the two singers in their hands, the judges’ vote for whom they’re sending home:
L.A. Reid — Drew
Simon Cowell — Marcus
Nicole Scherzinger — Drew
Paula Abdul — Drew
And that’s it — Simon’s pout in full force. Drew, whose talent had made her a front-runner in the competition early on, has to beat it alongside fellow teen Astro. Did you agree with the double elimination? Tell us in the comments section below.
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