'X Factor': Top 5 Take on Two Songs Each, Simon Wants A Nicole Voodoo Doll
With only five contestants left and an hour and a half time slot to fill, each "X Factor" performer sang two songs Wednesday night: one of their own choosing and the second a hit transformed into a dance track.
In true "X Factor" fashion, the show was more about the judges than the contestants. It began as the four sauntered onstage to LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" and continued while Simon spent the entire episode being bitter over Drew's elimination last week. Plus Nicole took time out of judging just to sing the "Grinch" theme song to "X Factor's" own Mr. Grinch.
The first hit-turned-dance number was Melanie Amaro, singing Adele's "Someone Like You" -- although "dance" meant nothing more than a beat behind Melanie's beautiful but standard version of the song. Another week where there was really no point to the theme, as the judges worked their hardest to get around it. The judges were full of compliments when Melanie finished. L.A. Reid told her, "The only thing that bothered me about it is that it was really good," because we all know he hates to give Simon any credit, and Nicole's only complaint was that "it was too short."
Video: Melanie Amaro, "Someone Like You"
Paula, Nicole and L.A. all chose to save Marcus Canty last week, and his latest performance of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" blew them away. Even Simon had good things to say, although he voted to send Marcus home at the last elimination. "I have to to be fair and judge you within the competition," said Simon -- a not-so-subtle jab at Paula's decision to send Drew home last week, a move that many thought was more about Simon and less about the 14-year-old performer. "And I have to say that was a very, very good performance."
Video: Marcus Canty, "Ain't Nobody"
Continuing his refusal to move on, Simon brought up Drew's elimination again as he introduced his next contestant, Rachel Crow, who performed Bruno Mars' "Nothin' On You." Adorable and bubbly as always, the judges all agreed that the pop hit was perfect for Rachel and exactly the type of music she should be singing. Nicole talked about how she can't wait for the Rachel Crow doll to come out, to which Simon (of course) responded that he can't wait for the Nicole voodoo doll. It's strange when the 13-year-old contestant is more mature than the judges, isn't it?
Video: Rachel Crow, "Nothin' On You"
The next performer struggled to step out of his rock and soul genre. Final over-30 contestant Josh Krajick took a stab at Rihanna's "We Found Love" -- a move that didn't really work out. L.A. Reid told Josh, "You always sing good, we know you can sing. In the recording world, I could never see you really doing that song. So I just didn't believe it, I didn't buy it." Simon agreed, saying the song was "completely inappropriate."
Video: Josh Krajcik, "We Found Love"
Chris Rene sang
Melanie's choice was Whitney Houston's "When You Believe," a song which fits perfectly into her style and vocal range. Although because the song was so perfect, L.A. said it was predictable: "Safe, but amazing." Paula gave Melanie the best compliment of all, saying, "When I close my eyes, I hear Whitney, I hear Mariah, I can hear all the greats and it's amazing."
Video: Melanie Amaro, "When You Believe"
After being in the bottom two twice, a lot is riding on Marcus's every note, but his final song for the night was a standard, dry version of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," a performance which Paula and Nicole raved about, but Simon said didn't have him "jumping out of his chair." He continued, "I thought you were much more comfortable on the first song. It was a bit boring."
Video: Marcus Canty, "A Song For You"
Rachel sang Michael Jackson's "Music and Me" (because Fox clearly has a mega-MJ rights deal worked out) and L.A. was most impressed that she had selected the song for herself. "I really love how you see yourself," he said. "Your vision is inspiring." Both of her performances were equally great, and the judges raved.
Video: Rachel Crow, "Music and Me"
Josh returned to what works for him with a raw, powerful cut of the Beatles' "Something," to which L.A. responded, "Thank God you had a second song today, because that is the Josh I love." Nicole praised her only remaining contestant, saying that Josh is "the male Adele" because he has "the Krajcik Magic." (Can we all cross our fingers and hope that, somehow, she becomes his publicist?)
Video: Josh Krajcik, "Something"
Chris Rene has the final word last night, singing an original song, complete with previously-unknown guitar skills. As is always the case with Chris, his original music helped him strike gold, and the judges overwhelmed with praise. "The sky's the limit with you baby, that was amazing," complimented Nicole. Simon dragged his critique out, debating whether Chris's decision to sing an original track was "stupid" or "genius," finally landing on, "that was a stroke of genius."
Video: Chris Rene, "Where Do We Go From Here"
Tonight's elimination, airing at 8 p.m. EST of Fox, episode will send four contestants on to semi-finals, and one contestant packing. Who do you think had the best performance last night and who should be going home today? Sound off in the comments below!