Plus Performances By Kelly Clarkson & Bruno Mars
It was a very unhappy Thanksgiving in the "X Factor" studio last night, as not one but two acts were sent home and another only made it after singing for his survival.
But before eliminations began, the original "American Idol," Kelly Clarkson performed her new single "Stronger," further blurring the lines between "X Factor" and "American Idol" and proving that there really is no need for both shows.
Video: Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger"
The recaps of Tuesday night's episode included extended bickering from Simon and L.A. over Drew's critique, with the two record execs standing face-to-face and L.A. demanding that Simon turn the cameras off. (And with a few words from the all-powerful judge, the footage stopped.)
This week's Pepsi-sponsored group performance was designed by fans online and consisted of a rotating turntable set, circus wardrobe, hip-hop choreography and a laser light show for Pink's "Raise Your Glass" and "So What." It was reminiscent of a 2005 Panic! at the Disco show, and overall just disturbing. Pepsi should really stop letting America design the group performances.
Video: Group performance, "Raise Your Glass/So What"
As soon as the group song was over, host Steve Jones gathered the contestants onstage for the first elimination of the night. He pulled girl group Lakoda Rayne and Drew to the center of the stage, saying that one of them would be safe, while the other received the least of America's votes and would therefore automatically be sent home. The act sent home was -- not at all surprisingly -- Lakoda Rayne, who sang for their survival just two weeks ago, although they evaded the bottom two last week.
After a quick look back at the girls' best moments -- and an awkward plug by Howie Mandel for his new Fox show "Mobbed" -- Bruno Mars took the stage to perform his latest single, "It Will Rain," from the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" soundtrack.
Video: Bruno Mars, "It Will Rain"
Contestants were sent to the next round one-by-one, with Marcus Canty and LeRoy Bell landing in the bottom two -- forced to sing for survival and mercy from the judges. Marcus was the first to perform, singing Christina Aguilera's "You Lost Me." LeRoy followed with the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down." As has been the trend for survival songs, neither performance was the contestant's best.
Video: Marcus Canty, "You Lost Me"
As usual, the judges were left with only five minutes to make their decisions, host Steve Jones harping on them to speed up their comments and just give him a name. Said L.A. Reid, "If I judge it based on consistency, then obviously, you know Marcus you've been consistent along the way. But if I judge it based on sizzle, you know LeRoy your sizzle factor is unbelievable. People really love you." Apparently sizzle wasn't enough, as L.A. chose to send LeRoy home.
Video: LeRoy Bell, "Don't Let Me Down"
Nicole saved her own mentee, sending home Marcus. Paula also voted to eliminate Marcus, although she said to the singers, "I think that both of you are going to go on to have major record deals and sell lots of albums." Simon was torn, because Marcus is "nudging ahead of LeRoy" overall, but LeRoy sang "better tonight." In the end, he decided to let the public decide, creating a deadlock by voting to eliminate LeRoy.
The contestant with the least number of America's votes was LeRoy, and he went home graciously, but not before Nicole snatched the mic out of Steve's hand (you go girl!) to say how amazing LeRoy is and ask the audience for a final round of applause.
With seven contestants left, there are no more of Paula's groups and only one of Nicole's over 30 contestants, while all three of Simon's girls and all of L.A.'s boys are still in the competition. The "X Factor" schedule returns to normal next week, with a new episode airing at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30 on Fox. Once again, two contestants will be eliminated next week.
Did you agree with the decisions? Who did you want to see go home? Let us know in the comments below!