Simon's girls are all still safe, but for the first time this week, it wasn't Paula's groups landing in the bottom two on "The X Factor." Over 30s contestant Stacy Francis and boys performer Astro received the least of America's votes and last night had to perform survival songs for the judges to see who would be safe and who would be sent home.
Before judging, all ten contestants came together for a cliché performance of Queen's "We Will Rock You," celebrating the week's rock theme. 60-year-old LeRoy Bell forgot his part again, but at least this time his vocal track didn't start without him. Maybe the group numbers are actually live now?
Video: The "X Factor" Top 10, "We Will Rock You"
Following the group performance and the look back at Wednesday night's performances, Barbadian pop star ( and former "X Factor" guest judge) Rihanna took the stage to perform her hit single "We Found Love," amidst dozens of grunged-out back-up dancers. Host Steve Jones awkwardly made conversation with the out-of-breath singer after her performance, but she was quickly moved off the stage so that the votes could be announced.
Video: Rihanna performs "We Found Love" on "X Factor"
All of Simon's girls, Drew, Melanie Amaro and Rachel Crow, were safe from elimination, along with Paula's only remaining group Lakoda Rayne, who were in the bottom last week. Two of L.A.'s boys, Marcus Canty and Chris Rene, will continue on to next week, as will Nicole's over 30s contestants Josh Krajcik and LeRoy Bell.
42-year-old Stacy Francis and 15-year-old rapper Astro found themselves in the bottom two, preparing to sing their survival songs for the judges with the hope of making it through the week.
A teary-eyed Nicole's voice cracked as she introduced her contestant, Stacy Francis, whose survival song was "Amazing Grace." It was good but not great, and was not much different from her past few performances, which the judges had begun to have problems with -- specifically Paula, who has noted issues with Stacy's pitch.
Video: Stacy Francis, "Amazing Grace"
When it was Astro's turn to perform, the young rapper's music didn't start as he stomped on stage, saying to L.A. Reid, "I really don't want to perform. I feel like it's unnecessary, but I'm going to leave it up to you, you're my mentor, do you think I should perform?" To which L.A. obviously said yes. When he asked the audience, "Do you all think I should perform?" they too cheered in favor. The whole thing was reminiscent of boot camp, when the young performer refused to dance. Despite his best attempts at making a scene, it didn't take much to convince him to sing, and so he started into his survival rap, sampling the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye."
Video: Astro, "Never Can Say Goodbye"
With just five minutes left in the show, Steve Jones rushed to get the judges' decisions. L.A. said, "Stacy you did a really good job. Astro I thought you came out and you acted a little bit like a quitter and it upset me," though he ultimately stuck with his contestant and voted to send Stacy home. Nicole also voted to keep her own contestant, sending Astro home, to which the rapper responded by rolling his eyes, sighing and crossing his arms -- in true teenager fashion. Paula chose to eliminate Stacy, making Simon the deciding vote. But before he could make a decision, he (of course) had to voice his opinion on Astro's attitude.
"I don't like your attitude right now. So do me a favor: stop folding your arms, look at me and think about your mum watching this show, because you are showing disrespect to your mum you're showing disrespect to the audience at home and I don't like…" said Simon before Astro cut him off.
Astro interrupted, "I just feel like if you're going to put me in the bottom two I don't want to perform for people who don't want me here."
But that didn't fly with Simon, who ended the conversation with, "Astro, part of doing this is being a grown up and you know what the rules are." But ultimately, Simon voted "based on who (he) believes has got the best chance of winning," and he sent Stacy home.
With only nine contestants remaining from the 150-plus who made it through auditions, the competition is getting stiff. Next week, because of Thanksgiving, "X Factor" will be off-schedule, airing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Do you agree with the judges' decision? Were you surprised to see Astro and Stacy in the bottom two? Voice your opinions in the comments below!