X Factor USA 1.16 – Top 10 Results

Not so fastAre you ready for some outrageous drama? A shock elimination? A rogue contestant refusing to perform? Hold on to your attractive headgear, because you get all this and more, tonight on X Factor USA. 

It’s time for our surviving contestants to move into the single digits. But before we get to the eliminations, we have to live through the Group Sing. What better song to represent Rock Week than We Will Rock You by Queen? Everyone gets to get their glam on, singing and stomping, doing relatively well – right up until LeRoy Bell misses his cue…AGAIN. Because they are no longer lip-syncing due to LeRoy missing his cue the first time, now there’s just vast dead air until LeRoy realizes oh, he’s supposed to be singing, and gets in the last couple of words. Dear lord.

When that’s over with, there’s no more delaying it. Time to get on with the eliminations. Amidst much screaming and tension, Steve reveals the first act (in no particular order, mofos) that is being sent through to next week: LeRoy Bell. I’m rather stunned, because he was my number two pick to go home, after Lakoda Rayne. And he wasn’t even in the bottom two! Fair enough, on to the next act through. Drum roll…it’s…Lakoda Rayne. Okay, WHAT? They weren’t even in the bottom two either! This is why I’m not a bookie in Vegas, yo. Simon looks as shocked as I feel, saying with almost entirely a straight face, “I’m absolutely thrilled” they made it through. Ha! Paula is honestly thrilled and leaps up to hug them, exposing her uncomfortably strange cleavage. But that’s neither here nor there.

These two acts had some of the  weakest performances last night IMO, but at this stage performances aren’t the be-all and end-all; fan bases, Vote For the Worst (more about them later), and the whims of a fickle American public all play a part in the results. So now that they’re safe, the five million dollar question becomes…which other two acts aren’t  safe? DUN DUN DUN.

But first, a shameless plug for some camera that all the contestants get for free, along with some glamour shots of each of them. And then a shameless plug for guest act Rihanna. And then Rihanna performs. I’m going out on a limb and saying she totally lip-syncs, especially seeing how raw her voice is when she finishes and has a chat with Steve Jones. But I’m not here to judge Rihanna. I’m here to judge the American public’s potentially bad taste. Yay!

Steve gets on with the eliminations after many, many more commercials. As the remaining finalists file in, they’re serenaded with the music from The Omen and then a trumpet flourish like they use to announce the queen has arrived. Hee. Anyway, who’s been voted through to next week? That would be Chris Rene. Then Melanie Amaro. Then Josh Kracjik. Then Marcus Canty. Slowly but surely, Drew, Stacy, and Rachel start to cry. Aw, man.

Next to go through: Drew. That leaves, remarkably, Rachel Crow, Stacy Francis, and Astro. Bedlam ensues, with the audience screaming their indignation. The last act going through? Rachel Crow. Squee! Even though it was fake drama, that was too close for comfort for me and Rachel.

And that means our bottom two are Stacy and Astro. I don’t even. Stacy had an off night last night, granted, but she gave some awfully strong performances before that. And Astro was my favourite performance of the night! Whether it’s because he’s a hip-hop artist, he’s young and arrogant, or whatever else, I can’t say. I try to keep myself fairly insulated from the what other people are saying about the contestants, but I did find out tonight that Astro was the pick for Vote For the Worst, so there you go. The judges and I think he’s fantastic, but we may be a lonely island in the middle of an ocean of negative public perception. What do you think, Wilson Volleyball? Wilson agrees with me.  I’m a 40-something white Canadian woman. Don’t trust my taste in rappers if you know what’s good for you.

Now they have to sing for their lives. Stacy goes first, singing Amazing Grace. (Which BTW I mentioned by name in my recap of last night’s show. I may suck at predicting eliminations, but I’ve got a special touch naming random songs that will be used on the show. Yay?) She’s obviously overwhelmed; she couldn’t even speak when Steve asked her how she was doing before. But she forges ahead, giving us at least some of the powerful singing we saw earlier in the competition. I think she’s as relieved as we are when she’s done.

Next comes Astro. Instead of singing, he sullenly asks LA, then the audience, if he should even bother singing. They clap uncertainly, which is enough for him to launch into the most half-hearted version of Never Can Say Goodbye you’ve ever heard. He’s like a deflated balloon compared to last night, if the balloon was angry and emo, ending with a terse “I’m out”. It’s up to the judges now who is going home and who gets another chance.

LA gives Astro hell for his poor attitude, saying he’s acting like a quitter. Perhaps against his better judgement, LA tells Stacy he’s sending her home. No surprise there. Nicole of course sends Astro home. No surprise there, either. Paula lectures Astro on how important gratitude is. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” I agree with her, especially seeing how eager and go-get-’em Astro was right up until this moment. Even so, she votes to send Stacy home. That leaves Simon. He tells Astro he doesn’t like his attitude, which makes the audience cheer – eek. He makes him unfold his arms and tells him he’s disrespecting his mama. Astro shoots back, “Not really, but if you’re gonna put me in the bottom two, I don’t want to perform for people who don’t want me here.” Ouch! Astro is turning into a train wreck before our eyes. The audience boos him. And suddenly he’s not the cocky rapper Astro, he’s 14 year old Brian Bradley, and he starts to silently cry as the audience shouts for Simon to choose Stacy. Good lord, it’s like the gladiators in ancient Rome. Simon says that based on who he thinks can win, and definitely against his better judgement, he’s sending Stacy home.

Simon does this to everyone

The audience storms the stage and beats Simon senseless. Okay, no they don’t. They boo some more, and then Stacy gets a chance to thank the judges for the opportunity like the gracious loser she is. Well, she’s still pissed they picked Astroboy over her, but you know what I mean. I understand why Simon did what he did, but does he really think Astro can win after the display he put on tonight? Based on my bold predictions for this elimination, I’m not even going to hazard a guess as to what that answer may actually be.

Now, where’s my flask? Because after that, I bloody well need a drink.