The winner of tonight’s “They’re Not Going Home, So I Feel Confident Using a Picture of Them With My Recap Without Being Accused of Spoiling Anything” prize goes to… Burrito Josh!
Congratulations, Burrito Josh, for giving the only actual “rock” performance on Wednesday night’s “The X Factor.” For that, and previous achievements, I’m just assuming that Burrito Josh will be sticking around for another week.
As for the rest of Thursday’s results (and a performance by Rihanna), click through…
8:01 p.m. ET We’re live for tonight’s Group Sing! You know how I know that? Because LeRoy Bell forgot when it was his turn to sing. I’d previously been suspicious, because Stacy Francis wasn’t wildly out of tune on her first line.
8:02 p.m. The standouts on “We Will Rock You” are Astro and Chris Rene for performance and Lakoda Rayne for nearly-time-to-go-home hotness. Otherwise, I’m still having seizures from the lighting.
8:04 p.m. “We’re all very excited,” Steve Jones says of the upcoming Rihanna performance.
8:04 p.m. Simon singles out Burrito Josh and Astro as the two best performers from last night who aren’t on Team Simon. That part is true. Simon also agrees with Steve’s assessment that Wednesday rocked. That part isn’t true.
8:06 p.m. It’s not like we’re trying to be cruel in saying that Stacy Francis was brutal last night. But it would be easier to respect her if she were capable of saying, “Yeah, that wasn’t my best performance” rather than being surly and hostile.
8:08 p.m. “Hugely entertaining,” Steve says after last night’s recap.
8:08 p.m. “I think Lakoda Rayne did just enough,” Paula says, saying she feels confident tonight.
8:09 p.m. They’re starting the reveal of the results early this week. In no particular order, we’re about to learn the first two acts through tonight. Somebody at FOX noticed that if you have a reality results show in which no results are given until well into the last half-hour, sometimes viewers have no reason to tune in until way into the last half-hour. The first person in our Top 9 is LeRoy Bell, who I keep underestimating. And the second act through is… Lakoda Rayne. It’s a stunner! One of Paula’s groups survived!
8:11 p.m. Steve Jones can say “in no particular order” all he wants, but that’s a wee bit o’ BS. It wasn’t random or coincidental that Lakoda Rayne was one of the first two groups sent to safety. Now, Thursday has become Anything Can Happen Night. Or at least it’s setting itself up as The Night We Send Stacy Francis Home.
8:15 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday next week, Kids.
8:15 p.m. “Oh, I told you so,” Paula says, when asked what’s going through her mind.
8:15 p.m. This week’s “X Factor” Perk — it’s like they’re on Klout — is a photo shoot with a professional photographer. But really, it’s a commercial for a Sony camera! Why are none of these photos available on the press site, FOX? Yes. It’s a great camera. “Then the photographer gave us all a Sony camera,” says an incredulous Chris Rene. Marcus is agog that he can swap out the lenses on his camera! And Marcus is a camera hog!
8:18 p.m. Bring on Rihanna! I think the theme of this performance is that Rihanna’s a prostitute in ’80s Manhattan and… um… something. But seriously, the garters under the torn jeans. That’s a look, y’all. And it’s a look that very few people other than Rihanna could pull off. This performance is kinda like “Rent” meets “Showgirls.” Apparently it’s about finding love in a hopeless place. I get that much. I also get that Rihanna’s tartan bra probably represents the region of Scotland that her family hails from.
8:22 p.m. Steve Jones cops a feel. “It’s my pleased. ‘The X Factor’ is pretty big,” Rihanna says of coming back to the LA just for this performance. “Most importantly, you have to love what you do. If you do, it’s a waste of time.” she says. “You glorious, glorious lady,” Steve says.
8:28 p.m. Who’s gonna join LeRoy and Lakoda in the Top 9?
8:29 p.m. Oh come on. Must we reintroduce the contestants AGAIN? With “Carmina Burana”?
8:30 p.m. Really? Steve Jones just repeated something he repeated ONE minute ago.
8:30 p.m. Next to our Top 9 is… Chris Rene. I’m not surprised, but Chris was pretty weak last night. Next in the Top 9… Melanie Amaro. Makes sense. Next through? Burrito Josh. Woo! Then… Marcus Canty. At this point, Simon Cowell is starting to freak out.
8:37 p.m. The next act through is… Drew. Why did you want to make Drew cry, America? That leaves Rachel Crow, Astro and Stacy waiting for results.
8:38 p.m. Now Steve Jones is playing Ryan Seacrest, reading Stacy, Astro and Rachel’s reviews back to them. There’s really only one acceptable result here, kids. Rachel Crow is safe. Poor Rachel’s just bawling.
8:39 p.m. So it’s down to Stacy Francis and Astro. Stacy can’t even speak. How is she going to be able to sing? “Yo. Yo. Yo. Don’t be sad. Hip-hop made it this far!” Astro assures his fans. Why are we bothering. Stacy’s done and that’s the way it should be. But I guess we’ll get to enjoy an Astro performance, so that’s something.
8:43 p.m. So yeah, one of these Bottom Two choices is interesting and the other isn’t. Stacy’s here because she deserves to be. Astro is presumably here because reality TV viewers don’t necessarily know how to process an artist like Astro and he doesn’t have the established voting block already mobilized. Maybe this will help? Because this is ridiculous.
8:45 p.m. First to sing for her life is Stacy Francis. She’s doing “Amazing Grace” and she doesn’t seem to be able to hear the backing track. At least not initially. She finally settles in, for the most part. By the end, she’s bellowing with all of her formidable powers. It’s a bit nasally in places, but I’ll attribute that to terror and nervousness. That was much better than last night.
8:48 p.m. Time for Astro, who asks L.A. Reid if he should perform, saying he doesn’t think it’s necessary. It’s all theater, though Astro’s energy level is a little low tonight. At least for the first verse. When he gets to rapping about the judges, I have a big smile on my face. I kinda wish he had a big smile on his face. I hope “Never Can Say Good-Bye” doesn’t end up being ironic as a backing choice.
8:55 p.m. Yikes. Was that not a part of Astro’s performance? L.A. Reid seems to think it was a sign of bad attitude, but he reluctantly votes to send Stacy Francis home. Nicole hems and haws, but she stands by her girl. Paula tells both performers to walk with more gratitude and she votes to send Stacy home. There’s a lot of booing from the crowd. It’s up to Simon now and he begins by telling Astro that he doesn’t like his attitude, telling him to think about his mom watching at home. “No disrespect to you or this show. If you’re gonna put me in the Bottom Two, I don’t want to perform for people who don’t want me here,” Astro says, crying. Wow. He really WAS being a brat, wasn’t he? This is ugly. Simon demands better behavior from Astro next time. Simon isn’t happy with the vote, but he votes to send Stacy home.
8:58 p.m. Stacy can’t say anything. Finally she finds her voice. She thanks the judges, admits that she didn’t do great last night and takes responsibility for her performance on Wednesday. Stacy is every bit as classy in departure as Astro was classless in non-elimination. Ugh.
9:00 p.m. Well that was unpleasant, wasn’t it? Stacy deserved to go home, but she sure handled adversity better than Astro, who now looks like a petulant brat, an image that he’s going to have a nearly impossible time shaking.
9:01 p.m. Seriously, kudos to Stacy for going out like a champ. And Astro? Ugh… You can’t have one of your show’s marquee performers pulling a stunt like that if you’re “X Factor.” It makes the entire endeavor look bad.
What’d you think of tonight’s results? Is Astro doomed now?