Gospel Soundcheck

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Chris Rene performed an original song; it was one of  my favorite performances on a great night of music

We’re getting down to the wire on this first season of The X Factor. Last night the final 5 contestants performed two songs each – the first their version of a dance song, and the second a song of their own choosing.

It was a bit of a twist. The second song was supposed to be the Pepsi Challenge song chosen by fans, but there was some kind of snafu, so 24 hours before last night’s live show the contestants were told they needed to sing their “save me” songs instead.

Everyone did a great job – it was actually an entirely enjoyable night of music. I even enjoyed Marcus Canty’s performance, particularly his second song, “Song For You.” If you  missed the show, here are the performance videos. We find out tonight which contestant heads home:

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Astro had the lowest number of votes, based on this performance Wednesday night

On tonight’s episode of The X Factor, two contestants went home and five moved on to the next round. My prediction would have been that Marcus Canty would have been one of the contestants headed home (he was in the bottom two last week) and maybe Astro.

After a recap of last night’s performances (you can see the final 7 contestant’s videos in this post), host Steve Host announced that Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Rachel Crow were through, leaving Drew, Astro, Marcus and Josh. One of them was through, one had the lowest votes, and the other two would sing.

I predicted Marcus to go home, Drew to go through, and Josh and Astro to sing off. Was I wrong, or what? Josh was through, Astro went home, and Marcus and Drew had a sing off.

Poor Drew was a bundle of nerves; she looked like she might melt into whoever was standing next to her. Marcus had been in the sing off position before so he was a little more composed.

Here are Drew’s and Marcus’ performances from last night; do you think they deserved to be in the bottom?:

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Drew, as expected, knocked her “save me” song out of the park; of the two she’s undoubtedly the most talented. Marcus warbled out his song. He doesn’t sing as well, but he’s more energetic on stage.

Here’s the thing: both of them are super likeable, really genuine and sincere, and would not only make great recording artists but nice role models for fans.  But the final decision was the judges:

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I think Melanie had the best performance of the night, tied with Drew

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If you missed last night’s episode of The X Factor, you missed a tribute to Michael Jackson, complete with Michael’s mother Katherine, his brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie, and his kids Prince, Paris and Blanket in the audience. Had I not been overwhelmed by dogs, dogs, dogs over here I would have given you the play by play.

But in short: Josh overproduced and under sang; Marcus did another corny caberet extravaganza; Drew soared (even LA liked it); Astro finally had fun; Chris Rene connected; Rachel was a little ray of sunshine; and Melanie stole the show.

In fact, I’m going out on a limb: I think Melanie might take the whole contest. We’ll find out if she has a shot, because tonight two contestants are headed home. And I think one of them is going to be Marcus. Here are the rest of the final 7 performances:

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Lakoda Rayne’s performance last night

This is one of those weeks on talent shows like The X Factor when you wish they’d say, “Surprise! In honor of Thanksiving no one goes home!” That’s because last night’s show was just a really positive, nice experience. But alas, it was a double elimination week, so two contestants were getting the boot.

With an opening from Kelly Clarkson and a performance mid-show from Bruno Mars, along with the Pepsi Choice Performance (which seemed like glittery, costumed chaos, but what do I know), the main focus of the show were the contestants. Host Steve Jones led off the results by calling Lakoda Rayne and Drew to the stage and announcing that one of them had the lowest number of votes.

Can you guess who it was?